f the approximately 35 species of
Corydoras that 1 am currently keeping in my fishhouse,
Corydoras burgessi rates fairly closely to the
top of my all time favourites list. I am aware that this
species was spawned by several members of the Northern
Area Group approximately 2 years ago, but 1 thought members
may be interested in this account of breeding the species.
1 have had a pair of C.
burgessi for approximately 5 years, they were mistakenly
labeled as C.adolfoi in a shop in Romford, Essex.
The female at the time was about 50mm (TL) so at a conservative
estimate she must be now around 6 to 7 years old. 1also
came across my six other fish by accident. About 2 years
ago Wholesale Tropicals at Bethnal Green imported several
boxes of C. adolfoi, and one day while looking
through the tank in the shop, 1 found these C. burgessi
and a lone C. imitator in amongst the C.adolfoi.
Fortunately the six fish turned out to be 3 pairs. Eventually
all eight fish were placed in a 24 x 15 x 18 tank which
was filtered by an Eheim internal filter and decorated
with bogwood and Java fern. Here they stayed in the
back bedroom of my house until my fish house was completed
in mid January this year (1994). At this time 1 moved
this and many other tanks outside. The basic set up
remained the same except that the Java fern has been
removed from the tank.
On the 2nd of February this year whilst in the fish
house 1 became aware of an increased activity in the
C. burgessi tank. On having a quick look 1 found
about 8 - 12 eggs stuck to the glass in the far left
hand corner of the tank. The fish spawned as four pairs
each male appearing to chase "his own female"
around the tank before coming together in the usual
'T' position. Each female would carry 1 and on occasions
2 eggs in her ventral fins and the eggs were placed
in either the corners of the tank or around the rim
of the live food bowl at the front of the tank.
From the first spawning 1 removed 105eggs which were
placed into a small heated tank of filtered rain water.
The tank was filtered by a small sponge filter and a
drop of Myxazin was added to try and reduce the number
of eggs becoming fungussed. Of these eggs approximately
70 were fertile and at a temperature of 78' ~ 79' F
the eggs hatched in 3 to 4 days.
The first food for the fry was liquifry for the first
2 days followed by microworm and Aquarian fry food.
After about day seven 1 started to lose quite a number
of fry, which 1 have put down to the fish not getting
enough "substantial" food early enough. As
a result subsequent spawnings now receive newly hatched
Brine Shrimp at about day 4 and fortunately this problem,
has not reoccurred. From this first spawning 1 raised
35 fry. For growth they were fed 3 to 4 times a day.
This normally consisted of Brine Shrimp, flake and frozen
Bloodworm and when slightly larger chopped live Tubifex
worms.The growth rate of C. burgessi is far quicker
than C. adolofi, which as any aquarist who has
spawned them knows is painfully slow. But it doesn't
seem to be a species that races away in the growth stakes.
On this point about 2 weeks after this first spawning
a group of C. ellisae spawned for me. This species
which lays eggs of only 1 mm in size have produced fry
which have passed C burgessi in size despite
it's 2 week head start.
The tap water in the part of Kent where 1 live runs
at about 7.2 - 7.5 pH with a 15 - 18 GH hardness and
the fish spawned at a temperature of 77' F. At the time
of writing the C. burgessi are spawning about
every 7 - 14 days and on average they are producing
between 20 - 50 eggs per spawning. The average size
of the broods raised are about 75% of the eggs laid.
Furthermore they do not appear to favour a particular
time of day to spawn. I have observed them spawning
during morning, afternoons and evenings and have even
found eggs that have been laid over night.
This Article first appeared in the
Catfish Association of Great Britain Newsletter in the third
issue of 1994.