Hatching & Raising fry

All posts regarding the care and breeding of these catfishes from South America.
Post Reply

Was this useful?

Total votes: 275

User avatar
Posts: 2118
Joined: 30 Dec 2002, 19:06
My articles: 12
My catfish: 5
My cats species list: 83 (i:0, k:0)
My BLogs: 1 (i:0, p:1)
Spotted: 194
Location 1: Kidderminster UK
Location 2: Kidderminster, UK
Interests: Cory's, Loricariids, photography and more Cory's

Hatching & Raising fry

Post by Coryman »

This is a subject that comes up quite regularly so I thought I would write down a few basic pointers the subject.

1. Are the eggs fertile?
This can be determined with reasonable ease, a fertile egg is usually a very light tan in colour, whereas an infertile egg will very quickly show a white centre and will turn completely white within 12 hours of being laid.

2. How long before they hatch?
Depending on the species it can take between three and five days for eggs to hatch.

3. How do I hatch them?
There are several ways to consolidate a spawning, but it is spawnings in community aquaria that initiate the most requests for help. The easiest only requires a small shallow, 1.5 litre plastic container, something like a sandwich box is ideal, and an air stone. The container is three quarters filled with water and floated on the surface of the main aquarium, the eggs can be removed from the aquarium sides with the aid of a clean razor blade and put into the container, where eggs have been placed on plant leaves the leaves can be cut from the plant and placed into the container. The air stone ensures that the water is both fully oxygenated continually moving, which helps to prevent damaging particles from settling on and contaminating the eggs. At this stage one or two drops of a propriety anti fungal preparation added to the water in the container can also help to prevent fungal spores from attacking the eggs. If medication were used then I would recommend that 50% water changes be made to the container each day for the first three days. Use replacement water from the main aquarium, this will dilute the medication in the container, so that by the time the fry hatch the water will be the same as the main aquarium

4. How do I raise the fry?
There is no need to feed the new fry for the first two or three days, as during this time they will draw nourishment from their yolk sac. When the yolk sac has been used up the fry are then classed as free swimming and will be actively looking for food. There are several foods that can be offered to give the fry a good start, the first of these that I use is Micro-worm followed by newly hatched brine shrimp and then after two days I start to introduce pre-soaked powdered flake food alternating between the two live foods. Once a feeding program has started it is very important to maintain good water conditions and to this end I would recommend daily 50% water changes, or even better twice daily, taking the new water from the main aquarium. The fry can be raised comfortably in this way for about a month when they should be large enough to fend for them selves in the main tank, of course this will depend on the size of the spawning and the number of fry hatched. Larger numbers of fry would be better raised in their own tank where they will have more space.

If fry are to be raised on their own in grow out tanks, these do not need to be very deep. Personally I use tanks that are 8 inches (20 cm) deep, it is the surface area that is the determining factor when it comes to the number of fish that a tank can accommodate.

Also read my article on the subject.

Last edited by Coryman on 25 Aug 2006, 07:03, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 15
Joined: 15 Nov 2004, 20:56
My cats species list: 3 (i:0, k:0)
Location 1: Lanarkshire Scotland
Interests: Breeding corys and discus and killis ,rainbows and angels

Post by L260 »

Great tips Ian 8)

Best Regards

Posts: 12
Joined: 25 Aug 2004, 03:03
Location 1: chicago il
Interests: casfish and illinois natives

Post by daddyo72 »

Very helpful, thank you.
jason a sidler
User avatar
Posts: 151
Joined: 01 Mar 2005, 20:51
My cats species list: 7 (i:0, k:0)
Location 1: Valencia, Venezuela

Post by JoseAngelBarro »

Thanks; very good tips


:D :)
Posts: 177
Joined: 24 Nov 2003, 00:17
Location 1: Royal Oak, Michigan
Interests: Drinking Beer, Brewing Beer, Drinking Mead, Mazing Mead, hiking, Backpacking, fishing, camping, and of cource Catfish!

Additional help would be appreciated

Post by Beersnob »


Can you also assist those of us who are in process of trying to spawn cories, what methods work best? Any suggestions of what to do before hand?



Sooo many Beers, So little time!

