The best and most honest answer I can give to this question is...if you want to provide the best home for your cories so they will be less stressed and healthy, you will use sand for the substrate.Ok so I can provide them with all of the things mentioned except the sand. Is sand needed or prefered?
You should consider entering the forums tank of the month contest the winner gets their own TOTM badge in their profile.I know that sand is good for cories but i like the gravel more than the sand Idk why and its not because I'd have to take everything out. is there some sort of small cory or catfish that would be compatible with sparkling gouramis and chili rasbora.
The needs of the fish come before our preferences. The dwarf species of cory willnot manage well with anything but sand. Alternate substrate fish might be a Whiptail Catfish (Rineloricaria parva species, not one of the much larger "Royal" Whiptails). In a 10g I cannot think of anything else.I know that sand is good for cories but i like the gravel more than the sand Idk why and its not because I'd have to take everything out. is there some sort of small cory or catfish that would be compatible with sparkling gouramis and chili rasbora.
Otos are not substrate fish (like cories) but spend their time on surfaces grazing algae. They will not eat "problem" algae but only common green and diatoms. Unless this is present, they may initially starve to death.Ok I read a couple articles about whiptail catfish and they were not promising, they said they weren't good in captivity and were best cared for by an experienced aquarist- definitely not me. Also I really like otocinclus I mentioned getting them instead of cories to control my algae (which is now gone) would otocinclus be a good choice? I know their more of an algae fish than a scavenger fish but i like them anyway.
Otos will usually learn to feed from sinking algae or kelp-based foods (Omega One's Veggie Rounds is excellent food for vegetarian substrate fish). The risk is initially. Otos are wild caught and by the time they get to the store many are almost starved and without suitable algae they often die. Once they get established they will begin to search out other foods like the sinking foods. Blanched veggies can be good food too, once the otos are settled.I know that they are picky eaters and planned on separately growing some soft green algae on a stick or something while being quarantined and then once I put them in my tank I was going to let them eat the fungus off my drift wood then experiment with some other things to see if they eat algae wafers or spinach. Does this sound good?
That is not fungus, it is algae, assuming you mean the fuzzy dark green stem. Otos will not eat that, no algae-eating fish suited to a 10g will. Reducing light intensity and/or duration (depends upon the intensity now), and/or organics (fish feeding, plant additives) is the only way to keep this in check. Floating plants help too.Ok I guess while I quarantine them I could put in a small piece of it to see if they eat it and if they don't I'll work on getting them to eat veggies or wafers. Do these sound like appropriate steps to take? I put a picture of what the fungus looks like.