This is a discussion on ich? within the Tropical Fish Diseases forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; -->
Hey, you should look into getting some sand for your cory cats, they are missing their barbels :( Mines the same way but I ...
Hey, you should look into getting some sand for your cory cats, they are missing their barbels :( Mines the same way but I just got him some nice sand to play in, he is really happy. He is by himself because the others died but since I got him sand he never hides
how is it that gravel messes up thier barbels? can't recall but seems they came that way, one has more left than the other. Will they grow back? How does sand help? I plan on moving next year, maybe when I tear down the tank I will put sand in and take out the gravel? Seems like it would be harder to keep clean though. God, I feel like a bad parent now
I would not worry too much the gravel in your tank looks to be smooth for the most part. It is gravel that has sharp edges that catfish lose their barbels or whiskers on for they feed largely from the bottom of the tank. Your's could have been like that when you got them. The barbels will grow back although it is a slow process. Sand is actually easier to keep clean than gravel because the fish poo and other sediment stays on top of the sand rather that falling in between the rocks and polluting the water. You clean the sand much like you clean the gravel which should be done regularly. You use a gravel vac sold at most fish stores. You just need to keep the gravel vac up off the bottom a little higher than if you were vaccuming gravel.
Your substrate looks plenty smooth for cories, so I wouldn't be worried that you're doing them any harm. It is cool to have sand for them, though. They'll suck up bits of food along with some sand, sift the sand out through their gills and swallow the food. It's pretty funny to watch.
Well, those cories are definitely missing their barbs and they should have them :( How long have you had them for? It's possible they came like that and haven't healed back yet. However, if their barbs continue to be missing, I would think about changing to sand sooner. True, smooth gravel is better, but they can still get sore noses from pushing those pieces around to nuzzle for food.
Okiemavis makes agood point ,I have noticed that the corys in my 29 gal with sand substrate have longer barbels or whiskers than the ones in my discus tank with smooth pebbles for substrate. I noticed this some time ago but the Idea of rinsing enough sand for 80 gal is frightning to me.