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Discussion Starter #21
Update on Catfish...

I moved my baby Corys into another FW tank, to let this one be just for snails as I now have over 30 baby Nerites. The catfish moved are 9 in various sizes, all doing well.

They appear to be Bronze Corys, and have gotten big enough to see color, so they all have the greenish sheen to their bodies.

But today I was cleaning the community tank, and when I pulled out some plants to groom and move around, what should I see but another 5 catfish, which were also babies that survived the much bigger Mollies all around them. These were born in that tank, and managed to get up to a size that was safe with the Mollies. The 4 parents are growing and looking good, and still making eggs at least once a week. I always thought their eggs were hard to hatch and keep alive, but these are fine and now I have 4 adults, and 14 babies. And for those who don't think they can be happy in a brackish tank, well, here they are.
 

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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
Over 2 months + 2 weeks since 1st babies were hatched

Now without doing very much, I have 15 Cory catfish babies (and 4 adults). The first 4 were my not-too-planned hatching in Molly baby tank, and the others occurred pretty much by themselves in other tanks. 5 in the catfish baby tank (where I moved the first 4); 5 others in the adult catfish community tank with the Mollies; and one in my QT tank, don't ask me how it got there. The last one was the same size as the others and somehow was in the QT tank with a female Molly that was having babies. I didn't move it, could it have hatched in there from the plants -- no idea...? I did move some Hornwort in for the babies to hide in, so maybe... or it could have been living in the Hornwort -- was pretty small. I moved the Molly babies out and didn't see it -- probably was hiding.

The babies are now getting bigger, and I am thinking it may be time to move them into the community tank with Mollies, or put them in their own larger tank together with the adults. I have a 20G tank which might work for them. Right at the moment, 9 are in the baby tank which is only 5G. But it will mean finding and moving the other 10 from the community tank -- these cats move like lightning, and are far more difficult to get in the net than Mollies. Although small, they are easy to see but hard to capture. But when in one tank, it will be easier to care for them and feed them, since they like the sinking pellets and cat food. And if they have their own tank, would you not use the salt that is currently in the community tank -- it will mean those 10 will have to adjust? What do you think?
 

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I wish mine had bred. Lucky. lol It's always those who aren't trying that seem to have the best luck with them breeding...or bad luck for some people. LOL I had some for two years who never bred, even though I clearly had two males with a bunch of girls.
 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
Did you see the girls lay any eggs?

I noticed that other ladies will eat within a few minutes the eggs laid by one of them. I mean they are fast, and then no eggs are seen. I spotted this happening with mine, so I quickly scooped up the eggs right after Mom laid them -- in the first five minutes. I guess the others don't want any rivals to hatch out, or they enjoy the taste.

The most interesting thing is that some of the catfish eggs survived & actually hatched in the community tank; they hid and grew; then I saw them joyfully eating and scooting around when I took some plants out. I thought this would be impossible with all the big Mollies in there, and other grown catfish, too. But I had a lot of shells, plants, and rocks in there to hide in, so this did work for the cat babies. A wonder!

So now I have half in one tank and half in another, so want to join them up. Do you think the ones in the community tank who are adjusted to brackish water will live in a no-salt tank? I do not want to have them die after getting them to this stage. Or should I take the babies and adjust slowly their water to brackish, to get them to live in THAT water?
 

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No, no, no hun! No salt for cories. They can handle it for a time in small amounts, but it's VERY bad for armored fish like that. You can't acclimate them to it, it'll eventually kill them. So yes, put them in a no-salt tank right away please. ^^; You'll fry their kidneys and eventually kill them keeping them in brackish water. They hate salt, not even recommended in small doses to treat them for illness. Instead of giving their immune system a boost, it'll kick it in the face. Salt should never, ever be used on armored or scaleless fish.


And yeah, often they can eat their own eggs, and are happy to do it too, even other adults and critters in the tank will. c.c I tried keeping mine in a very well planted tank, nadda. lol One day I may try again. I'm about to change my 20 gallon to a sand tank, seriously debating on it. I'd have to move my crayfish out, but cories in a 20 gal with a few endlers? Perfect. I absolutely adore cories, it's just a question of which kind...I'm thinking Julii's or maybe pandas. Dunno though, I'm not changed yet, I'll wait to decide. I want the smaller types. I loved my emeralds and the bronze ones, but...I want different colors and a bit smaller. May even go for pygmies if I can ever find them, it's nigh impossible to find those. I've only seen pygmies once here in a few YEARS of searching.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Alrighty, a 20G tank for my Cory catfish

I did not know that Bronze Corys couldn't be in tanks with Mollies, "they" say that these cats are good teammates for Mollies. Along with Endlers and Platys, etc. Knowing that Mollies use brackish water, why would they say that? That boggles my mind...

