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Old 10-29-2013, 01:54 PM   #1
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Cory or pleco?

55g

2 blue gouramis
2 kuhli loaches
3 mollies
3 Molly fry is breeder box
2 angelfish

I'm planning for some bottom feeders for my next addition. What do you prefer? Most fun to watch? Tiger pleco or Julii Cory? I don't want bigger than 6 inches as adults.

Your opinions or ideas are appreciated!
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:09 PM   #2
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First off, I suggest more kuhlis. They are very social IME, and honestly seem to do better in larger groups. I would get at least 4 more. They have a small bioload anyways, so adding that many won't mes up your parameters.
As for your question, I am not positive what you mean by Tiger pleco.
Tropical Fish for Freshwater Aquariums: Tiger Pleco (L-02)
King Tiger Pleco
Iquitos Tiger Pleco
Yellow King Tiger Pleco - Hypancistrus sp. L333
All of those go by Tiger pleco. They are (respectively) L02, L066, L266, and L333. There are a couple others I have heard about being called Tiger plecos as well. Common names with plecos are tough.
Regardless, I would personally vote cories. They are generally more active, easier to come by than the species I listed, cheaper, and mega adorable. Many plecos don't move a ton during the day, or will just straight up hide from you all the time. Some are more outgoing than others, but it would be tough to ever make a case that they are more fun to watch than cories imo.
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:37 PM   #3
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Thank you! I think i was talking about L-02. I think the cories like to be in groups also. Would 4 or 5 of those and 6 kuhli loaches all get food? (That many on the bottom) Algae? After my gourami hogs?!? Also, I have gravel and the loaches I do have don't seem to like it. I think they would prefer sand? I wasn't aware of that and they dive bomb the bottom like they want to burrow and can't. I don't want 6 unhappy loaches. They have lots of hiding places though. Which would be better...more loaches with no sand to burrow or the two I have already dive bombing the gravel? I want all of my fish to be stress free!
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:21 PM   #4
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Yes, cories do like to travel in groups. Also, in a tank that big with a cory that petite, it is more fun to watch a group anyways IMO. I suggest 5. I always like to add fish rather slowly for the sake of the water parameters, but you can do more like 7 and be fine IMO. I don't think you will have a bioload with both the cories and kuhlis. As for food, I kept both for years and never had an issue with them all getting food. You can always drop in some food at night for bottom feeders when the piggier fish are resting.
If you wanted the cories and a few kuhlis and the pleco, you can do that too. Just stay on top of your water changes.
Some people do not like to keep kuhlis on gravel. That is up to you and what you are comfortable with and how your individual fish seem to handle the situation. I kept kuhlis on gravel. I just propped up a couple of ornaments for them to hide under. Mine preferred totally enclosed, dark spaces that no other fish besides them could fit in.
As for food, I never had an issue with all my bottom feeders getting food, even with similarly piggy stock. If you are concerned, you can feed some at night. Kuhlis tend to get more bold in groups, and when they feel comfortable in the tank. Them they will often some out and eat sinking food with everybody else.
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:24 PM   #5
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The only thing I don't like about most pleco's is they aren't very active and mostly come out at night when your not viewing the tank. My vote would also be for Cory Cats or even a small group of Dwarf Chain Loaches which are super active.
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:59 PM   #6
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I have an L-02 tiger pleco and he hides under a piece of driftwood with my spotted Raphael all day. I say go with the cories, you will rarely see the pleco.
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:11 PM   #7
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Thank you guys for your input! I think I'll go with cories!
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:47 PM   #8
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If you provide wood pieces with some curves or rocks with overhanging edges, the loaches will use those to hide in/under & explore as well. I find the more of them I have the more I see them, and I keep them in two of my tanks. One has Eco Complete, which was not nearly as fine grained as the bag led me to think it was when I got it, mixed with some finer sand size stuff, but it has all gone to the bottom layer now.

The other tank has a much smaller grained gravel with rounder grains, but still not sand. I have both the striped kuhlis and Black kuhlis on both substrates and so long as they have plenty of places to hide underneath, not being able to dig in does not seem to bother them. They do dive for the cover, but they just squeeze under the decor and seem quite content with that. I have also not seen any sign of excessive wear on their barbels, which is one reason many want to use a softer substrate for them and for cories too, who also have barbels.

I keep cories with the loaches as well as Panda garras and a few dwarf loaches and some Otos. They all seem to find enough to eat, I've had no problems with them getting along with each other. But I give them lots of rocks and wood to hide under when they want to.

Fwiw, Black kuhli loaches, though they lack the wonderful colour and patterns of their striped cousins, are much more outgoing and active, even in the day.

I often see mine doing the ferris wheel, which is what I call a behaviour they indulge in, where up to four of them will chase each other in upright circles near the glass, over and over, for as much as ten or fifteen minutes at a time. Not sure why, but they seem to be enjoying themselves.

They get on well with the striped Kuhlis, but I keep a fair number of both species, since they do prefer the company of their own. I often find the striped ones lounging in the floating plant cover, draped over stems and leaves.. in broad daylight too. This happens most often when I have left new plants floating before I plant them, so the cover is quite thick. I really think numbers are why they are confident enough to do this.

Both tanks have an internal pump, a Koralia Nano, which provides extra current. In the one tank, the pump ensures a current for filter feeding shrimp, but the Cories and loaches certainly don't seem bothered by it in the least.. they seem to enjoy it.
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