Breeding Corydoras burgessi, Axelrod 1987

Adrian Payne


f the approximately 35 species of Corydoras that 1 am currently keeping in my fishhouse, Corydoras burgessi rates fairly closely to the top of my all time favourites list. I am aware that this species was spawned by several members of the Northern Area Group approximately 2 years ago, but 1 thought members may be interested in this account of breeding the species.



Corydoras burgessi

Corydoras burgessi


1 have had a pair of C. burgessi for approximately 5 years, they were mistakenly labeled as C. adolfoi in a shop in Romford, Essex. The female at the time was about 50mm (TL) so at a conservative estimate she must be now around 6 to 7 years old. 1also came across my six other fish by accident. About 2 years ago Wholesale Tropicals at Bethnal Green imported several boxes of C. adolfoi, and one day while looking through the tank in the shop, 1 found these C. burgessi and a lone C. imitator in amongst the C. adolfoi. Fortunately the six fish turned out to be 3 pairs. Eventually all eight fish were placed in a 24 x 15 x 18 tank which was filtered by an Eheim internal filter and decorated with bogwood and Java fern. Here they stayed in the back bedroom of my house until my fish house was completed in mid January this year (1994). At this time 1 moved this and many other tanks outside. The basic set up remained the same except that the Java fern has been removed from the tank.

On the 2nd of February this year whilst in the fish house 1 became aware of an increased activity in the C. burgessi tank. On having a quick look 1 found about 8 - 12 eggs stuck to the glass in the far left hand corner of the tank. The fish spawned as four pairs each male appearing to chase "his own female" around the tank before coming together in the usual 'T' position. Each female would carry 1 and on occasions 2 eggs in her ventral fins and the eggs were placed in either the corners of the tank or around the rim of the live food bowl at the front of the tank.

From the first spawning 1 removed 105eggs which were placed into a small heated tank of filtered rain water. The tank was filtered by a small sponge filter and a drop of Myxazin was added to try and reduce the number of eggs becoming fungussed. Of these eggs approximately 70 were fertile and at a temperature of 78' ~ 79' F the eggs hatched in 3 to 4 days.

The first food for the fry was liquifry for the first 2 days followed by microworm and Aquarian fry food. After about day seven 1 started to lose quite a number of fry, which 1 have put down to the fish not getting enough "substantial" food early enough. As a result subsequent spawnings now receive newly hatched Brine Shrimp at about day 4 and fortunately this problem, has not reoccurred. From this first spawning 1 raised 35 fry. For growth they were fed 3 to 4 times a day. This normally consisted of Brine Shrimp, flake and frozen Bloodworm and when slightly larger chopped live Tubifex worms.The growth rate of C. burgessi is far quicker than C. adolofi, which as any aquarist who has spawned them knows is painfully slow. But it doesn't seem to be a species that races away in the growth stakes. On this point about 2 weeks after this first spawning a group of C. ellisae spawned for me. This species which lays eggs of only 1 mm in size have produced fry which have passed C burgessi in size despite it's 2 week head start.

The tap water in the part of Kent where 1 live runs at about 7.2 - 7.5 pH with a 15 - 18 GH hardness and the fish spawned at a temperature of 77' F. At the time of writing the C. burgessi are spawning about every 7 - 14 days and on average they are producing between 20 - 50 eggs per spawning. The average size of the broods raised are about 75% of the eggs laid. Furthermore they do not appear to favour a particular time of day to spawn. I have observed them spawning during morning, afternoons and evenings and have even found eggs that have been laid over night.

This Article first appeared in the Catfish Association of Great Britain Newsletter in the third issue of 1994.

Photo Credit:
© Ian Fuller @CorydorasWorld




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