Is my gravel adequate for corydoras

AquaticQueen

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Welcome to Fishlore.
It would probably be a little rough, but a lot of people might say it would be okay, but that doesn't matter because you cannot put corys or any type of pleco in a 10 gallon. Corys need a 20 gallon (preferably a 20 long) and plecos get too big, have way to big a bio load, and IMO, should have at least a 30-55 gallon aquarium.
 

UnknownUser

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I personally disagree with above, pygmy corydoras can fit in a 10 gallon especially because with only 4 guppies you are plenty under stocked right now (10 gal can hold 7-8 guppies!) I’d get probably 4-6 pygmy corys. But the substrate is very large, meaning their food will fall through the cracks and they could get hurt shoving their little faces down between there. If you want some pygmy corys I’d swap out to a sand substrate.
 

FreshwaterHG

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I’m going to go against what lots of people say and say that gravel is OK. Here’s why: I keep my albino Cory cats on gravel. The gravel they are on now is Seachem fluorite, it’s not smooth, it’s actually fairly corse. But they are fat, happy, and have super long barbells. I have never once seen a physical injury from the substrate. Would they prefer to sift through sand? Yes I believe so, these guys will be moving to a larger tank soon and I will be doing sand for that reason. But will gravel hurt them? No. I feed sinking wafers for bottom feeders to prevent small bits from getting out of their reach and they definitely get enough food that way. I would also agree and say Pygmy corys are one of the only species you could fit, and there is no pleco that works.
 

FreshwaterHG

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FreshwaterHG said:
I’m going to go against what lots of people say and say that gravel is OK. Here’s why: I keep my albino Cory cats on gravel. The gravel they are on now is Seachem fluorite, it’s not smooth, it’s actually fairly corse. But they are fat, happy, and have super long barbells. I have never once seen a physical injury from the substrate. Would they prefer to sift through sand? Yes I believe so, these guys will be moving to a larger tank soon and I will be doing sand for that reason. But will gravel hurt them? No. I feed sinking wafers for bottom feeders to prevent small bits from getting out of their reach and they definitely get enough food that way. I would also agree and say Pygmy corys are one of the only species you could fit, and there is no pleco that works.
image.jpg
 

AsleepInYorkshire

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Hi afrayzond

That's very smart of you to ask about your substrate. Clearly you care about the environment you are going to put fish in and I have to say this is exemplary.

Corydoras are lovely fish. They almost seem to be in a little bubble world of their own. They do like company though and it's best to keep them in groups of 6 or more. And as AquaticQueen has said you're tank isn't quite large enough for them.

My daughter has some corydoras in her tank and I love to watch them go about their business. They are very industrious. I've noticed that they sieve the sand through their mouth and out of their gills. So, perhaps, one day when you get a larger tank you can buy them some fine silica sand and watch this for yourself.

I wrote about this in another post earlier this year. I've copied it below and you may find the contents interesting.
*****

When, as a young man, I purchased my first car I found the maintenance costs would take up a large slice of my pay. One weekend I drove my car to the local garage and I asked the owner how much he would charge for fitting new brake pads to my car. Now this really was a long time ago ... he replied £5 an hour. Not to be outdone I asked him how much it would be if I helped him. He replied £10 an hour.

I'm not an expert at fish keeping. However, the primary approach I have is to ensure that the occupants of the fish tank are well catered for. I hasten to add that doesn't make me an expert neither. In the same way as all those years ago I took my car to an expert to fit my brake pads, today I look for expert opinion on the fish I want to provide a home for.

My [13 year old] daughter has corydoras in her aquarium. The substrate is fine silica sand. I would not use anything else. Never. When I look at the corydoras rummaging and I get up really close I can see the fine particles of sand actually coming out through their gills. They literally sieve the sand for food. Yet again that doesn't make me an expert.

So I have to conclude I am not an expert. However, I will only ever use fine silica sand for corydoras. Always.

On this subject I chose my own expert. A man who has discovered many different species of fish in his time, including numerous corydoras.

Heiko Bleher.

Here's a link to his website.

Here are a few comments by my expert on the substrate needed for corydoras.


Maybe you will agree with this expert, maybe not.

AiYn'U
 

UnknownUser

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FreshwaterHG said:
I’m going to go against what lots of people say and say that gravel is OK. Here’s why: I keep my albino Cory cats on gravel. The gravel they are on now is Seachem fluorite, it’s not smooth, it’s actually fairly corse. But they are fat, happy, and have super long barbells. I have never once seen a physical injury from the substrate. Would they prefer to sift through sand? Yes I believe so, these guys will be moving to a larger tank soon and I will be doing sand for that reason. But will gravel hurt them? No. I feed sinking wafers for bottom feeders to prevent small bits from getting out of their reach and they definitely get enough food that way. I would also agree and say Pygmy corys are one of the only species you could fit, and there is no pleco that works.
Right, I kept 2 bronze corys (an accident, they were sold as pygmys) in my 10 gal with eco complete for close to a year. They were completely fine, healthy long barbels. I switched them onto BDBS (sand) and got more. Now one of my original ladies is missing one of her bottom barbels, and so is a new one (but it could’ve come that way). Interesting that it happened as soon as I put them on sand..... but it could’ve also been from the water shift and stress of the transfer, not the substrate. Which falls in line with the argument that the water quality is what damages barbels, not substrate. Either that or this sand was rougher than eco complete, which everyone preaches as the other way around.... hmm....

