he month of April 2011 heralds the return of aquarist and author
Chris Ralph to lend his
experience in keeping one of the more popular species of the
Corydoradinae, Corydoras duplicareus.
Corydoras duplicareus belongs
to the family Callichthyidae or armoured catfishes from South
America; namely Brazil the Rio Puranga 8km north of the Nouba
Ouba, prior to where it joins a small tributary of the Upper
is not very common amongst aquarium imports from South America,
but is well worth looking out for in my opinion. Over the last
few years I have had the opportunity to keep this rather attractive
species in my home aquaria. In its natural habitat Corydoras
duplicareus will be found forming shoals amongst Corydoras
adolfoi. This catfish is described as being very similar
in appearance to Corydoras adolfoi which has a much
thinner black band running from the base of the dorsal fin to
the caudal fin forming a point and its pectoral fin spine is
not serrated as in C. duplicareus.
prefers to be kept in water which has a pH in the range of 6.0-7.2
and hardness in the range of 2-20°dGH. It is ideally suited
to temperatures in the range of 23-25ºC or 73-77°F.
I would suggest a minimum size of 24”
x 15” X 12” for a small shoal of these fascinating
little catfish. I would suggest good quality aquarium sand such
as BD Aquarium Sand, or very smooth rounded gravel as the preferred
substrate when keeping these catfish. The aquarium should provide
some shelter in the form of rocks or bogwood along with some
aquatic plants. As with all other species of fish, water quality
and general husbandry is very important, and I would recommend
that a minimum of 25% water is changed on a weekly to fortnightly
The body shape of Corydoras duplicareus
is described as being typical triangular Corydoras shaped.
Described as having a slightly elongated body with a rounded snout.
The caudal fin is described as being forked.
The base colour of the body and head is
described as being light tan. The ventrolateral scutes are described
as being light tan in colour interspersed with gold coloured speckling
mainly around the lateral line. The dorsolateral scutes are described
as being dark black in colour, with the colouration extending
from the base of the dorsal fin to the caudal fin (this black
band can vary in depth and is documented as varying from 4-6mm).
The dorsal fin is described as having a smattering of black colouration
at its base; the remaining fins are described as being light tan
in colour. This catfish has a dark coloured mask from the top
of the head extending through the eyes towards the operculum.
The tip of the snout in front of the eye mask is described as
being light gold in colour. This catfish is described as having
a gold coloured patch between the rear of the eye mask and the
base of the dorsal fin.
Wherever possible I would recommend that
the aquarist keep these catfish in a community aquarium in small
groups of six or more, but as the absolute minimum I would suggest
three specimens assuming that they are available in these numbers.
In their natural habitat Corydoras duplicareus would
be found in relatively large shoals.
There are documented records of Corydoras
duplicareus having been spawned in aquaria. See article.
As with all the other catfish that I have
had the pleasure to keep over the years, Corydoras duplicareus
readily accepts a mixed and varied diet which includes granular
foods, frozen bloodworm and good quality flake to name but a few.
As with most other
species of catfish the males tend to be more slender than
the females. The females are described as being larger
and plumper especially when ready to spawn. The males
are described as being more strikingly coloured than the
Cory from the Greek meaning helmeted; doras meaning leathery
skin (helmeted Doras) cuirasse.
duplicareus: from the Latin duplicare meaning
to duplicate, alluding to the similar colour pattern shared
with Corydoras adolfoi.
is defined as a bony plate.
Adipose: is defined as a second dorsal
fin which in the case of Corydoras consists of
fatty tissue with a single spine supporting a thin membrane.
Dorsal: is defined as being top or above.
Ventral: is defined as bottom, below
Caudal peduncle: is defined as the usually
narrowing posterior part of the body between the anal
and caudal fins.
Caudal fin: is defined as the tail fin.
Pectoral fins: are defined as paired
Dorsal fin: is defined as the medial
fin on top of the back.
Anal fin: is defined as the medial fin
immediately posterior to the anus.
Ventral fins: are defined as the paired
fins between the pectoral and anal fins.
Operculum: is defined as the large bone
forming the gill cover.