Panda Cory Catfish Care

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Apr 2, 2002
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OK- lets consult with on ot the world's most renowned cory experts, Ian Fuller.

Planetcatfish has several threads on this topic and here is what mr. Fuller wrote in one of them:

Re: corydoras and gravel/sand

Post by Coryman » Sat Sep 13, 2014 2:19 pm

Just my 2 penny worth and bringing the topic back to the title "corydoras & gravel/sand"

There are many natural area where Corys are found over gravel, but this is not rough like road chip pings but smooth pebble like. The size can and does vary from 1 to 2 millimetres to large boulders, but from what I have experienced and seen in reports there are also sandy areas.

The main thing is that what ever substrate you use it should have smooth rounded edges.

Ian
from https://www.planetcatfish.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=40457

Corys use their barbels to help find food. This can slip down into the substrate. When that substrate is rough and/or has sharp edges. it will damage the barbels.

Most panda corys are farmed and often inbred and weak at the outset. Where one gets them is important as a result. Here is the Planetcatfish page on pandas https://www.planetcatfish.com/common/species.php?species_id=267
 

the loach

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This topic comes up every once in a while and previously one of our members posted a link to a test or study in which the substrate was broken glass, and that still didn't show more barbel erosion over sand or gravel or bare bottom. I can't find it, but maybe someone else can or remembers it better as I do.
I've never seen commercial substrate with sharp edges, maybe it's out there somewhere, but consider this:
when you glue sand to paper you'll get sandpaper. That's not causing wear but a slightly bigger grain size is?
If any of that were true you could only keep them bare bottom or with organic mulm as the substrate. I have been keeping them for 4 decades, we can argue whether the barbel erosion is inbreeding/poor quality, a bacterial/viral problem or both, but it's not the substrate.
 
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fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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I'm the 1 who posts that, lol. I finally found a quote on a different forum originally from ACs the late RJR in 2001. Luckily I bookmarked it last time. AC doesn't keep records that old & skeptical aquarist, where I used to find it is no more. There are some other interesting parts to this post https://www.fishforums.net/threads/barbel-erosion.168736/

RJR tried corys from the same group, 1 group on a high nitrate substrate & 1 on glass shards. The high nitrate corys' barbels showed more wear & infection than the group on glass. I forget how long he did this study/test. He did NOT continue keeping corys on glass bits.

That tells me corys can do well on different substrates but it must be kept very clean & low nitrate. & if barbels erode lower nitrate & consider a treatment for flukes &/or maybe an antibiotic.

the loach, do your herbal natural products help with skin flukes? I'm not sure what drug treats them. The only time I ever saw barbel wear on catfish or loaches was on 1 or 2 panda corys a long while ago. I attributed it to poor farmed stock & bacteria I think. I probably tx'd with an antibiotic be really don't recall...I remember losing those 1 or 2, sniff.
 

the loach

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I'm the 1 who posts that, lol.
the loach, do your herbal natural products help with skin flukes? I'm not sure what drug treats them.
Thanks for clearing that up !

The only herbal products I use are Herbtana and Artemiss, Herbtana works against parasites on the slime coat, including skin and gill flukes, I've used it for that. There has to be more to barbel erosion as just poor water quality, that is something that can be easily fixed and prevented, it is also a combination of poor quality and/or a bacterial infection. If you look at those cories they most often have more problems, emaciated, weak, etc.

Back to the topic and more pragmatic advice for the Neontetraking... who has a pooch now as an avatar not even a neon?
Stick to 1 species of cory and get at least half a dozen of them. In the store look at their whiskers, they should be long and pointy. If not, don't buy... also look that when the cories are sitting/lying on the ground they are resting on their pectoral fish not their chin. When they have their chin down on the gravel they are weak...
 

fishorama

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Yeah, neon, 6 of the same species is the "minimum" for happy corys. It's not that they don't get along but are much more active with several of the same. They may even spawn for you!

Thanks, tl. I hope that barbel erosion will never be a problem for my fish again. I asked about "your" natural products because without knowing what is likely wrong it might be a good first step

I agree there are several possible causes for barbel wear/erosion as the article I saved said. High nitrate, flukes, bacteria. Did you notice all the articles cited were 19+ years old?

I think part of the big gravel issue is that it holds a large amount of debris (ie "crap") & also it's hard for corys to dig down for foods but they try. I freaked out once or twice on seeing my sidthimunki loaches digging for live worms with just their tails showing. They were fine & on Eco Complete, a smallish rounded volcanic gravel (not the Eco sand). Many people say that's not a "loach/catfish appropriate" substrate but I say BS, my sewellia breed on it although their barbels are short anyway. Too fine a substrate can have possible compaction issues, as I think you've mentioned, with anaerobic pockets.
 
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