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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I mixed in 20 pounds of Eco Complete to my existing gravel yesterday. It already had some Eco from a couple of years ago.
I'm looking to add some additional fish and cory cats would be a good choice with the fish already in the tank, but is the eco too sharp? Hopefully, I'll get some ground cover going, but wonder about that in general.
Also wondering about gravel vacuuming. What is the best way to approach this? I usually van the gravel every PWC (once every week or two), but it looks to me that this might not be a good practice when trying to get plants growing well. Thanks.
 

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I have 5 cory cats with 40lbs Eco and they are doing fine.
 

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I used to have 5 Cory cats in a 40 gallon long using Eco-Complete as substrate.

Now I have 12! They started spawning like crazy. The extra 7 are just the survivors because I took no special measures to protect the fry (besides fishing them out of the filter).

Honestly, I think the "Eco-Complete is bad for Cories" myth was started by someone who used Eco-Complete, but failed to maintain good water quality. Some people think it's poor water quality that causes Cory barbel erosion.

My Cories' barbels are complete and not the least bit eroded.

I never vacuum the gravel, but I do stir it up on occasion to let the filters catch the mulm. My water changes are %25 once a week. I never miss it.
 

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Mine have been in black diamond blasting grit for over a month and look 100% fine. Yours should be more then okay.
 

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Mine have been in black diamond blasting grit for over a month and look 100% fine. Yours should be more then okay.
Yep, mine have been with black diamond for 4 months now and have completely health barbels. I think reports of course material "grinding them off" are maybe just a bit of cautious speculation.
 

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I got pygmys in blasting sand and they are always rooting around in there digging for worms. Barbels are 100%
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Interesting answers! I will go ahead and add some copies to my tank. I already have two zebra loaches and 3 bristlenose plecos. I had 20 pounds of Eco mixed in with regular, natural gravel and added another 20 pounds last Thursday. Was a bit worried about the roughness with my existing fish but never saw any problem, but had read about the sharp edges. I'd love to get a nice, soft-looking "ground covered" of sorts growing but am too new to this to know even what type of plant would grow like that in my tank. Lots of learning to do!
 

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Have you noticed any damage to their barbels? As that's the main reason they don't like substrate with sharp edges.
I really don't know if they like it or not, as they never have communicated it to me, but they still have 100% of their barbels.

They do like hiding spots for most of the day though, and get active in the late evening through late morning.
 

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More times than not it would be poor water quality that erode barbels. The same debate happens with cories and flourite. I have kept cories with flourite for many years with never seeing barbels lost due to substrate. Remember water quality it the poorest at the bottom and that is where the cories roam.
 
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