Corydoras & Substrate w/ Plants
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Corydoras & Substrate w/ Plants

This is a discussion on Corydoras & Substrate w/ Plants within the Catfish forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum, so thanks in advance if you're reading this and willing to help! I'm starting up a new ...

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Corydoras & Substrate w/ Plants
Old 01-09-2013, 02:19 AM   #1
 
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Corydoras & Substrate w/ Plants

Hi everyone!
I'm new to this forum, so thanks in advance if you're reading this and willing to help!
I'm starting up a new tank with neon tetras and catfish corydoras, which I've never had before. A friend suggested that I try to get a few corydoras, because they tend to be amazing pets!
I really want to try out a planted aquarium. I'm planning on starting on the easier, hardy ones-- aponogetons, amazon swords, java ferns [and anything else you might suggest]. I've researched and found out that these plants do well in good substrate; I've read fantastic reviews on eco-complete. They say that it helps stabilize the plants, as well as help them grow.
However, the eco-complete substrate may harm the catfish corydoras, which seem to do better in sand [I'm thinking about getting pool filter sand if this is the case].
Any advice on how I should mix the two or just stick with one? Thanks!
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:02 AM   #2
 
corys do best in sand. from what ive learned is tht you dont need that fancy eco-complete. some people will say yeah its awesome an some wont. im setting up a planted tank this weekend and im going with pool filter sand from ace hardware. 11.99 for 50lbs. its better for the cats cuz they dig in it looking for food and its not harsh on their barbels. gravel can cause harm to those and lead to infection and harm their mouths. it can even be bothersome to their bellies.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:49 PM   #3
 
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I agree. I have Flourite in one tank, which is near-identical to Eco-complete, and I had to remove the corys due to damage to their barbels and mouths from the roughness. They went into a sand substrate tank, and recovered wonderfully.

All my tanks are planted, and five of them have playsand for the substrate. Plants will grow very well in sand. You can see photos of some of them under the "Aquariums" tab below my name on the left.

I also agree that the enriched substrates are not as useful with respect to plant growth as one might expect. Having both I can say that the plant growth in my sand tanks is just as good. You will still need to use liquid fertilizer once or twice a week, but that is sufficient.

Corys are fascinating little fish, but they will be best with sand. And in a good-sized group; you didn't mention the tank size, but no less than five. All one species is good, or you can mix species in which case I would try to have no less than 3 of each species. With all corys, the more the better.

And, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Byron.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:29 PM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexpepper651 View Post
corys do best in sand. from what ive learned is tht you dont need that fancy eco-complete. some people will say yeah its awesome an some wont. im setting up a planted tank this weekend and im going with pool filter sand from ace hardware. 11.99 for 50lbs. its better for the cats cuz they dig in it looking for food and its not harsh on their barbels. gravel can cause harm to those and lead to infection and harm their mouths. it can even be bothersome to their bellies.
I just bought pool sand today! It's sooooo much cheaper than the sand they sell at Petsmart. I'm glad that I bought it. I'll have lots of excess so I'll probably keep it around just in case. Thanks for the tip! I want my cories to be happy and healthy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I agree. I have Flourite in one tank, which is near-identical to Eco-complete, and I had to remove the corys due to damage to their barbels and mouths from the roughness. They went into a sand substrate tank, and recovered wonderfully.

All my tanks are planted, and five of them have playsand for the substrate. Plants will grow very well in sand. You can see photos of some of them under the "Aquariums" tab below my name on the left.

I also agree that the enriched substrates are not as useful with respect to plant growth as one might expect. Having both I can say that the plant growth in my sand tanks is just as good. You will still need to use liquid fertilizer once or twice a week, but that is sufficient.

Corys are fascinating little fish, but they will be best with sand. And in a good-sized group; you didn't mention the tank size, but no less than five. All one species is good, or you can mix species in which case I would try to have no less than 3 of each species. With all corys, the more the better.

And, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Byron.
Thanks for your advice as well! I haven't done much yet because I'm still kind of planning what I want to do. I'm starting out small because this is my first serious freshwater tank, so I have a 10G. I'm pretty set on having a school of neon tetras; someone told me I should also get cories. I'm pretty certain that schooling both would be too much for one tank [5-7 neons and 5 cories]. Now I'm thinking about maybe switching to a different combination of fish. Originally, I was going to do 5-7 neons and 3 cories.

Do you have a combination you recommend?

I really do love the cories. I think they're adorable. I'm not sure what species I want yet, but I figure I should stick with them because I already bought pool filter sand and I'd like to put that to good use.

Thanks for your plant advice! Your tanks look glorious. Seriously. I'm planning on starting out easy with plants like java ferns, amazon swords, aponogeton, and maybe wisteria. I'll definitely get fertilizer. I've also begun soaking a large chunk of mopani wood. Do you think those sort of plants would be ok in sand?

Thanks again and I'm happy to be here!
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:26 PM   #5
 
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for a 10 gallon tank, you'll definitely want a smaller species. Dwarf or Pygmy cories would be a good option, and as far as I know, you could do 5 or 6, which they'll be much happier with. Panda might also be an option, and i think trilineatus, since i know they're on the smaller side.

you'll certainly want to wait until after your tank is established though. cories are sensitive buggers and don't do well in a cycling tank :)

also i think your plants will do fine in sand :) as long as you have good fertilizers. you will probably want some root tabs for heavy root feeders like the swords!
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:32 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djembekah View Post
for a 10 gallon tank, you'll definitely want a smaller species. Dwarf or Pygmy cories would be a good option, and as far as I know, you could do 5 or 6, which they'll be much happier with. Panda might also be an option, and i think trilineatus, since i know they're on the smaller side.

you'll certainly want to wait until after your tank is established though. cories are sensitive buggers and don't do well in a cycling tank :)

also i think your plants will do fine in sand :) as long as you have good fertilizers. you will probably want some root tabs for heavy root feeders like the swords!
When you say smaller cories, do you mean to have just cories, or cories in addition to other fishies? I don't mind keeping just the cories if it means they'll thrive better that way. Thanks for the tips!

Oh and yes, I'm definitely going to wait on adding any sort of fish until the tank is well established =]

Last edited by JulieJules; 01-09-2013 at 11:35 PM..
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:34 PM   #7
 
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oh i meant with the other fish too :) i think the neons will do just fine with the cories!
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:12 AM   #8
 
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Originally Posted by djembekah View Post
oh i meant with the other fish too :) i think the neons will do just fine with the cories!
Oh ok, thanks!
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:31 AM   #9
 
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yeah i'd check out the profiles for cories to see which one sounds like a good fit for you :)
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:08 AM   #10
 
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A larger tank would work better for neons, but a 10g can work when planted and with good maintenance, so let's work with that.

Shoaling fish must have groups; they are "programmed" by nature to live in large groups of their own species and there are several aspects of their behaviour that can be centered around this. Without getting into all that here, suffice it to say that they must have several in order to be healthy. The number varies a bit with species.

Most tetra need 6 minimum, but again the more there are the better for the fish. With neon tetra I wold say 7-8 for your 10g. Check their profile [click the shaded name] for more info.

The pygmy cory is not that easy a fish, but still worth considering. Here you want more than 6, no less than 8-9. Check their profile. One of the larger species is also possible, a group of 5 can work in a 10g for those that remain under 2 inches.

We haven't discussed water parameters, and this is important for these fish which are soft water fish. What is your tap water GH (hardness) and pH?

Byron.
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