C. melanistius from Essequibo, Guyana, attains a length
of 5– 6 cm. Body colouration light grey covered with small
dark spots. Black line extending from forehead down through
the eye. A golden coloured saddle adorns area from back of eye
to dorsal. Front part of dorsal fin is black extending into
the top of the fishes back. (C. melanistius melanistius and
C. melanistius brevirostrus are sub species of Corydoras
Maintenance: My five melanistius consisted
of two female and three males, which were housed in
an 18"x12"x12" tank. Filtration Bio-foam 45 sponge plus small
box filter, both air-driven. Decoration included a glass trough
which was filled with fine gravel and planted with Java
fern, Java moss and Hygrophila. This was positioned at
one side of the tank. Water conditions were pH 6.5 temperature
24C / 76F with weekly 25% water changes.
Feeding: Frozen bloodworm,
black mosquito larva, mysis shrimp and various good quality
dried foods. I don't feed live foods to any of my fish. Having
maintained the cory’s as described above for quite sometime,
they were now in breeding condition. The process of a possible
spawning was about to begin. Between 18th May and 14th June
a total of 7 out of 10 spawning's resulted successfully with
fry. Eggs laid in one spawning ranged from 25 to 71. It
was turning into a small production line until I exhausted
my stock of small tanks. I began leaving the eggs with the parent’s
and was pleased to find that they do not eat their eggs or fry.
These young appeared to grow bigger and faster when left with
spawning occurred 6 days after I carried out a 50% water change
straight from the household supply pH7. This dropped the temperature
by several degrees. First spawning occurred six days later.
The spawning female places her eggs 1" below the water surface,
she never placed any eggs on plants. 46 eggs were laid
which I removed and placed into a small tank containing water
from the breeding tank. One drop of methylene blue was added
and light aeration to maintain water circulation. Hatching 5
days later, a further 2 days and the fry were free swimming.
These were fed alternative feedings of microworm culture and
newly hatched brine shrimp. Water changes every day using water
from breeding tank.
As the fry progressed
they were moved to larger tanks with sponge filtration. On
one occasion while carrying my usual weekly water change in
the breeding tank I was called into the house. The tank had
been left with a 25% water reduction. I returned one hour later
to find that they had spawned.
Since this article was first written in 1995. I understand that
the Local Authority Water Board have come into line with EEC
regulations. This has drastically altered pH conditions which
was up until then pH7 and is now pH 8.3, which is bad news for
many species, we as hobbyists maintain.
If you would like to
get in touch with Mark personally about this article, e-mail
him at: [email protected]