Black Diamond Sand cutting cories - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-12-2020, 02:09 AM
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I understand the problem here is whiskers. That's my point, with BDBS the problem is always whiskers. I've seen dozens of postings about this, it seems odd to me that I never see any other issues with corys or other fish. I would think with soft bellies rubbing against it constantly that would cause issues.
I'll err on the side of caution and not put any in my tank. Ironically, I was at an LFS today for the first time in months. They usually have a great stock of corys and I planned on getting some but didn't see any I was interested in.
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post #32 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-12-2020, 02:09 AM
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Via Ian Fuller- Icthyologist who has a Facebook page Corydoras World:

Corydoradinae Habitat conditions

"There are constantly discussions held on social media channels as to the correct substrate for Corydoradinae catfishes. So, I decided to put some of the facts together based on personal observation in many species of Corydorasís natural habitats.

The first thing to remember with this group of fishes is that they are primarily filter feeders. They do not have cutting or crushing teeth like some of the predatory Catfish, nor do the have rasping teeth like the grazing Loricariid Catfish, these fish will sift the substrate, which in the majority of cases is sand.

Smooth sand which been created over millions of years by the constant tumbling action of moving water, whether it be the oceans tidal and wave actions or the constant varying flow of rivers. The more the flow and tumbling action the finer the sand becomes.

Natural river sand.

In some areas the sand found can be fairly course, and grains could be as large as one millimetre, or as fine as caster sugar, the one thing that will be common is that the grains will be smooth and not sharp and gritty like quarried sand as use in the building industry.

Over many years I have spent many hours watching, and filming Coryís feeding, in some cases it is quite comical, especially with the larger straight (Lineage 8) and curved (Lineage 1) snouted species who tend to bury the deepest, Some almost completely burying themselves when they dive right in searching out the food they sense is there. I have taken video clips of the feeding actions of several species from different lineages. And all, even the smallest species will mouth the sand. "


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Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
I understand the problem here is whiskers. That's my point, with BDBS the problem is always whiskers. I've seen dozens of postings about this, it seems odd to me that I never see any other issues with corys or other fish. I would think with soft bellies rubbing against it constantly that would cause issues.
I'll err on the side of caution and not put any in my tank. Ironically, I was at an LFS today for the first time in months. They usually have a great stock of corys and I planned on getting some but didn't see any I was interested in.
You may not see them but I do in the fish section when people come over to the other side wondering what the redness and inflammation is on their fish. I dont just help here, I also help on other forums. I see the connection of BDBS and corydoras whiskers and bacterial lesions on stomachs all the time. This bacteria is primarily an aeronomas bacteria. It pretty straight-forward to identify.

Its yours and everyone else's prerogative to say the connection between BDBS and bacterial infections doesnt exist. Fine. But, when someone comes on here asking if there is a connection I will give my side. All the rest of you can give your counter-narrative.
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post #33 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-12-2020, 02:23 AM
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Thanks! That answered all my questions in quick read from an expert that actually sounds like he knows what he's talking about.
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post #34 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-12-2020, 03:02 PM
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The issue was the misconception that blasting sand is going to be more problematic, or even what most would consider sharp under normal circumstances.

The attention was on whiskers, because that was what the OP was experiencing.

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I have had loaches for many years on bdbs and pool filter sand. Both when used with o+ root tabs have grown plants quite nicely. MY loaches, over 7 species have had no problem with their whiskers and love digging for snails in BDBS.
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post #35 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-12-2020, 07:47 PM
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My personal experience it has never been a problem. Ive kept dozens of Cories in BDBS over the years and they always seem to love it. They'll dig down up to their eyeballs eating stuff



Im not discounting the experiences of others, just sharing mine.


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post #36 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-17-2020, 01:23 AM
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Can you explain this statement. How is sand "sharper" than blasting sand?
Also, blasting sand has been found to contain sharp pieces of wire, is that also not ( in your opinion) as sharp as sand?
Never heard of wire. Iíve been using it in (4) 75s and 40s for many years without any problems. If anything I have way too many dories because they wonít stop breeding......15 in a 75.
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post #37 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-17-2020, 09:16 PM
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I see the connection of BDBS and corydoras whiskers and bacterial lesions on stomachs all the time.
I think one of the issues is the whole conversation is very much my anecdote vs. your anecdote. The fact that an expert has his own anecdotes is by no means any sort of definitive proof.

The whole "it's not natural" argument doesn't hold any water for me either. Nothing about keeping tropical fish in small glass boxes is natural. Fuller points out that many corydoras live on a substrate of mud and mulm, and while that works in nature it doesn't in our fish tanks.