How many Catfish are in your Tank?
Posts: 46
Joined: 10 Jan 2005, 14:54
Location 1: north idaho , usa

Post by megladonsharky »

:?: my dwawfs eggs were white with a dark spot . then went creamy ... fertile ??
Posts: 1
Joined: 19 Jul 2005, 21:48
Location 1: Australia
Interests: Animals, Fish - esp corydoras paleatus

Post by GoldenChild »

Thank you, that's answered most of the questions I came here for!
Posts: 2
Joined: 17 Jan 2006, 03:24
Location 1: Texas

Post by Houston »

I think this answered what I needed to know :) As I just found my first set of cory eggs in my community tank this morning :) Thanks...houston
~~Water, Water everywhere, but not a drop to drink...but dang look at all these fish.~~
User avatar
Ryan S
Posts: 89
Joined: 16 Oct 2005, 00:48
My cats species list: 1 (i:0, k:1)
Spotted: 1
Location 1: Herefordshire,
Location 2: UK

Post by Ryan S »

Very useful.

From doing some reading on the subject â?? after consuming the egg sac, fry will do well on micro worms then newly hatched brine shrimp.
But my question is - can anyone give me some advice about these foods â?? where do I get them from, and what processes are needed to maintain a sufficient supply?


300L S. American Community
57L Cory breeding project
and a 60L Hex tank for my Otto's
Posts: 8
Joined: 17 May 2006, 14:26
Location 1: Manchester

Post by rochdale_iron »

Hi all,
I would just like to add a note about how long cory eggs take to hatch if i may.
I purchased 4 c. Julii, which i suspect to be actually c. trilineatus. I have 1 male, and 3 females.
The eggs my corys have laid have taken between 3 and 10 days to hatch.
Also, floating a container in the main tank hasnt worked for me, with any fry that hatched dying within a few days. I now have my fry in a 2ltr icecream tub ( well cleaned out first ), with an airline, and no heater. My fry now seem to be growing on well.

I hope it was ok to post this here.

Posts: 1
Joined: 04 Jun 2007, 21:04
Location 1: Darlington SC

Not Pulling Eggs???

Post by bakagin1 »

Read your post, great information!! I was wondering has anyone ever kept the eggs with the group with success if so how was this done?? Thanks Bob
Posts: 1
Joined: 29 Jun 2007, 11:14
Location 1: Waynesville, NC

Re: Not Pulling Eggs???

Post by bettas4me »

bakagin1 wrote:Read your post, great information!! I was wondering has anyone ever kept the eggs with the group with success if so how was this done?? Thanks Bob
My experience has been that the eggs will start to disappear not long after the spawn has concluded and are usually completely gone within 24 hours. The only survivers I've had from leaving the eggs in the tank came from some eggs apparently stuck to plants that the parents missed while snacking.
User avatar
Posts: 13
Joined: 21 Oct 2007, 03:43
My cats species list: 36 (i:0, k:0)
Location 1: Jacksonville, FL
Location 2: Jacksonville, FL
Interests: I love to quilt, read and play with all my fish. And of course I am owned by a Japanese Bobtail cat who believes, and rightly so, that she is the Queen.

Re: Hatching & Raising fry

Post by thelivelylady »

Thanks for the great information. It was a great help. As of noon today I have 7 panda fry.
Thanks again.
The Lively Lady
User avatar
Posts: 4735
Joined: 10 Jun 2006, 14:26
I've donated: $90.00!
My articles: 1
My cats species list: 12 (i:0, k:0)
My Wishlist: 1
Location 1: Clarkston, WA, USA
Location 2: Clarkston, WA, USA
Interests: Aquaculture and flyfishing

Re: Not Pulling Eggs???

