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I am (finally) getting ready to stock my 55, and can't come up with a bottom dweller. I already have cories in other tanks, so I'd like to do something a little different, just can't figure out what that would be. I'm using black sand for my substrate, and the other fish will be rainbows (most likely boesmani) and diamond tetras. May have a pleco or two, but I'm looking for something I would have in quantities (like cories) vs. a single fish like the pleco. Tank will be moderately planted.

One other thing to keep in mind - my water sucks. ph 8.3, kh 19, gh 10. That said, I'm keeping quite a few fish very successfully that shouldn't do well in that water (gold rams, gbr, angels, tinwini danios, etc.), but I know there are some fish that just can not adapt to those conditions, so I want to avoid softwater/acidic fish if they are overly sensitive.
 

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Water parameters you list are tough for loaches.... they would NOT be happy. Synodontis can be fairly predatory, considering what you have in there.

Maybe the reason you have corys is their hardiness, generally peaceful nature and tolerance? If so, maybe you want to look at some different types? There are lots of different corys available in a range of sizes.
 

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pygmy cory. Get a whole mob low bio load they will school and often mid water its great fun to watch lol
 

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Cories range in tolerances from hard to soft water. The more commonly sold Cories (Pepper, Bronze) handle a wide range of conditions, the less common ones are more particular, preferring softer water.
 

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I had a group of 4 Dwarf Moth catfish, Hara Jerdoni, only problem is, in a really brightly lit tank they didn't venture forth much. There's a little larger Moth Catfish, the Hara Hara. If it's as mellow as the dwarf Moths it would be a nice odd species catfish in a group of 4 or more.

 

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Those parameters sound very close to mine, which is quite typical for SoCal. I have 11 Kuhlis, and they've grown up big and happy in my Crypt tank. I think the most important thing for loaches is to try and purchase them while they're young, and slowly acclimate them into a clean and well established tank. I saw Zebra Botias at the LFS in Fresno, and they all looked fairly healthy and active as can be in cramped quarters, at a pH of 7.8+ and probably rock hard water
 

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Cories range in tolerances from hard to soft water. The more commonly sold Cories (Pepper, Bronze) handle a wide range of conditions, the less common ones are more particular, preferring softer water.
Have about 20 pygmy in 8.6 ph they have been fine.
Same water type I have in another 55g 3 clown loach and a Angelicus loach who have been with me at least 6 years to no ill effect. Khulis then should be fine in less than that pH one would think.

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Those parameters sound very close to mine, which is quite typical for SoCal. I have 11 Kuhlis, and they've grown up big and happy in my Crypt tank. I think the most important thing for loaches is to try and purchase them while they're young, and slowly acclimate them into a clean and well established tank. I saw Zebra Botias at the LFS in Fresno, and they all looked fairly healthy and active as can be in cramped quarters, at a pH of 7.8+ and probably rock hard water
Talking about whitie's?? If you are they are up and down on the things they get..and for fish health it's hit and miss...I got at least 6 panda corys from them only 1 lasted 6 months before he went to the garden to feed the outside plants...I got 2 angels from them about a week ago they got from a local breeder and they look super healthy..I once saw they had two tanks full of GBR's a week later both tanks full of itch..I picked up three when they first got them 2 survived one didn't but lucky the one that died started to show signs of itch..but it didn't get a outbreak in my tank since I dose some med as a safety..any who sorry to write some thing totally off subject..why not try black kuhlii loaches
 

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I had a group of 4 Dwarf Moth catfish, Hara Jerdoni, only problem is, in a really brightly lit tank they didn't venture forth much. There's a little larger Moth Catfish, the Hara Hara. If it's as mellow as the dwarf Moths it would be a nice odd species catfish in a group of 4 or more.

Oooo I so very much want some of these for my catfish 55!
straight awesomeness!

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Oooo I so very much want some of these for my catfish 55!
straight awesomeness!

Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk
They're so weird and primordial looking, I love them. The Mini Moths are tiny. Mine were no bigger than 1.25" and spent all their time hidden in the Java Moss. But the moment food hit the tank, boom! They were in the thick of it with the rest of the Tetras and the Clown Pek. Funny because they have the swimming grace of well fed tadpoles.

Should be able to still get them, seems I saw them in Aquabid a week back.
 

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Talking about whitie's?? If you are they are up and down on the things they get..and for fish health it's hit and miss...I got at least 6 panda corys from them only 1 lasted 6 months before he went to the garden to feed the outside plants...I got 2 angels from them about a week ago they got from a local breeder and they look super healthy..I once saw they had two tanks full of GBR's a week later both tanks full of itch..I picked up three when they first got them 2 survived one didn't but lucky the one that died started to show signs of itch..but it didn't get a outbreak in my tank since I dose some med as a safety..any who sorry to write some thing totally off subject..why not try black kuhlii loaches
Yeah, Whitie's can be hit and miss. The Sawbwa Barbs I got from them as a gamble turned out to be excellent and hardy. I'm not sure if they're wild caught (I hope not!), and now I fear for their health from the current heatwave bringing my usual tank temps from 76F to as high as 83.8F!!
 

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Mine hid always when they finally died I never replaced them.
Lol

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They don't really work aesteticly well in larger tanks due to their small size. Also not really a high light fish, so not suitable for all planted tanks. But they always get a bit of awe from me when I see them. Used to buy bags full when I was making good money as a kid.
 

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I have one of those. Does fine in my 8.6 pH texas limestone water.
Yes I have only one he's my snail trouble shooter but has 3 clown loach buddies he stays with lol

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