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Thread: Keeping corydoras without sand substrate

  1. #1
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    Default Keeping corydoras without sand substrate

    Hi All,

    Is anyone keeping corydoras without a sand substrate?

    My understanding is they need to sift through sand using their barbells, as per their natural environment.

    I would love to add a group of corys to my tank but I'm concerned it would be cruel without any sand or substrate to sift through. My tank has CAL Black Earth substrate which is mostly covered in plants (including the foreground)

    I've read that the dwarf species swim in the open water more than others - perhaps they would be less concerned Bout having sand or not?

    Any help would be great.

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    I think you'll find they will do okay with the black earth substrate IMO. it is fairly light too so they are likely to push it around as needed to get the food they want in the substrate.

    The concern for corys is that majority of substrate are sharp (gravels, etc) which will over time abrasively cut/destroy their barbels which do not grow back but are important to the fish.

    My corys are all in bare bottom tanks and have no issues so the sifting is not a requirement IMO, it is nice ot have as its their natural behaviour though.
    "The stuff I buy is a bit pricey however it is as dry as a nuns nasty" - BigDaddyAdo

  3. #3

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    My sterbai seem happy on a mix of black earth and Kaito aquasoil - they have done their best to level the tank and cover the sand with it.

  4. #4
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    Wonder whether they will uproot plants though? Make sure everything including foreground is well established.

  5. #5
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    they are little bulldozers hence why i have not kept them since keeping ada style nature aquariums (approx the last 10 years).

    and in plain gravel (coffs harbour gold), their barbels will be worn down to stubs.
    [sigpic][/sigpic]
    We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
    We borrow it from our Children.

  6. #6
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    I actually don't believe this whole story about sharp gravel etc. In nature they would encounter sharp substrates surely at times. Anyway, none of my five species have problems with their barbles, some in coffs harbour type gravel. When they have unhygienic conditions their barbels will rot.
    how about a compromise: Sprinkle a mini layer of sand on the tank floor, this will also give you extra bacteria without the hassle of gravel cleaning etc. which incidentally I have stopped doing as much as possible.I think this is also a myth. No need unless substrate is compacted.

  7. #7

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    I've had sterbai in my 2ft komoda, ADA aquasoil. Happy, chubby headed little guys

  8. #8
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    could be a bit of both, happyfins.
    i know my old lfs used to keep stock in a variety of tanks and some were better than others. definitely dont mix with crushed glass substrates. (i tried back in my novice years when i was enamoured by this "pretty" new substrate).
    this correlates back to my own experience washing said substrates. it scratches up your skin and fingernails when you get in there and turn it over when washing.
    as a kid i had coloured pebble substrate and never had an issue. it was very smooth round stuff.

    but having said all that, poor substrate health could cause issues too, as you say.

    serkan keeps all his tanks almost bare bottom except for a cup of sand in each. it helps their natural sifting tendency i guess.

    still maintain they are little shits when it comes to a delicately scaped tank though! (and why i love/opt for the dwarf species)
    [sigpic][/sigpic]
    We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
    We borrow it from our Children.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the help all, good to hear your experiences.

    I might have a go with a small group of cories and see how they go, if they rip up a lot of plants I will put them in my garage rack instead.

    Cheers!

  10. #10
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    Sweefu, which type are you going for?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    Sweefu, which type are you going for?
    I know there are a lot of really interesting corys, but I am going to get regular ol' corydoras paleatus "Peppered Corydoras" - just because I used to keep them and have a soft spot for them.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweefu View Post
    I know there are a lot of really interesting corys, but I am going to get regular ol' corydoras paleatus "Peppered Corydoras" - just because I used to keep them and have a soft spot for them.
    Haha no shame in that. Pygmys are also kool but will take quite a lot of $$ to fill your 4 footer.

  13. #13
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    My substrate is sand (kinda coarse, not the very fine white one) mixed with sprinkling of Aquasoil. Still wore the barbels of my sterbai to stubs....
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