Yup, I've been a big Cory fan since I was like 12 years old, and a lot of that probably has to do with their wink. Plus they do so much good stirring up the substrate and debris wherever it might be. I wanted to get julliis in my tank, but there were none in town, so I got Peppered instead. Any Cory is a good Cory.
My ph is 8.4 out of the tap, but mid 7's in the tank. I have to be very careful I have learned. Being I have a 20g, there isn't much room for error. You will find a happy medium where everything, light, CO2, stock, etc. balances out and your plants will grow slowly, you won't have a bunch of algae, and the fish will be happy. Patience, patience, and dilligence, dilligence.
The blink/wink is a very nice surprise, very funny to watch. They are more than likely false Juliis since real Juliis are hard to come by and these guys were only $5 each. Either way, I like em a lot. Since I picked up this new tank I've been much more into proper fish keeping and learning about all of the different species.
Woah, that's crazy! The driftwood in my tank helps lower the PH a tiny bit, but not much. How do you get yours down so much? BTW, my tank is really low tech, no CO2 and only 1 single T8 bulb. Maybe one day I'll go full throttle, but right now, with a 3 y/o and hopefully another on the way I don't have as much me time as I'd like.