Can I have some recommendations for bottom feeders?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by lexicon, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. lexiconNew MemberMember

    I currently have a cycled 125l tank setup with Dwarf Neon Rainbows and Honey Gourami.

    I want to add some bottom feeders at the end of the week and initially had planned on getting Dwarf Chain Loaches.

    Only problem is that they are quite expensive and my water hardness is at their upper end. Plus I have read that they can pick up diseases pretty easily due to their lack of scales.

    This got me thinking about other possibilities but I've hit a bit of a block.

    I had thought about some Corys but I have gravel in the tank rather than sand. I was told at my LFS that the gravel I bought there is OK for them but I'm not so sure. It's the small black slightly sparkly stuff you get in a lot of shops.

    can anyone suggest what I could add instead?
  2. Coradee

    CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    Most bottom dwellers will need a smooth substrate as anything sharp will cause problems for them.
    Rub some of your substrate between your fingers to see if it has rough or sharp edges, if it feels smooth you should be ok.
    Corys really need sand as that's their natural way to feed, they sift sand through their gills & filter out particles of food.
    There are some synodontis species for harder water like the false cuckoo catfish, have a look on planet catfish
  3. Harlebleondora

    HarlebleondoraWell Known MemberMember

    Small black sparkly stuff... Does it have sharp edges? It is most likely silica based.

    If it's sharp I wouldn't risk corys on it and would avoid chain loaches. Most bottom feeders tend to burrow and sift through the substrate and this can result in injury if the wrong substrate is used. I used the same black gravel in my tank until I swapped it for sand. My bristle nose pleco lived on it for months with no problems. Bristle nose pleco or rubber lip pleco may be an option however they can take up a lot of stocking space and are very messy. (Little poop machines!)

    Another thing you could try is shrimp and snails. Ghost shrimp are very cheap and should be large enough to avoid being eaten. Cherry shrimp are a bit more expensive and smaller so they could be attacked however they breed more often than the ghost shrimp.

    Good luck!

  4. Sayba

    SaybaWell Known MemberMember

    I'm pretty sure corys don't have scales either and they need a really soft substrate.

    I would get a type of pleco or loach.

  5. OP

    lexiconNew MemberMember

    My gravel feels doesn't feel sharp at all, I have added a picture in case it helps which I found online
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  6. renthusWell Known MemberMember

    I'm pretty sure that's sand. Loaches and corys would both be fine on it. I personally have both, and I like the sids more (don't tell the cories!). They do tend to hide under their driftwood more, but when they do come out they're incredibly amusing.
  7. Andrew Sackett

    Andrew SackettValued MemberMember

    Angelicus loach!

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  8. OP

    lexiconNew MemberMember

    My original plan was to get the dwarf loaches but I'm concerned about their apparent ease at picking up disease and also my water parameters being fairly hard. Have you had any problems we yours getting sick? I really don't want to get ich as it will be a nightmare esp as they're also expensive.
  9. Sayba

    SaybaWell Known MemberMember

    They won't get ich from nowhere, as long as your tank is clean and you QT fish you will be fine.
  10. Phishphin

    PhishphinWell Known MemberMember

    I personally love red cherry shrimp. They are pretty great at excavating uneaten food and detritus from the smallest places. They also have a minimal bioload and wouldn't affect your stocking. They are very hardy as far as shrimp go. I'm not sure if your honey gourami would go after them, but I know that my flame dwarf gourami has never shown any interest.
  11. renthusWell Known MemberMember

    In the year that I've had them, I've had one who seemed to get a bacterial infection (a large sore appeared on her stomach), and early on I had to fight with something I've never seen in other fish -- Loneliness. They do definitely pair/group up in some cases, and when one is the 'odd fish out' or something they act like they're sick. They don't eat, they're low energy, etc. If you take care of them well, they should be just as hardy as any other reasonably hardy fish.

    One interesting thing about sids, though, is that they really do like being able to get out of the light, and as part of that, they really do like having substantial planting in the tank. I find that cories don't particularly care about either of those things.

    ^ This guy is still kinda annoyed at me for upgrading to LEDs.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  12. OP

    lexiconNew MemberMember

    Thats good to know as I would get six and there are loads of places to hide amongst bogwood and plants so the you'll be fine. Think I'm going to go for the dwarf loaches and hopefully won't have any probs.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018

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