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Tetra Initial Sticks

Dear Sirs:
Six months ago I set a 30 gal planted aquarium using Tetra Initial 
Sticks and 3-4 mm diameter gravel as substrate, strictly following the 
manfacturer instructions.  I keep the aquarium at pH 7, 25 degC. Plant 
growth is good (not excellent), no major problem with algae and most 
fishes (cardinal tetras, serpae tetras, flame tetras) are very healthy 
and active. The problem I experience is with the bottom feeders 
(corydoras). Every time I have tryied to introduce Corydoras, they begin 
to behave abnormally, loose appetite and die between 48 to 72 hours.  I 
suspect that this might be the substrate used. I would appreciate your 
feedback on this.
Best Regards
Santiago Gonzalez