Substrate For Corys

Austin {Aquarist}
  • #1
I have been wanting to get some cories for a while now and I have heard many contradicting things about what kinda of substrate they need. Recntly I got a 25 gallon tank and wondered if that was big enough for a few cories
maybe 4? I would also lke to keep a few other small fish in with them. Is there a substrate that would satisfy them and that would e easy to clean?
 
Barbrella
  • #2
Corys prefer sand, but you can also use aquarium gravel as long as it's very smooth. Anything rough, jagged or sharp at all will damage their delicate barbels, leading to infection.

You could keep about 6 - 8 corys in your 25 gallon, if you want to put some small fish in as well. Do you mean something like a school of tetras? That would be nice.
 
Austin {Aquarist}
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
How many tetras is a school?

and have any recomendations for plants?

(I love live plants in my aquariums)

I was thinking amazon swords
 
sirdarksol
  • #4
If you're looking for plants and cories I have two suggestions for substrate:
1) 50/50 Caribbean moon black sand and Fluorite. Put the fluorite down first, then the sand. The two will eventually mix a bit, but I like the effect. It looks kind of natural, but the black sand is still cool. Both products are a pain, and have to be rinsed well, but provide for very happy plants, in my experience.
2) Eco-Complete planted substrate. No rinsing, and still contains everything your plants need for their first year (at least). It's black, it's small (easy on catfish barbels), and our cories will love sifting through it for bits of food.

One thing that I do not yet know is how easy Eco-Complete is to vacuum. The sand/fluorite mix is surprisingly easy. I lose a little tiny bit to each water change, but not enough to make a dent, even.
 
Austin {Aquarist}
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
sirdarksol

hey sirdarksol will 20 pounds be enough to cover the bottom of my 25 gallon aquarium?
and how deep should substrate ussually be?
 
sirdarksol
  • #6
My answer is "Yes, that should be enough." I think most people who are really, really serious about planted tanks want 3-4 inches on the bottom of the tank, and I'm not sure that 20lbs will do this.
I go with less than standard depth for substrate, however, and have had decent luck with plants.
 
Austin {Aquarist}
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
recomend?

do you recommend any plants that are semI big and would go wel in 25 gallon tank..

and when you say the "standard substrate level" what is it?
 
sirdarksol
  • #8
That would be the 3-4 inches I referred to.

I like water wisteria, Java fern, Java moss, and anubias. I've also been learning to like crypts.
Check outplant geek for listings of plants, which give difficulty of care as well as the light needed to keep the plants.
 
chickadee
  • #9
I have heard it said that the general rule is one pound per gallon of tank size is the minimum of gravel or substrate. I used 25 pounds of gravel in my 25 deep and it was about 2 inches + but no where near 3 inches in depth. I have just started to get into real plants and it is enough for the unpotted plants but the potted plants are the pits to bury in this amount of gravel. I do not want to add more though so I just take the pots off and the stuff around the roots and try to make bare root plants out of them but it is hard.

I just did not want the extra weight as when I figured the 50# that the empty aquarium weighed (glass) and then the weight of the gravel (25#) and then the weight of the water (about 180#) it came to over 250# and I thought that was enough for my table to carry. Another 15# to 20# of gravel would just have freaked me out.

My plants are tall Sword plants and Crypts as they have the size and shape not to be dwarfed by the size of the tank and the fish I have love them for beds and just to swim through. They have narrow stems and broad leaves and this makes for fun fish traffic.


My plants are for the most part doing okay in the lesser amount of gravel and the fish seem to be doing okay too and it is much easier to keep clean than the larger amount.

Rose
 
sirdarksol
  • #10
Any "pounds per gallon" guideline is only going to work for tanks of a certain size ratio. For example, I have a 40 gallon hex that has a smaller "footprint" than most 20 gallon tanks. So if I put 40 lbs of substrate in the hex, I might get 5" of substrate. The same in a 20 gallon long might only produce 4" of substrate.
 
Austin {Aquarist}
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
if you want to put some small fish in as well. Do you mean something like a school of tetras? That would be nice.

How many would be good for a school of tetras?
And are Neon Tetras Good?
 
Morpheus1967
  • #12
I know ideally they like sand as a substrate, but has any had any luck keep corys with larger substrate? I have pea pebbles as my substrate. Think eraser sized smooth pebbles. Would they be ok with this?


Capture.JPG
 
AJE
  • #13
I know ideally they like sand as a substrate, but has any had any luck keep corys with larger substrate? I have pea pebbles as my substrate. Think eraser sized smooth pebbles. Would they be ok with this?

View attachment 541578
I have seen people keep them in gravel successfully, but it has to be larger than their heat and very smooth
 
Smalltownfishfriend
  • #14
I have mine on pea gravel.it is to my understanding that high nitrates and dirty substrate lead to barbel erosion quicker than not having them on sand. My cories have extremely long "whiskers" and have been thriving for quite some time now.
 
Fanatic
  • #15
You can keep them on gravel, it must be smooth without any jagged edges, there actually is gravel that is round shaped.

I kept mine on regular aquarium gravel, they did alright, but after switching to fine sand I would never go back.
 
grump299
  • #16
I keep mine with gravel and pea gravel always have with never a problem
 
Morpheus1967
  • #17
Do you feed them pellets? Do you worry about the pellets getting between the pebbles and they can't reach them?

I have only had pebbles one other time, and that was in a 75 gallon with a lone Oscar as it's occupant. Trust me, no food ever hit the substrate with that guy.
 
Ohio Mark
  • #18
I've kept them on fine gravel and sand. I ended up switching to all sand. Maybe it's just my idea, but I felt they did better on the sand. Interesting to read others' comments & thoughts.
 
