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Pygmy Cory Breeding Log

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Just a small log on my Pygmy corydoras who recently decided to start breeding for me :f77:

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Small post as an intro;

I've had them for a few months now, a group of 9 or so, originally as fish to be kept alongside one of my male Siamese Fighting fish, but loved them so much that I wanted to breed them. The male betta was moved to another tank, the corys had the 40 litre tank to themselves, and I started trying to get them to breed by feeding them on live foods such as microworms and BBS as well as novotab, flake and algae wafers. Water temperature was lowered to 24 degrees and I then would do 25% cold water changes 3x a week, with no results. They were in a set up that /had/ tannins in it, but was mostly rocks and heavy planting with reasonably high light. I eventually gave up on trying to breed them for a while, but pretty much continued on with the same water change/feeding schedule, just not feeding live foods as often.

Recently, however, I decided to change the tank to a blackwater tank-- in went a large piece of driftwood, the plants were mostly removed bar a small amount of christmas moss and a cyperus heferi, riparium plants were added, and the high lights were swapped for a cheap low light lamp. Instantly, I noticed that they had become more active, particularly in the mornings around 8-11 am. Excited that they were more active, and not at all suspecting they were breeding, I took a video and posted it on a fishkeeping group on Facebook-- someone suggested that they were breeding as the video showed a larger female being flanked by 3-4 males and it possibly looked like they were doing the "T" position at times such as was described in breeding logs that I had read. That afternoon, I checked the tank with a torch, and was delighted to discover eggs all over the cyperus heferi, christmas moss, hanging roots from riparium vegetation and the driftwood. I gathered up the eggs and they have been spawning regularly ever since :nilly:

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Haha, I was writing this up last night and didn't get time to talk about the fry.

After separating them out, I grabbed the first thing I could think of, which was a marina breeder box; this attaches to the outside of the tank and has an air pump which pushes water up and through the box, which I thought was awesome. Worked great until they hatched; out of 40, I only had 2 eggs fungus, and the fry on their first few days did great, feeding almost immediately on microworms, whatever was growing on the christmas moss they had in there with them, and a few fragments of algae wafers. I did keep finding a few in the main tank, though, and figured that they were being swept out through the outtake because the rather gentle flow in the box was too much for them. After watching 2 or three of them take a slide down the breeder box outlet, I sewed a sponge to the top of the outlet to try and prevent this from happening. Unfortunately, this did keep them in, but the sponge was sewed unevenly; the fry wouldn't get out of the outlet, but were getting pushed into a corner of the sponge, crowded in there and unable to get out, and died. I think I lost at least 10 before I noticed this. :(

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I then moved them to a 10 litre bucket with a (handily) cycled filter left over from my Siamese Fighting Fish spawn and a heater set to 24. I tossed in a large number of fry, and have been putting in new batches of eggs as they turn up. I now have at least 6 'large' fry which have just reached about a week and a half old, then 3 or 4 different smaller sizes of fry, including about 30 or 40 that hatched yesterday :D (photos are of the largest fry, they have awesome juvie patterns on them, 5 bands/ 'spots' that go down their bodies. Can already see their little barbels and pectoral fins, and the large ones occasionally do a circuit round the top of the bucket)

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They seem to be doing well, I'm pretty upset about loosing the first lot, but the corys appear to be continuing to breed so hopefully I will get a good number of fry yet :D Still feeding on microworm, crushed flake and algae wafers :) I do 20-30% daily water changes

Plans so far is to grow them out in the 10 litre bucket, then they will graduate to a 50 litre container until my 200 litre tank is cycled. Then, I will grow them out to a reasonable size in the 200 litre, put a number in with the adults and then sell off the rest :)

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They're awesome wee fish, really enjoying raising them so far :D Anybody got any idea as to how long the parents will continue to spawn for (seem to be doing it every 3-4 days at the moment, usually after a water change and rain)?

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This was the video I posted before I found the first lot of eggs; it doesn't show them placing eggs, but their behaviour was way more active than they tended to be previously, and you can clearly see the female (larger one) being flanked by the males (smaller ones?). I think in total I have 2-3 females and 5-6 males.

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:thup: :thup: :thup: So excited for you! :D

Thanks Alex :)

More baby photos lol... two decided to hang out on the sponge filter when I got home, so much closer to the surface for photos :D they seem to come out more in the evening. Their little barbels look too big for them and its adorable :D

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Hard to tell how many there are, or what my fry survival rate is like. Definitely at least 20 of various sizes, but I suspect there's more hiding up in the christmas moss or around the filter. Parents haven't bred for the last few days either, so this might be the lot of them for now.

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hi hows ur babies goin ?

just wanted to ask , do they eat there own egg? do I av to separate parents?

mine started breeding, moved them to another tank , n saw few babies but they disappeared later , I reckon they might b dead :(

also I m tinking of moving the parents to my fighter babies grow out tank do u think they can eat my fighter babies ??

don't have much experience with pigmy corries that's why so many questions ,, they look so calm fish so thought of movn them to my fighter babies tank (3 weeks old ) but decided to ask here first than getting into a disaster

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hi hows ur babies goin ?

Unfortunately not so well- one little one is still alive and doing well in the parent tank , but the rest of them didn't make it :( I think what happened is I did too large a water change for them to handle, and didn't have enough tannins in the water, as they would start dying more frequently after a water change over 30%.... My corys are still spawning semi-regularly but I'm going to leave breeding them until I can set the fry up in a ~30-50 litre breeding tank and when I can commit to doing ~10% water changes twice a day and feed them less more frequently.

just wanted to ask , do they eat there own egg? do I av to separate parents?

mine started breeding, moved them to another tank , n saw few babies but they disappeared later , I reckon they might b dead :(

Congrats on the babies :) I don't think they eat their own eggs/young, but the babies seem to be very sensitive to changing water conditions and are very easily sucked up by a filter, so one of these things could account for the disappearance/some of them dying? Sponge filters seem to work well with them though and it might be worth separating them from the parents to see if it makes a difference. Usually what happens with the eggs in my tank is they hatch, and then the bubs disappear after a day or two, usually sucked up onto the filter or (more recently) eaten by my ember tetra.

also I m tinking of moving the parents to my fighter babies grow out tank do u think they can eat my fighter babies ??

don't have much experience with pigmy corries that's why so many questions ,, they look so calm fish so thought of movn them to my fighter babies tank (3 weeks old ) but decided to ask here first than getting into a disaster

I don't think they would eat them -- that said I can't be sure as haven't tried it myself. Fighter bubs are usually reasonably big at 3 weeks so I would just try and have a look at the pygmy corys mouth size and if you think they're too big to be eaten, they should be fine. Mine are really chilled out fish who mostly keep to themselves too, though they do try to school with my ember tetra at night.

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I'd be more worried about the fighter fry nipping at the cory than vice versa. I had young fighter fry (1cm or less) take out my young 2cm gba by constantly nipping them.

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Update on these guys-- the one little guy I did manage to breed is still doing well, numbers have gone down a bit and I lost my biggest female :'( still hoping they may start spawning again this year, but who knows :smugshrug:

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