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 melanistius
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
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 the parent's.
First 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.