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What Corires Should I Get?

This is a discussion on What Corires Should I Get? within the Catfish forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> Originally Posted by Rohland okay, well shouldnt the cories move some of the sand around so it doesnt compact? Also i think it would ...

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What Corires Should I Get?
Old 08-23-2009, 04:04 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by Rohland View Post
okay, well shouldnt the cories move some of the sand around so it doesnt compact? Also i think it would be neat to have some sort of grass-like plant growing in my tank... how do i stop those pockets of gasses from happening if there is a plant like that. like that chain sword plant... I will be sure to get some fish soon, and i will get the api test kit.
When the substrate compacts, it means that water cannot circulate through it and therefore no oxygen (it comes in the water) and anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that do not require any, or very little, oxygen) will form. This hapens with any substrate, sand, gravel, planting medium--especially under rocks and wood, or where detrius collects in too great a volume for the bacteria to break down before compaction. This is over simplification, but you get the drift.

The finer the substrate material, the quicker compaction can occur, which is why is it often mentioned as a drawback of sand. You cannot vacuum sand like you would gravel, because the sand gets sucked up, so you have to be careful to run the syphon just above the sand to collect the detrius and mulm, and then you can stir or poke the sand with a plant stick to keep it loose. Around plant roots is not critical because plant roots give off oxygen for the bacteria there and that keeps things OK. It is the so-called "dead spots" that are tricky.

Corydoras will sift through the upper layer, but not under wood or rocks or in some other spots and that is where the substrate compacts. A bit of compaction is not an issue, as I said it occurs with any medium; it is just that sand, being so fine, tends to compact quicker and moreso than gravel. And you need some depth for plant roots, so corys won't dig down through all that.

I have read that plants that form "carpets" are particularly problematical because you can go digging in the sand and uprooting them constantly. Something like the pygmy chain sword is a good substrate cover but I have no problem digging around these plants as there is some space between them (if you keep them thinned a bit). Of course, I have gravel, and haven't yet set up my tank in which I intend to have a sand substrate.

I was serious about giving you some plants, I have enough pygmy chain sword to cover your tank. It sends out runners with daughter plants regularly, and I pull most of them out to prevent over-coverage; I like to se some of the gravel so the corys can feed properly. In your 10g it would create a nice backdrop as it will grow to 6-7 inches. I also have Brazilian Pennywort (the stem plant in the rear corners of my 90g in the photos) and floating Ceratopteris (in the 70g photos) to spare.

Byron.
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:18 PM   #12
 
okay, right now my sand is about 2 inches deep, should it be deeper?
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Old 08-23-2009, 05:25 PM   #13
 
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okay, right now my sand is about 2 inches deep, should it be deeper?
I think that's more than enough. Depth is only critical for plant roots, and in a 10g you won't have swords with enormous root systems like I have in my 115g. B.
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Old 08-23-2009, 05:31 PM   #14
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First see what's available to you, then make your choice.

Personally I'd go with Albino Cories or Panda Cories!

Last edited by MXS; 08-23-2009 at 05:35 PM..
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Old 08-23-2009, 05:53 PM   #15
 
I am looking, I need to go to some fish stores and see what there is. It doesn't seem to matter to me which ones i get, as long as they look nice :P.

Byron, where can I get some nice driftwood from? I don't want the fake stuff from a few petstore ive seen.
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:37 PM   #16
 
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I am looking, I need to go to some fish stores and see what there is. It doesn't seem to matter to me which ones i get, as long as they look nice :P.

