eturning to the hobby after
a break of several years I was expecting to find many
a new and interesting species, but a dwarf species
resembling C.barbatus? this I would love to
have. In the eighties I kept and bred some 20 species
of corydoras, having particular success with barbatus
(Sao Paulo type) but never having bred the larger
barbatus (Rio de Janeiro type) until returning
to the hobby in the mid nineties. In 1997/8 I managed
to purchase eight Corydoras lacerdai, my first
thoughts were how close they resembled Corydoras
barbatus, which I had at home at this particular
time. I have now kept and bred all three species
but now felt it was time to collect all the information
gathered during my spawning success.
barbatus (Rio de Janeiro)
10cm/12cm. This is the largest of the three species
both in actual size and stature. The finage is much
larger, having longer pectoral and dorsal fins
and the males sporting cheek bristles.
2. Corydoras barbatus (Sao Paulo)
is now being sold as Corydoras kronei and is
a finer looking species never attaining the size of
the Rio de Janeiro type. The males do not appear
to have cheek bristles (at least they are not visible
by the naked eye). The females of these two barbatus
forms are almost identical.
3. Corydoras lacerdai 5cm/6cm.
In size this Cory resembles the genus Aspidoras
but its body shape certainly resembles C.
barbatus but having no apparent cheek bristles. When
eight fish ( 4 males 4 females) were bought some Aspidoras
were in the same shipment, which I had mistakenly
caught as they so closely resembled the female C.
4. I believe there is a fourth type, C. barbatus,
sp. (BAIANINHO 11) this type is caught in black water
tributaries, totally different conditions from the
other three types mentioned. I have not seen this
fish, in the flesh so to speak, but in the photos
it does appears similar to the Sao Paulo type and
appears to be a little smaller like C. lacerdai,
but may have a different head shape, only time will
tell. Breeding C. barbatus (Sao Paulo).
(Ref. Catfish Association GB. 1978)
have very recently bred these fish again (1999), on
this occasion five fish, 2 males and 3 females were
kept in a 72 x 24 x 15 aquarium with Corydoras
narcissus and Cory. sp (Peru Blacks). Temp
was low at 70F, pH 6.8 -7.5. DH was never checked,
the tank was well filtered and plenty of water circulation.
On this occasion some interesting observations were
made with both males taking turns in spawning with
the two females, the females would lay their eggs
on the area where the respective males had cleaned.
Both females spawned with the two males. It would
appear that the aquarium was large enough to accommodate
territories for both males, the eggs were laid high
near the water surface. The eggs were removed
and hatched out in a small tank. The fry were moved
on as they out-grew their container and they were
finally reared on in 24 x 24 x 12 tanks. They
were fed on brine shrimp, micro worm and grindle worm. I
found that you had to be very careful with the micro
worm as they could easily infest the tank/container
and eat the very small fry. I also found that one
of the commercially made fry foods was the best until
the fry could eat the grindleworm or brine shrimp.
Breeding C. barbatus (Rio de Janeiro)
Temp again was low at 70F and pH 7.
This form was first kept in the late 80s but
no serious attempt was ever made to breed them. It
was not until the mid 90s that they were kept
and bred. A group of six large fish were kept in a
40 x 15 x 15 aquarium and the spawning occurred after
they had been conditioned for several months.
An apparent pecking order was observed. The alpha
male had a richer colour and dominated the tank with
his constant showing of to the females and subordinate
males. The dominant male carried out the spawning,
and as the females became ready he would entice her
to the area he had prepared were they would lay the
eggs in the normal Cory manner and then place them
within an inch or so of the water surface. They hatched
within four to five days and reared as previously
Breeding Corydoras lacerdai. Reproductive
and feeding activities are similar to the other two.
The eggs again being laid high and nearly out of the
water, they did prefer higher water temperatures and
out of 6 spawnings only three produced viable eggs
and fry. The male would be so obsessive, chasing the
other males away. The female he was spawning with
would eventually strip herself of eggs. She could
be seen coming out of the water laying the eggs as
near to the water surface as possible. The eggs were
collected and fry reared as C. barbatus. Some
difficulty was encountered when spawning attempts
were made as the males were more aggressive and would
not tolerate any other males (similar aggression was
observed in C Narcissus and C.sp (Peru
Blacks). In fact two males were lost which appeared
to be caused by harassment from the alpha male. In
later attempts with C. lacerdai, the fish were
paired off and placed in a 12 x 10 x 10-inch tank
with C. Pygmaeus and some young Corys.
This was not successful, as the fish did not seem
to settle in this situation. Both the C.barbatus
types were produced easily and in large quantities,
but sadly not the C. lacerdai. After six spawning
I lost all the parents and remaining juvenile fish
after I moved them to the new fish house. I do believe
some of the young I bred still survive around the
UK today, and hopefully will be reproduced.
of fry growth.
C lacerdai developed their
adult colour patterns by nine months and they are sexually
mature and would produce viable fry by one year. C.lacerdi
colour will change to adult between 6/ 9 months
while C.barbatus retains this colour till 18
Fry 7 days : 60
days : 6
We have here a group of Corydoras that are closely
related. Theyre feeding behaviour, reproductive
behaviour and day- to-day behaviour is very similar
in the three types kept. The colour development of the
fry in all three types are also alike. In C.barbatus
it is not until the are 18 months old that the different
types can be identified. The two male types were then
easy to identify but the females are almost identical
in colour, eventually the larger size of Rio de Janeiro
type was the only visual difference. Care should be
taken not to mix these similar Corys as the may
inter- breed. As an aquarist we do not have the
scientific knowledge to comment on the validity of these
species. But in our hands we do have the oportunitity
to make observations on their behaviour that will never
be seen, which could shed some light on the true identification
of such similar Corydoras.