Lethargic False Jullii Cory Cat
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:07 PM   #1
bikinibottom
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Lethargic False Jullii Cory Cat


I have a 40-gal that has been set up for about 3.5 months. Inhabitants: 2 gouramis, 13 tetras, 5 guppies, 3 false julii cory cats and 5 amano shrimp. The cories have always been really active, swimming up and down the water column, schooling together, and generally just swimming around like crazy. I've noticed that over the last few weeks they've been swimming up and down the water column less, and this week they are very lethargic and just kinda hanging around on the bottom barely moving (except when I put food in the tank, then they start swimming/eating). Behavior of all the other fish/shrimp is normal.

Has anyone had a similar problem with their juliis? What could be causing this? Tank parameters:
pH=7.3
NH4+=0
NO2-=0
NO3-= 5-10ppm
P=0.5-1.0 ppm
temp=76

Not sure if this has anything to do with it, but in the last few weeks I had noticed that my pH had crept up from 7.3 to almost 7.6 (this started after I started dosing CSM+B). In response to the pH going up I added fluval peat granules to the canister filter (about 1 cup), and the pH has slowly gone back down to 7.3. GH has gone from about 9 to 8 degrees, and kH has stayed around 5 degrees. I do small water changes every week (about 5-10 gallons), during which I vacuum debris off the substrate. The cories "look" healthy, and have their barbels. Not sure what could be happening....

All thoughts are welcome.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:46 PM   #2
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I would have to say its due to the raise in pH, and possibly also when the pH decreased again. Fish can usually tolerate a higher/lower pH relative to their ideal parameters as long as the pH doesn't fluctuate too much. Seeing as there's not much you can do now, but do your best to keep your pH stable. Corys also don't like higher pH levels, so that is a contributing factor. I would do a larger water change, 30% or so and they usually perk up a bit.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:51 PM   #3
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Make sure they get enough food - sometimes fast eaters like Tetras gobble up everything and don't leave enough for the "bottom feeders". At the same time, make sure you don't grossly overfeed, as this will be detrimental for water quality.

Another thought - new fish often rush through the tank, swim back and forth and are just out in the open initially until they settle down, then they tend to either hide more, or in general don't move around as much. This is very apparent with Cories, they tend to go up and down the glass a lot, but later they settle down. Otos are another example for fish which initially are out in the open a lot, but then start to hide and become more active during night/low light periods.

In other words, there might not be anything wrong with your Cories, it might just be normal behavior.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:01 PM   #4
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Temps might also be a bit high for their liking. I've sterbai rather than false julii but they're most active when temps are closer to 72-74, do little more than hide out in the underbrush when the temps creep up to 78-80 in the summer months.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:18 PM   #5
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Yeah 76F for corys is on the upper scale. Are you dosing the tank, is there enough surface agitation ?
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:19 PM   #6
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I would buy the pH argument if the behavior of the other fish had changed, but it hasn't. And I would buy the temperature argument if the temperature had changed, but it has been consistently at 76 ever since I set it up and the juliis were happy for a couple months at that temp.

I'm more inclined to start watching how much food they're getting, although I tend to think they're getting plenty because I feed everyone a good amount and I do see food get to the bottom of the tank, plus I feed a variety of foods -- daphnia, flakes, bloodworms, shrimp, sinking pellets, peas, spinach, etc.

Wasserpest, when you said, "This is very apparent with Cories, they tend to go up and down the glass a lot, but later they settle down", how soon is "later"? A few days? A few weeks? Because mine were pretty active for the first couple months but then a few weeks ago really started slowing down.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:12 PM   #7
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I'm surprised no one mention the numbers yet. 3 cories is just not enough. They like company, and I would not be surprised if they weren't happy.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatGuyWithTheFish View Post
I'm surprised no one mention the numbers yet. 3 cories is just not enough. They like company, and I would not be surprised if they weren't happy.
I agree, numbers might be the biggest thing here. I've got corys (pandas and Peppered as well as a Davidsandi) in high 70's and they are extremely active, hardly ever hide. I've even seen them kept in discus tanks where the water can exceed 80 degrees, i don't think tempurature is the issue from my experience, it might make them hide a bit more, but most cory's tend to hide until food hits the ground
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADJAquariums View Post
I agree, numbers might be the biggest thing here. I've got corys (pandas and Peppered as well as a Davidsandi) in high 70's and they are extremely active, hardly ever hide. I've even seen them kept in discus tanks where the water can exceed 80 degrees, i don't think tempurature is the issue from my experience, it might make them hide a bit more, but most cory's tend to hide until food hits the ground
So they were happy for 2 months being a group of 3 but have since decided they are unhappy?
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikinibottom View Post
Wasserpest, when you said, "This is very apparent with Cories, they tend to go up and down the glass a lot, but later they settle down", how soon is "later"? A few days? A few weeks? Because mine were pretty active for the first couple months but then a few weeks ago really started slowing down.
With Cories, I'd say "couple weeks" rather than "couple months". With Otos, it can take a longer time, months, before they change from daylight-active to turn crepuscular.

It's a good thing you observe your fish closely. I would not exclude the possibility that this is just a change in their (normal) behavior.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
With Cories, I'd say "couple weeks" rather than "couple months". With Otos, it can take a longer time, months, before they change from daylight-active to turn crepuscular.

It's a good thing you observe your fish closely. I would not exclude the possibility that this is just a change in their (normal) behavior.
Thanks for getting back to me. Definitely have not excluded that possibility (that they've just calmed down). Their skin looks good, eyes are clear and alert, they swim around when food enters the tank, they eat, they quickly move away when you put your hand near them, no other fish are picking on them, etc... so this is a definite possibility.

I also haven't completely ruled out that it has something to do with what the PP said -- that maybe they need more individuals in their group to continue their crazy/happy behavior. I'm hesitant to test this theory, though, and get 2 or 3 more fish that will only follow the same trajectory as the other 3.
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