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Old 04-26-2009, 05:56 PM   #1
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Red face Mixing bottom dwellers?

I was under the mistaken impression that bottom dwellers were useful for clean-up, but really weren't meant to be enjoyed--all the beauty and action are surely the fish in the mid to top regions of the tank right? I was WRONG!

In my hunt for a clean-up crew, I've fallen in love with bottom dwellers! They are fascinating! I ended up choosing 3 kuhli loaches for my tank with my betta, but it was a tough decision between them, cories, small plecos, and banjo cats.

If you have more than one species of bottom dweller, how do you choose which species to mix, and ensure everyone gets fed adequately? Can you mix nocturnal with diurnal? How do you make sure that the nocturnal kuhli's get their chance if, for example, cories have been busy eating leftovers all day? If you feed again at night, do the cories end up overfed? If you choose all nocturnal fish, do the larger ones (eg. banjo's) more easily compete against the kuhli's for food?

Sorry, these are probably dumb questions. I debated long and hard before asking, but if there's a possibility I can get some catfish with my kuhli's, then I'll risk embarassment. I'm such a
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Old 04-26-2009, 06:54 PM   #2
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I usually feed in once in the morning and once in the evening. The evening one is when I see the fish that hide at the first feeding will come out and eat.

I usually mix cories with plecos and/or ottos for bottom feeders. The ottos are all over so I really don't consider them bottom dwellers. I has been years since I had kuhli loachs but when I did I had them with cories without problems.
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Old 04-26-2009, 07:16 PM   #3
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I mix and match "bottom feeders" all the time. I usually feed 2-3 a day in small amounts. I feed once after the lights go out to ensure any nocturnal feeders get their share. Plecos, Corys and Loaches all work well together. Some of the mixes I currently have include:
Bronze Corys, Peppered Corys, Brislenose Pleco, Clown Loaches
Peppered Corys, Clown Loaches, Hi-Fin Leopard Pleco
Peppered Corys, Kubotai Loaches, Oto.
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Old 04-27-2009, 02:44 PM   #4
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Thanks for the answers! Phew, it looks like I'm worrying about nothing. I'll do like you both said and feed again after lights out.
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:36 PM   #5
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I have the 3 kuhlis and 3 spotted/peppered/speckled cories together, they do just fine, sharks are the only ones I do not mix with kuhli's. Rainbow tore apart one of my new kuhlis before it got down to the sand for the first time, I gave up the shark for obvious reasons.

Ill get new pics of my tank up and PM you a link to it, 26g bowfront betta/angel/tetra/cat/kuhli thing i threw together one evening.
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Old 04-27-2009, 08:36 PM   #6
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One thing to keep in mind, both loaches and cories are schooling fish and prefer to be kept in groups of 6 or more. That isn't saying they can't be kept in smaller groups but they thrive much better in schools.

Research your bottom feeders and you will find out if they are compatible. Several types of plecos can be aggressive to their own species.
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:26 PM   #7
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Zagz, I definately plan on adding more kuhli's to my tank, especially now that I see my betta is fine with them. And if I decide on cories, I will for sure get a school of them. I'm leaning towards them more than the other bottom dwellers because they are so cute and active.

WhiteDevil, does your betta attack the angels because of the trailing fins?
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:59 PM   #8
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The angel may actually attack the betta. Angels are aggressive fish. Bettas are usually fine with non aggressive, non long finned fish.
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:22 AM   #9
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Zagz, I didn't know the angel would attack the betta! I figured it would be the other way around because angels have those trailing fins.

Hijack: I have to say, too, I love your African Grey in your avatar! Is it a Congo or Timneh? /hijack
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Old 05-01-2009, 05:24 PM   #10
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I have three baby angelfish and a bichir in a tank together along with some smaller fish like silvertipped tetras, a molly and a stingray pleco (acctually a loach) and my bichir rules the bottom...but it depends on your bottom dweller...some fish get along well, like the loaches or banjo cats (I've never seen any agressiong towards or from a banjo cat....let alone movement...) so I guess it depends on what fish you have...the bichir will destroy any unwanted fish...he took down a silvertipped tetra in the night last night...him and the angelfish (who oddly enough are babies and could easily be eaten by him) hang out and "target" fish I'm convinced...they are a lively quartet...they def. keep me on my toes with new fish...its really hit or miss
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:15 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by RWaltman View Post
some fish get along well, like the loaches or banjo cats (I've never seen any agressiong towards or from a banjo cat....let alone movement...)
LOL I guess you don't see much activity from a banjo -or see anything of it, period!- but I sure thought the one I saw was mighty interesting, and I think I may just have to buy him.
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Old 05-02-2009, 03:28 AM   #12
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Got one for ya cougrrr




as you can see they dont bother eachother at all.

Most FW cats stay pretty laid back
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:52 AM   #13
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Nice pics, WhiteDevil! Thanks for sharing! Love your sand, and it looks like you have some of the same plants as me -the tall ones in the back and the hairgrass. Cute kuhli's!

Does anyone know if cories will chew on my betta's fins? Patches (my betta) sleeps on the floor of the tank rather than at the surface, and I just had to remove my kuhli's because they were making a snack of his fins.
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:47 AM   #14
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Cories dont touch my betta, they "patrol" his corner while he sleeps and the kuhlis run constant moving surveillance of the tank so. If anything gets out of line the betta and angels start to flex on the other fish and thats it, not one fish on fish crime yet though.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:51 AM   #15
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Cories dont touch my betta, they "patrol" his corner while he sleeps and the kuhlis run constant moving surveillance of the tank so. If anything gets out of line the betta and angels start to flex on the other fish and thats it, not one fish on fish crime yet though.
I can handle "patrolling" of the neighborhood. Just as long as there's no police brutality going on; Patches' fins are mangled enough.
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