30 Gallon Tank Help choose between Corydoras julii and C. sterbai

V1K

I have 30 gal unheated tank. 80% of time it stays at 24 C / 75 F, which is within the range of both fish. Currently it's at its coldest, 21 C/ 69 F, because the heating season hasn't started yet (I'm freezing :( ). Then during summer heat waves it gets up to 29 C / 84 F. Sterbai seems like a rational choice, since I could add the heater for the cool period easier than the cooler for the hot periods. BUT I actually like julii more because I think it's prettier, and it being smaller I could add more of them. How badly do they do during heat waves?

Also, how serious is this "Corydoras need soft and clean gravel" recommendation? My tank has standard basalt gravel and I wouldn't call it very clean since I don't really vacuum it due to all of the plants. Maybe I shouldn't try corydoras at all?

The tank is inhabited by 6 rosy barbs (and a few of their babies), 2 hillstream loaches (had 7, didn't work out, ergo empty bottom feeder niche), and various snails and shrimp.

_20210819_123650.JPG
 

MacZ

I doubt you can get actual C. julii. If you are offered them at a higher price than the Corydoras average it's more likely a marketing ploy than the real deal.
The likelihood of getting true C. julii here in Europe is very low. I know only of one collector in Germany that has them and the few specimens he breeds are only sold to people that pick them up in person. Their region of origin in South America is rather not a usual collection spot. Commercially it's mainly terra incognita, most imports are by private collectors organizing their own collection trips in that region. And yes, they are kept rare in the hobby on purpose.

Just going by temp, C. trilineatus is the better choice, as they can go lower in temp than the C. sterbai.

Anyhow... besides the substrate the tank lacks a cory-friendly structure. They need quite some open space on bottom level, roots to swim and rest under and more cover from above than to the sides. I can't see much open substrate for them to forage. I also have seen quite often that in such jungle style tanks you won't see them often out in the open besides during feeding.
And let's be honest, if you get Cories you want to watch them chew through the sand in groups and be active, not hidden.

Great tank, though. Just not for Corydoras.
 

V1K

I doubt you can get actual C. julii. If you are offered them at a higher price than the Corydoras average it's more likely a marketing ploy than the real deal.
The likelihood of getting true C. julii here in Europe is very low. I know only of one collector in Germany that has them and the few specimens he breeds are only sold to people that pick them up in person. Their region of origin in South America is rather not a usual collection spot. Commercially it's mainly terra incognita, most imports are by private collectors organizing their own collection trips in that region. And yes, they are kept rare in the hobby on purpose.

Just going by temp, C. trilineatus is the better choice, as they can go lower in temp than the C. sterbai.

Anyhow... besides the substrate the tank lacks a cory-friendly structure. They need quite some open space on bottom level, roots to swim and rest under and more cover from above than to the sides. I can't see much open substrate for them to forage. I also have seen quite often that in such jungle style tanks you won't see them often out in the open besides during feeding.
And let's be honest, if you get Cories you want to watch them chew through the sand in groups and be active, not hidden.

Great tank, though. Just not for Corydoras.
Might be that they're named wrong. Nobody in Lithuania sells trilineatus which is named as such at all.

Darn... They are so cute... I want a bottom feeder that is small enough so I can keep a group of them instead of 1 or 2 fat plecos. I guess otocinclus could work, but honestly they look very plain, except cocama which is nowhere to be found. Any ideas?
 

DoubleDutch

I doubt you can get actual C. julii. If you are offered them at a higher price than the Corydoras average it's more likely a marketing ploy than the real deal.
https://www.seriouslyfish.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Cory-julii-and-trilineatus-NW.jpg
Left: C. trilineatus, right: C. julii. The likelihood of getting true C. julii here in Europe is very low. I know only of one collector in Germany that has them and the few specimens he breeds are only sold to people that pick them up in person. Their region of origin in South America is rather not a usual collection spot. Commercially it's mainly terra incognita, most imports are by private collectors organizing their own collection trips in that region. And yes, they are kept rare in the hobby on purpose.

Just going by temp, C. trilineatus is the better choice, as they can go lower in temp than the C. sterbai.

Anyhow... besides the substrate the tank lacks a cory-friendly structure. They need quite some open space on bottom level, roots to swim and rest under and more cover from above than to the sides. I can't see much open substrate for them to forage. I also have seen quite often that in such jungle style tanks you won't see them often out in the open besides during feeding.
And let's be honest, if you get Cories you want to watch them chew through the sand in groups and be active, not hidden.

Great tank, though. Just not for Corydoras.
Agree for the fullest.
Look atbfish for an Asian riverbiotop I'd say.
 

V1K

MacZ DoubleDutch Do you think panda garra would do well in my setup? Seems like a fun and pretty fish, and quick research seem to indicate it's suitable. My one concern is that it seems to have similar needs to a hillstream loach - which, on one hand, is good, as the tank was set to accomodate the hillstreams, and on the other hand is worrisome, as the hillstreams didn't do great in it for whatever reason.
 

DoubleDutch

MacZ DoubleDutch Do you think panda garra would do well in my setup? Seems like a fun and pretty fish, and quick research seem to indicate it's suitable. My one concern is that it seems to have similar needs to a hillstream loach - which, on one hand, is good, as the tank was set to accomodate the hillstreams, and on the other hand is worrisome, as the hillstreams didn't do great in it for whatever reason.
Not a bad idea I'd say
 

MacZ

Not a bad idea I'd say
Agree.

Otherwise I would probably go towards Kuhli or chain loaches. both would be happy in your tank. Thouh the Kuhli might need it a tiny bit warmer.
 

V1K

Looks like my enthusiasm about panda garra was preemptive - no Lithuanian shops seem to have it. I called one seller and he was like "do I have a what???" :D
Agree.

Otherwise I would probably go towards Kuhli or chain loaches. both would be happy in your tank. Thouh the Kuhli might need it a tiny bit warmer.
Kuhlis won't mind the gravel? They're cute, if they don't mind the gravel I'd love to have them. Chain loaches look so awesome, but I read they like to snack on snails? I'd prefer to keep the snails, it's enough that the barbs snack on them sometimes and keep them in check.
 

MacZ

Oh yes... the snails. Totally forgot. I'm also not sure if the substrate would be good for Kuhlis. I just can tell they would appreciate the dense vegetation much more than Cories would.

Would be import from Sweden, Poland or Finland possible?
 

V1K

Would be import from Sweden, Poland or Finland possible?
Another seller just replied that they actually have some panda garras ordered and are waiting for their arrival sometime this week, I'm in luck!
 

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