EITHER WAY, in OP’s original argument yes you can Add pygmy corys and yes they’ll do fine but it’s easy enough to change out substrate for them so I’d say change it :)
 

AquaticQueen

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I'll just say this right out, pygmy corys are not bottom feeders. They more mid-dwellers and the OP wanted a bottom feeder. I do agree though, pygmys are adorable and do fine in 10 gallons.
 

jinjerJOSH22

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UnknownUser said:
Right, I kept 2 bronze corys (an accident, they were sold as pygmys) in my 10 gal with eco complete for close to a year. They were completely fine, healthy long barbels. I switched them onto BDBS (sand) and got more. Now one of my original ladies is missing one of her bottom barbels, and so is a new one (but it could’ve come that way). Interesting that it happened as soon as I put them on sand..... but it could’ve also been from the water shift and stress of the transfer, not the substrate. Which falls in line with the argument that the water quality is what damages barbels, not substrate. Either that or this sand was rougher than eco complete, which everyone preaches as the other way around.... hmm....

EITHER WAY, in OP’s original argument yes you can Add pygmy corys and yes they’ll do fine but it’s easy enough to change out substrate for them so I’d say change it :)
DoubleDutch often suggest it's to do with how mature the substrate is. The more beneficial bacteria in the substrate the better. I don't know much about it but it sounds interesting.
AquaticQueen said:
I'll just say this right out, pygmy corys are not bottom feeders. They more mid-dwellers and the OP wanted a bottom feeder. I do agree though, pygmys are adorable and do fine in 10 gallons.
There are 3 species of "pygmy" Corydoras, I believe 2 of which are more active in the mid levels but "Pygmaeus" are bottom dwellers.

Edit: correction on the Cory species, "C.habrosus" is the bottom Dweller.
 

AquaticQueen

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I have kept bronze corys on this gravel for a while and their barbels were quite healthy.
IMG_20200707_110048.jpg
IMG_20200707_110130.jpg
I was not saying your gravel was unsuitable.
 

AsleepInYorkshire

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Hmm ... why would an expert ( ) in the field of Corydoras clearly say he would only use fine silica sand?

And may I quote him

I strongly suggest only fine silica sand, ideally white or beige, but never black or any other colour. Corydoras and their relatives have evolved a specialised head and snout structure adapted for feeding in a fine substrate, usually sand, in search of micro-organisms and also to keep their snout and barbels free of infections and parasites.

AiYn'U
 

DoubleDutch

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AsleepInYorkshire said:
Hi afrayzond

That's very smart of you to ask about your substrate. Clearly you care about the environment you are going to put fish in and I have to say this is exemplary.

Corydoras are lovely fish. They almost seem to be in a little bubble world of their own. They do like company though and it's best to keep them in groups of 6 or more. And as AquaticQueen has said you're tank isn't quite large enough for them.

My daughter has some corydoras in her tank and I love to watch them go about their business. They are very industrious. I've noticed that they sieve the sand through their mouth and out of their gills. So, perhaps, one day when you get a larger tank you can buy them some fine silica sand and watch this for yourself.

I wrote about this in another post earlier this year. I've copied it below and you may find the contents interesting.
*****

When, as a young man, I purchased my first car I found the maintenance costs would take up a large slice of my pay. One weekend I drove my car to the local garage and I asked the owner how much he would charge for fitting new brake pads to my car. Now this really was a long time ago ... he replied £5 an hour. Not to be outdone I asked him how much it would be if I helped him. He replied £10 an hour.

I'm not an expert at fish keeping. However, the primary approach I have is to ensure that the occupants of the fish tank are well catered for. I hasten to add that doesn't make me an expert neither. In the same way as all those years ago I took my car to an expert to fit my brake pads, today I look for expert opinion on the fish I want to provide a home for.

My [13 year old] daughter has corydoras in her aquarium. The substrate is fine silica sand. I would not use anything else. Never. When I look at the corydoras rummaging and I get up really close I can see the fine particles of sand actually coming out through their gills. They literally sieve the sand for food. Yet again that doesn't make me an expert.

So I have to conclude I am not an expert. However, I will only ever use fine silica sand for corydoras. Always.

On this subject I chose my own expert. A man who has discovered many different species of fish in his time, including numerous corydoras.

Heiko Bleher.

Here's a link to his website.

Here are a few comments by my expert on the substrate needed for corydoras.


Maybe you will agree with this expert, maybe not.

AiYn'U
Do you by coincidence know who this expert is ?
 

