Yesterday I finally received my shipment of 12 Panda Cories for my tank. Tank had been fishless cycled for 2 months prior. Here are the tanks specs:
2x54 6700 t5 HO lights
Marineland C-360 canister filter (don't use carbon bags)
Inline rex-grigg style co2 reactor
Eco-complete plant substrate (topped with sand)
It has numerous plants in it that have been growing well since I added them a little over 2 weeks ago (glosso, cyperus helferi, dwarfs sags, baby tears, chain swords, hair grass and some others). I fertilize with Flourish (not excel).
These are the water properties:
Temp: 76 F
KH: 6 degrees
Ammonia: I'm positive I'm getting a bogus reading. The test is reading over 1 ppm, and it read 0 last night and had been reading fine in the weeks prior as a monitored its cycle. I think what may have happened is I got some of the shipping water into my tank. To acclimate the cories I put them in a 5g tub and slowly dripped tank water (knowing that these fish have a tendency to be really sensitive) slowly over a long period of time. When it finally came to move them into the tank netting them seemed impossible without hurting the fish (they were all 1" or less) so I ended up scooping them in a plastic cup, draining most of the water out and them putting each fish with maybe a teaspoon of the bag water/tank water mixture. I think it is pretty much no question that there was something akin to ammo-lock in the shipping water.
Regardless, I did a 40% water change this morning when I checked the parameters (it's water change day today anyway).
Now that that's all explained to my "problem"- one of the cories wasn't able to stay right side up (even during acclimation, yesterday), so I think it may have been hurt in shipping. I still got it into the tank but it just laid on its side and swam around pathetically, was dead this morning. The other 11 are alive but they look pale. They readily ate fish flakes and some shrimp pellets, but they aren't that active.
Does it take a long time for Panda Cories to get used to new water conditions? Should I be concerned that they still don't look particularly happy after being in the tank since 6pm last night?
I just did another ammonia test and ended up with 0 ppm to make sure I used a second kit I had on hand and also got 0ppm (6pm eastern). Odd.
The Cories seemed to have gained some of their color back but they still aren't too active.