Originally Posted by cwmorrow
I've half a dozen corys in a 20 high with eco-complete, and they seem to be doing well. Are their barbels injured by sharp substrate?
Eco is wonderful for plants when I can afford it. Do you fertilize sand, or do you have it over soil?
I got Flourite rather than Eco-Complete solely because it felt smoother in my hand, and I was able to hold both in the store. But, it became rather obvious to me that the corys in the Flourite tank were not quite right, and there were barbel issues. I moved them into the sand-substrate 115g, and presto, they came alive like nothing, and the barbels are fine.
Around this time, a professional catfish breeder and importer mentioned to me that corys and similar fish should never be put in tanks with any of these enriched substrates. I take that as sensible advice. And now that I've used sand, it is without question the best for these fish.
I just use plain sand, or plain fine gravel in one tank. Depth 2 inches max for the sand. I use substrate fertilizer tabs next to the larger sword plants, but otherwise, nothing in the substrate. A comprehensive liquid provides what's needed.
I have looked into soil and thought about trying it, but from my research I can see no real benefit except for initial CO2 from decomposing organic matter in the soil. But any substrate if left alone will within a couple months be like this anyway, so given the cons of soil I see no value.