Cat-eLog Right Arrow Callichthyidae Right Arrow Corydoradinae Right Arrow Scleromystax

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Scleromystax barbatus  (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824)
Common Names Bearded Cory
Banded Corydoras, Bearded Catfish, Bearded Corydoras, Checkerboard Cory, Filigree Cory, Skægget Pansermalle (Denmark)
Type Locality Fazenda da Japuhyba near Angra dos Reis, 22°59'S, 44°17'W, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Synonym(s) Callichthys barbatus, Corydoras barbatus, Corydoras eigenmanni
Pronunciation ss KLER oh muss tax - bar BAT uss
Etymology Scleromystax: From the Greek sclero meaning hard and the Latin mystax meaning moustache. From the Latin barbatus = bearded, alluding to the cheek bristles developed by mature males.
Articles
Article - CotM 2001 August
Article - Shane's World Reproduction Breeding Scleromystax barbatus
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 95mm or 3.7" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Young fish are hard to tell apart from Scleromystax kronei. Adults are easier to tell apart. Adult male S. barbatus have a gold nose stripe (shown) above and females remain peppered gray. In S. kronei both sexes develop higher contrast patterning with maturity, lack the nose stripe and have pale gold / silver saddle shaped patches across the top of their lower back.
Sexing See images above - males are slimmer, posses a gold nose stripe set against velvet black and cheek bristles. Females are marginally larger than males but not any where near the degree shown in Corydoras species. Females remain peppered grey throughout their life.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Brazil: Rio de Janeiro state in rivers emptying into Guanabara bay; Rio Guapi, Rio Capivari and Rio Inbomirim.
Rio de Janeiro State Rivers, Capivari (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Rio de Janeiro State Rivers, Guapi (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Rio de Janeiro State Rivers, Inbomirim (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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pH 5.5 - 7.0
Temperature 16.0-25.5°C or 60.8-77.9°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters The water chemistry isn't too critical for this species except if you intend to attempt breeding them (see below). Despite coming from a tropical zone, this species has a more involved relationship with temperature than one might expect given its origin. Temperature is important in at least how it affects dissolved oxygen levels. This fish will tolerate low temperatures at least for a few months (55°F/13°C) and should not be kept above 77°F/25°C in either well stocked or poorly oxygenated tanks. Ideally, keep the fish in the 68 - 76°F/20-24°C, a range that within which the species will breed.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Sinking tablet and granulated prepared foods with occasional pre-soaked flake will provide a staple diet. Careful feeding of live tubifex, bloodworm or chopped earthworm will promote growth and bring the fish into breeding condition.
Furniture For the substrate I would recommend very fine smooth gravel or smooth grained sand, the addition of several large pebbles or pieces of inert rock and maybe one or two clumps of Java fern for a bit of colour. Rooted plants may not get much chance to establish themselves, because these fish do spend a lot of time with their snouts in the substrate rooting around for food morsels.
Compatibility Ideally this species should by kept in pairs, the males are territorial. If there are two males in a tank that is not large enough to give each his own space, then squabbles will occur. As the spawning season nears, usually in the early part of the year, squabbles will often turn into real fights where serious damage can be inflicted; death of the weaker individual is not out of the question. A standard 24"x 12" tank would be sufficient for one pair; two pairs would need at least a 36"x 15" if not larger.
Suggested Tankmates Generally this is a species that is very easy to find tankmates for as it is more boisterous than many Corydoras. So can be kept with small to medium sized cichlids, larger tetras and even fast glutonous feeders such as barbs.
Breeding To attempt breeding, the water should be rather soft and slightly acidic. A pH of 5.5 to 6.5 and the general hardness in the area of 1° to 3°dH. The fish will breed at levels above this but problems arise when it's time for the fry to emerge from the egg. The soft, slightly acid water helps to break down the egg membrane allowing the fry to emerge.
Once the fry are free swimming, which is two to three days after hatching, they are able to take newly hatched brineshrimp. This they relish and it does not take them long to fill their bellies - which will appear very pink and distended. A fairly rich and varied diet, along with regular water changes will ensure a good growth rate and in three months they should be well over one inch long. At three months they all resemble their mother in colour pattern. It will be several more weeks before males start to develop their characteristics. By the time the fry have reached their first birthday they should be fully matured adults, although they will still have some way to go before they are full sized specimens.
See also the article in Shane's World.
Breeding Reports There are 14 breeding reports, read them all here.
Jump to next section Further Information
References Voyage Uranie, Zool. 234
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Last Update 2013 Jul 19 10:08 (species record created: 2001 Apr 25 00:00)