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Shy pygmy cories

mmustelus

New Member
Joined
16 Apr 2021
Messages
15
Location
Cape Town, South Africa
Tank details: planted 50 l, gh 7, kh 3, TDS 170, temp =23. inhabitants =15 pygmy rasbora, 8 pygmy cories (having issues with these), 25+ cherry and raccoon tiger shrimp. I do 10 -25% water changes weekly and have had no significant changes in other parameters (nitrates, nitrites, ammonia).
I have to add montmorillonite powder and crushed egg shells to increase my TDS - our local water is quite low (~ 50 TDS with kh =2, gh=2 and I previously had issues with dying neos).

I recently added half of the cories to my tank, I was worried that the high light environment would be stressful to them. They seemed super happy, 10 days later I added another 4. Things seemed great for 2 days and then I refilled my C02 (1 bubble every 2-3 seconds) and did a heavy trim of my grass and moss. Suddenly my cories are hiding. I dont know if its the C02 (I've switched it off for a day now - no changes), or the fact that I had my hands in there for a bit? The new 4 cories came from the same stock as the previous two but are a tad bit larger.

What can I do? They seem fine, I saw them swimming around at night, they're hiding not dead. Is it possible that the larger ones are more timid and affecting the behaviour of the others? Do I remove the two largest?

If it doesn't come right I will rehome the cories, I dont like having stressed out fish in my aquascape.
 

Wolf6

Member
Joined
18 Dec 2014
Messages
456
Location
Netherlands
I've the same with them, they hide a lot, but when I do see them they seem happy enough. Not sure if its just the fish or if something is scaring them...
 

tam

Member
Joined
5 May 2011
Messages
1,075
They might just be reacting to subtle changes you can't see e.g. trimming the plants changed the flow around the tank and therefore their favourite chilling spot or changed light or cover for them. Are they stressed or just happen to like the conditions better in the part of the tank they choose to be in?
 

Gorillastomp

Member
Joined
24 Jun 2021
Messages
32
Location
Canada,Quebec
This fish is a little bit more shy. If you have an heavily planted tank they will hide a lot. I have them for 8 months now and I only see mine around the same time everyday around the same hours, i guess they develop their own little habit/schedule. It was a bit like you at the beginning i was seeing them a lot then once they learned their new environment they started to do what i just described.

I guess this is a fish behavior and not stress related. I still have the same that i bought 8 months ago and didn't lose any.
 

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
2,085
Location
Nottingham
My pygmy cory's are very shy too. They are in my low tech which is very densely planted and very dimly lit due to dense floating plants, plus there are 14 in the shoal (or at least there were at the last count). The extra cover and low lighting makes no difference to their confidence - nor do the Endlers in the same tank which I hoped would act as a dither fish - I still rarely see them.

The only time I've seen them come out en masse was when I fed a load of Moina that all congregated in the front corner of the tank where the light was the brightest. Sensing the movement of the moina in the water must have proved just too irresistible for them to stay hidden.
 
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zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
7,931
Location
Netherlands
In my experience, they simply love hiding and preferably all together at the same location. They are lazy bums, occasionally 1 or a few come out do a round gulp some air and go back to their favourite spot being lazy again.

I have a few in a tank with a tube in the substrate, and they choose the tube as their favourite hangout. I can only force them out with food. And when they come out to forage I can stick my fingers in and they don't seem to mind me. Thus shy? I don't think so, rather lazy... :)

I forgot the aqauscapping website/community where I did read the question how can I get my Pygmaea Cories to school and take a picture. The answer was, very soon after adding them to the tank. If you wait too long for them to get used to the environment they will find their favourite hangout and rarely school together again in the open spaces.

This actually says, if they school a lot, they are yet not comfortable at where they are and still searching.

I believe the question was triggered by a rather popular nice-looking contest aquascape (Iwagumi) from a few years back with a large bunch of schooling pygmaea Cories in the open. I'll see if I can find it back... But can't make promises, it's quite some time ago. Greystones with white veins and lots of carpet planting, maybe someone remembers it too. Was a very beautiful and I believe high ranked scape.
 
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mmustelus

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
16 Apr 2021
Messages
15
Location
Cape Town, South Africa
Thanks for all the comments, they seem happy and healthy, I saw them school yesterday briefly. Do I have to make an extra effort to make sure they get food back there?
I only feed in front of my tank for easy cleaning and I was hoping this would lure them out. I guess I will just have to be happy with seeing them on occasion.
 

mmustelus

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
16 Apr 2021
Messages
15
Location
Cape Town, South Africa
Tank update - I swopped out the background for a frosted one, previously I had used some black board. They're still shy but out and about on occasion. They've found little spots to peak out, which is really cute. My daughter says they're peeping at her. My kids are quite chaotic - very little and like to run around the tank. Its on a wooden floor so can be a bit freaky for the fish. I think the cories are getting used to the madness and at least have figured out that the kids are no threat to them.
I've uploaded a pic of my scape. Its 3 months old and will take a while to grow in. I'm having a ton of issues with maintenance - dwarf hair grass floating, java moss cuttings taking root in the hair grass and floating when I try and remove the attached moss. Also been epic not knowing exactly how small baby shrimp are. I didn't want to kill them through excessive maintenance. I've seen brand new shrimplets now so I'm a bit more comfortable that I know what to look for. I also had issues with my local tap water being far too low (TDR = 60, gh=3, kh=3). I had some shrimp death so I eventually started adding some montmorillonite powder and crushed egg shells my TDR is now at 180 with a gh of 8 and kh of 3. Since this change I've had 3 rounds of babies so I think i'm ok for now - barring more shrimp deaths - I will then go the RO route.
I will also be removing the rotala eventually - but for now I'm growing some for some vases I want to plant. I'm adding some AR mini to the back today and some Echinodorus tennellus. I'm sick of dwarf hair grass floating. The dwarf sag is doing well but I thought Id try something new. Note, I'm very very new to a fully planted tank.

I also need to find money to replace pipes with lilly pipes and get an inline heater. This hobby i
scape.jpeg
s a money pit.
 
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