Best substrate for corycats?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by klutz10154, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. klutz10154Valued MemberMember

    In the future my boyfriend and I were tanking about a tank that would be basically specifically for our corydoras. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions as to what kind of substrate to use in that tank for the little guys. I've read and heard about certain ones causing the poor guys to lose their whiskers and barbels and that's really what I would like to avoid
  2. jwhorner6Well Known MemberMember

  3. FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    I used to have gravel in my tank and one lost a barbels. I decided to change to sand because it looked so much better and they are much happier. They are more active with sand IMO.

  4. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Agreed, sand is preferred. They are more active and forage more with sand, in my experience.

  5. klutz10154Valued MemberMember

    okey dokey, they are in the 30 gal tank right now with just normal aquarium gravel in it. I didn't know they could be more active lol they are all over the place in the tank! they all seem happy and active!

    Aren't there different kinds of sand?
  6. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    There are many kinds of sand. I have used several and like the pool filter sand the best, all things considered. The caribsea sunset gold is a fantastic sand, but it's pricey. It's got a wonderful light reddish hue to it and is incredibly soft, though not fine enough to get kicked up in the water column. But at a minimum of $1/lb, doing a large tank can easily cost $100.

    Play sand was the worst I ever tried - I threw it out. Others like it, so maybe it was just the brand.
  7. luke355027355027Well Known MemberMember

    Personally. And dint hold me on this but i have. 30 grain pool filter sand . I can gravel vac it up and it falls right down
  8. klutz10154Valued MemberMember

    any issues with clogging the filter?
  9. tim1989New MemberMember

    Currently there's an HOB filter. I could roll up a piece of hardware cloth and cover it with some sort of finer mesh or something to prefilter the sand out if the corys do manage to kick up the sand enough.

    I went to Petco today and they had some nice about 3/8" smooth pebbles in good sized bags. I'm concerned about plants being able to take root in this though. I have 10 grass plants, a java fern, 2 crypts, 3 banana lilys and 7 bulbs I'm waiting for to sprout. Plants are important in the aquarium to me.
  10. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    You'll have less problems with an HOB with a larger grain size. Avoid the fine sands. PFS is good.
  11. AlanGreeneWell Known MemberMember

    I got really fine sand and am about to out it in my tank with a tetratec ex1200 is this a bad move? it is for some cories
  12. FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    Make sure you wash the sand. I take a five gallon bucket and than put in the sand about maybe 30% and let wate run into it. Than stir the sand until the dust completly washes away.
  13. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Wash and repeat, wash and repeat.

    I would suggest stirring the sand while the bucket fills. When you can fill the bucket (while stirring the sand) and then see your hand on the sand, then it is ready for the tank. Adding the sand before this could result in cloudiness. Not that that's a terrible thing, but if you can avoid it then why not?

    Fine sand and HOB filters do not mix well. My best suggestion is to get a second motor, that when when it gets fouled (and it will get fouled), you can simply swap out the motors. It will be easier to clean once it's dry. That system worked well for me.
  14. JRC3Well Known MemberMember

    I used PFS and it wore the barbells to nubs on my bandits and completely off on my skunks. My bronze corries had no problems. Last January everyone got move from a 55g to a 75g and I switched over to CaribSea "Tahitian Moon" black sand. When I did I added one new bandit cory and he's never had barbell problems. The barbells never grew back on the others though. :(

    Isn't it funny how different people can have different results with the same things. My water is extremely soft and I wonder if that had something to do with it.

    PFS is the best substrate for the money. After it ages a bit it looks really natural. BTW, Petsmart has CaribSea on sale this month. Might go pick up a bag to top off from substrate vacuuming.

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