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Old 02-03-2012, 11:23 AM   #1 
Nemo Betta
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Need to Vac Gravel With Cories?

I have a new Betta in a 10 gal tank and will be doing partial fake/partial live plants and adding 6 Cories this weekend. Considering Cories will scavenge the bottom eating all they can, will I still need to vac the gravel to make sure everything is out?
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:34 PM   #2 
scootshoot
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Yes, depending on your load you only need to do a gravel stir once or twice a month, most weekly maintenance are water only
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:02 PM   #3 
Badjer
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Cories really do best on sand because gravel can harm their barbels.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:05 PM   #4 
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You will need to do a gravel vac with cories. If you don't they will smell the food bits in the gravel and try to burrow in the gravel and eat them. This will hurt their barbels. If at all possible you should go with a sand bottom as sand will not harm their barbels. If you go with sand you won't need to do a gravel vac.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:30 PM   #5 
Nemo Betta
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I saw that sand was a good idea, but not required so I went with the gravel figuring it might be a little easier to care for as I am new to this. Now I am wondering if I made the right decision. Will this be ok for a short time or should I change it before I get the cories?
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:33 PM   #6 
Badjer
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I've actually found that sand is a better substrate as waste sits on the top instead of going down through the gravel. Once a week I just suck the waste off the top when I do a water change.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:40 PM   #7 
Jodah
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Before adding the cories, I would switch to a sand substrate. It'll be a pain afterward.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:50 PM   #8 
Nemo Betta
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Should have listened to my gut instead of my wife! Now the next question becomes what kind of sand? Do I need aquarium sand or will something like play sand work? BTW, thanks for the great advice and info.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:57 PM   #9 
Badjer
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Play sand works fine. I have the sand from Petco which works well. For live plants I hear Caribsea works great.
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:16 PM   #10 
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Another reason you want to vacuum the substrate, regardless of what kind it is, is that fish poo will still be left on top of it. Cories are pretty sensitive to that sort of thing, and debris of that kind can damage them if it is left around to rot.
Make sure you stir your sand too, because debris that does get trapped in the sand will rot there and cause pockets of gas. If a cory disturbs one, it gets a blast of gas to the face that can destroy his barbels. They can get infected and it may eventually kill the cory.
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