Anyway, I will transfer them to my 20 G tank with lots of hiding places, caves, and rocks because they are not lovers of strong light. Since these aren't very old, and the babies have been in a FW tank, only the adults have been there in brackish about 6 months. Why do they act happy and mate and seem fine? Well, they will be better soon, as I move them.

I am not joking when I say that other catfish eat the eggs as soon as they are laid. They don't even stick around long enough for the Mollies to have some. And I read that adult catfish love the catlets and will eat them, too. Poor babies, too many fish want you for lunch! Even with the armored fins... A tank revision coming up soon...

BTW I put water in my 30G and it doesn't leak, despite having dropped it and dinged one side. I think it will be ready to set up soon if I can find a place for it... once you have a tank in place and filled, you can't move it very easily, so you had better like where it is!
 

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I did not know that Bronze Corys couldn't be in tanks with Mollies, "they" say that these cats are good teammates for Mollies. Along with Endlers and Platys, etc. Knowing that Mollies use brackish water, why would they say that? That boggles my mind...
The reason they make good tankmates for them is not everyone keeps mollies in brackish water. Many keep them in freshwater. It's not as good for them, but it is do-able. By being good tankmates for them they mean they can get along if kept together. =)
 

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Cory Cats

Hi Fish Friends,

Congrats on your new babies. I might have my first Corys hatching in about two more days. My Corys are the Sterbai Corys. I have tried to spawn them for about 3 years. They were adults when I bought them.

I learned online, a few days ago, that the wild Sterbai's want a different environment to breed in. The wild ones want plenty of plants and décor, so I treated my Corys like Wild ones and found about 80 fertile eggs (not even eaten) after the spawning was over.

I had noticed before that lowing the water in the tank for a few months and then filling the tank, is what triggers my catfish to spawn.

kitty2234
 

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Discussion Starter #29
The hatching range isn't high, ya know

Just so you won't get sad when you see how few will actually hatch and survive, I would guess it is 15-30% that will live, out of where you started. This is mainly that the eggs have to be at a certain water condition, temp, pH, etc. to hatch, and nature doesn't give many the go-ahead to exist. I removed mine from the tank when laid, within five minutes, so as not to be eaten by other cats. So I probably lost a few then, and they went into a small tank, that at first I didn't know that a bubbler was necessary to keep the eggs from molding. I did add it, but probably lost a lot there. Finally they are so teeny-tiny when hatched, you won't even see them, and feeding is a bit of a problem. Nice to have the First Bites or Baby Bites food to feed them, and then when you get a mess, have a snail to clean up after them. All of this you will learn, but good luck, and I hope some do survive to become real catfish. I have 19 baby Corys now, and am thrilled by it all!
 

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Hi dancelady,

Thanks for the advice. I had noticed a small amount of fungus within 12 hours of them spawning. I decided to wait and see how it goes before trying any medicine in the tank. I don't like adding medicine.

In this 55 gallon tank, I have 3 long air stones and not filter. I removed all of the snails that I could see, to prevent them from eating the eggs. I heard 'recently' about a shrimp that specializes in removing funguses from eggs. I have also learned about Alder Cones, that are now being used to prevent funguses on eggs. I will buy some very soon and try them next.

Today, I went down and didn't like how many eggs that I was losing, so I added some medicine to slow down the fungus. I will have more success after the next batch because as you stated 'I am learning'. I also know that it is supposed to be pretty hard to grow Sterbai Corys up from fry. They are harder to raise than many of the other Corys. I was told this from a few Cory Breeders in my fish club.

kitty2234
 

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Discussion Starter #31 (Edited)
Hang in there, many people have to do it again & again

Sylverclaws has said she never gets hers to spawn, and she raises many Livebearers and crayfish, etc. I thought it was pretty easy, but that is because I googled how to watch them spawn, how to make the tank good for them to hatch, and I had some baby bites for my Mollies, so had something to feed them. This food thing is the hardest because you can't tell if they are eating, how much they need, and so on. I had to use a magnifying glass to see them at first, and even then couldn't really see much.

