Cory Personality Advice

  1. BHK3

    BHK3 Well Known Member Member

    About two years ago I bought two Metae (Bandit) Corydoras for my 26 gallon tank. I quickly found out that they need to be in groups of 6+. When there were just the two of them they hid in the back of the tank constantly and I rarely saw them. I assumed it was because they needed more friends to feel social and safe to explore more.

    I recently upgraded to a 55 gallon tank and have 12 Metaes now. The tank contains driftwood and plenty of plant cover, but their behaviour hasn't changed at all - they still hide all the time. It's a bummer having fish that I can't enjoy. :(

    Is this just their personality? Is there anything I can do to encourage them to explore more? At this point it's just them and some Otocinclus in the tank. In the coming weeks I'll be adding a shoal of tetras and several Hone Gourami. Will that help the situation at all?

    If it's just that this species is particularly shy, are there other Corys that are more outgoing?
     
  2. Aquaphobia

    Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    How long have they been in the new tank? Perhaps they just need more time to get comfortable in their new surroundings.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    BHK3

    BHK3 Well Known Member Member

    It's been about three weeks now.
     
  4. O

    Over It Well Known Member Member

    I had the same problem. I got 13 Sterbai Corydoras and they just stayed at the back of the tank, moved around very little and just looked unhappy.
    2 I returned and 2 died. Still with the 9 they were acting the same way.
    Today I returned 5 who never did look right since I got them and I added 10 more Pygmy Corydoras.
    It's like a total transformation in my Sterbai. They are out and swimming all over the tank and acting like you'd expect happy and healthy to act.

    I would check all of your Corydoras over. See if any look "off" or sick. Do they come out when the tank light is off?

    What I suspect happened in my case and could be happening in yours is the sick ones didn't wanna move and acted off, so the healthy ones wanted to stay with the "school" and since their behavior was off it made them all think something was wrong and it wasn't safe to come out and swim around.

    It also might help to get the Tetras since they'll see the other fish out and about and they might follow suit. I know mine feel much more comfortable with the Pygmys in the tank than they did before.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    BHK3

    BHK3 Well Known Member Member

    Interesting! Thanks so much for sharing your experience! I have lost 2 Cories since adding them all, but I had a mini cycle in my tank right after so I attributed it to that. The remaining fish all seem healthy from what I can tell (eating, swimming normally, no unusual marks, etc.), but they definitely don't act like they're comfortable. They huddle under the driftwood in the back and if they see me bend over and look at them they frantically dart to the opposite side of the tank. That said, if all is quiet (no one walking around, talking, etc) and when it's dark they do venture out. The other day I was home alone and the place was silent and I was shocked to turn around and see several of them out front.

    I do love the Pygmy Cories... Maybe I'll cut back a little on the Gouramis and Tetras I was planning to stock and get some of them... Maybe the little guys will show the big scaredy cats how to live?
     
  6. Piaelliott

    Piaelliott Well Known Member Member

    My only experience is with habrosus cories. I have 10 in a 20 gal L and they are not reclusive at all.
    When I got them, I had two curious sparkling gouramis which might have helped to show that there was no danger.
    I also read that with some cories, even though you need cover, you also need open spaces for them to feel comfortable.
     
  7. O

    Over It Well Known Member Member

    I can't say for sure if getting some Pygmys would help, but it sure did in my case. I also think it helped that I finally removed the Corys that were just never healthy from the start.

    They are tiny, but they are super brave and curious little guys.

    I know you said you have plenty of plant cover, but do you have any plants on the surface of the water or kinda hanging over providing some cover at the top of the tank?
     
  8. OP
    OP
    BHK3

    BHK3 Well Known Member Member

    Not at the top of the tank (yet). Do they like that? I wouldn't have thought about that since the Metaes (at least mine) pretty much stick to the ground, other than glass surfing sometimes.

    I have two huge driftwood pieces, a bunch of jungle val, crypt wendtii and ludwigia repens in the tank rigbt now. I was also thinking maybe the floor space is too crowded and they don't have enough swimming room. I was planning on redoing my driftwood layout to make it stacked more vertically than horizontally.
     
  9. O

    Over It Well Known Member Member

    Yes, they do. I know mine feel much more comfortable when there is a bit of cover at the top of the tank. It doesn't have to be a lot, just a couple smaller plants is plenty in my experience.

    They do like some open swimming room as well so rearranging your driftwood definitely couldn't hurt.
    Here's a pic of my tank. It might be a bit hard to tell, but the plants at the surface provide that bit of "cover" cover they like and the driftwood is set at an angle so they have more open swimming room on the right side of the tank. 4f345fb6acbf8f90143b14c31f984d8e.jpg
     
  10. BeanFish

    BeanFish Well Known Member Member

    Do you have any bright lights?
     
  11. OP
    OP
    BHK3

    BHK3 Well Known Member Member

    Oh! You just shared that pic in another post - I didn't realize I was discussing this topic with that same person. :) I saw your close up pic of the pygmies and Sterbai and at first I thought the Sterbai WAS the pygmy. I didn't even see the little guys down there on the ground. I thought to myself, "Wow, pygmies are a LOT bigger than I thought!" :p

    What surface plants do you have? I hae been thinking about getting some frogbit and coraling it in these: Amazon.com : GOOTRADES 2 Pcs-set Plastic Ring Station Aquarium Fish Safe Food Feeder Blue (1 Sets) : Pet Supplies.

    Here's a pic of my tank at the moment. You can see what I mean about the wood. I'm going to have to chop each piece in half to stack it higher. The pieces barely fit in there as it.
    20170716_200125 (1).jpg
     
  12. OP
    OP
    BHK3

    BHK3 Well Known Member Member

  13. O

    Over It Well Known Member Member

    lol Yep, that's me! I don't have any live floating plants in that tank. The ones at the top and most of the ones on the driftwood are fake. There's just a few live ones right now.

    I do have some frogbit in my shrimp tank and I think it would be perfect if you kept it in one of those rings. One thing I worried about with floating plants is them "taking over" the surface of the water.

    I will say that your setup looks great right now. I don't think needing more cover is the problem. The wood could stay as it is or you could switch it around, but I don't think the Corydoras need it moved.

    I still think getting the Tetras (as long as they don't pick on the Corys) should help. They seem to like to play "follow the leader" and they feel more comfortable when they see others out and about.
     
  14. BeanFish

    BeanFish Well Known Member Member

    Do you notice any change in behavior when the lights are of/on? I do with my corydoras pygameus. They stay in the plants and leaf litter when the lights are on but come out to open space when the lights are off. The tank seems to be very well lit, I would say more so than mine. Maybe, maybe that can be playing a role.
     
  15. O

    Over It Well Known Member Member

    You know, Looking at it again and thinking about what all of my Corys prefer, it could use some more "shaded" spots. Under the driftwood there is some, but it's still pretty bright.

    I think the idea of adding some frogbit with the rings is a good idea and could help. Or getting some plants with bigger/wider leaves to offer more covering on the bottom is another option.
     
  16. JesseMoreira06

    JesseMoreira06 Well Known Member Member

    Beautiful tank!!!!!!!!! @BHK3 , I have 16 tanks and yours looks better then every single one of mine.

    It does seem like your tank is pretty bright, I would add some floating plants if possible.

    It also may just be an adapting problem 3 weeks isn't a whole lot IMO. It really depends the fish ,I've had fish on day 1 trust me , and others can take several months before their truly comfortable. I have sterbai corys, panda corys and Peperred corys , I actually breed them and mines are all super active.

    Have you noticed any difference when lights are off?