Panda Cory Trouble

Tetrabarmy

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Hey, so I’m relatively new to the fish world, I started out with a 9 gallon tank last year and just recently upgraded to a 27 gallon tank. I’ve cycled the tank and part stocked it with fish from my old tank and a few new additions over the past 8 weeks of it running.
12 green neon tetras
5 ember tetras
5 rosy white fin tetras
1 male betta (Eric by name)
2 black and orange bristlenose plecs
1 panda cory

So here lies my problem, all my fish are thriving apart from the cory, I had 4 and unfortunately I’m left with one. I don’t have my own water test kit, I’ve had the water tested 4 times within the past 8 weeks at my local aquatic store, previous 3 tests have been fine. The first wasn’t but it was when I was cycling the tank, I was eager to get stock into it and got it tested, safe to say following the test I didn’t move any fish in.

The Corys have all followed the same pattern, they stop being active, sit with their dorsal fin down, then start to sit on the top of a rock in the tank or on top of the filter, again not very active but they do look happier with their dorsal fin up. They then seem to lose their stability and a day or so later die. Then the cycle starts again and another one starts to follow the pattern. So I’m left now with one Cory, which I know isn’t good as they like to school, but I don’t want to run the risk of introducing anymore into the tank and losing them.

The one I’m left with is hyper, he rarely sits for more than 5 seconds, he terrorises the ember and rosy white’s and just zips around the tank constantly. I’ve done a lot of reading and seeing quite a few people having similar issues with panda cory dying but can't offer any particular reason. So given what I know I’m thinking that they may not like my gravel and ultimately is causing them some sort of discomfort and stress? Anyone able to offer any opinions or thoughts?
 

jake37

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Even for a 27 gallon tank I'm not sure you will want two full grown bn pleco. I suspect they are still young so something to consider.
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What temp is your tank ? I've found that panda prefer it cooler (75) but that betta is gonna want it warm (78-80). Some panda will do ok in warmer water but I've found them to be finicky. Everything else should be fine at 78 - so maybe live with one panda and go for a different type of cory.
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I'd recommend peppered and salt cory since they are small and you could get 6 or even 10.
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I think when the pleco get larger you might want to find a larger home for at least one and maybe both though if you really want to keep one it could probably do ok I guess.
 
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Tetrabarmy

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jake37 said:
Even for a 27 gallon tank I'm not sure you will want two full grown bn pleco. I suspect they are still young so something to consider.
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What temp is your tank ? I've found that panda prefer it cooler (75) but that betta is gonna want it warm (78-80). Some panda will do ok in warmer water but I've found them to be finicky. Everything else should be fine at 78 - so maybe live with one panda and go for a different type of cory.
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I'd recommend peppered and salt cory since they are small and you could get 6 or even 10.
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I think when the pleco get larger you might want to find a larger home for at least one and maybe both though if you really want to keep one it could probably do ok I guess.
Thanks for the reply. The plecs are only young at the moment, I have a friend with a larger tank than me who is itching to take one off my hands as and when they get bigger. From what I’ve seen online it suggest 25-30 gallon minimum for a bn plec.

My tanks Temp is sitting at 75, the betta is loving life, extremely inquisitive and follows you around the room.

Not overly keen on the salt and pepper cory, although the tank isn’t huge I feel they’d get lost quite easily in the tank and you’d never see them.
 

Candace

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The minimum is technically a 30 gallon for a BN pleco. They produce much more waste than other fish and a bigger tank is usually better.

There is probably too much ammonia at the moment in the 27g. Do you have a test kit? Panda cory's are very sensitive to ammonia which is why they are not usually recommended for newly cycled aquariums. Having gravel will hurt their barbels but I haven't heard of a situation where it kills corys (unless there are other variables adding to their stress as well). The new fish adding ammonia to the tank before the bacteria in the sponge grows enough to handle it is probably the cause. Most fish can handle spikes in ammonia for a short period of time (just had an issue myself with spiked ammonia and a fish death) but panda corys aren't as tough with the ammonia.

I suggest - 50% water changes every other day (advice given to me), seachem prime to treat the whole tank and seachem stability (treat for 7 days, directions are on the bottle) to manage the ammonia left after the water changes.

I did this and in 7 days my readings went from 6.8 pH, .50ppm, .50 nitrites, 20ppm Nitrates to 0-.25 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 10 nitrates. I only had one fish death, a newly added clown pleco, I was able to save my other fish.

Edit: If you decide to get another type of cory but don't like the peppered cory look you can try Aeneus corydoras (bronze/albino colorations). My betta doesn't seem to mind the Albino corys as much as he does the bronze corys
 

Cody

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I know in general I’ve read on here many times that Panda corys tend to be a weak strain in the hobby and that people often have these types of issues. I’m not totally sure the reasoning why this is but you will find multiple examples of this through posts on here.

But there very well could be other factors in the tank exploiting. Corys do tend to be pretty social as well so even there could be some added stress as they die off.
 
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Tetrabarmy

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Cody said:
I know in general I’ve read on here many times that Panda corys tend to be a weak strain in the hobby and that people often have these types of issues. I’m not totally sure the reasoning why this is but you will find multiple examples of this through posts on here.

But there very well could be other factors in the tank exploiting. Corys do tend to be pretty social as well so even there could be some added stress as they die off.
Thanks for the reply, think I’m just going to give them a wide birth from now on. The remaining Cory is still full of himself and doesn’t seem to be bothered about being on his own. Long may he stay that way.
 

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