I got a Nerite snail to clean things up when I saw the eggs that didn't make it, and the snail was excellent, didn't eat anything but the debris and dead eggs. Kept the tank clean. Oh, and I put the eggs in a small tank with nothing on the bottom, except a little moss here and there. They say hatchlings will eat Infusoria, which the moss has plenty of. That way you can sort of see them -- though mostly only if they are moving-- if they are right by the edge of the glass. This way I knew that they would eat from the moss, and also I put in some of the Hikari First Bites as their first food for a few weeks. I didn't even plan on getting anything, but was quite surprised by the results. I even found another one today, in the main tank, had to have been hiding for a month or two, and this was with some big Mollies and adult Cory catfish in there. This one sure was a sweet one to survive everything thrown at it.
 
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Discussion Starter #32
Babies growing up and settling in

My catfish Cory babies have grown a lot since the last time I posted around July 27. Now the babies look like the sizes of the ones in stores, and then you see their big Mom, who is looking very pregnant with more eggs. She laid a hundred or so a week ago; I saw the eggs mature (who left the side of the glass after about 4-5 days), but can't tell if any hatched out with all the decor in there. Will have to check after a few weeks and see if there are any tiny ones in the tank. But I am very happy with the ones I have, and they seem less anxious to flit away when I pass by, since they know I will feed them. They are hysterical to watch, always going every which way and on top of each other.
 
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Discussion Starter #33 (Edited)
Update on Corys

Almost another month has gone by, and the Corys are as big as any in the stores, bigger actually. Big Momma is rather large now, probably 2.5 inches. Most of her babies are now in the 1-1.5 inch area. They are eating the Hikari Sinking Wafers, which seem to be tasty, as bottom feeders like. Anyone have any other food they know catfish enjoy? Looking for a different snack for them -- also have the micro-sized Hikari Micro Wafers, which I fed them when they were teeny. Now I know they like shrimp, does one just put the pellets in there, or break them up into smaller pieces? I gave them shrimp ground up when they were small...
 
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Since they're catfish, they need more than algae. They require some protein in their diets. Glassworms, brine shrimp, mysis is really good if they can eat it(it has shells like a lot of shrimp, which provide calcium but can make them a little harder to eat, though most have no issue, my kuhli's suck them up like nothing else).

Other veggies they can have, off the top of my head so it wont be a full list: Blanched cucumber and zucchini(this is better than cucumber, bot often not as liked) remove the seeds. The way I blanch them: Slice up a fresh one into quarter inch thick slices, put them on a flat sheet with wax paper under and on top, freeze them over night, slide them into a freezer bag. After that, take out what you want to feed them and pop them in a bowl of hot water for ten or fifteen minutes, remove, cool, feed. Remove the seeds when you first slice them. The zucchini has good calcium too, cucumber does as well but it's lower.
Blanched kale, I boil it, keeps the nutrients in there, also a high source of calcium. Romaine lettuce, also boil. Only do it for a minute or so on the romaine, the kale takes longer since it's tough stuff. Get organic if you can, less chance of pesticides and such, but do wash them first anyways.
Blanched shelled peas are great, I also boil them or put them in a bowl of hot water, then remove the shells. No canned stuff! Fresh or frozen Green peas. They can have these once a week, they're very good for your fish, VERY good, however they are also like a laxative if fed too much. =)
Mine had a thing for steamed broccoli stems(so do my fish, crayfish, snails, shrimp and plecos lol), gooood stuff. Steam or boil, remove the tops so they don't choke your fish or foul up your water. Make sure they're nice and SOFT when you feed them. You can freeze what you boil or steam and it'll keep a long time, just defrost and feed.


At this size you can probably sell them. Cories are popular on ebay....and quite expensive or I'd have me some sweet pandas or julii's. :3 <3 I adore cories, I used to keep bronze, julii, schwartzi and emerald cories, but at that time the only sand tanks I had were ten gallons, and they just weren't happy with so little space, and the gravel did them no good in the 55 gal though the mass of lower plants mostly kept them off it, one ended up losing two barbels after two years and that was it. I had initially intended to switch my 20 gal and 55 gal to sand, but it never did happen, so I found them new homes. I miss them. T_T They're such neat little fish.
 
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