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What's the hardiest Cory besides the bronze?
Can't really get a definitive answer from anywhere. One that could tolerate a wider range of water parameters.
There was one at the office that was wallowing in water that had not been changed in months, over 80ppm nitrates, hardness was in the high teens, gravel substrate being picked on by a small school of serpae tetra until his fins were just nubbins. I moved him to another tank and he is healing well so I would have to say that he did more than just survive.
The salt and pepper cory are similar, dGH to 15, temps up to 79F, pH 7.2.
I skipped corys initially due to the lower temperature tolerance and the softer water requirements and opted for emerald catfish instead, harder water, higher temps but ended up with a few pepper corys due the aforementioned fellow and a few extras I bought to bring the peppers up to 4 in the catfish grouping.
They aren't that much larger than the pepper, squatter or taller perhaps. I would count them as corys as far as bioloading goes.
The only thing that I ran into with them is that I lost some along the way. I never really knew what the problem was but I could not keep more than 8 in a tank with a bottom area of 30" x 12". With 9, I lost one. With 10 (separate trial) I lost two. I since setup more hiding spots so now I cannot ever see them all at once so I really don't know if the last 8 are all still in there.
That and they tend to be more reclusive than the corys that I have but that may be because the ones I got were wild caught and were mostly fully grown by the looks of them.
I would say that, depending on the other fish numbers, you could put 9 in there... partly because they will fit and partly in case there are some losses it still keeps your numbers up without having to add one or two later.
Quick note, looking at your tank in your profile, you would need more overhanging stuff, I added a ton of crypts and a suspended driftwood piece and it seemed to help their disposition. They prefer a lot of shade and particularly like to hang out in groups in the dark corners.
Don't really have any space for driftwood in the tank. So 9 emeralds could be added to the 9 cories for 18 total bottom feeders?
I wouldn't suggest adding any unless you can get some cover in there, even a small long piece tipped against the back corner or a flat rock "cave" setup that they can scoot under and through. The more cover the better. It seems to make a difference in their "comfort" level. I have a crypt forest and they do come out more there at feeding time and they will wander around and when they get a little spooked they scoot back under the wood then pop back out in a few minutes to see what's going on. Without the cover they've nowhere to hide that they consider safe so I think they stress more. I do think it was a factor in my deaths as I have seen no signs of problems since adding enough wood to hide the entire group together at once, and I added four pepper corys around the same time. The peppers and emeralds do act substantially different.
When I imagine my 55 with 9 corys, I think that it is a good number...a nice group with room to explore. Beyond that, I agree with JDM that the pepper corys seem to be a hardy bunch. Mine tolerated a tank change without missing a beat and that's good for corys.
Thanks for the advice, if only I could find some peppered cories. Only chain stores around where I live and all they ever have is bronze, false julis.
That's funny, the peppered are the easiest to find around here, except for maybe albinos.
There are typically three varieties in the LFS that I frequent.
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