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Discussion Starter #1
So after I did a water change, my albino cory was showing off some weird behavior today, which I've never seen in a cory before! Instead of hanging out on the sand with the other cories, he decided to stay at the surface of the water. I know they tag the surface to get air, sometimes even swim around like crazy along the glass, but this is different.

I took a video to show it in case it's something indicative of sickness. I looked it up and it does not seem to be a definite symptom of something bad. Still, I'm wondering how common this is and if it means anything. Well, here it is:

Direct link here in case the embed doesn't work.

You're probably noticing some things, so...

- I bought this cory at a chain pet store and his fins and whiskers were like that when I got him... I just thought he would heal eventually. Well, I've had him for a year now and he's not really healing. The barbels look the worst of all, basically non-existant. :( Regardless, he seems to eat and swim just fine, he's even the most ACTIVE out of all my cories (but maybe that's because he's the youngest).

- As you can see I have two filters, a Tetra Whisper 20i on one side and 10i on the other, so I think there should be ample oxygen... I used a TINY pinch of salt in the tank anyway to try to help. Cories are sensitive to salt from what I've heard, which is why i used so little.

- After an hour or so he stopped doing that and went back to normal behavior. I'm willing to bet it was just something in the new tank water that irritated him.

- Ignore the ugly back wall of the tank haha, I am trying to grow a moss wall with very little moss ! :s

Tank: 20g
pH: 7.8
Ammonia: 0.25ppm (there's always a slight level of ammonia after I do a water chage, which I think is to be expected)
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 15ppm
Temp: 79 F
 

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Cory looks like a female...

I can't say for sure, but this Cory acts like a female. She seems wider in the middle, and she could be pregnant. Sometimes when they are about to lay their eggs, they may stay at the top for a while, possibly getting more air for the egg-laying to come. Why this happens, I have no idea. But I have 2 adult females who hide in caves for most of the day, but when about to lay, come out and scour the tank for good spots, usually on the tank glass, or leaves, or plant parts near the top.

If it is a male, then he may have a problem with the air in the tank, or the lack of it. Why only one does this is a mystery. So good luck with figuring this out, but watch and see what happens next, does this one lay any eggs? They will be small round whitish blobs on the glass or on plants.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Huh that is strange... he/she looks kind of skinny in my opinion, I always thought it was a male. I have one that is much fatter and assume that's the female. I checked, but I don't see any eggs. :eek:

maybe he didn't like something in the new water, the oxygen level was too low maybe. But this morning, I guess it stabilized by now because he is completely back to normal! very active and swimming along the glass.

I will keep an eye out for eggs if other cories start doing things like this though :)
 

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One way to tell male from female --

If you can watch this Cory when it comes down to earth to stop moving for a bit, you will see if male, it will sit levelly on the bottom, nose down to the ground. If female, it will sit higher up, nose up off the bottom, and a bigger belly underneath to make it slope up. This is because females have that belly to carry those eggs. If young, they may not have gotten this far, so the teenagers don't do this. But females are always heavier in the middle than males -- who are skinny, slender, and slight. And usually smaller, if the same age (adult, of course). I have 20 younger ones, and can't tell yet whether they are male or female. But the big mamas are easy to see, and if that isn't enough, you will see them lay eggs to establish they are females. One of mine laid eggs about 2 weeks ago, eggs disappeared when ready to hatch, but they would be so tiny, I can't tell if any survived. Will have to wait and see.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Wow that's a great tip, usually people say to just look at them from the top to figure out which is wider. From the looks of it this cory from the video is does indeed seem to be male... and I have one big female, her nose is significantly higher off the ground. I'm thinking about buying a few more cories, this tip will come in handy for finding more females :) Thanks.
 
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