Question Pygmy Corydoras And Sand

BettaStef

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Okay so I have a few questions about little pygmy Cory's. My 10 gallon is cycled and is planted with driftwood, anubias Nana, and Java fern. I kept going back and forth on what I wanted besides a betta and eventually settled on roughly 5-6 pygmy corydoras. Now I did research and it turns out they prefer sand....after my tank has fully cycled...with gravel. Oops. I want to get the Cory's first because I don't want the betta to be super agressive if I add them after him.

So my questions are:

1. Would caribsea sunset gold sand work for them? I prefer the tan/brown over the white of the moonlight sand.
2. Will this trigger another cycle when I remove the gravel? I plan on putting as much of it as I can in a media bag and leaving it in the tank for like a week after changing over to sand. Is that okay?
3. How far should my filter intake be from the sand to make sure it doesn't affect the filter or would it affect it at all? I do have a course prefilter sponge on the intake.
4. I read an article about gasses getting trapped in sand? It makes me concerned about getting it and if it will be safe for the fish?
5. Should I put their bottom feeders pellets just below the sand for them to find? (Hikari carnivore pellets)

Also I see everyone recommending play sand or blasting sand or other hardware store stuff but I personally feel more comfortable using something for Aquariums, that's just me. I don't want to buy the wrong thing and mess everything up so I do want to stick with Caribsea.

If I can remember any of my other questions, I'll add them on lol

*****
Edit: my filter is a HOB filter
 

fjh

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@BettaStef

1. Would caribsea sunset gold sand work for them? I prefer the tan/brown over the white of the moonlight sand.
Yes, that sand should be fine. They don't care about the color, although generally speaking a darker substrate will make a fish's color more bold.

2. Will this trigger another cycle when I remove the gravel? I plan on putting as much of it as I can in a media bag and leaving it in the tank for like a week after changing over to sand. Is that okay?
Most of your beneficial bacteria lives in your filter, so you should be fine. You may experience a mini-cycle, but it should fix itself in about a week max.

3. How far should my filter intake be from the sand to make sure it doesn't affect the filter or would it affect it at all? I do have a course prefilter sponge on the intake.
If you rinse the sand well (like you should) before putting it in the tank, you should be fine with having the intake about an inch above the sand. It really depends on how strong your filter is, so feel free to test out different heights.

4. I read an article about gasses getting trapped in sand? It makes me concerned about getting it and if it will be safe for the fish?
Gasses can get trapped in any substrate. Cories will naturally dig a bit, so depending on how deep you make they sand they may stir it up enough that you never get gasses. If this really concerns you, you can take a fork or something to sift the sand whenever you do WCs. Or you can get some type of snail that burrows.

5. Should I put their bottom feeders pellets just below the sand for them to find? (Hikari carnivore pellets)
Just dropping them on top of the sand is fine. It'll be too much work to bury them, and it increases the chance they won't eat all of it so you'll just have rotting food then. The only problem is if your betta decides he likes your cory's foods.

The reason people use other types of sand is because it is more cost effective, you get greater variety, and its really easy to get a hold of. Personally, I used play sand ($5 for 50lbs) in one tank. It gives the tank a very natural look - the grain sizes are varied and the light beige color matches with my driftwood and rock pile decor. In another tank, I used black diamond blasting sand ($8 for 50lbs) and it really makes the color of my fish pop. Pool filter sand is another popular choice because all the grains are exactly the same color and you can get a bright white (among other colors) that is hard to find elsewhere, but I've never used it. If you want to use a special "aquarium" sand, by all means go ahead, but it will be heavy on your budget (at almost $1 per lb).
 

CheshireKat

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have a course prefilter sponge on the intake.
If you rinse the sand well (like you should) before putting it in the tank, you should be fine with having the intake about an inch above the sand. It really depends on how strong your filter is, so feel free to test out different heights.
I agree with this. I never had sand being sucked up from where it was as a substrate, only if sand particles happened to get in the water column and sent to the filter. You'll probably be fine. I'd be more concerned with the outflow part since you don't want a strong current making a valley or something.

2. Will this trigger another cycle when I remove the gravel? I plan on putting as much of it as I can in a media bag and leaving it in the tank for like a week after changing over to sand. Is that okay?
Yes, that's good. BB grows on all surfaces in the tank, including gravel, and although your filter should contain most and enough of it to not have any issues, it definitely won't hurt to provide a backup.
 
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BettaStef

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@fjh

Thank you kindly for addressing all my concerns! The fork idea during water changes is a good one, and definitely puts me at ease. Thank you!

I've considered the betta might like the Cory food, so we'll see. Lol

Hmm, that makes a lot more sense on why so many people recommend it then. Definitely something to consider.

@CheshireKat
Thanks for bringing up outflow, I hadn't considered that. I'll be turning down the flow for the betta so I'm hoping that works.
 
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CheshireKat

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Thanks for bringing up outflow, I hadn't considered that. I'll be turning down the flow for the betta so I'm hoping that works.
No problem, everything else was addressed well enough and I still haven't been able to get cories yet, so I can't speak from experience. I did have sand with my convict cichlids though. Trapped gas in the sand was never an issue with them! They moved all the sand around and landscaped as they please.
 

Benfreshwater

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My Cory's and other bottom dwelling fish in my tank including the assassin snails do enough digging and sand moving in the tank that I don't personally think you'll have any issues with gasses getting trapped. I think that's more if you have no fish or snails etc that go on the bottom at all. Cory's are prolific sand sifters and there great to watch
 
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BettaStef

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No problem, everything else was addressed well enough and I still haven't been able to get cories yet, so I can't speak from experience. I did have sand with my convict cichlids though. Trapped gas in the sand was never an issue with them! They moved all the sand around and landscaped as they please.
That is very relieving to hear! That article honestly just startled me and almost made me not want to do sand or cories at all. I'm so glad I asked.

My Cory's and other bottom dwelling fish in my tank including the assassin snails do enough digging and sand moving in the tank that I don't personally think you'll have any issues with gasses getting trapped. I think that's more if you have no fish or snails etc that go on the bottom at all. Cory's are prolific sand sifters and there great to watch
Thank you, all of you guys, for addressing the gasses. I'm very much looking forward to having the cories to watch and I think they'll be happier to have something to sift through safely.
 

CHJ

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Sand brings cories of all sizes happiness.
Could be 6 line/false corys could be Bronchis, they all love digging through sand.
Pool filter sand is stupid cheap. I just picked up another 100lbs. my hand is bright pink from washing it. I though it was for 1 tank and my wife is saying 2 so we are arguing about that. Seriously, 100lbs is not enough for 2 75s.

Corys love sand, sand sand sand. Once the tank is up and going just salt all the tank with black worms for happy cory world. Also remember that earth worms do not die under water.
 
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