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Thread: Are Corys Harder to Ship than Other Fish?

  1. #1

    Are Corys Harder to Ship than Other Fish?

    I had 2 cory orders shipped to me recently. The first one, all 13 pygmy corys were DOA. I blamed it on the heat pack directly touching the fish bag and the bag being very hot. But today I got another order with a heat pack, not touching the fish bags, done right. One of the fish bags was fine. All 8 habrosus corys are alive and well. The second bag had 2 survivors and 5 DOA (pygmys again). I received them at work and luckily work in Cobb County were the water is fish safe so I opened the bag with the dead corys and put the 2 survivors into a plastic cup until I got off. They are happily swimming in my tank already (I figured if they survived the toss into Cobb County water they would do fine in mine) while the other 8 in the second bag are getting drop acclimated. Their TDS was a whopping 800 and my tank only registers 120, so this will take a while but they are looking good. The shipper is a guy I trust. I got fish from him before and he does a good job packing. What is it with pygmy corys? Did anyone else have similar experiences with them?
    I read somewhere that corys can give of a toxic substance when stressed. Enough to make a predator avoid them but not lethal to anyone in an open area, like a fish tank or in nature. But in a fish bag where several corys might stress and give off this substance it may become lethal to the corys themselves. How much truth is there to this? And are some species more prone to doing this than others?
    I would really like to hear from pet stores that receive cory orders and what their experiences with them are.
    Last edited by Garfieldnfish; 11-14-2013 at 10:37 PM.

  2. #2
    Just my two cents...

    Cories have their own shipping challenges. You can catch, change water, piss off, change water, use thicker bags, O2, etc. to improve chances, but they aren't the easiest fish to ship by a long shot.

    The pygmaeus I've seen wholesale have usually sucked unfortunately.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Johns Creek, Georgia, United States
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    I have heard about the toxic substance, likely in one of the club talks. Breeders counter it by putting them in a bucket, kicking it repeated, changing all the water and repeating until hopefully they are "all out" of the nasty stuff before putting them in bags. I don't know which genuses are affected, but it is real and DOA cory shipments aren't uncommon. I also think some of the cooler water cories need a lot more oxygen than many fish which put them more at risk if a shipment gets delayed or cooked.

    On a totally unrelated note, I now have a Neolamprolus lelupi living happily in an angel tank. Poor planning put tanks with opposite water conditions adjacent and he self-relocated. IME it is always safer to move fish into higher TDS water than lower. Watching the massacre of AGA guppies abruptly meeting atlanta water at their show cemented my opinion. You are right to acclimate slowly. I'm surprised the lelupi survived. They must be getting close to breeding size to be chasing each other out of the tank.

  4. #4
    The dwarf corys ie pygmeus are exported.500-600 per box.When they come in to the wholesaler they are very weak and losses are high if they are not encouraged to eat and the holding tank water is not kept fresh.The wholesalers often start selling the fish before they have recovered and the losses fall on the customer.If these fish are in good condition they will survive shipping with out a problem. I had one instance where i shipped corys and the box got partially cruhed by the post office.Five days later the box was returned to me since the recievers address cound not be read.To my surprise all 6 corys were alive.They were individually bagged with mostly air and little water

  5. #5
    Thanks for responding. Both of you really helped me understanding what might have been going on.

    I was surprised that all the orders were in poly bags with water filling most of the bag. I would have opted for very little water in poly bags too as they can take oxygen straight from the air. It is good to know that I would have been guessing right as I hope to breed these guys and shipping some out down the road. Hence my quest for fact finding here.
    However, I would probably have used Kordon breather bags myself. But I don't believe air was the problem in either case to cause the initial death. The first shipment looked like the corys died almost as soon as they entered the bag. I still think self poisoning might have been the case. It shipped from Florida and arrived in 2 days but the corys tails had already been decayed/missing and the water smelled like they had been dead for some time. In the second shipments the dead corys also looked like they had been dead for a while but there was a little more air in the bag and less fish (first order had 13 pygmys/no air, the other only 7/some air) so the 2 survivors had a better chance breathing in bag air rather than the foul air in the water. That might have given them a chance that some of the other 13 did not have. I do believe individual packing is the key. I think I will do that. I ordered 20 Weitzmani corys from Peru years ago. It went through a trans shipper and the box got lost by the airline. I spend 3 very memorable days in Birmingham (long story), got to know the Zoo and Botanical Gardens very well and all but 2 of the corys survived. They were individually bagged. At the time I paid $20 per fish so I was glad they were valuable enough to get a bag each but that again might have saved them. I would either got with breather bags no more then 3 fish per bag (after stressing the fish out some in a bucket, BTW great idea) or poly bags but single bagged.


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