Best bottom feeder for a gravel tank

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jaylach

jaylach

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Please don't go with pygmy cories for a couple of reasons. Number one, the old school style keepers like Iti and I disagree on is the gravel/sand debate. I keep pygmies, their tank is half gravel and half fine sand (because I impulse bought pygmies before preparing a tank for them, so removed some gravel and made a beach at the front) the pygmies much, much prefer to feed and sit around on the fine sand beach. But it's also a pain to be worrying about food falling down into the gravel that they might hurt themselves trying to reach, or that could fester and produce bad bacteria that they'd be vulnerable to while forcing their delicate little heads into the gravel to forage.

2. Because they're a tiny, shy, not bold at all species, and you're thinking of having things like barbs or cichlids in the tank. Pygmies need small, super peaceful tank mates or a species only tank, they will be out competed by barbs/cichlids for food, may well get bullied, and will be reclusive and hide away all the time, not showing their full behaviours, and also not being able to practice filter feeding on the gravel substrate.

Get pygmies if you really want pygmies, but only if you've set up a tank with them in mind. This tank and potential stocking isn't suited to them at all.

The other thing I want to mention unrelated to the pygmies is that I haven't seen anyone say that plecos can't handle gravel. Important to keep the gravel clean since they're a bottom dweller, but they're not a filter feeder like cories and aren't shoving their heads down into the gravel in the same way with delicate face barbels, so most people I've seen don't object to plecos on gravel. You're a pleco fan anyway, and they can handle living with barbs, so seems like a much more sensible choice for you.
To be honest I didn't realize that pygmy catfish meant Pygmy corys. I've already decided that I don't want to do corys.

Hoe about rosey loaches?
Pretty fish and I like but specs call for a minimum of a 30 gallon tank and mine is only 20 gallon.
 

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The tank size and the dimensions (cube) really limit options. And frankly, most everything so far mentioned is not suited here either due to size or the substrate. The dwarf cichlid Laetacara dorsigera being an exception, a pair would be fine.

No fish will keep the gravel clean, this is the aquarist's job. :fish:
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Pretty fish and I like but specs call for a minimum of a 30 gallon tank and mine is only 20 gallon.

Where did you find the specs that say 30g? Seriously Fish recommends 60 by 30, which is a 15.5 gallon - same size as tanks I have. Granted yours is a cube shape, but I doubt that would be a problem for a small group of them.

Rachel O'Leary did a Species Spotlight on them, and she's generally well regarded in the hobby from what I understand - she even kept some in her daughter's 3g, which is too small to my mind, but clearly she doesn't think they need a 30g.
No pressure either way, just looking for your sources, and because you said you wanted loaches. The only loaches I know of that can live in smaller tanks (because I have small tanks and love botiid loaches, and looked into it) are the Rosys and kuhli's, but since kuhli's like to bury themselves, I don't know how they would do with gravel, I've never looked into keeping those. But I did do a little reading/video watching on the Rosy loach.
 
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The tank size and the dimensions (cube) really limit options. And frankly, most everything so far mentioned is not suited here either due to size or the substrate. The dwarf cichlid Laetacara dorsigera being an exception, a pair would be fine.

No fish will keep the gravel clean, this is the aquarist's job. :fish:
And it figures that the Laetacara dorsigera is the one I can't find anywhere. :(

Where did you find the specs that say 30g? Seriously Fish recommends 60 by 30, which is a 15.5 gallon - same size as tanks I have. Granted yours is a cube shape, but I doubt that would be a problem for a small group of them.

Rachel O'Leary did a Species Spotlight on them, and she's generally well regarded in the hobby from what I understand - she even kept some in her daughter's 3g, which is too small to my mind, but clearly she doesn't think they need a 30g.
No pressure either way, just looking for your sources, and because you said you wanted loaches. The only loaches I know of that can live in smaller tanks (because I have small tanks and love botiid loaches, and looked into it) are the Rosys and kuhli's, but since kuhli's like to bury themselves, I don't know how they would do with gravel, I've never looked into keeping those. But I did do a little reading/video watching on the Rosy loach.
This is the site that said 30 gallon.

 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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This is the site that said 30 gallon.

So it depends who you trust more; Seriously Fish and Rachel O'Leary, or that random fish seller.
But whatever, was only trying to help. Plus I rewatched Rachel's piece on them and it reminded me that while they're a botiid loach, they tend to swim mid-water.
 

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And it figures that the Laetacara dorsigera is the one I can't find anywhere.

You are in the USA so online suppliers rather than local stores may be best. For example, this species happens to be available now through The Wet Spot in Portland, Oregon, and they will ship within the continental USA.

 
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jaylach

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You are in the USA so online suppliers rather than local stores may be best. For example, this species happens to be available now through The Wet Spot in Portland, Oregon, and they will ship within the continental USA.

WetSpot must have recently gotten them in as they didn't have a month ago.

So it depends who you trust more; Seriously Fish and Rachel O'Leary, or that random fish seller.
But whatever, was only trying to help. Plus I rewatched Rachel's piece on them and it reminded me that while they're a botiid loach, they tend to swim mid-water.
Oh, I would have more trust in Seriously Fish.
 
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You are in the USA so online suppliers rather than local stores may be best. For example, this species happens to be available now through The Wet Spot in Portland, Oregon, and they will ship within the continental USA.

Sigh, sorry to say that Wet Spot still shows Laetacara dorsigera as out of stock. :( I DID sign up to be notified if they get some. The page allows for making some choices but below the options it shows as out of stock after filling in the options. :(
 

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We all have different experiences with fish. The Pygmy Catfish I have kept have never spent any time on the bottom of the tank and they just hang around in the plants, like little helicopters.
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