Corydoras different species - temp preferances
Ok, so to start off - corydoras are absolutely my all-time favorite fish. I have a 45 gallon (pH 6.6, ammonia and nitrites 0, keep nitrates at 5ppm, GH 4, KH 2; temp is 78). It's moderately planted with mostly South American species and also two crypts and java moss. In it I have a school of 14 cardinals and about as many corys.
I have problems identifying them in the store (they are sometimes labeled wrong even at my LFS), and this has created issues for me when I get them home. I'll explain:
C. sterbai - likes 75-82 degrees F
C. haroldschultzi (similar but identifiably different) - likes 75-79 degrees F
- I ended up with 2 of each because I bought them at different times and I didn't realize that 2 were Schultz's till I got them home and saw them right next to my Sterbai's. The Schultz's were labeled as Sterbai's in the store.
C. leucomelas - likes 77-86 degrees F
C. agassizi - likes it colder, 72-78.
- same story - I have 6 leucomelas that were labeled agassizi in the store.
I also didn't ever realize before that cory species have considerably different temp preferences, although the ranges overlap. My leucomelas and sterbai are always lying listless in the back of the tank except to feed. They swim away whenever they sense with near, so I used to assume they were just shy but came out to play when I wasn't around. BUT - when I added 4 pandas and the 2 Schultz's I started investigating...they are very active, always scavenging and moving around. I've since concluded that my leucomelas and sterbai are too cold. My cardinals are fairly active and have been around for awhile (except for a heater malfunction that killed some from the original school), but maybe they're cold too. They're preference (according to the write-up on here) is 75-84 degrees F, so my tank's a little on the cold side for them.
So I now have this issue that some of my fish prefer water temps 72-79 degrees, and others prefer it hotter (75-86). Can anyone help me find an ideal temp for my tank?
I feel bad :cry:; I know it was stupid of me to assume they all would prefer the same temp ranges and I should have researched each individual species before putting them in my tank :oops:. I don't know what to do besides net the ones that prefer colder waters (the 4 pandas and the 2 Schultz's) and take them back to the fish store and ask them to replace those with better-suited ones. And raise the tank water to 80-82 degrees. I think if I leave them all in there and raise the temp, I'm shortening the lifespans of the pandas and the Schultz's. Am I right?
What's the most humane and feasible solution? [Sorry for my long post...I guess I'm a long-winded person and believe me, it probably annoys me even more than you all who are reading].
I got the data on corys preferred temps from seriouslyfish.com's knowledge base. I assume it's accurate? Also, I am sorry but the title should be "preference" not preferance. I can't edit it. :(
I personally haven't found many cory's who didn't appreciate cooler water. I believe some of the listed temps are possibly temps that fish may expierience during different times of the day or different seasons in the wild.
With exception of Sterbai I keep cory's at 74 to 76 degrees F but closer to 74 degrees F.
Is why I keep neons as opposed to cardinals, neons enjoy the cooler temps.
Yep that probably would have been a better idea. Originally I thought about a matched pair of discus, which is why I chose the cardinals, but then I started reading about their requirements and decided it wouldn't be fair to keep them in a small tank. I knew I could not realistically do water changes every single day for the rest of their lives...so I decided against the discus.
For some reason I went with the cardinals anyway though, deciding to keep a tank of just corys and cardinals (and of course, lots of plants). I would like to add a third species for diversity but am not sure what kind.
Anyways, if in your experience most corys appreciate cooler water, do you have any suggestion as to why my leucomelas and sterbais (actually, only one of the 2 sterbais) are inactive...while my pandas and haroldschultzis are always really active? The leucomelas are in a school of 6. I also have a trilineatus (I think) who hides all the time; but I think because he's lonely. He was the last one of his kind in the cory tank, and looked healthy but lonely so I took him home.
Do you think it's species-related, or something else? Anytime I come near, they dash off under some plant. The more active ones could care less where I am.
Thanks very much for any insight you can provide.
(btw, I know I'm weirdly sentimental about my fish...sorry...but I really do want to make them feel comfortable).
In previous tanks with no plant's just driftwood,flat pieces of stone to get under, they were more visible,not necessarily more active during the day.
I feed mine at night after lights are off for a couple hours, and if I take a small pen light, I can see much more activity as they come to the front of the tank for blood worms (sparingly) ,shrimp pellets,spirulina pellet's ,alage wafers,frozen bit's of chopped krill, Tetra color bits,Brine shrimp,etc. I try to offer something different each day.
I really don't know why some are more active than other's during the day but as mentioned,I hardly ever see all of them at any one time despite searching during the day. Maybe so I don't have seven anymore, but next week will tell when I pull out some plant's to replace with other's. I will be able to get better count I hope.
Have noticed with some groups of cory's that if males are more numerous than females, or perhaps one female (plumper) and numerous males, that the female often remains reserved or more isolated ,perhaps in attempt to avoid the advances of too many males? (maybe not).
50 percent water changes with a bit cooler water often bring about more activity as well as spawning from my,, and other's observations.
Could very well be species related, color and texture of substrate,temp,organic levels, diet, or all of the above.
Sometimes adding a bit of current along the bottom (see powerhead), will bring more activity as it moves water maybe lower in oxygen at lower level for better oxygen exchange.
All of this is just my speculation,observations, but may or may not, be things to consider?
I also think Cory's are great. I have 6 pygmy corys along with 6 lemon tetras and 6 white cloud minnows in a 45 gallon planted tank. I am hoping to add some cardinal tetras in awhile. When I was at the LFS today they also suggested marbled hatchets as an option. I was just looking at their profile, and it looks like the get along well with corys and tetras. They also originate from South America. They also look very different than the corys and tetras.
I have been trying to start a South American tank and should have questioned the LFS regarding the white cloud "tetras" more. I had discussed with the owner that I was looking at having South American fish, which we discussed and he checked the origin of a few other fish while I was there. Unfortunately, I didn't question the white cloud minnows even when I couldn't remember them when studying the different tetras.
I didn't spot this previously, not sure why, a title with "cory" usually causes me to check it out. Anyway, this is not an issue.
The temperature ranges are just that, ranges for that particular species. [By the way, I know Matt who does SF, it is reliable.] We also have profiles here, although a couple of those corys are not included (yet), I must add them to the list. Second tab from the left in the blue bar at the top.
You mention two sets of ranges, 72-79 and 75-86. Which means that temperatures around 76-79 will be in the middle for everyone. I find 77F works best for mixed communities. And in your case, a temp around 77-78F will suit everyone. I have C. sterbai in my 115g Amazon riverscape and they are fine at 77F. I have C. panda in my 90g flooded Amazon forest tank and they are fine at 77-78F. I've had these for years. I have cardinal tetra in the 115g at 77F.
I don't think in your case any lethargic behaviour is due to temperature. What is your filtration (thinking of current here)?
Would age play in to the equation?
Again,, I would submit that temp much warmer than 76 degrees F is uncomfortable for most of the corydora's many of which are still wild caught fishes. In the wild, fishes can move from warmer water to deeper, cooler water ,not so in aquariums.
I too have kept these fishes for many years, and nearly without exception,, they fair better, and live longer in cool, oxygen rich water as opposed to warm stagnant water and by stagnant,,I mean water with little movement.
Is often the difference between cory's that live for a few months, perhaps a year or two,,and cory's that spawn frequently and live five plus year's.
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