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Stocking Question! 10g.

kate64

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Hello! I'm relatively new to aquariums and wanted to check with more knowledgable people about stocking. I just set up a 10 gallon tank. Currently, I have a female betta, 7 ember tetras, and 5 salt and pepper cory catfish in there. I'd say its moderately planted, though you can judge for yourself from the attached picture, I plan to add at least 3 more large plants this weekend. It's filtered with a sponge filter from an already established tank. Anyway, to the question. I recently discovered otos and would love to add 2 to this tank if that would be okay stocking wise and if they would do okay as a pair? Alternatively, I have a 13 gallon I could add them to, which currently has 8 harlequin rasboras, one male betta (who has done absolutely amazing with his current tank mates), and 6 cherry shrimp (though if I put otos in, I'd probably put the cherries in the 10g). The 13g tank is well planted, and has been established for about 4 months now - ammonia at 0, nitrites 0, and nitrates less than 10. The 10g tank has 0 ammonia too. If neither of those scenarios work then I guess it's no otos for me, but I wanted to check and see what more experienced fish people thought of either of these scenarios! Pic of new tank attached :)
 

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essjay

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Otos need a bigger tank. They are shoaling fish so need more than 2, and even a 13 gallon is unlikely to be able to grow enough algae to feed a shoal of otos. Many otos won't touch prepared food such as algae wafers.


Salt and pepper cories (Corydoras habrosus) need a bigger group as well. All three of the dwarf cory species do much better in groups of at least 10.
 

Byron

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I concur with essjay, but one further issue is the substrate for cories. Sand is preferable, and for these "dwarf" species frankly mandatory. It is not too difficult to change to a dark sand, and it really would improve the life of your cories, substantially. A non-rough and inert aquarium sand or simple play sand works well.
 
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kate64

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Thanks for the responses everyone. I actually just swapped the substrate to sand this afternoon I was planning on it, but thought I had until Friday when the fish shipment came in with Pygmy corys to do so... but then happened across the salt and peppers yesterday and bought the five I have before getting a chance to change substrate. I’ll post a pic when I get back tonight! They have been super happy with tHe change - going all around the tank rummaging. On a different note, they have been very picky eaters! What do y’all suggest feeding them? So far I have tried API tropical sinking mini pellets, “Cory wafers” by tetra and bug bites for bottom dwellers with no success for the first to two and minimal for the last one. Otherwise they have been very active and boisterous - swimming all around the bottom and up to the top occasionally too. Unfortunately, where I am the salt and peppers are an uncommon one to come by so I’ll have to go back to the store I got them from this weekend to see if there are any left to get a couple more. I know I can get my hands on Pygmy corys but im pretty sure adding those wouldn’t help since they aren’t the same variety - correct me if I’m wrong?
 

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Numbers. With the "dwarf" species (Corydoras pygmaeus, C. habrosus, C. hastatus) it is more important to have a decent number of the species. None of us can possibly know how a fish feels (how often I see this in posts, "my fish are fine, I don't need blah, blah, blah"). We can only research what they need (the fish's physiology and the natural habitat is where we look for this) and provide that as closely as possible. Fish "expect" this and that because this is programmed into the species' DNA, and none of us is going to change this; understanding and providing for the expectations should be our concern.

With these dwarf species a group of 8-9 of the species would be my suggestion for a minimum. There is no problem combining them, and although I have never done this with the dwarf species I would expect they may chum together some of time much as the larger-sized species will do. EDIT: After posting this I remembered this is a 10g tank, so before someone asks I'll just say that this is still OK (both cories in 8-9 fish groups). With regular (once weekly) partial water change of 60-70% of the tank and the plants you should have no issues.

Food. Sinking foods are obviously required in order to provide the nutrition these fish require, and there are several brands of higher quality foods these days. Shrimp are a favourite, and I prefer Omega One Shrimp Pellets because they contain whole shrimp and fish and not "meals." Bug Bites is an excellent food, and recommended over on CorydorasWorld. I always alternate foods, usually with three of these basic dried foods, so each day the fish receive something different than the day before. Having one or two fast days each week does no harm, and is probably beneficial. Frozen foods (meaning fresh frozen) are fine; shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms, but only feed bloodworms once a week, never more, as they are not that nutritious and they can cause issues. I do not like freeze-dried foods because they tend to swell up inside the fish; it is true that these can be well soaked for a time before feeding, but I still do not like them, and some very knowledgeable folks on CW have agreed with me.
 
