Pygmy corys and "cleaning" substrate

Fray

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Hi all,
Love corys but have never had the pygmy corys.
Will they clean up uneaten food from the substrate? All the info on them says they like to keep to the mid of tank. I can't find anything on where and how they feed.
Any help gratefully received!!
 

Beastije

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Corydoras pygmaeus and Corydoras hastatus are not classified bottom feeders, as they spend more time in the water column. It is hard to purchase these correctly though, if the name and the description match, in here it is not easy with the small corydoras to get what you order. All corydoras need to be fed separately or with them in mind, none of them will actually be alive solely on leftovers.
 

Beastije

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Btw I would go for frozen food, I do it the way lately instead of thawing out the block or part of the block I just throw it in the tank, it sinks to the bottom where they eat it by sucking on it or trailing behind it, as it releases the daphnia or cyclops. Or if you thaw out separately, I pour it with a lot of water real quickly so it reaches the bottom of the tank, instead of staying on top and spreading wide, this way it reaches the corydoras, but they will sniff out the rest too, on plants, even on top of the tank.
Many people make the mistake of feeding cories only algae wafers or shrimp sticks and what not, but corydoras are primarily omnivoros with 60% protein intake in their diet.
 
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Fray

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Ok....So if I get the pygmys it would be a good idea to get some bottom feeders also? I have bronze corys in my first tank, I feed them dedicated wafers etc, and they also eat the leftovers. And I have a excellent lfs, have to travel for it but it's worth it, so I'm able to get what I want.
 

Beastije

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Ok....So if I get the pygmys it would be a good idea to get some bottom feeders also? I have bronze corys in my first tank, I feed them dedicated wafers etc, and they also eat the leftovers. And I have a excellent lfs, have to travel for it but it's worth it, so I'm able to get what I want.
Cant really say without water and tank parameters, but rule of thumb is, to have more of one corydoras species, not few of more species.
Even the midstream corydoras rest on the bottom, so would say no, dont combine. Bottom feeders are not a cleanup crew, it is just a place where they consume the food. Hell even my tetras are bottom feeders, if there is food there.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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My colony of 30-40 Corydoras pygmaeus often sit and usually feed on the bottom. I think it's Corydoras hastatus that stays more mid-water. They need a very fine sand substrate so they can filter feed. They are mid-water swimmers when they're schooling around, but they tend to do that in shorter bursts and when kept in larger groups. They're highly social fish and really do need to be kept in groups of 8-12 at a minimum in order to thrive. But since they're a tiny fish with a pretty light bioload, that's not usually a problem unless the tank is very small.

They will feed by cleaning plant leaves and by picking the food from the bottom, as long as the food is small enough to fit into their mouths, but no fish should be used solely as clean up crew". Both pygmies and bronze cories need to be fed a mostly protein diet, and their own foods, not just whatever the other fish miss.

Remember that pygmies are shy and easily spooked, so they don't do well living with much larger or more aggressive/territorial fish. When they feel safe and secure, they'll sit around in groups on the substrate when not swimming abut! They appreciate a heavily planted tank and lots of hiding spots.
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Fray

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It looks like you have happy corys there! My plan for new tank is 180l with sand substrate, planted, and thinking 10 or so pygmy corys, same of harlequin rasboras and four honey gourami. What do you think?
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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It looks like you have happy corys there! My plan for new tank is 180l with sand substrate, planted, and thinking 10 or so pygmy corys, same of harlequin rasboras and four honey gourami. What do you think?

Since honey gourami are pretty peaceful gourami and stay at the upper levels, sounds good to me! But with that much space if you have a lot of live plants (which all three species will appreciate) I'd bump that to 12 harlequins and minimum of 12 pygmies. But I know they can be hard to get hold of and not super cheap either, so I wouldn't go less than 8 pygmies to begin with, more if you can manage it!

Edit: four honey gourami might not work. Have heard of trios working, but two males isn't good. But I'm not a gourami person, so you'd need advice/research from someone who knows gourami about those.

I started with seven pygmies only because that was all I was able to get hold of for months, but then mine started breeding, which is why I have so many! So provide the right conditions, and you could wind up with baby pygmies everywhere too (they're super adorable!).
 

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No Corydoras has ever cleaned up uneaten food.

They eat the food you give them, from the bottom. It's a small difference, but they are not scavengers or eaters of leftovers. In the wild, they eat mainly creatures that live in the substrate. They're hunters. They need high protein, high quality foods.

The pygmy Cory group feeds off the bottom if the food is there, just as your guppies do. If you have a problem with uneaten food, you are overfeeding. If you get bottom oriented Corys, you add to the feeding to take care of them as best you can.
 
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Fray

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Also the wafers targeted towards bottom feeders, they tend to last for the corys as the other fish can only nip at them till they get soft.
And semantics aside, corys will eat leftovers, mine love the daphnia, bloodworms, spirulina flakes etc that the other fish have either missed or left. Just because they are "leftovers" does not mean they are not high quality
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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picked up some of these the other day. I’m trying a few different foods but can someone recommend a specific product that they use with success as a staple?
I use Bug Bites as a staple everyday dry food for my pygmies (and other fish!) the light blue label Microgranules are the best size for their tiny mouths, and it's made of insects, so replicates their natural diet well. I intersperse this with live microworms since I always have a colony of those going, and you can get live or frozen small food items that they will relish - the key things to remember for them are for their diet to be mostly protein (they'll enjoy the odd algae wafer with relish, but it should only be an occasional thing, they need protein) and for small sizes to fit their small mouths. Frozen wise - daphnia, cyclops, baby brine shimp, moina, mini bloodworms - those are the small frozen foods I feed 2-3 times per week along with the bug bites, FishScience pellets (I break these down into smaller portions since the tablets are huge) and microworms are the usuals I feed my pack :)
 

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