FreshwaterHG

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AsleepInYorkshire said:
Hmm ... why would an expert ( ) in the field of Corydoras clearly say he would only use fine silica sand?

And may I quote him

I strongly suggest only fine silica sand, ideally white or beige, but never black or any other colour. Corydoras and their relatives have evolved a specialised head and snout structure adapted for feeding in a fine substrate, usually sand, in search of micro-organisms and also to keep their snout and barbels free of infections and parasites.

AiYn'U
People will always have different options and methods, but that’s not to say one is wrong and one in right. In fishkeeping and on forums especially we so often create these hard fast rules for the hobby, and we reject conflicting ideas or methods. I personally will keep corys on gravel, others will not. Neither is wrong, just different methods. As long as the method meets the care requirements for that animal, there is no harm. There is lots of evidence that corys are happier on sand, which I agree with. But there’s also not a lot to back up that gravel hurt them. Which is why I really think it’s down to each fish keeper to decided what they are comfortable with.
 

DoubleDutch

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jinjerJOSH22 said:
DoubleDutch often suggest it's to do with how mature the substrate is. The more beneficial bacteria in the substrate the better. I don't know much about it but it sounds interesting.

There are 3 species of "pygmy" Corydoras, I believe 2 of which are more active in the mid levels but "Pygmaeus" are bottom dwellers.
Pygmaeus is a midwater swimmer. C.habrosus is a bottomdweller.

Mmmm that is not exactly what I meand Josh about that.

That I meand is that Corys can get issues on sand as well if it isn't matured. Bacteria / micro organism need to settle in.

I don't have a sand fetish and keeping Corys on gravel as well. Main issue with gravel occure with big / pebble sized gravel in which food will get out of reach and locally pollute stagnant water within it.
Ammonia / nitrites are the forst dangers and then bacteria join in to do their devestating job.

So gravel isn't a no per definition, but think about what gravel. Smooth is less important than size (pockets in between).

Sand they defintely love the most. Shifting an scavaging. Sometimes it is an idea to.make a beach on which they are fed amd they can do their stuff.

Then a remark about tanksize. In small tanks waterquality is harder to maintain than in bigger tanks (often with a canister filter).

The smaller types of Corys are more sensitive for pollution than several bigger types. My opinion is the smaller species are therefor less suitable for a small tank (misnamed as nanofish / nanotanks).
Fishsize doesn't say everything.

Of course there are always successtories "proving" the opposite.

I wouldn't keep smaller corys on this gravel and not in a 10G.
 

redmare

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If you want a clean-up crew bottom feeder, I would really recommend shrimp! You have enough room for pygmy cories, but they are so tiny I don't love the idea of gravel for them. So consider some shrimpies! Amanos are great, I keep cherry shrimp and just love them, both are constantly scavenging around for snacks on every surface :)
 

jinjerJOSH22

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DoubleDutch said:
Pygmaeus is a midwater swimmer. C.habrosus is a bottomdweller.

Mmmm that is not exactly what I meand Josh about that.

That I meand is that Corys can get issues on sand as well if it isn't matured. Bacteria / micro organism need to settle in.

I don't have a sand fetish and keeping Corys on gravel as well. Main issue with gravel occure with big / pebble sized gravel in which food will get out of reach and locally pollute stagnant water within it.
Ammonia / nitrites are the forst dangers and then bacteria join in to do their devestating job.

So gravel isn't a no per definition, but think about what gravel. Smooth is less important than size (pockets in between).

Sand they defintely love the most. Shifting an scavaging. Sometimes it is an idea to.make a beach on which they are fed amd they can do their stuff.

Then a remark about tanksize. In small tanks waterquality is harder to maintain than in bigger tanks (often with a canister filter).

The smaller types of Corys are more sensitive for pollution than several bigger types. My opinion is the smaller species are therefor less suitable for a small tank (misnamed as nanofish / nanotanks).
Fishsize doesn't say everything.

Of course there are always successtories "proving" the opposite.

I wouldn't keep smaller corys on this gravel and not in a 10G.
Thank you for clearing that up :)
 

Chalupacabra

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AquaticQueen said:
I'll just say this right out, pygmy corys are not bottom feeders. They more mid-dwellers and the OP wanted a bottom feeder. I do agree though, pygmys are adorable and do fine in 10 gallons.
jinjerJOSH22 said:
DoubleDutch often suggest it's to do with how mature the substrate is. The more beneficial bacteria in the substrate the better. I don't know much about it but it sounds interesting.

There are 3 species of "pygmy" Corydoras, I believe 2 of which are more active in the mid levels but "Pygmaeus" are bottom dwellers.

Edit: correction on the Cory species, "C.habrosus" is the bottom Dweller.
I currently have a shoal of Corydora Hasbrosus (aka "Dainty Cory" aka "Salt and Pepper Cory") in a 10 gallon with Amano Shrimp, Ember Tetras, and a previously-giant-looking-by-comparison male betta. I can confirm that they both live comfortably in a 10 gallon and behave just like their larger relatives. I do have them on sand, not gravel, however.
 

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