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There Are Too Many Corys!

blog-too-many-corys.jpgOr so Ling complained the other evening. We’ve been incrementally adding inhabitants to the aquarium over the last week or so now. As these things go, additions of new critters need to be done slowly; adding too many at a go could easily overwhelm the nitrogen and ammonia waste cycle that’s still getting established in the aquarium.

The both of us prefer different critters too. The four Lionheads that Ling bought me on Valentine’s Day ten months ago are still hale and hearty. They’ve been moved to a different tank given their destructive habits on plants and that they’re also pretty messy critters. That said, they’ve also been the most interactive of all the critters we’ve had so far. After the Lionheads, Ling loves Cardinal tetras, and she’s been badgering me to buy a small school of them for our tank.

Me, on the other hand, prefer armoured catfishes, or Corydoras critters. These are bottom dwellers who spend much of their time swimming in the lower strats of a tank, although they occasionally will make a mad dash to the surface for a gulp of air. They’re lovely fellows: peaceful, and never greedy for food. They’re also some of the most gregarious fishes around: they’ll happily school with other Corydoras species. And while they tend to scavenge for food on their own, when they’re at rest, they’ll invariably seek out their own, and gather in a little circle like a catfish convention. And if one stares hard enough, these fellows may just blink at you even.:)

We’ve got quite a number of different Cory species now, and the ones pictured here are the most recent additions: two of the three Leopard Corys that were added yesterday afternoon. They’ve acclimatized to the existing inhabitants quite well, and within an hour were happily exploring the tank and swimming with their brethen. :)

Fishes can be like humans

… in that they sometimes just fight and attack each other viciously. That’s essentially what happened in our “prison cell” tank. The three fellows: Nibbler, Stripes and Aura initially existed pretty peacefully for a few months. Since the last few days however, Nibbler has started to viciously attack Aura, and the latter’s once beautiful fins are now in tatters. The poor fellow can’t swim properly, and isn’t expected to survive much longer – and I’m at my wits ends trying to separate the chaps.The Corys had their fair share of bad luck too. All three Peppered Cories and one Leopard passed on together within the space of a fortnight. One swam and got himself stuck behind the filter, and by the time we discovered him, his fins had been damaged beyond recovery. Three others died shortly after for reasons we still can’t figure out: testing revealed nothing to say that the water had gone bad.

The other fellows are still doing OK, fortunately. The ten tetras, two remaining Cories, and the four Lionheads – Ling’s prized possessions – are still as happy and jovial as ever. Sometime soon we’ll most likely get new companions for them to replace those who’ve passed on.

Telling the Leopards apart

The three Leopards seem to enjoy huddling together in the corner of the tank, only venturing out when they sense food. They’ve taken a liking for the same type of food as the or Peppered cousins in the large tank – soaked flakes that sink to the bottom of the gravel.

Here’s a picture of two of the Leopards during a meal time:


It shouldn’t be hard figuring out the names of these two: that’s Topfin on the left, and Blackfin on the right.:)

The last of the Leopards – Blackfin

The last of the three critters we picked up more than a week ago. This fellow is the easiest to tell from a glance, since his entire dorsal fin is black in colouration:


Second of the Leopards – Halffin

Here’s Halffin, the second of the three Leopards in the small tank. Like the other two of his brethen, the Leopards are distinguished by their colouration on their dorsal fin. This little fellow is so-named because his mark is, well, in the ‘middle’ half of his fin.:)


Spotting Leopards – Topfin

The three leopard cories seem to have adjusted nicely into the small tank, although a week after their introduction they still seem pretty nervous about any sort of noise or movement near the tank. Many a time they would quickly scurry into the corner of their tank at the slightest disturbance.

Here’s the first of our three Leopards: this fellow is Topfin, so-named because his distinguishing colouration lies in the top end of his topfin.:)


With the general elections coming around the corner, updates to both blogs on my domain will be a little slow but they will come.:)

Telling them apart

The posts several days ago identified the three Peppered Corys we’ve got. Here’s a picture that should help one tell Squint apart from Big Eye:


The critter in the foreground – with the slightly larger eyes – is Big Eye, of course. The fellow in the background is Squint.:)

I’ve noticed as well that Spot tends to stick to himself more often than these two. These two seemed to have become firm companions in the tank and are often swimming together about.

Tetra Companions

We were thrilled with how well the three Peppered Corys adapted to the large tank, so we decided to get a similar family of fish as the final additions for our second tank. We wanted to try a different species within the family, so it came to either Albino, Blue or Leopard Corys. The latter were the most expensive in the group, but they looked like darlings – and the decision was made when one of them winked at Ling at Aquatic Concepts.:)

Here are the three Leopards during their hour long acclimatization:


After having experienced difficulties distinguishing between the three Peppereds last week, this time, we asked the shopowner, Ivan, to help us choose ones that preferably could be told apart. Here’re the three fellows two hours after they were added into the tank.


Yep – they’ve setup their own catfish convention in one corner of the tank already.:)

Introducing… Squint!

With two of the three Corys named, it was possible to tell the last fellow apart. Between the two Spot-ty Corys, one had bigger eyes than the other. That made naming the last critter easy – Ling called him Squint for its smaller eyes. Like Big Eye, it’s hard to tell the two apart from pictures alone – one has to see them in person and stare at them pretty hard.:)


Introducing… Big Eye!

After figuring out Spot’s distinctive characteristic, the second of the three Corys Ling named was Big Eye. Between the two Corys, Big Eye has… well, bigger eyes. It’s hard to tell from the picture – but trust me, put next to the two Corys, any person would be able to tell him apart.:)