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Just a Pygmy Corydora's Journal


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I thought it would be nice to share all my fishkeeping journey, like @James Blackdid. I don't remember all the exact dates, I would just be estimating.

September 29, 2015
It was my ninth birthday. At the time, I wasn't sure what to get, so my dad and I went into random stores near our neighborhood. We went into a pet store, and the first thing that caught my eye was a betta fish. There were around a dozen or two of bettas and I wanted this cyan-white betta fish. We got a 3 gallon tank, a canister filter, some sand, and two silicone plants and that betta. I named her Oceania, because she looked like the Hawaiian seas. At the time I wasn't that sure if it was a male or female, but as I look back, I remember its very short fins, so probably a female, but it might be a male plakat.

December 2015
Oceania warmed up to me, and I started teaching her to follow my finger on the glass. I fed her and looked after her, when I started noticing white dots.

January 2015
It was ich, but I didn't know that. I told my dad and he said that she was fine, maybe growing new colors. I wasn't so sure about THAT though. Oceania's activity decreased, she stopped following my finger. It was NOT her usual personality. I started researching about those unusual dots, and found out it was ich, a fish disease. My dad replied that she was JUST a fish, and we could always get a new one.

One week later, she got so weak, Oceania refused to eat, and she rarely moved to a different spot. The next day, I found her dead, with a white film over her body. I was so shocked.

March 26, 2021
I decided to get back to keeping fish, and made an account in this forum. I got Aurora from Aquarium Co-op and bought all of my present-day supplies. Aurora warmed up, and I taught him to feed on my finger. It was similar to the old days.

April 10, 2021
I got 3 pygmy corydoras.

May 10, 2021
I got 2 more pygmy corydoras and a nerite snail. Aurora showed his real personality, and I did more research than when I was nine, and I have all the correct supplies, so I expected Aurora to live longer.

July 31, 2021
Aurora died from dropsy, and I was very shocked, as I did everything that was supposed to happen.

Present day
I have two of my kuhli loaches now, and 5 pygmy corydoras. Since they are bottom dwellers, at first glance, the tank seems very empty, without Aurora's small, grumpy face.


 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Pygmy cories are obsessed with the sponge filter, all 5 of the cories are swimming up and down to the current of the bubbles. They apparently are very scared of me, whenever I get near the tank, they get super scared and hide behind the filter. It wasn’t like this when Aurora was there…?

The two Kuhli loaches are doing fine, I think they got a little TOO plump. 😃

Ping pong is still eating the algae, but he/she doesn’t eat hair algae, is that normal? How do I get rid of it?

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Glad everyone is doing well! I bet the corys felt safer with the betta around because they figured if the betta’s not hiding, there’s nothing to hide from. Maybe adding a new centerpiece fish would help.

I don’t know of any snails that eat hair algae. Amano shrimp will eat it, so you could try adding one of those. If I get too much hair algae I try to pull it out myself. Use a toothbrush and swirl it around to collect the algae, then gently pull.

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agree with @Hobbit, corydoras in my experience are usually a shy fish. If there other more outgoing fish (like aurora was) they'll figure that because their not hiding, we shou5ldnt either. 

Generally fish who serve this purpose (to be active so that the shy fish are more active as well) are called dither fish.

I would suggest perhaps some guppies, or another betta as @Hobbit suggested.

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Thank you for sharing your journey and I'm sorry that your two bettas got sick.  I'm fighting a really bad case of fin rot in my first betta I've had in over a decade, and it's really hard.  I'm glad you're sticking with it.  

I just started keeping salt and pepper cories earlier this year, another type of small cory, and while I don't especially notice them being super shy, I do see them a lot more when they can't see me.  If I have the room lights off but the aquarium lights on, I can sit by the tank and just watch them do their thing.  Particularly with the blue "night" light function on the light if you have that.  This is a nice evening/pre-bed routine.  Hope that helps!  

