Article © Don Kinyon, uploaded January 01, 2002.
Described by Rossel in 1962, this Corydoras has been in the hobby for quite some time. It never seems to be as plentiful as some other species, but from time to time they can be found in larger pet stores.
They originate in Colombia, in a tributary of the Rio Meta called the Rio Manacacias, near Puerto Gaitau. The exact parameters of the water are sketchy at best, but it can be assumed that the water is fairly soft and acidic.
This species is fairly small as far as Corys go, with the males reaching one and three-quarter inches, the females slightly larger. Coloration is the same for both sexes, a goldish body with dark markings. They are an attractive fish, though not brightly colored. There is a stripe down the back, starting at the front of the dorsal fin and ending at the front of the tail. Another stripe follows the same line about midway down the side of the body, and there are usually more markings, ranging from partial stripes to spots.
I obtained some fish from a pet shop. They were not full-grown, and were honestly not in very good condition, but it's rare enough to see them, so I bought the six that they had. Soon all but two died, but I was able to get some healthy fish from a breeder, and when they matured, it was clear that there were three females and five males, altogether.
All the fish were housed in a ten-gallon tank, with tap water (pH of 7,4 and 140 ppm total hardness), with sunken wood, java fern, and some java moss. The bottom was covered with fine sand. The Corys ate flake food or pellets in the morning and live or frozen food in the evening. Soon the females were very full, and all the fish were very active, especially after water changes, which were fifty percent weekly.
Getting the fish to spawn was not difficult. Whenever a low-pressure system was about to move through the area, I changed 90 percent of the water with rainwater, several degrees cooler. If the fish hadn't spawned by the next day after work, I did another, and so on as long as the low pressure lasted. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn't.
The first few spawns produced no fertile eggs, or at least no fry, but finally I was able to get some fry: Two, to be exact. Not a great success, but enough for encouragement. Later spawns produced upwards of twenty fry each. The more the fish mature the more eggs and fry are produced.
After the spawn, it's best to remove the parents or the eggs from the breeding tank. The adults don't seem to seek out and eat the eggs, but they will opportunistically graze on them. I have always had better luck removing the parents; the newly hatched fry do better in an established tank than a sterile rearing tank (for me).
Whether the eggs or parents are removed, it's best to keep an eye on the eggs to remove any infertile eggs and keep them from spreading fungus to the viable ones. I use a little anti-fungal solution in the tank: about half the recommended dosage. I use acriflavin, but others have done as well with different products. In about a week, depending on the temperature, the eggs will start to hatch.
The babies don't eat for the first two or three days, (they look like an egg with a tail) and even when they are four days old, can't take anything larger than micro worms. At one week to ten days, they will eat baby brine shrimp. At this point, they look much more like miniatures of the adult fish.
When the youngsters can take larger food, any meaty live, frozen, or dry food will make them grow more quickly. Their growth rate will still be painfully slow, as it seems to be with most Corydoras. Weekly water changes of fifty percent keep them healthy and, so I'm told, also aid in quickening the growth rate. At one month the fry were three-eighths of an inch long, and at two months, about three-quarters of an inch.
At this writing, the fish are not quite three months old and not quite an inch long. They will eat any of the foods that the adults do though some of the chopped foods have to be chopped more finely. A school of these fish, especially in a planted tank, makes a nice display.
There is further information on this species on the Cat-eLog page.
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