I have seen a lot of fish keepers out there that talks about having to keep corys in groups of 4 or more. After doing a couple days of research, this seems to be a ploy by the fish industry to get you to buy more than you need, nothing more.
There is some truth to it in the fact that if you are going to have more than 2, you need 4-6 of them to allow them to pair off and to estbalish their social order in the group. If you want to breed then, groups of 6 or more are better and equal numbers male:female is supposed to work just fine.
You can have 1 or 2 of them in a tank and they will be fine, probably extremely happy if you have places for them to hide in. I have seen them raised alone and they were some of the most colorful and healthy corys I have ever seen. A single male and single female will actually interact with each other like a couple sharing and taking turns at different things. I know becaus eI have done this and was finally able to identify the species for certain because of the coloration finally matching the pictures I was finding.
There is no reason to believe that a single cory will be so depressed and stressed that it will not survive. They are found in groups and also found in single throughout their natural habitat as I have found on many sites.
If you plan to have a wide open bare tank with just gravel I would say that that is about the only time that you really need to have a shoal of them because they will feel like every other fish is a predator and shoal together in a defence posture which is probably more stressful than keeping them as a single cory in a tank with some plants or some sort of cave to hide in.
As for life spans, I know of at least 6 different fish keepers who have kept them in singles for many years and they outlive the ones they have in shoals. They don't know why but the fish does not care if it is a single fish or a group of 20 in a 125 gallon tank. As long as they have places to hide they are happy regardless of their numbers.
That is good information.
In many posts concerning single cories I have stated "not a happy camper".
I will modify this statement based on your post.
In West Texas if 3 is good but 5 is preferable then 7 should work just fine.
Hence 7 yoyo's, 7 SAE's and 7 cories.
My cories typically feed, sleep and play in groups of at least 3.
They also play with the yoyo's and SAE's.
Great post fish_4_all. :)
It just seemed odd that I have seen so many single corys that were happy and healthy in so many tanks but it always came down to these fish are shoaling fish and wouldn't even survive in singles.
I have heard the same thing about loaches although I think a single male loach would be miserable and the rest of your occupants would pay the price. I have 2 skunk botia in one tank, a male and a female and they have never been aggressive toward any other fish excpet when I only had one place for them to hide and they were in with C. Trilinieatus Corys. This was a chaos of battles for the cave between the corys and the loaches and the corys were never happy. Once they had more caves to share, they figured out who was going to get what and I never had another problem. There are no corys with them now but they share a large cave with a common pleco and often rest on his back. Maybe he isn't considered a threat.
I don't know enough nor have I seen enough about loaches or SAE to even start to guess if they would be happy in singles. It also makes me wonder how much information about Otos is accurate also about them having to be in groups of 3 or more to be happy. I have 4 of them in one tank and yes, 3 of them stay in a group most of the time but one of them is more than happy to keep as far away from the rest as possible.
Don't get me wrong, the interaction of cories in an open bottom tank in groups over 4 is something to watch and can be very entertaining. I just wonder if they are shoaling like that and acting like that because they think they have to defend themselves all the time because of a lack of hiding places. With all the plants I have with them now and the caves they have to hide in they are extremely boring and never come out in groups but their health is better and their coloration is stunning.
Now I can see a drawback of having a single or 2 of them in an open tank as this would likely stress them out so bad that they may not be healthy and cause them to die. But if given plenty of hiding places, even a single cory should be happy and will follow the instinct to feed at night when there is no stress or at least less stress from the other occupants in the tank.
I have one clown loach for about 10 months already and it is doing well by itself.:) So true, Chris.:)
This is an interesting thread and it surely goes against the usual advice.
I can agree with what you are saying though.
I have one Emerald Green Cory in a tank of Discus and Blue Rams (and one Pleco).
You'd think he was the king of the tank. He will sit on a piece of driftwood and chill in plain sight, not stressed at all....very happy fish.
wow, i have an argument here....
believe me your post makes perfect sense, the problem is i cant agree fully
Dont take this post racially offensive, its the only example i could think of.
Imagine you living in a house. You are from england and can only speak english. Next to you is a group of 6 germans who speaks only german, then there are a group of russians who speak only russian. While there off chit chatting you are by yourself with no one to be around with. Lets say the plants in the tank are equivallent to activities in the house (tv, books, games). You have your entertainment and you are ok in the house, maybe try to get to know the the other people but never actually join there groupe of people. You watch tv, maybe you are the leader of the house who works the financial things and food etc. You would feel perfectly fine in that house wouldnt you? Of course, you have company of your own kind except they dont speak your language, and you are the leader in the household. But think about it, wouldnt you like your own group of friends? You would be much happier that way.
Its a very bland example but i still think cories should be in groups of no less than 4, heavily planted or not. But i do admit your post makes very good sense and it was an interesting read.
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