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Old 04-19-2013, 01:50 PM   #1 
Shadyr
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Cory Advice?

I have a pair of three-stripe corydoras in my 36G tank. They are always very busy and active. I noticed one perched up in my water wisteria a couple nights ago, and when I looked closely, I realized his whiskers were gone! I looked for the other one...same thing. Everytime something looks off I test the water - water is all good according to the master kit. Hubby and I looked online and found this could be due to them being picked on (I have not SEEN anything bothering them), rough gravel (I do have gravel in the tank and I have seen them doing a face dance often on a very ... knobbly bit of decor), or bacteria in the gravel. I do not vacuum often because there are a lot of live plants in the tank.

So here's where the questions start!

Should I be vacuuming a tank with a lot of plants? If so, any tips on not damaging the plants too much?

I put the cories in my floating breeder box so they can heal up. They seem to be doing fine so far. Since I'm not sure what in the big tank led to this, I'm wondering - would they would fare better in the divided 6.6G I keep for Redfish and Ghost, since it has a sand bottom? Would a 6.6 be workable for two small cories and 2 bettas? (6.6 is a filtered tank)

Another option is to do a sand bottom on the 5G tank I have not yet set up for Shimmer, my sorority girl who got sick and was injured during the setup phase. Would a 5G be OK for 1 betta girl and 2 small cories? It would be filtered.

My last option would be to just release them back into the big tank (after removing the particularly knobbly cave) and keep a close eye on them.

I feel bad for my poor cories
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:46 PM   #2 
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I've noticed the same thing with my corys, except only one out of my six seems to be having a barbel issue. I try to vacuum in between/around plants as best as I can during water changes and I have also stirred up the gravel a bit with my hands if I can't get in there with the vacuum. I have eco-complete in my tank and have read mixed reviews on how it affects corys...weird that one 1/6 of mine are having a problem though! Anotehr thing you can do is try and add a sandy area to the tank, like one side or the front or something, so they have a place they can dig with ease. Apparently it's a pretty common issue, hopefully our corys will grow their barbels back and be healthy!
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:56 PM   #3 
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I hope so too! I don't *think* it's a bad bacteria in gravel issue because my pair of golden dojos are still fully whiskered. And if anything they bury their faces in the gravel and flail even more than the cories! But this weekend is a water play weekend, so I'll get in there and do my best with the vacuum.
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:37 PM   #4 
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It is really tough with the live plants. I have a bubble wand in the back of my tank and my corys basically live under the thing, it's completely surrounded by vallisneria so really hard to vacuum. I tried to stir it up with my hands last water change and so much stuff kicked up over there...I think that has to be the culprit. Of course they like the dirtiest part of the tank, haha!
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:20 PM   #5 
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Well, if you're using gravel for the substrate that could be damaging them. They sift through the stuff on the bottom of the tank looking for food. To prevent them from hurting themselves you need a sand or dirt substrate.
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:02 PM   #6 
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Ok I love my corry cats, I have live plants. They still have there barbles because I gravel vacume ever single week twice a week.

You just need to angle the vacuum at the base of the plants, this will suck up the junk but not the plant, and just vacuum the rest like normal.

Its due to bacteria, definitely bacteria because you admitted you don't gravel vacuum a lot.

I hope this helps, you really can't do anything about the bacteria too. No amount of salt is going to kill it, you just need to gravel vacuum more and get the fish waist off the bottom. Because that is what makes the bacteria that eats there barbles.

Don't worry with in a few weeks of gravel vacuuming twice a week, ( even if its a little bit) will cause the barbels to grow back.
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:26 PM   #7 
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They need sand or very small gravel I want to say 3mm and under, I have 14 or so corys of various types and I keep an eye on them I use the small gravel of under 3mm so far so good
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:46 AM   #8 
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Update: Barbels are definitely regrowing on one, the other still...barefaced. I'm keeping them isolated till they are healed up. It's apparently a source of great frustration to my sorority, who can *see* the food I put in for the cories, but cannot eat it! Doesn't stop them from trying though...kinda surprised I haven't had to fish any of them out of the floating enclosure.
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