Post by apistomaster »

bakagin1 wrote:Read your post, great information!! I was wondering has anyone ever kept the eggs with the group with success if so how was this done?? Thanks Bob
Hi Bob,
I usually breed most of my small species of the Dwarf Corydoras in permanent set ups and as long as no other predators are present and I have an abundance of Ceratophyllum growth, my population will increase over time. I use this approach for the fun of it. If I were trying to produce them in commercial numbers I would use a more classical approach. C. panda is one that lends itself to a natural method of propagation in a permanent set up. I would use a 20 Long and only about two trios. More than this number may cause fewer eggs to survive predation. Thick Ceratophllum or Najas growth will greatly improve your numbers of fry. Bottom cover of pottery shards or hollow ceramic bio media seems to increase larval survival.
Larger Corydoras, I'll use C. sterbai as an example, eat too many of their eggs and possibly their larvae for this natural method to be as worthwhile.
Avid Trout fly fisherman. ·´¯`·...¸><)))º>
Posts: 6
Joined: 01 Mar 2008, 16:09
My cats species list: 8 (i:0, k:0)
Location 2: Versailles, Kentucky, U.S.

Re: Hatching & Raising fry

Post by bevans »

Do people use sand in their fry tanks, or bare bottoms? I read an article a while back (I think it was here) about raising adolfoi fry and the author said that they didn't have any luck until they put a thin layer of sand on the bottom of the fry tank. Has anyone else done this? And if so, what did you use? I have play sand in my grown cory tanks, but my LFS says they can get me silt sand if I want it.

I have only spawned paleatus before and they did fine in bare-bottomed fry tanks. But I have a spawn ofduplicareus eggs now and want to make sure they get off to a good start.
User avatar
Posts: 4735
Joined: 10 Jun 2006, 14:26
I've donated: $90.00!
My articles: 1
My cats species list: 12 (i:0, k:0)
My Wishlist: 1
Location 1: Clarkston, WA, USA
Location 2: Clarkston, WA, USA
Interests: Aquaculture and flyfishing

Re: Hatching & Raising fry

Post by apistomaster »

I used to go with all bare bottom aquariums but I have found that a very thin layer of sand, less than 1/4 inch that at least conceals the bare glass produces higher survival rates for all the catfish I raise compared the the bare tank results. Actually I find this to be true of Dwarf cichlids and discus. It may be that the bacterial film that forms on the glass are harmful. I think that a little sand helps to produce a more complex ecology as well as a surface that bottom fish like to pick through.
Avid Trout fly fisherman. ·´¯`·...¸><)))º>
Bas Pels
Posts: 2897
Joined: 21 Dec 2006, 20:35
My images: 1
My cats species list: 28 (i:0, k:0)
Spotted: 7
Location 1: the Netherlands
Location 2: Nijmegen the Netherlands
Interests: Central American and Uruguayan fishes

Re: Hatching & Raising fry

Post by Bas Pels »

bevans wrote:Do people use sand in their fry tanks, or bare bottoms?
I don't have any bare bottomed tank. Most importantly, I think the mirroring bare bottom will produce high levels of stress - stress reduces all natural immunity and resistance against deseases. However, I don't use thin layers, I use thicker layers, at least 2 cm (aslmost an inch) in which I put plants.

The plants are nothing special, mainly Hygrophyla polysperma and Elodea densa, but they do grow, and have thus a biological function.
cats have whiskers
Posts: 1
Joined: 02 Jan 2009, 02:41
Location 2: Rhode Island, USA

Re: Hatching & Raising fry

Post by Lugh »

Hi all-- I'm new here.

I'm currently breeding 4 peppered cories. I took the eggs almost as soon as they were laid and put them in a small 1 liter plastic tank, which is floating in an unpopulated 10-gallon tank.

The 1-liter tank has a 1/2" layer of sand as a substrate and it's currently got seven catlets in it with about 2" of water. I change the water daily with water from the 10G aquarium and feed the catlets with frozen baby brine shrimp. The only problem is that the catlets don't eat all of the brine shrimp, and now I'm starting to notice small bits of fungus beginning to grow on the uneaten food. I've tried to get rid of the uneaten food, but it's so damned tiny that it's virtually impossible.

Do you have any suggestions for avoiding or eliminating fungus problems? I grabbed a bottle of Rid-Fungus by Kordon and treated the 10G aquarium with it, then used that tank's water in the breeding tank. Will that work? Suggestions are very much appreciated.
User avatar
Nitro Cory
Posts: 3
Joined: 12 Jan 2009, 06:35
My cats species list: 7 (i:0, k:0)
My aquaria list: 1 (i:0)
Location 1: California
Location 2: California

Re: Hatching & Raising fry

Post by Nitro Cory »

thanks for the help, my peppered & green cory just had eggs ..
"Nitro Cory"
User avatar
Posts: 4
Joined: 21 Apr 2009, 13:22
Location 2: Indianapolis

Re: Hatching & Raising fry

Post by SumpNFishy »

I'm starting to try and breed cory cats. I've started with peppered since you said they are pretty easy in your article.

