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Breeding cories without pulling eggs - updated


Cinnebuns
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Sometimes someone wants to breed a fish but not necessarily have maximum yield. Maybe you just want to make a few more for yourself. Or maybe you just want to do some lazy breeding. Often when we talk about hands off breeding live bearers are frequently mentioned. Egg layers have a much higher success rate if you pull eggs but it's not always required! 

I have been breeding panda cories for about a year and a half now. Not at expert level by any means but enough to have some experience. I'd like to pass some of that on. I do pull eggs and have a grow out tank system but I have also gotten dozens of cories to magically appear in the main tank on their own. I fully believe cories are a great choice for hands off breeding!  As always, fish are unique and there are other things that can work and some of this may not work for all fish. 

If you are interested in the methods of pulling eggs and doing grow out tanks that post is here. I plan to read through it and update it over time:

Tank Setup:

Hands off breeding of cories requires some conditions in the tank to increase your chances of success. You most certainly can be successful without it, but this will help a lot. The most important thing is a place for them to lay the eggs and where the eggs can hide. Heavily planted tanks are helpful for this. What is especially helpful however is moss or something to simulate moss. They like to hide their eggs. 

I have found 2 things that have specifically worked for me. I have always used a spawning mop. A majority of my cory eggs are laid in them. There are many videos on YouTube how to make them. The other thing I have found to work surprised me. I made a tree out of anubias nana petite and anubias nana golden. These plants are dense enough that I have found eggs hidden in there. I have also found eggs on random stem plants but not very often. 

Do keep one thing in mind. Some cories are unnatural layers and prefer to lay their eggs on the glass rather than in plants. If this is yours you may have a harder time getting them to hatch because they will be out in the open and an easy snack for anyone. 

Egg Eaters:

Any fish or invert has the potential to eat eggs. Some however seek them out more than others. The cories themselves will eat their own eggs if given the chance. I cannot possibly go through an entire list of fish and inverts to avoid. I will say this though. In my experience the top egg eater is snails and specifically pest snails. Pest snails mainly because they are everywhere and are hard to keep away from the eggs. I have also watched a mystery snail book it across the tank after an egg was laid. I moved him back and he immediately started booking it again. I have mini ramshorn snails in the tank where my adult panda cories lay. I was getting NO, ZERO, NADA eggs until I started controlling their population AND pulling eggs while the cories were spawning as well as picking off any snail in the mops. Since controlling their population I do still get fry popping out of the main tank so it is possible to do. It just requires a smaller population of snails. 

Your School:

more to come...I need a break but will add more later

Edited by Cinnebuns
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On 1/25/2023 at 1:17 AM, Cinnebuns said:

Sometimes someone wants to breed a fish but not necessarily have maximum yield. Maybe you just want to make a few more for yourself. Or maybe you just want to do some lazy breeding. Often when we talk about hands off breeding live bearers are frequently mentioned. Egg layers have a much higher success rate if you pull eggs but it's not always required! 

I have been breeding panda cories for about a year and a half now. Not at expert level by any means but enough to have some experience. I'd like to pass some of that on. I do pull eggs and have a grow out tank system but I have also gotten dozens of cories to magically appear in the main tank on their own. I fully believe cories are a great choice for hands off breeding!  As always, fish are unique and there are other things that can work and some of this may not work for all fish. 

If you are interested in the methods of pulling eggs and doing grow out tanks that post is here. I plan to read through it and update it over time:

Tank Setup:

Hands off breeding of cories requires some conditions in the tank to increase your chances of success. You most certainly can be successful without it, but this will help a lot. The most important thing is a place for them to lay the eggs and where the eggs can hide. Heavily planted tanks are helpful for this. What is especially helpful however is moss or something to simulate moss. They like to hide their eggs. 

I have found 2 things that have specifically worked for me. I have always used a spawning mop. A majority of my cory eggs are laid in them. There are many videos on YouTube how to make them. The other thing I have found to work surprised me. I made a tree out of anubias nana petite and anubias nana golden. These plants are dense enough that I have found eggs hidden in there. I have also found eggs on random stem plants but not very often. 

Do keep one thing in mind. Some cories are unnatural layers and prefer to lay their eggs on the glass rather than in plants. If this is yours you may have a harder time getting them to hatch because they will be out in the open and an easy snack for anyone. 

