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So I have a bit of a dilemma, I want to do a planted dirted tank, and I also want to have Cory cats. I have heard that gravel is better than pool filter sand as a cap because it allows better root growth and gas exchange between the dirt and the water. But gravel isn't as good for cories right? They do better in sand is what I have heard. So I dunno if I should go with pool filter sand or gravel as a cap, does anyone have any experience with this?
 

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Do what ever you want. Some say the likes of Flourite and Eco are too sharp. I have housed Cories in Flourite for the past 10+ years. No barbel deterioration what so ever. In fact, the barbels are more sensitive to poor water conditions. Flourite and Eco are probably among the roughest substrates you can get. The only probably I see with sand as a dirted cap, is that if any live food burrows, I am sure the cories will go after it violently. I have observed my cories go after live round worms in my Flourite like there is no tomorrow, lol. I am setting up a couple dirted tank with sand caps in which I have live worm colonies breeding. Once I insert my cories, I am sure I will regret that decision.
 

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The medium grit. No real big issues at all, been using it for years. Only "issue" is the last few bags were a bit more oily than usual, but a good rinsing is all that's needed. Also the color was not as pure black as my first few tanks, the last few bags have small bits that are the color of clay pots. I asked and others haven't reported it so it must be a batch thing.

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I did notice when trying to plant some freshly cut glosso plantlets this morning, the fine particulate seems to be deeper down the substrate, which I am sure is because of the corries stirring it the whole time.
Certainly was a bit harder job than the initial planting. None of the plants gets dug up by them though, even with immature roots... Actually saw the up to the eyeball thing this morning and mentioned it to my wife... Oh and I showed my daughter how to catch an antlion on Friday. :)
 
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