I setup a dedicated conditioning 20 gal tank and put 6 in there (I think the proper ratio of 4 males 2 females).

Feed them good and use cold water during water changes to temporarily drop the tank temp. So far they have responded by laying eggs every few days.

My question is what is the normal quantity of eggs they lay? My corys will lay a dozen or so scattered all over the tank at most. I see some pictures on the web of large groups of eggs, but maybe those aren't peppered corys. Also, will they continue to lay eggs as long as they get good food and the water changes with cool water?

I collect the eggs as they lay them and put them in a floating container in a 10 gal tank with a few drops of meth blue (I use this for hatching angelfish with good results). As they hatch (one or 2 at a time) I move the fry into the 10 gal grow out tank. I have a few now, the oldest a couple of weeks old. I feed the powdered fry fish food for now, and will give them BBS as they get bigger.

I'm used to raising large batches the same age with my angels so this is a little more difficult in that respect. :?

Thanks for any input

Posts: 38
Joined: 28 Dec 2007, 17:15
My images: 11
My cats species list: 13 (i:6, k:0)
My BLogs: 1 (i:0, p:10)
Spotted: 4
Location 1: USA
Location 2: Mountainair, New Mexico USA
Interests: Corydoras

Re: Hatching & Raising fry

Post by Ironhead »

I have raised Corydoras for over 40 years. I have tried many methods to get high % hatches and good early survival. The one method that has done best for me is to use the blackworm continers as floating incubators. I prefer the square blue plastic type. I use the mesh bottom tray and cut a styrofoam float from old shipping boxes. The plastic tray has a small lip that will allow easy removal and replacement when cleaning. The styro I cut about 1" wide. This way the eggs are in the tank where they were laid and I can use the flow in the tank to keep the water fresh. For smaller tanks, like those for Aspidoras, I use plastic coffee strainers that I buy. These are round & about 3" across, lending themselves to being used in a smaller tank. Most of my corydoras are kept in tanks with large surface areas compared to volumn. 30 gallon breeders are great 18' x 18" x 12" deep. Difficult to find at times. 40 gallon breeders are good for the larger species...sterbai and such. On my breeding tanks I keep a good hang on filter like the Marineland Bio Wheel or AquaFlo. On the front I hang a Hot Magnum. When the females are all full of eggs and ready to spawn, I do a 50% water change with rain water or R.O and turn the Magnum filter on. The water I add is not heated...often dropping the tank temperature by 5 degrees F or more. This water change, temperature change, and the extra current seems to get the spawning started.

Posts: 15
Joined: 03 Dec 2007, 15:04
Location 1: New York
Interests: Cories

Re: Hatching & Raising fry

Post by JoeO »

Mike, thanks for the info. A couple of questions.

What percentage of your eggs hatch?

What percentage of fry reach maturity?

Are these the blue containers you are writing about?

If you use a mesh bottom, how does the food stay in the container and not fall out?

Thanks again...

Joe O.
User avatar
Posts: 431
Joined: 02 Nov 2008, 19:33
My cats species list: 2 (i:0, k:0)
Spotted: 1
Location 2: Chicago, IL

Re: Hatching & Raising fry

Post by Proteus »

I'm wondering if microworm is really needed due to the fact that my panda cories have spawned so many times in my tanks and I was only feeding the inhabitants bloodworms, flake food thats it- I have never intended to spawn them due to tank space however theres a pair in there thats constantly spawning and I have put in dwarf cichlids to help reduce the fry numbers and there are at least 10 of panda cories in my 55g tank that have survived to adulthood- without any microworm or tiny live food cultures

wondering if anyone else have had that experience before as well too? I have tons of plecos, cichlids now, one roseline, CPDs, black neon, cardinals in that tank?
User avatar
Posts: 714
Joined: 20 Jul 2009, 10:31
My cats species list: 5 (i:0, k:0)
Location 1: Canberra Australia
Location 2: Canberra Australia