Egg Eaters:

Any fish or invert has the potential to eat eggs. Some however seek them out more than others. The cories themselves will eat their own eggs if given the chance. I cannot possibly go through an entire list of fish and inverts to avoid. I will say this though. In my experience the top egg eater is snails and specifically pest snails. Pest snails mainly because they are everywhere and are hard to keep away from the eggs. I have also watched a mystery snail book it across the tank after an egg was laid. I moved him back and he immediately started booking it again. I have mini ramshorn snails in the tank where my adult panda cories lay. I was getting NO, ZERO, NADA eggs until I started controlling their population AND pulling eggs while the cories were spawning as well as picking off any snail in the mops. Since controlling their population I do still get fry popping out of the main tank so it is possible to do. It just requires a smaller population of snails. 

You School:

more to come...I need a break but will add more later

This is great! Thanks for posting. Can’t wait for the next post!

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On 1/25/2023 at 1:17 AM, Cinnebuns said:

Any fish or invert has the potential to eat eggs. Some however seek them out more than others. The cories themselves will eat their own eggs if given the chance.

My cories will eat their own eggs, but not as much as the platies, who swarm around the poor female cories, waiting for  them to deposit so they can snack. However, ive never seen my Betta, or Panda Garra eating any eggs.

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Perfect timing on this post. I have Emerald green cory eggs everywhere. They just started this morning and are still going. Here's one group of eggs. They're currently laying them on the back left and right of the tank and on the top of my sponge filter. 

798E191F-AC58-400D-9DFA-2F96FEE58E2A.jpeg

Here's a picture of the whole tank. 20H

96761C8D-1005-4133-B0EF-6866AB23EF6E.jpeg

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If it helps anyone, here's some video.
 


I do have the pandas doing it as well, but I tried to show of where and how frantic spawning can be.  They do go from one spot to the next and to the next and eventually can have massive spawns where they circle back through locations. 

It's a fun, interesting topic and we do have this thread too discussing locations where they might spawn.


One of the more interesting things with my last big spawn was that they seemed to prefer the ACO black airline.  It was next to the CO2 flow, which could be why, but it was interesting.  Dean make's spawning mops out of a variety of items and I have wanted to try out tying a bunch of strands of airline tubing just to see what they do with it!

Looking forward to seeing more about this Cinnebuns!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I apologize for not getting back to this sooner. New raid came out in world of warcraft and I'm a little addicted lol

Your School

The ideal school for beeeding purposes for cories is the reverse of most fish, 2 males to 1 female. Unlike some fish where it can cause husbandry issues with harassing females, with cories it's purely a breeding thing. If you don't have more males than females you will find more infertile eggs because the males will run dry. This isn't a huge deal if you aren't looking to maximize yield but is something to consider. 

Keeping Fry Alive

As with any breeding, getting the fry to hatch is just one step. Another important step is keeping them alive and letting them grow!  Fortunately, cories do not eat their own fry however some other fish might. Keep this in mind when selecting tank mates.

Cory fry are masters at hiding. You most likely won't even know you have fry for a few weeks unless unless you get very lucky. I have even had times where I had a fry in a small breeder box with nothing else in it and I couldn't find the sucker!  You can help your fry out by supplying hiding places. Mosses and small decor hiding spots are favorites. This is from my fry tank where I do pull eggs but it is still a good example of the types of things cories like to hide in. There is always tons of cories under each piece in this tank. 

 

Feeding Fry

In my tank where I pull eggs I feed first bites. when you aren't pulling eggs you may not even know you have fry to feed!  You have some options. You can just blindly feed some first bites if you want, but that has a chance of causing issues. I recommend encouraging the cultivation of microorganisms and biofilm. There are several things you can do for this. First, the more seasoned your tank is the more it will just naturally have. If you don't have a seasoned tank consider adding driftwood and mosses. Any plants period would help a ton. Finally, if you want, you can try adding bacter ae. This product is primarily used for shrimp but I have used it for fry and baby snails as well. 

Enjoy!

Now that the fry are growing you get the fun part!  Just watch them!  It's so incredible how they change from hatching to full sized!  You will be shocked at how many changes they go through!  Enjoy watching your fish multiply and the babies become adults!