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On 9/21/2021 at 11:25 AM, Just a Pygmy Corydora said:

Won’t another betta or guppy be over-stocking the tank considering I already have two Kuhli loaches, 5 Pygmy cories, and one snail?

I forgot how big your tank is. If everyone is harmonious and you are enjoying it I would not add anything even if it’s under stocked. Sometimes just really enjoying what is in your tank as is is a relaxing pleasure.  More is not always better and sometimes disrupts the harmony. 

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It's a 5 gallon right?  You'll get many different reactions/opinions on the overstocking question.  Some things to consider include (and you may have already checked all these off or know it, this is just in the spirit of being helpful, and is by no means exhaustive):

- Do you have a testing kit or strips, so you can monitor the water quality?

- How often are you able/plan to do water changes?

- How many plants do you have, would you like to add more plants for the added filtration benefit? 

- Do you have a temporary way to separate fish if something happens, like fighting, injury, sickness? (doesn't necessarily have to be a full-blown quarantine tank, there are many different ways to create a separate container, but I've found the added cost is, if you keep warm water fish, needing to ensure you have another source of heat, an extra airstoneo or filter, etc.)

- Would it make you happier to add another fish, some more color, a different personality, etc?  I'm still trying to practice what I'm preaching here, but I personally think this hobby is at its best when you are learning, being amazed, having fun, trying something you haven't tried before -- or trying something again and applying the lessons you've learned.  All these things can happen when you get a new fish, but can also happen by observing and dcaring for the tanks you have as is.  

There is a lot of wisdom in @Guppysnail's advice to go slow, and appreciate harmony and "easy mode" while you have it.  I myself am trying to learn to treat this hobby as a marathon, not a sprint.   

I guess this is all a long-winded way of saying that only you can really answer your own question.  Whatever you decide, this community is always here, and full of ideas and advice to help you keep enjoying it.  

 

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I have test strips, I do water changes 50% every two weeks, I have 8 plants, I do have a 3 g quarantine tank, I only have bottom feeders and a snail, so the tank IS a little dull as they are always sleeping and lazing around. There is nothing in the middle and top parts of the tank, so if you would look at the tank at a distance, you’d think it would be empty. The pygmy cories do sometimes hang around the sponge filter and ride the current. At least Ping Pong goes to all parts of the tank.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/3/2021 at 8:43 PM, Just a Pygmy Corydora said:

235701E5-7CFB-4ADC-8F8C-FCAF870644E0.jpeg.9401a4efeafd03d81cce3cad3dca6260.jpegI just found a snail near the heater! I didn’t buy any plants recently, so it couldn’t have hopped on. What is this? Is it a nerite snail baby??

That’s a ramshorn snail.  They can take weeks to show up.  Nerites have an incredibly complex life cycle that involves pelagic brackish and full marine stages, so there won’t ever be nerite babies unless someone is meticulously planning and carrying it out and even then it’s questionable.  If you hear of someone claiming they have nerite babies, you should urge them write it up for publication because I believe it would be a first.

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On 10/4/2021 at 11:52 AM, Just a Pygmy Corydora said:

Should I do anything to the snail? Will it reproduce? How big will it grow?

They can grow up to nickel size (about 20-22 mm), usually dime to penny sized (18-20 mm).  They reproduce copiously if there are at least 2 in the tank.  There is some argument about if ramshorns will reproduce if only a single, very young snail is present.  Some snails are parthenogenic and will reproduce with no mate ever, some are not and I think the juries still out on rams.

They will breed VERY young and chances are pretty high if you’ve found one, there are others.  As long as you don’t overfeed, they will not overrun your tank.  If you’re getting too many, you likely need to cut back on feeding.  Or you can sometimes sell the extra to your LFS.  Your LFS won’t pay much for rams, but a bag once a month or so gets me 1-2 fish worth of store credit depending on what kind of fish I want.  

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