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redchigh 01-20-2013 03:11 PM

Question about cories (and livebearers)
I have a tank that's been cloudy from day 1.

I know, everyone says "give it time". It's been over a YEAR.

It's obvious I didn't wash the sand enough. I've removed the fish/filter and washed the sand in-tank, but the clear water eventually clouded up.

The only decor is play sand, wood from an established (clear) tank, play sand, and plants.

I just made a tank background for a 'volcanic' biotope, and I think I'm going to make the cories and livebearers a new tank after I rehome most of the livebearers.

My question- If I build in 'terraces' to divide the substrate, will the cories have the common sense to stay on the sand portion? (The rest will be a mixture of black gravel and river stones.)

Also, what should the background look like, shape-wise? I was considering a 'slate' wall, but I feel it's overdone. Maybe a soil bank with roots, and crevices to stick plants in?

Thoth 01-20-2013 06:18 PM

The cories will not stay on the sand and will move throughout the tank looking for food. I would not use anything with sharp edges with cories so I would suggest that you skip the slate. Actually, since the cories sift through the sand, I believe that you should only use sand with them with a few larger rocks (rounded river rocks). I have had issues with rounded pea gravel and barbel damage on some species.

I seem to be in the rut of using a black plastic backing, tall plants in the back and a drift wood of some sort.

redchigh 01-20-2013 06:58 PM

The slate would be fake, made out of foam and rubber. Not sharp at all.

The gravel isn't 'sharp', it's actually just standard pet store gravel. I'll keep looking for something in the middle. A small rounded 'natural' gravel would be ideal... Hmm...

Thoth 01-20-2013 07:17 PM

I have stopped using gravel all together a few years back. At the time I had Pepper Cories and Skunk Cories. The skunks started to lose their barbels and the Peppers were fine. Water parameters were not the cause; I was doing 50% weekly water changes as I was breeding them.

Anyway, I seem to recall buying small pea gravel in the garden center at Lowe's. If you look near the planters, they have decorative stone for use with plants. I liked the look as it was more rounded then aquarium gravel as well as more natural looking then what was available at my LFS.

redchigh 01-20-2013 10:01 PM

Thanks for the tip, I'll keep an eye out.

Byron 01-21-2013 05:00 PM

I vaguely remember another thread on the cloudy water, though not the details. But no matter, I can assure you the sand is not the direct cause of cloudiness after a year. It is bacteria, nothing else. And I can't explain why this occurs, or what to do other than tearing the tank down. But I had one tank that for years would not clear, and the filter was not new, and the substrate was fine gravel that had been in one of my aquaria for years with no cloudiness. This tank would sometimes get quite clear, or almost clear, for maybe a week or so, then revert back again. Not bad cloudiness, but in the room with the other tanks it was clearly not "clear.":lol:

More recently, I had a very similar situation with my 33g, with play sand. After several months of crystal clarity, it c louded up and remained so for many weeks, until it has more recently cleared again. Here too, not bad cloudiness, but just not "clear" like the other tanks.

To the cory and substrate question. I maintained many corys for several years over fine gravel. I thought they were fine. Then I switched to sand two years ago. What a difference. I would not deliberately subject corys to anything other than sand. They like to dive into it and sift it through their gills; gravel is not going to work as well. I learned my lesson, and should follow my own addage--always give the fish the closest replica of their natural habitat as possible. They will be better--and healthier.:greenyay:


redchigh 01-29-2013 04:09 PM

1 Attachment(s)
This is the tank: it seems too cloudy to be just bacteria...

Also trying to decide between black or tan/brown color scheme... hmmm...

rexpepper651 02-14-2013 01:12 AM

extremely poor filtration?

fish monger 02-14-2013 04:15 AM

Well, that is quite cloudy. Have you tried something like 50% water changes twice a week for a while ? That would give you an ideas as to whether the cloudiness is residue or something being generated constantly. If the latter, maybe a change in feeding or even adding aeration might help.

As for the sand / gravel with cories topic, I have a tank that is 2/3 sand and 1/3 standard aquarium gravel substrate and have Pepper and Julii cories. As was stated earlier, they pretty much go where the food is. One interesting observation that I've made is that the Peppers spend much more of their time on the sand than the Julii, rarely venturing on to the gravel, whereas the Julii seem to show little preference. The safe answer is probably go with sand; however, there should be ways to get the appearance you want while providing the best environment for your cories. For example, relatively flat open areas could be sand while banked terraced areas could contain gravel.

ladayen 02-22-2013 04:29 PM

Is that a HOB filter?
I wonder if adding more oxygen in some manner might help?

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