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I would respectfully disagree that cories won’t eat their own fry since some will.  Otherwise I would have had far more baby bronzes when I had them in a 20 G high species only tank.  Or maybe it’s more likely that they are eating their own eggs.  They for sure do that.  I haven’t personally seen them eat their own fry but have 100% witnessed them eating their own eggs.  I’m very certain that plenty of eggs hatched in that 20 high but I didn’t get any babies until I moved some plants to the tank next door, then moved the fry back over (after they hatched in the tank next door).  Once I had some fry in the 20 high tank, after that, more fry survived - which was kind of weird.  Like having a tiny fry gang increased their survival rate.

I just noticed yesterday that I have a juvenile trilineatus in my 100 G nanofish tank.  The first one I’ve seen.  They seem to spawn much more on leaves and in moss than they do on the glass.  Bronzes love the glass and sometimes plants.

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On 2/4/2023 at 3:41 PM, Odd Duck said:

I would respectfully disagree that cories won’t eat their own fry since some will.  Otherwise I would have had far more baby bronzes when I had them in a 20 G high species only tank.  Or maybe it’s more likely that they are eating their own eggs.  They for sure do that.  I haven’t personally seen them eat their own fry but have 100% witnessed them eating their own eggs.  I’m very certain that plenty of eggs hatched in that 20 high but I didn’t get any babies until I moved some plants to the tank next door, then moved the fry back over (after they hatched in the tank next door).  Once I had some fry in the 20 high tank, after that, more fry survived - which was kind of weird.  Like having a tiny fry gang increased their survival rate.

I just noticed yesterday that I have a juvenile trilineatus in my 100 G nanofish tank.  The first one I’ve seen.  They seem to spawn much more on leaves and in moss than they do on the glass.  Bronzes love the glass and sometimes plants.

Oh they absolutely eat their own eggs. I stated that in the first post. I have literally watched a female lay an egg and then eat it. I have also seen one cory follow a female into the mop and eat the egg after she lays it. That's why you will get less by not pulling eggs but you can do things to increase your chances of the eggs surviving like providing dense plant plants of a spawning mop for the eggs to hide. That's where I find the eggs that survive. The ones out in the open rarely make it. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I see the exact same behavior with my Bronze and 3-stripes. The 3-strips are all about the plants. Especially under the Tiger Lilly leaves. Darn Bronze are all over the glass. They even covered my drop checkers with eggs! And those Bronze lay a crazy amount of eggs, daily. I'm glad they get picked off as snacks or we'd have Bronze corydoras in the thousands. 

Edited by MichelleN
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On 2/4/2023 at 1:41 PM, Odd Duck said:

I would respectfully disagree that cories won’t eat their own fry since some will.  Otherwise I would have had far more baby bronzes when I had them in a 20 G high species only tank.  Or maybe it’s more likely that they are eating their own eggs.  They for sure do that.  I haven’t personally seen them eat their own fry but have 100% witnessed them eating their own eggs.

I have personally witnessed weeks old fry do it as well.  In my pandas they spawn, have been spawning for weeks straight.  This past week I've watched them spawn every other day for almost 8 days straight.  I've gotten 3 fry out of it.  I know there's more than one fry in each batch and I know there's multiple males / females spawning each time.  They definitely can and will eat fry and will eat eggs.  Even if they are fat and happy, it's human nature because they want their eggs.  Males will definitely eat eggs, it's nature doing it's thing to spread their own genes.
 

On 2/4/2023 at 2:24 AM, Cinnebuns said:

Cory fry are masters at hiding. You most likely won't even know you have fry for a few weeks unless unless you get very lucky. I have even had times where I had a fry in a small breeder box with nothing else in it and I couldn't find the sucker!  You can help your fry out by supplying hiding places. Mosses and small decor hiding spots are favorites. This is from my fry tank where I do pull eggs but it is still a good example of the types of things cories like to hide in. There is always tons of cories under each piece in this tank. 

That cholla wood and smaller shrimp tunnels are awesome for them.  It's a good thing to use for fry to hide in.  Good choice.

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On 2/21/2023 at 6:48 PM, Dtolb15 said:

Any ideas for isolating the eggs once they are laid? thinking of knitting mesh or something to block off an area?

That could work. This thread is more about breeding them without moving the eggs much if at all but you can also put them in a breeder box or another tank entirely. You absolutely can do somewhere in the middle. There's no 1 right way to do things but many paths to success!  

If you are interested in some more info about other ways I have handled eggs, it can be found on this thread. 

Another thing I have never tried myself but have heard many have success with is hatching them in a jar with methylene blue. 

 

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