Substrate?

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gobuckeyes
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Substrate?

Post by gobuckeyes »

I am considering the following substrate for Cory's (SEE PIC) I wanted to avoid generic pool sand. Will this work and if not what are my options other thank basic pool or play sand. Thanks!

-Mike
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Re: Substrate?

Post by Richard B »

I can't tell how big the grains are but they look rounded so shouldn't be a problem - that said I'd always recommend sand for corys - have you considered pool/play sand with a couple of handfuls of this gravel mixed in to give a more natural mixed look?
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gobuckeyes
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Re: Substrate?

Post by gobuckeyes »

That's actually not a bad idea. No I had not considered that.

Thanks,

Mike

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Re: Substrate?

Post by bekateen »

Hi Gobuckeyes,

Like Richard, I too prefer sand (or extremely fine gravel) for my corys because they seem to love digging for food, and it's my suspicion that if they're on sand, they actually swallow some of the sand when they are feeding, and I think they extract some of the organic microscopic junk and microorganisms that accumulate in the sand, providing additional nutrition.

Regarding gravel, I presume that you've already checked with your LFS to see what size gravels are available. If not, you should do that - Some LFS stock gravels of different sizes and you may be able to find a gravel that is just slightly larger than sand grains. That gravel is small enough that the corys can still dig in it and search for food without harming their barbels, and yet it's large enough that it doesn't get sucked into your filtration system (which can happen with some fine sands).

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Re: Substrate?

Post by gobuckeyes »

Eric,

Unfortunately outside of Petsmart, Pet Supplies + etc we really do not have an LFS in my area so I have been looking online.

-Mike

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Re: Substrate?

Post by bekateen »

Okay, Mike. Sorry to hear that; without a good LFS nearby, it makes keeping a decent tank more difficult than it needs to be.

I'm curious, what is your objection to using sand? Appearance? Or something functional/practical?

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Re: Substrate?

Post by dpm1 »

I have 1mm sand in a couple of tanks, 2-3mm gravel in others. My corys show zero difference in their habits or bartbel size/health if moved between the two types.

I have also had peppered corys on 5mm+ gravel without issue, although I wouldn't use it for pygmys as I fear they would fall in the gaps and disappear... .. .

I've been berated in other places on the webosphere where I too often hear 'corys MUST have sand' only for me to post pix of my corys with big whiskers. There's more leeway than some will admit to as long as long as its still smooth and not extremely coarse.
I also usually point out that sand can easily be just as sharp as gravel, if not more so on the smaller scale.

I take a handful and rub it between my palms. If I don't like it tearing away at my skin then it definitely stays out the tanks regardless.
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Re: Substrate?

Post by gobuckeyes »

bekateen- Yea pretty much the color of play sand is a turn off for me.

dpm1- Thanks I appreciate the feedback.

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Re: Substrate?

Post by Ironhead »

Looks like red flint mix...if it's BB size it will work well...I use the same mixed 25% rf with 75% washed creek sand or pool sand. The cories love it and it has a very natural look...live plants seem to grow better that with just sand...maybe due to staying in place better or a looser base for roots than plain sand ?? I use it about 1" deep in 20 gallon longs...seem to work...black worms do well in it until eaten too.
Mike

Just as a side note...I bought my red flint in Indianapolis, IN at a stone center for landscaping...100 #s for $17....not the ridiculous pet shop prices...they had washed creek sand too...if you are there it's on 62ndstreet I believe.

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Re: Substrate?

Post by Moose-Dad »

FWIW, I am TOTALLY a non-expert, but have experienced a few things with substrate for my albino corys.

The first substrate they lived with was about 2.5-3mm gravel, but it was sharp, and they lost their barbels and were definitely not going to do well. Hence, I got rid of that junky substrate, and replaced it with 5-7mm (aprox) colored rounded smooth gravel - blues and greens (light & dark both colors). They love it well enough that just the 2 of them (yeah, I know, since I got them I read you should have them in groups of 4-5 or more) started laying eggs. Now I am the proud pet owner of a bunch of baby cory fry and 6 juveniles (check out my thread called "fry die" to read more of that adventure).

So, I don't know much at all about the cory's natural environment, but since they are doing well, and since the ability to lay viable eggs is a key indicator that an animal is contented, I figure I'm not going to fix it because it ain't broken.

My fry are in a tank with black sand with some of the blue&green gravel mixed on top. This is working very well, but I am not convinced it is the best substrate for the adults (although it is only a guess). The black sand I have looks squarish and possibly sharp edged, so again, I am not convinced it is the best substrate for the juveniles once they get big enough to forage energetically with strength. I had my 6 larger juveniles (about 2 months old) get damaged barbels, but I cannot say if it was the substrate or the fact that I fouled the water due to over-feeding.

I was looking for a substrate that is rounded pebbles smaller than my present 5-7mm stuff, but the only stuff I could find seemed like beach type pebbles - porous and rough surfaced although no sharp edges. Because these critters forage strongly as adults, I couldn't see myself risking buying the seemingly rough-surfaced med-small pebbles. The photo you gave looks similar to the pebbles I was nervous about, but just as another poster stated, it is tough to make a definitive judgement on the substrate just based upon the photo.

Again, disclaimer, remember, I am anything but a pro. Just having fun enjoying my breeding pair and their children. ;-)

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