In order to cut through the confirmation bias/Baader-Meinhof phenomenon that this topic is subject to, I did a search for "corydoras damage barbel" on google and indexed the forum results based on website, species, and substrate. A few notes on the methods:

- I did not include results where the author did not mention their substrate type, or where the author the athor was not specifically talking about observed damage to their corydoras' barbels
- In general, people are far more likely to use sand or gravel in their tanks than other substrates, therefore you would expect to see these show up more often
- I did not find any tanks with BDBS in the first 15 results, so I did another search isolated to ThePlantedTank since BDBS is often used for planted tanks.
- Sample size was very small seeing as I have a job I'm procrastinating doing right now. That said, unless somebody can come up with a better set of observations it's the best we currently have.

Full results are below.

The results from Aquariumadvice.com and Fishlore (n=8) were split equally between sand and gravel. Only one of the sand results specified a type of sand that MIGHT be similar to BDBS, Caribsea's Tahitian Moon Sand. Two specified "soft sand."

The results from Plantedtank.net (n=9) were 5 Eco Complete, 3 sand, and one gravel. None of the sands were BDBS. Maybe I have a skewed perception of the number of people who use BDBS on this forum but I would expect that if it was bad for cories, at least one tank with BDBS would have shown up. The big surprise was how often people who use Eco Complete reported damaged cory barbels, especially considering it doesn't seem like that many people use it as a substrate.

Overall results suggest that sand (any sand, not specifically BDBS) might be marginally worse than gravel, though this is most likely due to a larger amount of the population using sand for cories than using gravel. Eco-complete was the worst. BDBS and and clay-based aquasoils didn't even show up, implying that they might be good candidate substrates for keeping corydoras barbels healthy.
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post #38 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-18-2020, 12:06 AM
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I think one of the issues is the whole conversation is very much my anecdote vs. your anecdote. The fact that an expert has his own anecdotes is by no means any sort of definitive proof.

The whole "it's not natural" argument doesn't hold any water for me either. Nothing about keeping tropical fish in small glass boxes is natural. Fuller points out that many corydoras live on a substrate of mud and mulm, and while that works in nature it doesn't in our fish tanks.

In order to cut through the confirmation bias/Baader-Meinhof phenomenon that this topic is subject to, I did a search for "corydoras damage barbel" on google and indexed the forum results based on website, species, and substrate. A few notes on the methods:

- I did not include results where the author did not mention their substrate type, or where the author the athor was not specifically talking about observed damage to their corydoras' barbels
- In general, people are far more likely to use sand or gravel in their tanks than other substrates, therefore you would expect to see these show up more often
- I did not find any tanks with BDBS in the first 15 results, so I did another search isolated to ThePlantedTank since BDBS is often used for planted tanks.
- Sample size was very small seeing as I have a job I'm procrastinating doing right now. That said, unless somebody can come up with a better set of observations it's the best we currently have.

Full results are below.

The results from Aquariumadvice.com and Fishlore (n=8) were split equally between sand and gravel. Only one of the sand results specified a type of sand that MIGHT be similar to BDBS, Caribsea's Tahitian Moon Sand. Two specified "soft sand."

The results from Plantedtank.net (n=9) were 5 Eco Complete, 3 sand, and one gravel. None of the sands were BDBS. Maybe I have a skewed perception of the number of people who use BDBS on this forum but I would expect that if it was bad for cories, at least one tank with BDBS would have shown up. The big surprise was how often people who use Eco Complete reported damaged cory barbels, especially considering it doesn't seem like that many people use it as a substrate.

Overall results suggest that sand (any sand, not specifically BDBS) might be marginally worse than gravel, though this is most likely due to a larger amount of the population using sand for cories than using gravel. Eco-complete was the worst. BDBS and and clay-based aquasoils didn't even show up, implying that they might be good candidate substrates for keeping corydoras barbels healthy.
Um, okay.

As long as you are satisfied by this rudimentary set of data points ( and others I see) lets just make it a forum ideology.

Fish are fine on BDBS. Ill will never say another word.

Furthermore, since I am so wrong about red Blotch disease in corydoras and its connection to BDBS I will stay out of the "help me with my sick fish department".

Obviously, I dont know what the hell Im talking about ...

I mean look at that data.

Edit: Isnt it crazy how science /scientists that study a particular animal, mineral, or any other natural phenomena of the world all their lives are now considered to be just as "anecdotal" in their recommendations as a guy who haphazardly puts together a a few data points on his lunch break. Gotta hand it to all the societal movements toward anti-science and anti-intellectualism. Now every one can be a scientist. Kudos!


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post #39 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-18-2020, 12:27 AM
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I will stay out of the "help me with my sick fish department".
Please don't do this!
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post #40 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-18-2020, 12:32 AM
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Please don't do this!
Well. Im obviously speaking outa my---
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post #41 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-18-2020, 02:54 AM
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I tried not to give the impression of certainty. I wouldn't call myself satisfied with the dataset by any means. As I tried to make clear I have know idea what the population looks like (as in what percentage of fishkeepers use BDBS/other substrates). As a result this dataset almost certainly demonstrates some unknown sampling bias.

