Cory Barbels and Substrate

MightyCucumber

We all have heard about Corydoras barbel erosion. The community seems to be divided when it comes to whether the substrate influences erosion or not, and if the fish is bothered by having half the barbels it "should" have, or just small nubs. What's your opinion on this?

I'm asking this because I recently got a new batch of Panda Cories, and it was then I could see the difference between them and the others I have here at home already.

1) First impression is that they were much paller in comparison to mine - mine have been living in the black diamond sand substrate I have in my tank for a few months now, so I imediately suspected that could be it. Maybe in time they'll all have matching colours. Has anyone else experienced this?

2) Second thing I noticed is that the new Cories had much larger barbels than mine. Question is, does barbell erosion (without signs of secondary infection obviously) really matter as long as the fish in question seem healthy/active and keep eating?

I feed them once every two days with two sinking pellets (I have 10 Cherry Barbs, 15 Rummy noses and 3 SAEs that also give it a go, so I feed the entire tank at the same time), and they gobble up the thing just as nicely. They are fat and active, despite their barbels only being a portion of what they used to be. I also vacuum the substrate thoroughly every week, to avoid waste accumulation. I try to be very, VERY careful with substrate since I introduced the first Cories to my tank.

So, is this barbel erosion something you think is associated with the substrate, or is it some adaptative behaviour to a seting where they don't need to forage as often, thus not needing longer barbels?...

I want the best to my Cories so I can plan my course of action, so I'd like to hear your opinion about what you think contributes to barbel erosion and if it the fish really needs or misses long barbels.

Cheers,

Mighty
 

Coradee

Corys being bottom dwellers will lighten/darken to try & blend in with the substrate, some species more so than others, I believe it's a defence mechanism against predation.
Their barbels are very important as that's how they find their food, I saw a great slow motion video recently of corys sifting in the sand looking for food showing very clearly how they use their barbels, if I can find it again I'll post it.
When kept on rough or sharp substrate the constant rubbing will wear down their barbels & any cuts or nicks can open them up to infection, a cory with no barbels will have difficulty finding food, more so in the wild than in our tanks as there's aways food available.
Dirty substrate, rotting food & waste can lead to a build up of bacteria & as corys are always in contact with it can also cause barbel erosion.
Someone can probably put it more scientifically than me but that's my understanding of the causes.
 

DoubleDutch

Corys being bottom dwellers will lighten/darken to try & blend in with the substrate, some species more so than others, I believe it's a defence mechanism against predation.
Their barbels are very important as that's how they find their food, I saw a great slow motion video recently of corys sifting in the sand looking for food showing very clearly how they use their barbels, if I can find it again I'll post it.
When kept on rough or sharp substrate the constant rubbing will wear down their barbels & any cuts or nicks can open them up to infection, a cory with no barbels will have difficulty finding food, more so in the wild than in our tanks as there's aways food available.
Dirty substrate, rotting food & waste can lead to a build up of bacteria & as corys are always in contact with it can also cause barbel erosion.
Someone can probably put it more scientifically than me but that's my understanding of the causes.

Think you're totally right about that.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1447519235.988565.jpg
 

MightyCucumber

I've heard people saying that barbel wear can occur with less than ideal substrate, but given that the fish can eat and there's no signs of secondary infection, those people had no problems with the Cories. Were they just lucky?... so far, there have been no signs of infection in my Cories' barbels either, they are just short...

... Or maybe I am feeding too much then? The round tablets do send a lot of particles floating in the current, but most settles right next to the main pellet. The Cories swiftly scoop that up, so I guess at least they're eating well and not starving. I give two of them every two days just because of the ammount of fish I have, otherwise I fear they may not get enough. I also feed sinking small pellets, but less often, since the barbs are the only ones that enjoy them.

Like I said, I also scrupulously vacuum the substrate every weekend, so I do my best to keep it clean for the Cories.

What else can I do, in your opinion? The fish themselves are acting completely normal (maybe I'll post pics later today) but it kinda bothers me if there's something else that could be done that I'm not doing out of sheer ignorance, lol.
 

Jomolager

Panda Corys eating:


Enjoy!
 

DoubleDutch

Maybe yours arrived with shorter barbels from te lfs !!!
 

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