your internet guide to all things catfish
Corydoradinae Habitat Conditions
by Ian Fuller
The first thing to remember with this group of fishes is that they are primarily filter feeders. They do not have cutting or crushing teeth like some of the predatory Catfish, nor do the have rasping teeth like the grazing Loricariid Catfish, these fish will sift the substrate, which in the majority of cases is sand.
Smooth sand which been created over millions of years by the constant tumbling action of moving water, whether it be the oceans tidal and wave actions or the constant varying flow of rivers. The more the flow and tumbling action the finer the sand becomes.
Natural River Sand
In some areas
the sand found can be fairly course, and grains
could be as large as one millimetre, or as fine
as caster sugar, the one thing that will be common
is that the grains will be smooth and not sharp
and gritty like quarried sand as use in the building
Over many years I have spent many hours watching, and filming Cory’s feeding, in some cases it is quite comical, especially with the larger straight (Lineage 8) and curved (Lineage 1) snouted species who tend to bury the deepest, Some almost completely burying themselves when they dive right in searching out the food they sense is there. I have taken video clips of the feeding actions of several species from different lineages. And all, even the smallest species will mouth the sand.
sp CW051, sand being ejected out though the base of
the gill cover
Many people argue
and state that “Their Cory’s are perfectly
happy living over gravel”. But I find it very
difficult to see how they can determine the happiness
of a fish. They may be surviving and because they are
actively scurrying around in their constant hunt for
food are seen as being happy.
C. weitzmani habitat, gravel, pebbles and boulders on a sandy bottom
The biggest problem
with using any type of gravel in an aquarium is that
food particles will fall between the particles and
decompose, and if the aquarium is not maintained and
or filtered adequately the water quality will deteriorate
very quickly. The other danger as far as keeping Cory’s
over gravel is the fact that they cannot easily move
gravel to access the particles of food within it,
and if the gravel is of anything other than smooth
and rounded particles they can and often do damage
their delicate barbels and mouths parts.
As I hinted at earlier, different forms and sizes of Cory will feed at different levels in the substrate, from dwarf species working the surface, medium round snouted species delving five or six millimetres into it, and the larger straight and saddle snouted species often burying themselves.
C. geofroy getting stuck in looking for tubifex worms
Regarding decoration, naturally there are few plant laden habitats, most are plain sand streams and riverbeds, in swampy areas there may be some vegetation, but there will certainly be lots and lots of leaf litter, tree roots, fallen branches, twigs and vine roots.
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