now move back this month to the Callichthyidae family
and of course the popular Corydoras genus.
One of the most underrated Corydoras in my
opinion is the Peppered Corydoras, Corydoras paleatus,
and if you can pick up some decent specimens they
will delight you with their constant activity in the
aquarium. The problem of course is getting good stock
as the vast majority seen in the pet shops are being
bred in the far east, mainly Singapore and also the
United States, in the state of Florida.
This is one of
the first Corydoras species, along with C.
to be bred in the aquarium and was the mainstay of
the catfish side of the hobby in the early years when
the hobby of fishkeeping took off with the arrival
of easier air travel importation in the late fifties,
early sixties. It was in fact first bred in Paris,
France, by Pière Carbonier way back in the
last century in 1878. There is another claim to fame
for this Corydoras in that it was first discovered
by Charles Darwin on his famous five year voyage on
the Beagle in 1831-36.
Wild caught specimens
can be quite impressive, especially the males who
posses a longer dorsal fin, which can be seen in the
upper photograph. There can be a few different colour
and patterned varieties depending on what area of
South America they come from. Particularly nice are
specimens from Buenos Aires, Argentina which possess
a black pattern on the leading edge of the dorsal,
anal and ventral fins. You can see below this trait
in these F1 juveniles. They have
been named as C. marmoratus
Steindachner, 1879, which is still considered (2011)
as a synonym of C. paleatus but may turn
out in the future to be a species in its own right
with the albino C. aeneus there is of course
an albino version of this Corydoras (pictured
below) which is not so prevalent in the hobby so will
be a little more expensive than its aeneus
cousin. The albino paleatus is now beginning
to be bred here in the U.K. and are a good seller
at the many fish auctions around the country.
paleatus is much like many other members of this
genus, by buying at least 3 to 6 individuals, as they
do like their own company, and they will also feel
more secure in a planted aquarium with a few hiding
places where they can rest up when needed. They are
a good addition to a community tank containing the
usually small to medium sized fish such as characins,
rasboras and livebearers. They may also breed in this
tank but the eggs could be eaten by the other inmates,
but you should get the odd one or two that have survived.
The best bet if you are serious in breeding them is
to take the parents out to a tank of their own, but
an other option is to take the eggs out, if you are
quick enough, into a small tank with an airstone if
A good first
catfish if you are beginning to get interested in
our whiskery friends :-)
Placed in Lineage 6 which has always been classified
as Corydoras (Lacépède, 1803) so a new
genus would need to be described and a new type species
when a new revision is carried out.
Argentina, Rivers and streams around Buenos Aires.
Uruguay, Streams around Montevideo. Type
Locality: Laguna del Potrero, Maldonado,
Males: 6.5cm ( 2½ins)
Female: 7.5cm (3ins)
Dorsal: 1/7-8: Anal: 1/6: 22-24
bony scutes in the upper lateral series, 20-22 in
the lower. Black dark olive-brown to green, flanks
yellowish-green with a metallic glint, belly yellowish-white.
On the back and flanks there are large, irregular
blotches which may converge into transverse bars.
Whole body strewn with numerous
small, dark spots. Dorsal, caudal and anal fins
grey with rows of blackish streaks and spots.
Care & Compatibility
Will do well in a community
setup with not too high a temperature alongside smaller
tankmates such as Rasboras and Tetra's. Do not house
with aggressive species or large Cichlids.
Set them up with
preferably more males than females ( a ratio of 2:1
is good ) in a 18" x 12" x 12" tank
with either fine gravel or sand with either sponge
filter or a corner filter box with a good current.
Install some java moss or wool mops, this gives the
females a choice of where to place their eggs but
you will probably find that they will mostly lay them
on the glass anyway. A temperature in the mid-seventies
is good with a p.H around about the neutral (7) mark.
Feed a diet of frozen or live food such as bloodworm,
whiteworm (sparingly because of the fat content) grindleworm,
daphnia and a good quality flake or tablet food. Make
a 50% water change, when you notice the female(s)
have fattened up, with water that is cooler so as
to bring the temperature down. A good idea is to also
add a small internal filter to push the water around
the aquarium which will also oxygenate it. If successful
you can either take the adults out and leave the eggs
in the main tank or reverse it and take the eggs out
by rolling them of the tank sides with your fingers
into a small hatching tank, you can then decide to
add a anti-fungus remedy or to leave alone. If you
make the wrong choice and the eggs fungus you will
get another chance as once Corydoras start
to breed the first time they will carry on using the
afore-mentioned process. See
further information in this ScotCat article An
attempt to spawn upon demand?
A good quality flake food and
tablet food for adults with sparodic feedings of frozen
or live food will keep your Corydoras in good
health. Feeding the fry after they use up their yolk-sac
with brine shrimp naupli, microworm and fry flake