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bottom feeders for gravel substrate?

fisharecool789

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currently my 30 gallon has fertilizing dirt on the bottom, then a layer of black sand, and a layer of gravel on top. i was wondering if i could get any sort of bottom dweller for my tank ? everything that has been recommended to me so far and everything i have found online (cory catfish, loaches, etc.) all seem to prefer sand over gravel or can only be kept in sand. can i keep any sort of bottom feeders with a gravel substrate ? if yes, would they be ok with angelfish? i’ve seen red sharks and khulis loaches be kept in tanks with gravel on some youtube channels.
 

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I want to know what you want to know also. I'm setting up my 20 gallon pretty soon. The thing about sand being better for Corydoras and various others rings true but they have been successfully kept for years by many people with plain old aquarium gravel. Been spawned that way too. Your question is a good one and I am interested to hear what our fellow Forumites may say.
 

seangee

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Smooth gravel in itself will cause no harm. The barbells getting infected is usually down to dirt / muck that is trapped in the gravel. Sharp gravel is bad because it not only cuts the barbells but can also shred their stomachs which are soft.

But... and for me this is a big one

I regularly see my corys sifting sand in through their mouths and "spitting" it out via the gills. They can't do this with gravel. So they may appear healthy but are required to change their natural feeding behaviour. Its also an obvious reason why sharp sand is a no no.

I've never captured mine doing that - but this guy has https://www.reddit.com/r/Aquariums/comments/c65wy4/finally_caught_my_habrosus_cory_sand_sifting_in/
 
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