mixing cory species?
i noticed that at the local petco they have emerald cats in one tank and a bunch of small cories in another (less than an inch long). the tag for them says "cory sp." which i take to mean they are an assortment of common cory species. as they are so little and because i know so little about cories, i couldn't tell what kinds they were. would it be ok (once my tank is ready) to just get 6 random (healthy looking) ones? or should i try to get 6 of the same species? i seem to remember having seen suggestions that 3 of each of 2 or more species will work together, but how picky are they actually about their own kind?
i do intend to ask about their source before i buy them, to figure out what i can about the water parameters they are used to.
From what I have read, most cories like their own kind better. If you search Tropical Fish Profiles tab at top of page, it might help you identify some of the ones at your store. Of course, it is not always possible to get several of one kind. I have only 2 surviving panda cories from 5 and have not been able to find any to add. They do live with 3 cory aeneus.
Double check the emerald cories. These can be mislabled as is stated in the fish profiles.
In addition to my earlier post, cories also need a well established tank as they are sensitive to any change in water parameters. I am guessing that you have had your tank for several months since you have other fish. They also like places to hide to feel more secure. The panda cories are more active during the day than my c. aeneus and they swim all over the tank. The c. aeneus tend to be very skittish and like subdued lighting and come out in evening more.
Brownmane is correct in both posts. Corys occur in very large groups, hundreds, naturally; in some creeks there may be more than one species, but there are always hundreds of each species. I tend to prefer buying a minimum of 3 of each species when I can, and if it is a species I particularly like I try to get 5-6. I have almost 40 corys in my 115g now, with several species, so getting just 2 or 3 if that is all I can is not an issue as they have other corys around them, and this seems to be the main issue. It is interesting how some will remain closer regularly, others seldom. But when stressed, as they were when I moved them recently in order to re-do the tank with sand, they clearly remained in their species groups for days after. So there is a definite plus to having more. Much the same as with most shoaling fish (tetra, rasbora, etc)--just having more of their own species in the tank will settle them considerably, even if they do not seem to be together a lot of the time.
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