Cory barbel erosion, Play sand to fix?

AnchovyRun

Hey guys,

I've had my peppered cories for about 3 months now and they seemed healthy for quite a while but over the course of the last 2 weeks I've noticed some barbel erosion on a few of them.

Water parameters are great and the fish are still very active so I don't think its anything with regards to the tank chemistry.

I thought the current sand was ok but I guess that its a bit too sharp and is causing them to lose their whiskers over a longer period of time than a really bad substrate would

Would putting a thin layer of Quikcrete play sand over the top of my current substrate fix this? This seems like the softest stuff available and the most like their natural muddy, silt substrate in the wild
 

el337

Can you take a photo of the sand? Usually barbel erosion will occur from a dirty substrate, poor diet or less than ideal water conditions. Can you list your water parameters - pH, temp, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate? How often and how large are your water changes? How often do you gravel vac? What do you feed them?
 

AnchovyRun

I'm feeding them a combination of tropical fish pellets, vegetarian fish flakes, and betta flakes

Nitrates are between 0 and 20
Nitrites are 0
pH is between 6.8 and 7.2
Chlorine is 0
Temperature is kept at 75

Water changes are normally twice a week at about 25-30% tank volume

How often should the gravel be vacuumed? I'm currently doing it about every 2 weeks

Could overfeeding cause a dirty enough substrate to cause this? I'm still trying to get my feeding amounts under control
 

el337

Diet could use some adjustment. Corys are carnivores so a lot more meaty foods like shrimp pellets, catfish wafers/sticks and frozen/live foods.

That's a wide range in nitrates. What are you testing with? Most recommend the API Freshwater Master Test Kit which is far more accurate and cheaper in the long run.

Temp is also too warm for peppered corys. They prefer it under 73F. What's the tank size and what other fish do you have?

Since corys are in constant contact with the substrate and need it very clean, I would aI'm for weekly vacs with your water changes.
 

AnchovyRun

Thanks a lot!

I'm using a marineland test strip kit so I'll probably pick up the API kit soon along with some more appropriate food.

I just adjusted the temperature to 72

The tank is 20 gal. and there's some white cloud mountain minnows and a betta in with them.
 

el337

You might want to move the betta to a separate tank by itself. 72 would be much too cold for the betta, unfortunately. They need it at a min 78F.

And what kind of sand do you currently have? Can you attach a photo?
 

AnchovyRun


IMAG0880.jpg

This is unfortunately the best picture of the sand that I can get. I think its pool filter sand though
 

el337

PFS is perfectly fine for corys. I use the same in my tank.
 

AnchovyRun

Alright! I just re-vacuumed the tank and got some shrimp pellets for them so hopefully everything will be back to normal soon. Thanks again for the help!
 

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