Burnout1620
  • #19
I’m using medium grit Black Diamond blasting sand as a substrate. No troubles here so far. Albino Corys on black substrate looks pretty. Plus the stuff is inert and dirt cheap.

I’ve read a thread or two here that implies some batches of the stuff may be too sharp for Corys, but when I was rinsing mine it just felt like slightly thicker sand.
 
Tk82
  • #20
I know ideally they like sand as a substrate, but has any had any luck keep corys with larger substrate? I have pea pebbles as my substrate. Think eraser sized smooth pebbles. Would they be ok with this?

View attachment 541578

I've kept corys on gravel before. Perfectly fine
 
Morpheus1967
  • #21
You can keep them on gravel, it must be smooth without any jagged edges, there actually is gravel that is round shaped.

I kept mine on regular aquarium gravel, they did alright, but after switching to fine sand I would never go back.

Yea, the gravel I am using is has all smooth edges. Not so much as a nick when I was swishing it around with my hands when I was cleaning it.
 
DoubleDutch
  • #22
As long as the grains aren't too big it is okay.
 
Donthemon
  • #23
Sand is soo much easier to keep clean. The food dosnt fall between the grains like it does with gravel.
 
Morpheus1967
  • #24
As long as the grains aren't too big it is okay.

I will post a photo in a few hours when I get home. You can take a look and let me know what you think.
 
Brizburk
  • #25
Corys naturally sift through the sand to find food. they suck the sand into their mouths and spit it out their gills. Some will even bury their face in the sand (so fun to watch). Its a natural behavior that will make them much happier in the long run. Maybe think about replacing the substrate at some point when you're able, tgats what I did started out with gravel and swapped to sand. I promise you'll be so glad you changed to sand.
 
Morpheus1967
  • #26
Corys naturally sift through the sand to find food. they suck the sand into their mouths and spit it out their gills. Some will even bury their face in the sand (so fun to watch). Its a natural behavior that will make them much happier in the long run. Maybe think about replacing the substrate at some point when you're able, tgats what I did started out with gravel and swapped to sand. I promise you'll be so glad you changed to sand.

Y'all are preaching to the choir lol. I would love to switch to sand, especially now, before there are fish in there. Just need to convince my better half!
 
Brizburk
  • #27
Y'all are preaching to the choir lol. I would love to switch to sand, especially now, before there are fish in there. Just need to convince my better half!
Show better half this thread. Watch videos of corys sifting sand an burying their heads


Or or.... Divide half and half. Eventually it will mix but you both get your fav substrate and the fish can choose
 
Morpheus1967
  • #28
Photos of current substrate. As I said about eraser size. Nothing bigger than a dime. Nothing sharp.
 

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Laichyee
  • #29

IMG20200406211357.jpg
Gonna start a tank and am planning forward. Will this substrate be okay for corys. Thankss . It states natural river gravel
 
AquaticQueen
  • #30
If it isn't sharp and isn't too big, you should be good. If gravel is too big, they will try to reach food that has fallen through the gravel and push themselves to get it, damaging their barbels in doing so.
 
Mhamilton0911
  • #31
i was just looking into this same question! thanks!
(im in planning stages as well!)
 
Laichyee
  • #32
i was just looking into this same question! thanks!
(im in planning stages as well!)

Ahh nice!! All the best! Let me know if you have an instagram about your fishkeeping journey. Will follow!

If it isn't sharp and isn't too big, you should be good. If gravel is too big, they will try to reach food that has fallen through the gravel and push themselves to get it, damaging their barbels in doing so.

I placed my pointer finger there for a comparison. Is that considered big?
This is really not the best time to be out and about buying aquarium essentials...
 
MacZ
  • #33
I'd take finer sand. The stuff on the pic is still gravel.
 
AquaticQueen
  • #34
I placed my pointer finger there for a comparison. Is that considered big?
This is really not the best time to be out and about buying aquarium essentials...
Could you post a pic?
 
Laichyee
  • #35
Could you post a pic?
Yeap! Here you go. Don't mind my stumpy finger. And I managed to find that it's the classica natural river gravel!

Not getting a lot of good reviews on it..

I'd take finer sand. The stuff on the pic is still gravel.


Ah yeah.. I would love to go down and get a packet of sand as early as I could. But now the situation discourages people from stepping out.
 

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CoryBoi
  • #36
That gravel looks pretty jagged, I wouldn’t use it.
 
MacZ
  • #37
Ah yeah.. I would love to go down and get a packet of sand as early as I could. But now the situation discourages people from stepping out.

Well in that case the aquarium will have to wait. You don't have the animals yet and so it doesn't really matter.
 
mattgirl
  • #38
I am going to be perfectly honest here and am going to go against what I see recommended time after time. I know I keep reading over and over that corys have to have sand. For many many years I had smooth gravel much like what you are showing us in my tanks. I never saw any signs of barbel erosion. A couple of years ago I switched over to pool filter sand. Since then I have seem some damage. Barbels a bit shorter than they were before. I am seriously considering removing the sand and going back to gravel for that very reason. I fear that my sand has sharp edges and it is wearing their barbels down.

Personally I would have no problem whatsoever using the gravel you are showing us. You do need to be conscientious about keeping the gravel clean though because food will fall through the cracks instead of setting on top.
 
AquaticQueen
  • #39
Yeap! Here you go. Don't mind my stumpy finger. And I managed to find that it's the classica natural river gravel!

Not getting a lot of good reviews on it..




Ah yeah.. I would love to go down and get a packet of sand as early as I could. But now the situation discourages people from stepping out.
I think it's fine.
 
MacZ
  • #40
It's possible, yes. To pick the right gravel is the trick. Rounded gravel works quite well. This stuff here is a bit rough I think.
 

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