What are the best bottom feeders for a 12 gallon - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-19-2010, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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What are the best bottom feeders for a 12 gallon

I have recently changed my substrate from gravel to sand and obviously I am seeing a lot of waste on the sand, it doesn't look attractive and the cory cats don't seem to be doing anything to help keep it clean. I was wondering what bottom feeder would be better, it seems I do my water change and then the next day it's back to being a complete mess.

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Leah

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post #2 of 15 Old 05-19-2010, 10:29 AM
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Depends on what the waste you are seeing is. No fish will eat waste from fishes (poop).
If it is bits of food,then feeding the fish less will help along with gravel vaccuming.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #3 of 15 Old 05-19-2010, 11:21 AM
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+1

one of the drawbacks to a sandbottom is the fish waste is visible on the surface. Normally it'll fall down inbetween the cracks and holes that gravels leave so you can't see it until you do a gravel vaccuuming.

I'd take 1077's advice and trying cutting back on feeding to see if it's fish waste of excess food.

“The space between the tears we cry is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more...."-- Dave Matthews
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-19-2010, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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So should I feed them every other day?

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post #5 of 15 Old 05-19-2010, 07:13 PM
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If the "stuff" on the bottom is uneaten food (which is what 1077 and Johnny were getting at), then you are feeding too much when you feed them. Daily feedings are sufficient, but feed only what they will clean up in a few minutes. I would use tablet/pellet sinking foods for the Corydoras, they cannot survive well on "leftovers."

But if it is waste as from the fish, it is natural and bacteria will in time break it down (and the plants, if you have plants, will use the resulting nutrients), or you remove it during the weekly partial water change. While fish that are healthy will certainly be OK with alternate day feedings, I would not deprive my fish of daily food.

If it is fish waste and that noticeable, I would assume you have larger fish? My characins and catfish certainly produce waste but I never see it, but then I do have small grain gravel substrates. With heavily planted tanks, I basically never vacuum the substrate.

Byron.

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 05-19-2010, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Nope, the largest fish I have are female bettas and I only feed my fish the amount they can eat in a few minutes. I did feed my corys algae wafers but the females would eat their food and then eat the wafers too, I would always see them swimming around with the orange wafers in their mouths. I know its not food waste so it must be the waste from the fish and possibly plants, being OCD its just a nuisance to see at the bottom of the tank all the time. As for the plants I do have live plants which you have often given me advice about , its just a shame you didnt advise me not to have sand haha

Thanks

Leah

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post #7 of 15 Old 05-19-2010, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Welsh View Post
Nope, the largest fish I have are female bettas and I only feed my fish the amount they can eat in a few minutes. I did feed my corys algae wafers but the females would eat their food and then eat the wafers too, I would always see them swimming around with the orange wafers in their mouths. I know its not food waste so it must be the waste from the fish and possibly plants, being OCD its just a nuisance to see at the bottom of the tank all the time. As for the plants I do have live plants which you have often given me advice about , its just a shame you didnt advise me not to have sand haha

Thanks

Leah
Leah, can you post a photo? Then we'll all be certain of what we are talking.

By the way, you will never find me recommending sand, I personally feel there are too many issues with it. But, many have absolutely beautiful aquaria with sand, so I generally keep quiet. It just takes a bit more effort in some areas, like preventing compaction. It should after all be your aquarium, subject to the needs of the fish and plants of course.

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 #8 of 15 Old 05-19-2010, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Dealing with compaction is a walk on the beach compared to maintaining the appearance of the sand lol
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-19-2010, 08:47 PM
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all these threads about sand have made me decide to pull all my sand out and go with regular Black gravel LOL

5 gallon
Beta
3 MTS(sure to be mean more soon)

55 gallon
Bloat who is a Fahaka puffer
Plants
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post #10 of 15 Old 05-20-2010, 02:37 AM
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Quote:
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Dealing with compaction is a walk on the beach compared to maintaining the appearance of the sand lol


Much of what I see looks as though it could be vaccumed up. I have two tanks with sand substrate, and I use the gravel vaccum when performing water changes to lightly hover over the sand about an inch or two and it works well at picking up debri and waste from fishes.
Some folks make the mistake of stirring the sand first and then vaccuming it. This will allow that which you are trying to remove (debri, waste), to get lodged down in the sand . Much better to vaccum up all the loose debri first,then take a fork or your fingers and gently stir or move through the sand to help ensure that there are no dead areas which some concern themselves with.
I personally believe if sand is no deeper than two inches, there is little need for worry bout anaerobic areas and or gases produced by same.
Have also found that malaysian trumpet snails do a very good job of aerating the sand bed, as well as sifting through it in their never ending quest for food. Yes their numbers can get out of hand ,but if one does not overfeed the fish,then their numbers are manageable in my opinion. I would not have a sand substrate without them. They also supply food for plants from the waste they create and help oxygenate the root areas of the plants.
This along with once a month root tabs at base of rooted plants,fish foods offered to fish, and waste created by same,often produces moderate to good plant growth with sand In my expierience.
Shrimp could also be of benefit in this tank in my view, they too can help keep things tidy between weekly vaccuming and water changes.
Cory's would appreciate shrimp pellets,occasional algae wafers,Frozen blood worms,frozen brine shrimp, and small pellet foods along with the foods offered to your other fish.
The cory's could also be fed of an evening after lights are turned off for fishes to rest. (you do turn lights off don't you?) Cory's are more active at night and by feeding them at this time,the other fishes are not as apt to grab the food before cory's can find it.(works well).
Hope some of this helps.8)

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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