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kate64

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Numbers. With the "dwarf" species (Corydoras pygmaeus, C. habrosus, C. hastatus) it is more important to have a decent number of the species. None of us can possibly know how a fish feels (how often I see this in posts, "my fish are fine, I don't need blah, blah, blah"). We can only research what they need (the fish's physiology and the natural habitat is where we look for this) and provide that as closely as possible. Fish "expect" this and that because this is programmed into the species' DNA, and none of us is going to change this; understanding and providing for the expectations should be our concern.

With these dwarf species a group of 8-9 of the species would be my suggestion for a minimum. There is no problem combining them, and although I have never done this with the dwarf species I would expect they may chum together some of time much as the larger-sized species will do. EDIT: After posting this I remembered this is a 10g tank, so before someone asks I'll just say that this is still OK (both cories in 8-9 fish groups). With regular (once weekly) partial water change of 60-70% of the tank and the plants you should have no issues.

Food. Sinking foods are obviously required in order to provide the nutrition these fish require, and there are several brands of higher quality foods these days. Shrimp are a favourite, and I prefer Omega One Shrimp Pellets because they contain whole shrimp and fish and not "meals." Bug Bites is an excellent food, and recommended over on CorydorasWorld. I always alternate foods, usually with three of these basic dried foods, so each day the fish receive something different than the day before. Having one or two fast days each week does no harm, and is probably beneficial. Frozen foods (meaning fresh frozen) are fine; shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms, but only feed bloodworms once a week, never more, as they are not that nutritious and they can cause issues. I do not like freeze-dried foods because they tend to swell up inside the fish; it is true that these can be well soaked for a time before feeding, but I still do not like them, and some very knowledgeable folks on CW have agreed with me.
Okay, well it sounds like I'm on the right track with food... I'll keep offering bug bites and pick up some omega one shrimp pellets too. Just to clarify, are you suggesting 8-9 of each dwarf species or total number between both? I only mentioned pygmys because I know I can get my hands on some. I came across the habrosus by chance (went in to brows the store; didn't expect them to have habrosus and they said they don't usually so I jumped on the chance), hence why I'm not sure when I will be able to find more. However, I know I can get pygmys on Friday, when they come in - but if I would need 8-9 of each type (habrosus and pygmaeus respectively) then getting pygmeaus wouldn't help solve the issue of too few habrosus; unless you meant 8-9 between the two species would be okay? Sorry -- I just want to double check because I will go in search of more habrosus and when I find more I'll certainly get them, but I'm just not sure how soon that will be (I will inquire at the store if they can be special ordered). I just want to do what I can to make things better for the ones I have now, as quickly as I can. Thanks for the help.
 

Byron

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Okay, well it sounds like I'm on the right track with food... I'll keep offering bug bites and pick up some omega one shrimp pellets too. Just to clarify, are you suggesting 8-9 of each dwarf species or total number between both? I only mentioned pygmys because I know I can get my hands on some. I came across the habrosus by chance (went in to brows the store; didn't expect them to have habrosus and they said they don't usually so I jumped on the chance), hence why I'm not sure when I will be able to find more. However, I know I can get pygmys on Friday, when they come in - but if I would need 8-9 of each type (habrosus and pygmaeus respectively) then getting pygmeaus wouldn't help solve the issue of too few habrosus; unless you meant 8-9 between the two species would be okay? Sorry -- I just want to double check because I will go in search of more habrosus and when I find more I'll certainly get them, but I'm just not sure how soon that will be (I will inquire at the store if they can be special ordered). I just want to do what I can to make things better for the ones I have now, as quickly as I can. Thanks for the help.
A group of 7-9 (had 8 before, but 7 would be my lowest if possible) of each species would be preferable, but getting this many pygmy cories to add in with the existing habrosus is OK too. I doubt the habrosus will mind at all.
 
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kate64

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A group of 7-9 (had 8 before, but 7 would be my lowest if possible) of each species would be preferable, but getting this many pygmy cories to add in with the existing habrosus is OK too. I doubt the habrosus will mind at all.
Okay! Thank you for the help :)
 

Byron

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It’s still a little murky from the change — I must not have rinsed the sand as well as I thought I did but here it is with the sand substrate. Also, update, at least one of the corys likes the omega one shrimp pellets so that is exciting
That will clear. Possibly sediment from the sand, or a bacterial bloom common in new substrate tanks, or both. Nice cory home. :good:
 

Retired Viking

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I think it looks very nice, :) I am thinking of having sand in my next tank too. It gives it a natural look to it
 
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