Corydoras & Substrate - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-26-2009, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Corydoras & Substrate

I know that corys prefer sand substrate, but would they also be okay a smooth gravel substrate? Large pebble size or small?
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-26-2009, 09:09 AM
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I have mine in with small pebbles, I have had no problems.
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-26-2009, 09:53 AM
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Got medium-sized pebbles for their substrate. No problems.
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-26-2009, 10:08 AM
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I read an interesting article on the subject of corydoras, and substrates just the other day.
In this article some biologists suggested that nitrAte levels had more of an affect on the erosion of barbels(whiskers) of some of the corydoras than substrates that were too rough.
They cited the fact that these fish are found in a wide range of waters with very different substrates other than sand or smooth pebbles. They even went so far as to expieriment with substrates such as sintered glass and found no examples of barbels being damaged from this substrate (didn't say as to their bellies). Their expieriments did show barbel erosion with water high in nitrAtes (organics) as opposed to water of good quality.
My own observations of these fish in respect to substrates, is not in line with their findings. I have observed corys recover from barbel erosion when placed in tanks with sand or small ,fine gravel ,with nitrAte readings being same in these tanks. I also believe that NitrAtes should be kept at minimum not just for corys, but for all fishes.
Sand or very fine gravel, would be my choice for substrate for these fish and as stated, NitrAtes kept in check.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-26-2009, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
I read an interesting article on the subject of corydoras, and substrates just the other day.
In this article some biologists suggested that nitrAte levels had more of an affect on the erosion of barbels(whiskers) of some of the corydoras than substrates that were too rough.
They cited the fact that these fish are found in a wide range of waters with very different substrates other than sand or smooth pebbles. They even went so far as to expieriment with substrates such as sintered glass and found no examples of barbels being damaged from this substrate (didn't say as to their bellies). Their expieriments did show barbel erosion with water high in nitrAtes (organics) as opposed to water of good quality.
My own observations of these fish in respect to substrates, is not in line with their findings. I have observed corys recover from barbel erosion when placed in tanks with sand or small ,fine gravel ,with nitrAte readings being same in these tanks. I also believe that NitrAtes should be kept at minimum not just for corys, but for all fishes.
Sand or very fine gravel, would be my choice for substrate for these fish and as stated, NitrAtes kept in check.
Good advice. May I ask where the article was? I agree with your position, but I'd be interested to read this opposing view.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 15 Old 03-26-2009, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses, guys!
And that article sounds interesting.

I think I will try corydoras with small, smooth gravel if I can find some in the shade I want. Any problems, though, and I'll switch substrates or return the corys. Don't want to cause them harm.
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-27-2009, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Good advice. May I ask where the article was? I agree with your position, but I'd be interested to read this opposing view.
I have searched the history on computer in an effort to find the article regarding cory's but thus far my efforts have been unsuccessful. Often times a site is recommended while researching other topics and I find myself straying completey away from my original search.
My original search was in regards to Myxosporidian bacterial infections.Perhaps I shall re-visit the informational search and see if I can once more find the article.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-27-2009, 01:00 PM
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interesting 1077. this has been debated with cories for awhile. i also remember reading that good water conditions and a good protein diet such as frozen blood worms keep the barbels strong. from my experience, i have only had fluorite substate in my tank. when i started back in 2001-2005 i had panda cories. no problems with barbels. With my reset as of Januaray 09, i have Matea Cories now. No problems. Cories are bottom feeders so they get aquarium waste upfront. So i can see high nitrate, bad water condition and excess waste contributing to erroision.
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-03-2009, 06:06 PM
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How about glass bottom? I have corys in with my angelfish. The angels are spawning and I want to go with the glass bottom.

55 Gallon
Striped Angelfish (2)
Marble Angelfish (1)
5 Cory Cats
4 Tetras
1 Barb
1 Algae Eater
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post #10 of 15 Old 05-03-2009, 06:15 PM
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How about glass bottom? I have corys in with my angelfish. The angels are spawning and I want to go with the glass bottom.
Well, corys in a tank with no substrate certainly wouldn't be able to damage their barbels on it...but they might wonder what it was they were searching over. They'd also keep anything on the bottom stirred up with their activity. I wouldn't put corys in a plain tank.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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