Tag Archives: Corydoras

Now THAT’S a fish show!!

31 Mar

I joined our local fish club a few months ago and today I went to their annual aquarium show.

I was impressed. The tanks were beautiful, the fish bigger and prettier than any I have ever had.

This Altum Angelfish is about twice as big as my Scalare Angels.

This Altum Angelfish is about twice as big as my Scalare Angels.

I think people who see these aquariums will say to themselves, “That is so pretty, maybe we should get a fish tank!”

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What do people say when they enter a pet store? “Look at all the fish.”

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Typical petstore aquarium. Nice fish, but not something to put in the living room.

Display tanks, both large and small, may not be a waste of space in a retail store if it motivates customers to get an aquarium. To anyone who thinks that aquariums take up too much room, you should have seen some of the little tanks at the fish show.

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This tank is only a few gallons. Maybe 10 liters or so.

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Another little one.

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One of my favorite fish, the Harlequin Rasbora.

One of my favorite fish, the Harlequin Rasbora.

Big Sterbai Corydoras.

Big Sterbai Corydoras.

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I’ve never seen this fish species before. I need to get Googling.

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Platies are great for beginners and experienced aquarists. Maybe the perfect fish.
Hardy, many color variations, easy to breed.

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See the big Pleco tail sticking out of the cave? There are tons of juvenile Plecos in this tank, too.

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This Plecostomus must be nearly 2 feet long.

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The fish show is held at a greenhouse. Here is a banana tree. In Iowa, we don’t see banana trees very often. I was impressed.

Pics and a video of my aquariums

26 Aug

Let’s start with this 30 gallon tank filled with very active fish. Zebra Danios, Odessa Barbs, Tiger Barbs, an Opaline Gourami, Harlequin Rasboras and 3 Kuhli Loaches hiding under the rocks.

Here’s a little 10-gallon tank with young Red Swordtails and a Betta. Since I took this picture I have added 3 Marigold Variatus Platies and some more plants.

Here’s another 10-gallon tank with Silver Mollies and Endler’s Livebearers. Lots of baby fish are starting to show up.

I moved my 3 Pictus catfish into this 29-gallon tank with 3 green Swordtails and my Firemouth Cichlids. In real life this tank looks very nice and I get to see the Pictus Cats a lot more than I did in their previous tank.

When I found the 6-inch Bullhead in the turtle pond I had intended to release him in a nearby creek but instead I put him in the tank with the “bad boys”, the African Cichlid and big Red-tail Shark. The Bullhead just goes about his business, big mouth gulping and gaping as he cruises along. The Cichlid and Shark ignore him. Now the Bullhead has found a place to sleep during the day and I don’t expect to see him too often. This tank is crowded with rocks, wood, and plants (Java Moss).

The Bullhead is in here but he’s hiding.


Here’s the 55-gallon community tank with mostly large Tetras, Angelfish, and Corydoras.

Angelfish and Corydoras fry

26 Aug

These baby fish are at a friend’s house. He’s an expert Angelfish breeder who also bought some Peppered Corydoras in the hopes of spawning them in the future.
The future came fast. His Cories grew like mad, the females are the biggest fattest things you can imagine, and they are spawning all of the time. He has hundreds of babies and more to come.
Notice this neat little system he uses to get the babies started in life. He has them in glass mason jars that are floating in a 5-gallon fish tank. This way, he only needs the single heater in the aquarium. He drops an airline into each jar, makes frequent water changes, and feeds them live baby Brine Shrimp.

In this next picture you can see some baby Angelfish, too.

I should have photographed his homemade Brine Shrimp hatchery. He decapsulates the shrimp eggs and staggers their hatching to ensure a constant supply for all of the babies. Sounds like a future blog post if he doesn’t mind!

Earthworm sticks…yummy

26 Jul

I shared an on-line order of supplies with a new fish-keeping friend (who I am learning a lot from!). The company is called Angelsplus.com. I ordered two small heaters, some sponge filter blocks and some fish food. I bought flake food and also these little sinking sticks, called Earthworm Sticks.  If you love your Corydoras do them a favor and buy some of these! Wow, they go nuts!


Don’t shave your Corydoras whiskers

23 Apr

I noticed that one of my Juii Corydoras has lost his whiskers, properly called barbels. Other Corys in the same tank seem to be fine.

A Corydoras Catfish can wear down his barbels by digging around for food. Even though the gravel in this tank looks smooth I have read that just pushing and pushing into the gravel can eventually wear down the whiskers.

This picture shows my little Julii Cory on the left with eroded barbels. The one on the right looks normal.

Sand is the referred substrate for Corydoras and I do use it in a few of my tanks. It’s cheap to buy Playsand at a Home Depot, Menards, Lowe’s type-store. So much cheaper than buying Aquarium Gravel.

I’m going to tear down this tank and put sand on the bottom. It seems to me that sand can be abrasive, too, but the idea is that when the Cory pushes on it, the sand moves.