Re: Hatching & Raising fry

Post by DJ-don »

really helpful!!!
btw i am using meth blue for my cory eggs in a 3.6l container and realised that after a few hours the full on blue container turned clear and there arent any holes in the bottom because i heard fry need clean water so doing 50% water changes in 3.6L container is easier
Posts: 5
Joined: 31 Dec 2010, 17:18
Location 2: Missouri

Re: Hatching & Raising fry

Post by CorydoraLover »

I have a group of 19 Corydoras in a 75 gallon tank and have never had any luck with them spawning.
there are five Albino long fined Aeneus, six c. sterbai, three pandas, two false juliis and some peppers.
a lot of these cory cats are I have had over a year but I have never had any of them spawn.
I tried moving each type of them into a half filled ten gallon tank and poured some cooler water on them but I'm starting to lose hope.

what can I do?
Posts: 113
Joined: 08 Nov 2010, 22:06
My cats species list: 15 (i:0, k:0)
My aquaria list: 2 (i:0)
Location 2: Sheffield

Re: Hatching & Raising fry

Post by FunkyFredFrog »

I put 6 corydora julii or trilineatus (not sure which) in a 2 foot x 1 foot x 1 foot tank on sunday - fed them live food, daily 15% cool water water changes and put some dark green mops in the tank on wednesday morning. Wednesday evening there were eggs in the mop! This is just the kind of resource I've been looking for! The best website on the net! If every other fish website was like planetcatfish they would be a lot easier to use and better!
User avatar
Posts: 15953
Joined: 30 Dec 2002, 15:25
My articles: 197
My images: 943
My catfish: 238
My cats species list: 87 (i:13, k:1)
My BLogs: 7 (i:7, p:202)
My Wishlist: 22
Spotted: 446
Location 1: Middle Earth,
Location 2: Scotland
Interests: All things aquatic, Sci-Fi, photography and travel. Oh, and beer.

Re: Hatching & Raising fry

Post by Jools »

FunkyFredFrog wrote:If every other fish website was like planetcatfish they would be a lot easier to use and better!
That's great to hear, and many thanks for the feedback. (The fiver's in the post ;-) )

Posts: 1
Joined: 21 Feb 2011, 11:50
Location 2: Szeged

Re: Hatching & Raising fry

Post by petra »

hi everyone,
I have a question about c. trilineatus fry. I have them in a 20l tank, in about 10l water -- 15cm deep. my question is if that is too deep for them to be able to swim up for air for the first time, or they don't do that at all?
Posts: 15
Joined: 12 Jun 2011, 03:48
My cats species list: 2 (i:0, k:0)
Location 2: United States

Re: Hatching & Raising fry

Post by lhenry777 »

Hi, I have trilineatus. Has anyone had good luck using the mop? Also,my male eats the eggs the minute the female lays them and since she has been laying only a single egg at a time, it's been easy for him. Even if I put them in a separate tank from the rest of my aquarium inhabitants (angels, z. danios, glo light tetras)the male will demolish the eggs. Any ideas how to divert him or distract him so she can lay her total amount of eggs without him eating all of them?
Thanks so much.
Posts: 1
Joined: 10 Sep 2011, 16:04
Location 2: north carolina USA

Re: Hatching & Raising fry

Post by lostcracker »

great info i was going to ask alot of questions but they all were answered in reading..was amazed last nite at looking at my cory and wondering what it had on it when it went to the bottom of the tank shook violently on an old mussel shell and left eggs. i scrambled to do something as they were being eaten by my barbs..i collected them quickly and put them on a rock out of the tank in a butter bowl with tank water inside. i have a box made out of very fine netting hanging inside my tank that i transfered them to after collecting them for 3 hrs of laying, resting, laying, resting lol it was amazing.dont have anything else to put them in wasnt prepared for this at all.they look fertile as described above so waiting to see what happens.first time around on all this and this site has helped alot thanks. will post results on the developent crossing fingers and waiting lol thanks again for the good info..
Post Reply

Return to “South American Catfishes (Callichthyidae - Corys et al)”