Best place to buy panda cories?

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cubequeen

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Apr 28, 2007
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I recently ordered 12 fish from a place that is fairly local because I knew they wouldn't have to be shipped far. They sent 1 extra of everything, BUT out of the original 15 fish, only 6 are still alive, and all of the panda cories have died. The panda cories were the main reason I placed the order. So now I'm looking for some place else to order them. Is it normal to have so many losses when ordering by mail? I'm bummed. I live in Indiana, so where would be the best place to order from from here?
 

jbradt

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May 9, 2008
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How long has the tank been set up? How big is it and what sort of filtration? There could be reasons for the losses other than bad stock.
 

the loach

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I can tell you that most common or easy cories like paleatus, aeneus, panda, etc are now of terrible quality. They are all mass farmed. I am certainly not buying any cories without seeing them first, it's no use. Recently I ordered a school of cories at a not so local fs... he bought 30 or 40. I looked at them all were in terrible shape. The owner didn't notice it, but at least agreed with me and said he would medicate them. You can't medicate bad stock... I told him most were going to die. I bought 2 of the fattest for his trouble but honestly I think only 1 is going to make it.
It would be best if you could find a small or private breeder, someone like Rachel O'Leary.
 

tanker

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I am not so quick to blame the stock. What are the parameters of your water? How did you acclimate? Can we ask where you order from?
 
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cubequeen

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I have two tanks the order of fish were intended for. One has only been set up for a few weeks, but it was a 10-gallon upgrade from a 5.5-gallon in which I used all the same substrate, so I should have been good on bacteria. The other tank has been set up many years. I checked the water parameters of both tanks and they were good, no high nitrites or nitrates or ammonia. I didn't do drip acclimation, but put the fish in buckets with their shipping water and slowly added tank water, like put 1 cup in, wait 15 minutes, put more tank water, etc. over a couple of hours. I ended up only putting the cories in a tank because the other fish were too small to be put in with other fish and not be considered food, so I had to scramble to set up a small quarantine tank with a sponge filter taken out of the betta tank and sand from both tanks, for the bacteria present on the sponge and sand, and had to then acclimate the fish to the quarantine tank.

The place I ordered from is a small, family-owned business about 75 miles or so away called Aquatic Arts. Now that I think about it, I think may have made a mistake wanting to support a small, local business. Given how quickly they sell out after receiving new stock, I think the issue with this is that the fish are being doubly shocked in a short amount of time. They get shipped to this business, from who knows where, then they quickly turn around and ship the fish out to their customer. They probably get their fish from some place far away that actually does the tank raising like in Florida, California or maybe even Thailand for all I know. I'd probably be better off buying directly from someone who actually does the tank raising, even if it is far away, if they do 1-day shipping. Now I just need to figure out who that may be.

I usually buy my fish from PetSmart because that is the only place available nearby except for a garden center that also sells fish but always has dirty tanks. I had my heart set on panda cories, but PetSmart never has them. I've usually had pretty good luck with PetSmart fish and may just have to settle for what I can find there.

Sorry to be so long-winded.
 

FreshyFresh

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Sorry if I missed it, but where the fish dead right out of the box when you received it, or did they die after being placed in your tank?
 

cubequeen

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Sorry if I missed it, but where the fish dead right out of the box when you received it, or did they die after being placed in your tank?
Arrived alive, one died a short while later, then over several days several more died, one at a time. Where I got them only has an arrive alive guarantee.
 

cubequeen

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Did they look healthy when they just arrived, or couldn't you tell?
They were very, very small and I couldn't tell. Not even juvenile, IMO, more like baby fish. I'm just glad 6 are still alive and since they've made it this far, I think they will probably live to grow up, I hope.
 

FreshyFresh

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Arrived alive, one died a short while later, then over several days several more died, one at a time. Where I got them only has an arrive alive guarantee.
That's a risk we always take with new fish purchases. Best you can do is slow drip acclimate them from their bag water, to your water. I tend to hold off on corys unless I'm putting them in a tank that's been established for a long time.

At one time I had 10 panda corys in my 55g w/ plants. I had bought a dozen from a LFS and lost two over the course of a few days. The 10 lived on happily for a few years until I moved them into a new 29g setup (with well established filtration and decor). One by one they died over the course of weeks. Other fish in with them were OK.

Same with a batch of julii corys that I scored from Petco for $1/ea. Lost 2 shortly after purchase. The rest were fine for a few years. Broke that tank down and set the inhabitants up in a new setup. Lost those corys one by one.
 
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