e 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. aeneus, 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
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
Along 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.
Keeping C. 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 desired.
A good first catfish if you are beginning to get interested in our
whiskery friends :-)
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
Will do well in a community setup with 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
= helmeted; doras
= leathery skin,(helmeted Doras) cuirass.
paleatus: With dappled markings.
1 & 2. Allan James @
3. Andy Isoft.
maculatus,Corydoras marmoratos, Corydoras punctatus var.
argentina, Corydoras microcephalus
|Male: 6.5cm, Female: 7.5cm
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