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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. Setting up a 75 gal planted community tank soon. CO2, proper lighting etc. I plan to have a shoal of cories as a part of the community. My ? is, what is a good substrate not only for planting, but for the cories? I also plan to have some areas of "carpet" type plants. Thank you!
 

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Hi Razor,

Cory's do prefer smoother/sandy substrates; however I've kept them successfully in sharper planting substrates like regular Flourite. I didn't notice any damage to their barbels or cuts/irritation on their bellies and it has been about 2 years.

Flourite does make a Sand substrate which I'm experimenting with right now, but haven't added any fish to the tank yet. Just remember, Cory's do like to dig around the substrate when they are searching for food (or just bored). They have a tendency to uproot delicate carpet plants (like HC, DHG, etc.). I really recommend allowing the plant to completely root (maybe four weeks or more of rooting) before adding Corydoras to the tank- or you may be finding a lot of DHG clogging your filter intake ;)
 

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Hi Razor,

Cory's do prefer smoother/sandy substrates; however I've kept them successfully in sharper planting substrates like regular Flourite. I didn't notice any damage to their barbels or cuts/irritation on their bellies and it has been about 2 years.

Flourite does make a Sand substrate which I'm experimenting with right now, but haven't added any fish to the tank yet. Just remember, Cory's do like to dig around the substrate when they are searching for food (or just bored). They have a tendency to uproot delicate carpet plants (like HC, DHG, etc.). I really recommend allowing the plant to completely root (maybe four weeks or more of rooting) before adding Corydoras to the tank- or you may be finding a lot of DHG clogging your filter intake ;)
Using Tom Barr's dry start method is a good way to get past the time when carpet plants are easily uprooted by corys.
 

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I'm no long term expert but I used MTS for the bottom layer and capped it with Flourite Black Sand. Plants quickly built nice roots in the MTS and FBS does a nice job of capturing stems with its fine grains and good specific gravity.

Good combo.

Also not messy when moving things around. The MTS little clouds quickly settle then disappear beneath the FBS cap.

Jim
 

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Using Tom Barr's dry start method is a good way to get past the time when carpet plants are easily uprooted by corys.
Thanks Hoppy, I forgot to mention this. I'm actually using the DSM with my DHG right now. It's been 2 weeks and so far, so good.
 

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I'm no long term expert but I used MTS for the bottom layer and capped it with Flourite Black Sand.
Jim
Sorry, what's MTS? (I'm pretty sure you didn't mean multiple tank syndrome.)
I ask because I'm going to be taking down my 29G and trying to decide how to set it back up again.

Julia
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all of the replies. As a follow up question, what is mineralized top soil? Brand name? Also, how do you keep a substrate such as yours from becoming compacted. I regularly till/cultivate my land based plants etc. I read that its a good idea to disturb the aquarium substrate occasionally to prevent the likelihood of developing anaerobic pockets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, just saw the thread on mts. How about using Flourite sand over flourite. Because of my inexperience with planted tanks, I am a little wary of the mts...
 

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Flourite (normal) being coarser will "float" to the top of FBS rather quickly. However many like the look of a bit of flourite over the FBS.

MTS is basically dirt that has its organic matter composted with heat and moisture to break it down more thoroughly and sifted to remove the remaining coarse bits out. Clay is added to keep it from making a mess of the water when doing planting/replanting and works very well in that regard. Additives before laying it down (dolomite, potash) are easily obtained and applied.

Nothing difficult about the process at all but the labor in the composting of the soil can be tedious especially in the winter months when it can't be done with sunlight. Now is a great time to do it. Many use Miracle Grow Organic Soil since it is widely available and somewhat of a known quantity as a starter material. I just used cheap bagged soil from TruValue HW.

good luck

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ok. so Miracle grow organic top soil( not potting soil which has vermiculite in it ) topped with flourite sand. Pack the soil tight to remove air bubbles. What about the soil getting to compacted? wont it become anaerobic and cause roots to rot? Also, if I go the route of "dirt" I should start ferting right away with Flourish or something similar correct?
 

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Malaysian Trumpet Snail ;)...... no see above :D

Hey JSA, just curious why are you breaking down your tank?
Columnaris. All inhabitants now in the 10 gal hospital tank swimming in major meds. I will be emptying and disinfecting my low tech planted 29 gal next weekend, and am playing with how I might set it back up.
 
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