Still, if BDBS was that bad for corydoras I would expect it to show up at least once in a random sample in a similar way to how Eco Complete kept showing up in the sample. It was a rudimentary attempt to get real, unbiased data. And yes, I am just a guy on his lunch break. If we subtracted what I know about fishkeeping from what you know about fishkeeping, we could probably fill a decent sized book. But that doesn't make the data any less valid. I'm sure I don't need to point out other times "common knowledge" has been wrong.

Scientists are not infallible, and their word is not gospel. I'm sure that once Dr. Fuller concluded that BDBS causes harms corydoras barbels he stopped using it. Maybe he never even started using based on the physical characteristics of the product. Neither of these are necessarily a scientific conclusion. I also don't doubt your experience in seeing lots of people saying their corydoras have lesions on their bellies and barbel wear. But human attention works in a weird way where we pay more attention to things that confirm what we already know. When it comes down to it, you are both adding one more point to a wider dataset. What you have is a hypothesis, not a conclusion. "Forum ideology" would be claiming certain conclusions with no data, not the attempt (however rudimentary) to resolve that lack of data.

I don't appreciate the suggestion that I'm anti-intellectual. It appears that I'm the only person so far who has approached this with any kind of scientific method. You may disagree with my methods or conclusions, but there is no reason to disparage me. Also, everyone CAN be a scientist. Science is a process that is not limited by the credentials of the person doing the research. Your argumentum ad verecundiam is the opposite of scientific.

I have a degree in ecology and evolutionary biology, by the way, so if you were wondering I quite literally am a scientist.


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post #42 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-18-2020, 03:30 AM
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I tried not to give the impression of certainty. I wouldn't call myself satisfied with the dataset by any means. As I tried to make clear I have know idea what the population looks like (as in what percentage of fishkeepers use BDBS/other substrates). As a result this dataset almost certainly demonstrates some unknown sampling bias.

Still, if BDBS was that bad for corydoras I would expect it to show up at least once in a random sample in a similar way to how Eco Complete kept showing up in the sample. It was a rudimentary attempt to get real, unbiased data. And yes, I am just a guy on his lunch break. If we subtracted what I know about fishkeeping from what you know about fishkeeping, we could probably fill a decent sized book. But that doesn't make the data any less valid. I'm sure I don't need to point out other times "common knowledge" has been wrong.

Scientists are not infallible, and their word is not gospel. I'm sure that once Dr. Fuller concluded that BDBS causes harms corydoras barbels he stopped using it. Maybe he never even started using based on the physical characteristics of the product. Neither of these are necessarily a scientific conclusion. I also don't doubt your experience in seeing lots of people saying their corydoras have lesions on their bellies and barbel wear. But human attention works in a weird way where we pay more attention to things that confirm what we already know. When it comes down to it, you are both adding one more point to a wider dataset. What you have is a hypothesis, not a conclusion. "Forum ideology" would be claiming certain conclusions with no data, not the attempt (however rudimentary) to resolve that lack of data.

I don't appreciate the suggestion that I'm anti-intellectual. It appears that I'm the only person so far who has approached this with any kind of scientific method. You may disagree with my methods or conclusions, but there is no reason to disparage me. Also, everyone CAN be a scientist. Science is a process that is not limited by the credentials of the person doing the research. Your argument um ad verecundiam is the opposite of scientific.

I have a degree in ecology and evolutionary biology, by the way, so if you were wondering I quite literally am a scientist.

My argument um ad.. verecu.. what?

Nice.

The question of corydoras health and substrate is a done deal. it has been for a long time. It has been decided by consensus of the forum. Aint gonna hear no different from me. Not gonna hear a peep out of me from now on.
Carry on.


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post #43 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-18-2020, 05:55 PM
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Guys can't we just agree to disagree D:

We are just talking about best practices (and really preferences) to catfish husbandry. No need to jump down each others throats! Its like they used to tell us in my old PhD program: Academic politics are the most bitter and vicious form of politics, because the stakes are so low. I'm sure we trust that we are all competent enough to not harm our fish or engage in behavior that we can see is causing visible damage. There might not be a definitive answer available at the moment as to BDBS and cory whiskers but its just that, some sand and some whiskers. Nothing to get upset over and no need to take things personally, I think all of you guys make great contributions to the forum and the collective understanding. Let's not let disagreements get overblown!
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post #44 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-18-2020, 10:20 PM
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Black Diamond Sand cutting cories

Thank you @IKeepShrimp That was an excellent way to bring it into perspective. I am sorry to all. I just have been extra emotional of late.


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