Another pic of healthy barbels. Big gravel in this tank doesn't seem to be a problem but I will keep an eye on my Corys.

Corys also need clean water. Do your water changes. If the barbels are damaged and the fish lives in dirty, bacteria-laden water it could eventually kill it. I am very guilty of being slack about this. After seeing my little Julii Cory with no barbels I am vowing to try harder.

Fast and easy freshwater aquarium

3 Apr

Some of my older Neon Tetras and Harlequin Rasboras have died , so yesterday I bought 4 Neons and 3 Rasboras. I want to quarantine them for a few weeks so I set up a simple 10 gallon tank.

Also, my male Betta was getting beat up by the large Marble Angels that have been spawning in their 29 gallon tank. I need a new peaceful home for the Betta.

I washed some sand that I bought at Menards, a "home center". This is probably $1.50 worth of sand.

Here is the heater and a sponge filter. The sponge filter was in another tank. I washed it out but it has a nice bacterial colony going

I caught the Betta in a net but when I can I prefer to use my hands to transfer the fish.

The water is half "fresh" water and half "used" water from the Bettas tank.

I planted Watercress that I got at the Asian market. A bunch cost $1.10 and I used about a third of it in this tank.

After one day the water is clear and the Neons are looking good.

I hope the Betta gets his blue color back. Those Angels kept him in hiding and he certainly looked unhappy.

I left the water level down an inch or so. I expect the Watercress to reach up and come right out of the water. The tank should have a “jungley” look to it. I’ll take some pictures in a week or so.

The only way this “instant tank” works is because I pulled the sponge filter from another tank.  Don’t set up a brand new tank and throw Neons in there. Start with guppies and wait 6 weeks, then add Neons or whatever you like.

Corydoras Catfish for $1

9 Mar

Last week I looked at PetSmart’s fish prices online and they had a special on Albino Corydoras.  ONE dollar each! I figured they wouldn’t have any by the time I got there but the next morning I went and there they were.

I bought 3 of them, and then noticed in another tank, Peppered Corydoras $1 . Are you kidding me?

When I worked in a Tropical Fish Store in the 1970’s  Corydoras cost $1.50  so the current price of 4 or 5 dollars is not out of line.

Well, what could I do? I had to buy them, right?

I walked out with 3 Albinos and 5 Peppered Corydoras.  8 bucks.

Here are my Peppered Corys stirring up some shrimp pellets.

A really worthwhile interesting post about fish care, I promise!

3 Mar

Well, if I said this post was about How To Bag Your Fish you wouldn’t look at it, would you?
I promise I have something useful for you to see.

Two things can happen when transporting fish in plastic bags. They may get pinned into the corners of the bag and die of suffocation.  Or spiny fish, like Corydoras Catfish, can actually puncture the bag.

Here’s how to avoid those problems:

Let's say you need to move you prized Freshwater Cowfish to a new home.

They cost over a hundred dollars apiece so you want them to be safe while they are in the little plastic bag.

After you twist the top of the bag, bend it over like this.

That makes it easy to put on the rubber band and even easier to take it off.

But Oh My, the Cowfish can still get Smooshed (get it, SMOOOshed) into the corners of the bag.

Some people think double-bagging is just slipping another bag up and over the first bag. WRONG!!!!

Instead, take the second bag and slip it over the top of the first bag.

See the little Cowfish all safe and sound.

The interior of the bag is all rounded off. No corners to get trapped in and spiky fish like Corydoras Catfish can't puncture the bags either.

Here's a Saltwater Cowfish.

The Freshwater Cowfish seen here are native to my Grandaughter’s toy box.

Corydoras julii, the real deal

12 Jan

So many times you see Julii Cory’s for sale but they are not julii, they are trilineatus. I love them both but I did find some REAL julii at our Local Fish Shop.

I bought two at $5.19 each. I hope to get a few more and get a little colony going.

A little credit to the young lady who bagged the fish. She double-bagged them so that there were no corners to get stuck in and also the fish’s spines couldn’t puncture two thicknesses of plastic. I didn’t even ask her to do that!

Even Skunks deserve attention

9 Jan

This little Skunk is the Skunk Cory, another of those great, perfect, outstanding, wonderful little fishes of the family Corydoras. They have all the good traits of the Green Cory and the 3-stripe Cory. They are hardy, active, and peaceful.

But don’t assume that all Cories are the same. Corydoras species really are different from each other. A slight quirk of my Skunk Cories is that they sometimes perch on the leaves and bigger rocks that are in their tank, while the other catfish are almost always on the gravel bottom. Corydoras species really are different from each other. Some are hard to spawn, some breed readily. Some like warm water, some cooler. It’s up to us to decide if we care enough to see those differences.  Observe them,  appreciate their unique lives.

I have read on several Internet sites that Skunk Cories are more sensitive to water quality issues than some other Corydoras. I haven’t noticed that they are touchy in that way but maybe we should be extra-vigilant about cleaning filters and doing our water changes. All of our fish would benefit.