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Breeding Corydoradine Catfishes

Title Breeding Corydoradine Catfishes
Author & (Publisher) Ian A. M. Fuller (Ian Fuller Enterprises, 2001)
Price £29.99
Subject Matter As Title
Edition 1st, English

Article © Julian Dignall, uploaded January 01, 2002.

I have been known to groan at the sight of yet another Corydoras book. One review of mine even began, "Another book review - another Cory book", so it was with some trepidation that I sat down to read this one. I needn't have worried - this is not formulaic output.

Perhaps the welcome deviance from the norm comes from the fact the book is self-published. The author has drawn on almost solely personal experience and the book layout and design further expresses this individuality. Although self-published the typographic style is clear, generally constant and error-free.

After the perfunctory preface / introduction, an overview of the author's fish house follows. This divulges details not just of construction but all aspects of Corydoras husbandry with a heavy emphasis on reproduction. Reproductive techniques and fry rearing strategies are also openly discussed in detail. Then follows a species by species account of captive reproduction, so-called "spawning logs". It should be noted here that the author has chosen the species he has bred rather than every known spawning. That said, this means that the book covers 67 individual species (65 Corys (or more if you include regional colour varieties) Brochis splendens and Aspidoras menezesi) of Corydoradine cats.

Each spawning log discusses the species in detail and gives specific environment parameters at the time of spawning. Put it this way, the level of detail here is, species for species, consistently greater than any other catfish book I have read. Pictures of adult males and females are always present and often pictures of fry, eggs or spawning behaviour can be found. With each spawning log is a discussion of any points of note for that species which often covers telling them apart from lookalikes. Usually more colour photographs are present to aid this process. Top quality line drawings of fry growth and development are also beautifully represented for each log.

Then, if all that wasn't enough, we come to the final third of the book. This separate section is a scientific paper entitled "Catalogue of genera and species of Corydoradinae". Written by Dr Isaäc Isbrücker, we first read the introduction which gives some interesting, authoritative views particularly in consideration of synonyms within the genus Corydoras and the current broad view of the genus in contrast to the other two within the sub-family. The systematics that follow details every Aspidoras, Brochis and Corydoras type localities, type specimens and the etymology of all fishes along with discussion of the validity of that species.

Yes, it is yet another Cory book but it significantly advances what we know about Corydoras catfish. In comparison to most Cory books it is relatively expensive yet I can say without doubt that anyone keeping these catfish with a view to reproduction should buy this book. Those not interested in Corys will still find the first section discussing the fish house in which they are kept "a good read". Those interested in the systematics of Corydoras will also find the final section of the book most useful for reference purposes.

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