Catfish of the Month Right Arrow November 2009

Amapa State Cory, Amapa Cory - Corydoras(ln1) amapaensis   Nijssen, 1972

Article © Ian Fuller, uploaded November 06, 2009.

I am indebted again to Ian Fuller, once again, for giving us an excellent CotM article in, and some ways, a sequel to the previous one for Corydoras simulatus. This article has been with me for a long time, and solely due to my inattention, has languished at the rarely disturbed bottom of my email inbox. That situation I've now put right and here is another excellent article from a true expert in his field.

For a long time there was a lot of confusion as to what was the true Corydoras amapaensis and for a long time one colour form of Corydoras simulatus Weitzman & Nijssen, 1970 was thought to be Corydoras amapaensis, but it was not until around the middle of 2003 that they were brought out of Suriname by German aquarists. There at two other species with colour pattern close to Corydoras amapaensis and these are Corydoras solox Nijssen & Isbrücker, 1983 and Corydoras geoffroy LaCépède, 1803. Separating the three is relatively easy; Corydoras amapaensis is the only one that does not posses a third pair of rectal barbels. It is the shape of the head that differentiates Corydoras amapaensis from Corydoras geoffroy; the former has a typical saddle shaped snout and in the latter the head is deeper and snout shape straighter with a broader heavier appearance.

I first successfully bred and raised Corydoras amapaensis in October 2004 after I obtained a group of first generation tank bred fishes. I have found Corydoras amapaensis to be fairly adaptable, tolerating a variety of aquarium conditions including quite a wide temperature range, which can be as low as 68F and as high as 85ºF. The preferred temperature seemed to be between 72º to 78ºF. Being a long saddle snouted species the one thing that they do like is a fine substrate, the finer the better. I use well-washed river sand, which is smooth and rounded, a little like tiny pebbles, which do not cause any damage to barbels when the fish are sifting through it in their constant search for food particles. Just like all of the long snouted species Corydoras amapaensis spends a great deal of their time buried headfirst in the substrate.

Corydoras amapaensis are best kept in small groups of six or seven, at a ratio of two or three males to every female. The reason for this is because during the courting activity when only pairs are involved, the male will often give up before the female is fully aroused. When several males are used they will compete with each other for a female’s attention and then when the female has been fully aroused she in turn will pick the strongest or most persistent of the males to mate with. The down side of using several males is, and this is a typical characteristic with most if not all of the long snouted species, they tend to be territorial and even more so around breeding time with squabbles very often breaking out. Sometimes these fights, which can become quite violent, occur between equally matched males and the danger here is that quite serious damage may be inflicted. So at the first signs of courting activity, which starts by several of the males pestering and hovering around a roed up female, a careful watch is needed to avoid any serious injuries from occurring. The males use their pectoral fin spines like scythes and try to inflict damage to each other by using a side swiping action, attempting to insert the spine in behind the gill cover (Operculum). More often than not once two fish have mated the next time the female comes into breeding condition, she will usually mate with the same male.

Mating follows the typical Corydoras ‘T’ formation, mating clinches which starts when the male offers himself in a quivering sideways position to the female. After she has nuzzled into his side, the male holds the female against his side by clamping her barbels with his pectoral fin, this grip is maintained until he has stopped quivering. At this point the male releases his grip. While the female is still in the grip of the male’s pectoral spine, she will deposit her eggs, which may be from 2 to 9 in number, into a pouch formed by clamping her ventral fins together. Once she has been released from the male’s grip, the female will rest for a few seconds, then she will spend a little time in deciding where to deposit her small cluster of eggs. In the case of Corydoras amapaensis eggs are usually deposited in a variety of sites ranging from in amongst the fronds of Java Moss, spawning mops, larger plant leaves and the sides of the tank. The eggs take four to five days to hatch depending on the temperature, the emerging fry are free swimming in another two to three days, at which time they are large enough to be fed on regular small amounts of micro worm, followed by alternate feedings of brine shrimp or pre soaked fine powdered flake foods. The fry like most of the long snouted species that I have bred, are fairly slow growing and need a constant supply of quality food and regular water changes if they are to achieve and maintain an optimum growth rate.

Water parameters: pH: 6.7 GH: 7 KH: 1 Temp 76ºF
Eggs Size - 1.1 mm dia. Adhesion — 4 out of 10

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