Pygmy Cory Feeding And Behavior?


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Mar 13, 2016
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I got 6 pygmy corys for my 10 gallon, planted betta tank yesterday. They're super tiny (hardly half and inch), extremely active, and everyone gets along great so far (my betta has had tankmates before so I knew all would be well). I only have two concerns: 
1) The corys rarely shoal. Generally they're all over the tank, usually in groups of two or three, with one cory preferring to always be away from the others. Are they doing this because they're comfortable or uncomfortable? I don't know if how I introduced them to the tank matters in determining this, but this is what I did: I took my betta out of the tank and moved around all the decorations and plants that could be moved. I floated the bag, and over the course of an hour added in my tank water to the bag. Then I put all the new little ones in the tank with the lights out for 40 minutes. I added my betta back in the tank with another 40 minutes of darkness before turning the lights on and monitoring everyone closely for the next few hours.  
2) So far they'll only eat frozen bloodworms. That's what they were being fed at the store I purchased them from, but I'm worried that if I can't get them to eat a larger variety of food they won't be getting a complete diet. I have sinking wafers to try (of the meaty variety), and I figure I mind as well try smashing up and soaking some betta pellets. Is there anything else I can try? Freeze dried food isn't an option at the moment because of a bug problem we're having, and these bugs were attracted to my freeze dried foods. 


Jun 25, 2014
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Hi.i keep mine with my betta in a 70 litre.there are marbled hatchetfish too.i feed flake.betta pellets and algae wafers.mine never tightly shoal either.loads of hiding space.i also have seven shrimp too.


The current Mrs Treguard ;)
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Sep 6, 2010
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It's normal for fish to only shoal if they feel threatened (my neons used to shoal beautifully every time my teenaged son slammed a door!), so it's a good sign that they feel safe enough to swim apart.

Don't let the fish manipulate you into feeding just the bloodworms! Keep offering as wide a range of foods as you can and you will eventually find something they like. Aim for the more meaty type foods as, like all corydoras, they're not algae eaters, although the occasional algae wafer won't hurt, and they will graze on the microscopic algae and the like that grows on plants and decor etc.


Feb 25, 2009
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Corys are shoaling fsh but that doesn't mean they won't strike out on their own, or in smaller groups, as fluttermoth said.  No problems there.
As for the food, I would get them off frozen bloodworms quickly.  This is not a nutritious food, quite the opposite.  A nice treat once a week, but no more.  Freeze dried foods are not much good for bottom feeders as these foods tend to float and not sink.  Most sinking foods will be accepted, and these will contain the essential vitamins and minerals.  These are much better than upper-fish foods.
The shrimp pellets (Omega One is the brand I use but there are others) are a good one to use, and I have never known a cory species that didn't like these.  Mine also go after Nutrafin's tabs which have earthworm meal.  And I also use Omega One's Veggie Rounds; these are primarily intended for algae grazers but they contain meat and vitamins, and all of my corys and loaches love these too.  It is good to get two or three different foods, and alternate from day to day.  The corys will undoubtedly be attracted to at least one, and go from there.  For six corys, I would drop in one or maybe two of the tabs or disks, and 3-4 of the shrimp pellets, whichever you use, and only once a day.
Corydoras pygmaeus is a very inquisitive cory, and they like to browse all surfaces from the substrate, to wood to plant leaves, and right up to the surface. In an established tank, these surfaces have a biofilm that will be rich with microscopic life, and the corys will eat much of this.
I started out with a group of six mature pygmy corys a couple years ago, and I put them in my planted 10g on their own.  I now have more than 30 of varying sizes.  I do not bother with fry foods, but there is sufficient natural infusoria and such for many of the fry to eat.  I have seen very small fry sitting at one of the sinking pellet tabs, so your corys will quickly learn these are food.
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