Bottom Feeder for Eco Complete Substrate

Sorg67

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I am looking for a bottom feeder for Eco Complete Substrate in a newly cycled 40 gallon breeder tank with a school of tetras and a few larger fish, maybe Gouramis.

I like Cories, however, I have read that they are sand sifters and you should have either sand or fine round gravel. Eco Complete is neither fine nor round. It has sharp edges and seems like it would not work well with the Cories.

I next considered Otos. However, I was advised that these guys need a well established tank and I should wait six months before adding them. Would I have any management issues by waiting six months to add my bottom feeder? Otos seem more of an algae eater than bottom feeder. Perhaps I need both.

Maybe small plecostomus? Something that is not going to get too big.

Or maybe a colony of shrimp. Perhaps with some snails. Will shrimp and snails perform a similar function to bottom feeding fish? Should I have both?
 

jinjerJOSH22

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Try to view bottom feeders just as other fish rather than fish that will do a job because you're still going to have to clean up after them. Now saying that, they will do a job but you won't be thrown out of balance if you didn't have them. Yes shrimp and snails will do a similar job and in the case of algae a better job than most.

I agree with the Cory shout, mine tore their barbels pretty bad on that substrate.
 
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Sorg67

Sorg67

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Do you think a few small Plecos would work. Any particular variety you would suggest? Or maybe it is no big deal to go six months without a bottom feeder and go with Otos when the tank has matured sufficiently.
 

Magicpenny75

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You can wait - a bottom feeder is not a requirement and they add to the bioload just like any other fish does. Plecos in a 40B you want to get a smaller variety, like bristlenose, and one will probably be plenty.
If you'd rather have otos, you are fine to wait the six months. Good maintenance and proper feeding should limit the amount of food that gets to the bottom of the tank to begin with. Most people have to intentionally feed their bottom-dwelling fish. They can't be a substitute for good husbandry. That would kind of be like getting a dachshund and throwing away the vacuum cleaner. lol :D
 
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Sorg67

Sorg67

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jinjerJOSH22 said:
Try to view bottom feeders just as other fish rather than fish that will do a job
I like this thought. A fish that is going to be something to look at towards the bottom of the tank.

But I also am interested in the job it will do. Thinking that job is eating food that sinks to the bottom, stirring up the bottom so that debris can get into the filter and eating algae. I guess with all those jobs it will not get done with just one fish.
 
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Sorg67

Sorg67

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Magicpenny75 said:
You can wait - a bottom feeder is not a requirement and they add to the bioload just like any other fish does. Plecos in a 40B you want to get a smaller variety, like bristlenose, and one will probably be plenty. If you'd rather have otos, you are fine to wait the six months.
I like this idea. I think I will wait. Do some more research.

Magicpenny75 said:
Good maintenance and proper feeding should limit the amount of food that gets to the bottom of the tank to begin with. Most people have to intentionally feed their bottom-dwelling fish. They can't be a substitute for good husbandry. That would kind of be like getting a dachshund and throwing away the vacuum cleaner. lol :D
I am planning to do a really good job of caring for my tank. It will be a heavily planted tank so I am thinking that I will have to be light on the vacuuming. Therefore it seems that some bottom feeders would be important.

I expect to pick bigger debris, like dead leaves out by hand.
 

Magicpenny75

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Sorg67 said:
I like this idea. I think I will wait. Do some more research.



I am planning to do a really good job of caring for my tank. It will be a heavily planted tank so I am thinking that I will have to be light on the vacuuming. Therefore it seems that some bottom feeders would be important.

I expect to pick bigger debris, like dead leaves out by hand.
That sounds really smart. I have a BN Pleco in a 75 gallon planted tank, and she has destroyed several leaves on my amazon swords, so otos are maybe a better choice for a planted tank. Sorry to make assumptions on your intention. It's a common thing to see people saying "I need one of them suckerfish thingies to clean my tank for me right?" lol
 
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Sorg67

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I like the idea of waiting until my tank is ready for a small school of three to five otos.
 
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Sorg67

Sorg67

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I have read a lot of comments that many bottom feeders like a less sharp substrate. I am wondering if I should transition my Eco-Complete to a base layer and put a layer of a more rounded substrate on top. However, as I think about that, I would probably want a smaller grain top layer so it would probably end up settling under the Eco-Complete.

Maybe I should think more in terms of shrimp and snails. Those are cool too.
 

jinjerJOSH22

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I keep a Bristlenose on that substrate and he's just fine. If you get one make sure you have real driftwood they like to chew on it. Can't say about the plants, swords have bigger leaves than anything I keep mine with.
There are lots of different shrimp and snails you could keep however lots of fish will eat shrimp.
 
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Sorg67

Sorg67

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I have an opportunity to pick up a breeding colony of small shrimp. I wonder if they could find enough hiding places to keep ahead of the fish munching. I suppose that depends on the shrimp and the fish.
 

AngryRainbow

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I would do the bristlenose over the otos if you want something that will eat left over food. My bristlenose does enjoy eating some of the meaty fish food she finds, whereas otos are strict vegetarians and sometimes won't even take to eating algae wafers.
 

jinjerJOSH22

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Sorg67 said:
I am open to suggestions. Perhaps a Dwarf Gourami.

Honey Gouramis were suggested in another thread.
Dwarf GouramI can be hit or miss in communities, Honey's are great plus you can have a few without any issues and you likely wouldn't have issues keeping them with shrimp.
 
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Sorg67

Sorg67

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Thanks, good to know. Maybe one bristlenose to start and then add a small group of otos later.

Would the bristlenose eat shrimp?
 

jinjerJOSH22

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Sorg67 said:
Thanks, good to know. Maybe one bristlenose to start and then add a small group of otos later.

Would the bristlenose eat shrimp?
No I don't think so
 
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Sorg67

Sorg67

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jinjerJOSH22 said:
Dwarf GouramI can be hit or miss in communities, Honey's are great plus you can have a few without any issues and you likely wouldn't have issues keeping them with shrimp.
Just read a bit about the Honey Gourami. Seems like a good choice. Coloring might be a good contrast to a school of Cardinal Tetras.
 

jinjerJOSH22

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Sorg67 said:
Just read a bit about the Honey Gourami. Seems like a good choice. Coloring might be a good contrast to a school of Cardinal Tetras.
This was the best I could do, uncooperative fish!
20191024_142218.jpg
 

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