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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 10 gallon aquarium (running about 6 weeks now) set up with 7 neon tetras and 1 cory cat. :oops: Long story short, I now realize that I was basically lied to at the pet store about the cory cat. He's been in the aquarium about a week now. The first few days he was quite active, but now not as much. He is resting at the bottom most of the time, but does swim around occasionally. My question is, would he be better off with one more cory cat, or would I then just have 2 miserable cory cats?

temp 78*
pH 6.5
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
nitrate 0
 

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Running 6 weeks, does that mean you know about the Nitrogen Cycle and all? If not, no worries, I can certainly instruct you on that! But depending on the type of Cory cat (probably Albino/Bronze? They're the same species) you can get two more to have three of them.

Can you give the full specs on the tank?
Just use this link and fill out for your cory instead of betta, some questions do not apply: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=612810
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Update over the weekend: I had done some further research and thought maybe the tank light might be too bright for the cory cat. I tried just turning on the moon light in the day time, where as before I had been running the bright light about 10 hours a day. Like magic, he's active again and swimming all over the place. So I am not as concerned about his behavior anymore. As for the type of cory cat, he looks to me like a Julii (more so then the false julii pictures I have found). I have read the horror stories about cory cats dying of loneliness. Being that it's a 10 gallon tank with 7 neon tetras and one cory cat (so maybe 9 in of fish?) I don't want to over load it either.

As for the tank and the cycle, I started out with a few of the neon tetras and used Safe Start plus. I still have my doubts about whether it actually helps a tank cycle faster, but the problem I had was the API master test kit I bought happened to be miss-packaged and was missing the nitrite test (I contacted customer service and they sent me replacements but it took several weeks). So I don't truly know if the nitrite spiked after the ammonia. So far everything seems to be stable without having to add any bottled bacteria. I monitor the ammonia levels about every day or so and it stays at zero for at least 7 days in a row, though I usually do a water change every 7 days anyhow. Any insight as to how I might know if it has cycled would be great.

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 10
Does it have a filter? yes
Does it have a heater? yes
What temperature is your tank? 78*
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
one cory cat and 7 neons

Food:
hikari tropical fish micro pellets &bottom feeder sinking wafers

feed twice a day

Maintenance:
20% water change once a week, light vacuum substrate.
What additives do you use? api tap water conditioner and proper pH 6.5

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10 ppm
pH: 6.5
Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I did a 20% water change (today being day 6 since last change) to bring nitrate levels down to just under 5ppm now. Where to I want nitrate to be (I have read everything between 0 and 50 ppm)? The tank has been a bit messier lately due to figuring out how much to feed with the cory cat.
 

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It actually doesn't matter if the nitrite spiked or not. If your ammonia and nitrite are zero with some nitrates (there are some exceptions), then your tank is absolutely cycled and there are no worries :) Every tank cycles different so sometimes ammonia seems to spike forever and on another tank, it will spike overnight and then drop as nitrite rises. As a friend told me, it's like making a cake; you've got the same recipe but it likely won't be exactly the same each time you make it ;-)

Yeah, real Julii's are extremely rare, all the ones you see on the market are False Julii's as you guessed ^_^

Julii's stay small so you could absolutely do 3 cats. Also, the 1 inch of fish per gallon is incorrect and very much outdated. You want to know the bioload for your fish, generally, the smaller the fish, the less they poop....usually lol. Neon's are moderate to low, corys are usually about the same. To compensate, you want a bigger filter is all to allow for more beneficial bacteria to be housed in filter to negate the poop that's being made.

Do you know what filter you have? Or what it's rated for? I like to overfilter my tanks because I keep microfish but usually a lot of them. Larger filters help you out in the long run ^_^

And it sounds like you might not have enough decor for him. I have cories in almost all my tanks and I use high lighting for my plants, but I have a lot of plants. You can get silk (or live if you want to delve into that) plants over the next couple weeks to add to the tank and he should feel so much better ^_^
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You have been so helpful, thank you! The filter is a penguin bio wheel 75, which I believe is rated for 10 gallons. Would it be better to upgrade the filter if I were to add two more cories? And if so, how do I do that without disrupting the cycle?

I have a few fake plants in there now and a submarine my son picked out for hiding, but I will add some more.

It has been a few years since I have kept an aquarium and it sounds like things have changed a bit, lol. Thank you so much again for your help :-D
 

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Yeah, it certainly has changed quite a bit, not so much completely different information, but just updating what we had previously ^_^

And adding a new filter is actually quite easy! I recommend the AquaClear 20, rated for 20 gallons but it's also adjustable! The media is also customizable, it will come with a sponge, bio-max (ceramic rings), and carbon media. You can take out the media that is in the penguin and put that into the AC. If it doesn't fit, you can just let it hang out in the tank for about two weeks while you let the AC run but take the Penguin off, again, just the media would be in the water. The media is really where all the Bacteria live, they live the fast moving waters. They will adhere to all surfaces on the tank, but that comes later on. So when you get the new filter, set that up, insert old media with new if possible and let it run for two weeks and then you can take out the old media and you're all set! Simple as that. It's not re-cycling the tank over again so it doesn't need to be a month, it's just letting the bacteria move over to the other media :)
 
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