Don’t shave your Corydoras whiskers

23 Apr

I noticed that one of my Juii Corydoras has lost his whiskers, properly called barbels. Other Corys in the same tank seem to be fine.

A Corydoras Catfish can wear down his barbels by digging around for food. Even though the gravel in this tank looks smooth I have read that just pushing and pushing into the gravel can eventually wear down the whiskers.

This picture shows my little Julii Cory on the left with eroded barbels. The one on the right looks normal.

Sand is the referred substrate for Corydoras and I do use it in a few of my tanks. It’s cheap to buy Playsand at a Home Depot, Menards, Lowe’s type-store. So much cheaper than buying Aquarium Gravel.

I’m going to tear down this tank and put sand on the bottom. It seems to me that sand can be abrasive, too, but the idea is that when the Cory pushes on it, the sand moves.

Another pic of healthy barbels. Big gravel in this tank doesn't seem to be a problem but I will keep an eye on my Corys.

Corys also need clean water. Do your water changes. If the barbels are damaged and the fish lives in dirty, bacteria-laden water it could eventually kill it. I am very guilty of being slack about this. After seeing my little Julii Cory with no barbels I am vowing to try harder.

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8 Responses to “Don’t shave your Corydoras whiskers”

  1. vecinana April 26, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    Very informative post. I had no clue you could use Playsand instead of the aquarium sand they sell at the pet store.

    • fishtanx2011 April 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

      I figure if the Playsand is fit for human children then fish can play in it, too.

  2. vecinana April 26, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    Reblogged this on Turtle Affairs and commented:
    This is a great post on these lovely fish.

  3. That Fish Lady (@FPufferfish) May 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Pool filter sand is also another option, and it’s a lot cleaner than play sand. You still have to wash it off well, but it’s suitable for a puffer’s sensitive belly – which leads me to think it would probably work just fine for a cory cat, too! Where I live, it’s pretty cheap to buy by the 25-50lb bag. I usually pay between $7-$15 for the bag, depending on where I go.

    • fishtanx2011 May 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

      OH great advice, thank you! This is absolutely the best thing about having a blog, the opportunity to learn and share information.

  4. vecinana June 2, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    Have you tried breeding them at all?

    • fishtanx2011 June 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

      Only once about 2 years ago I had very limited success with my Green Cories and I am anxious to try it again and do better. I see I have a huge Black-skirt Tetra that would be easy to spawn, and my Angels are laying eggs frequently. Then I should try the Cories again.

      • vecinana June 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

        Thanks. I’m planning on giving it a try.

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