Byron, where can I get some nice driftwood from? I don't want the fake stuff from a few petstore ive seen.
All the real wood in my tanks came from Petland (Port Coquitlam) and Pet Boutique (North Van). It is the dark wood that I prefer since it does look like real bogwood and fallen tree branches and stumps, and it has the advantage of sinking immediately; some woods have to be soaked, some will never sink of their own accord and have to be fasted to slate. It loses its tannins faster than some so the discolouration of the aquarium water (which many do not like, but it is harmless to fish and plants) is shorter. The two stores I mentioned will also sell the wood in their tanks, which means it has already leeched most of the tannins. It's simple enough to boil it or let it sit in a pail of water a few days to ensure there are no parasites hitching a ride.
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:35 PM   #17
 
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I vote for Pandas! And as for the sand compacting,have to stir it every so often. I do it maybe every other week.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:13 PM   #18
 
How often should I test the water? Once a week? Every Day?
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:16 PM   #19
 
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In new tanks, it is advisable to test the ammonia and nitrite daily, until the tank is cycled. If you seed the tank with bacteria (whether from an existing tank or the biological supplements like Stability) and have plants, the tank will cycle the first day. I only test for ammonia and nitrite for a couple of days then stop, and maybe once a week for a week or two after, just in case. In an established tank, tests for ammonia and nitrite are never necessary--unless you have trouble.

Nitrate tested once the tank is cycled will tell you where the nitrates will probably remain, also provided nothing disrupts the biological equilibrium in the tank. I periodically check nitrate, maybe once a month or even less. I am regular with weekly partial water changes and have heavily planted tanks, so the nitrates can be expected to remain constant.

Hardness should be tested at the outset, both your tap water and the tank water. There are two components to hardness, general hardness (dGH [degrees General Hardness] or ppm [parts per million]) and carbonate hardness (dKH, K because carbon is spelt karbon in German). Hardness does not change from what comes out of the tap unless you alter it somehow. Knowing you live in the Vancouver area as I do, I can tell you that your tap water is 0 GH and 0 KH. I (and many other aquarists I know areound here) keep dolomite or crushed coral or marble chips in the filter to add some mineral to the water. How much depends upon the type of fish, and where they came from--by which I mean are they wild caught or commercially raised. This thread started out with corydoras, so with these fish, and since you will be getting (probably) commercially-raised fish (pandas, peppered, green, sterbai, duplicareus, gossei, pygmaeus... these are all commercially farmed now) I would recommend a GH of 3-4 (= 53 to 70 ppm) which is what I maintain. I add about 2 tablespoons of dolomite to the filter to achieve this, and it lasts for months. KH is the buffer that affects pH fluctuations, but I never bother about it here because I can keep the GH and pH stable with the dolomite, and others tell me that coral and marble chips work the same.

pH should be regularly checked; I test pH every week just before the partial water change so I know where the tank is sitting on its own. Unless there is a significant variation between your tap water pH and your tank pH there is no need to test following the pwc. Over time, with no other influences, the pH in an aquarium will slowly drop (become more acidic), which is why I check it weekly, to see if I need to add more dolomite to keep it steady. In areas where the tap water has a degree of KH it buffers the pH, but the danger then is that neglected tank maintainance (regular pwc) can cause the water to keep acidfying to the point where the buffering capability is exhausted and then it suddenly plummets--and dead fish can result because they cannot stand the shock.

Also on pH, in planted aquaria there is the diurnal fluctuation in pH. During daylight the plants photosynthesize, drawing CO2 from the water and slightly raising the ph as a result. During darkness, plants (like fish) expel CO2 and the pH falls. Usually this variance is about .3 or .4 as in my aquaria which are 6.2 at 9 am and 6.5 at 6 pm every day. Fish are adapted to this slight variation, since it is very slow (all day and all night). The tank should stay stable, unless something occurs biologically to upset the equilibrium. Regular pwc is once again the best safeguard.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 08-25-2009 at 04:21 PM..
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:33 PM   #20
 
Before when I had my ph test kit, my water would always be at 7.0
I believe this is fine for the cory catfish. I am not sure on the plants.
What test kit should i get, I heard the API is the best and I think i may be able to get the big test kit.

do i need to mess around with this dolomite stuff? where can i find it?
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