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Corydoras paleatus   (Jenyns, 1842)                                              

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.

Corydoras paleatus = male

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 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

Corydoras paleatus= (C.marmoratus)

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.

Corydoras paleatus =albino

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 and spots.

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 flake food.

Corydoras: Cory = helmeted; doras = leathery skin,(helmeted Doras) cuirass.
paleatus: With dappled markings.

Photo Credits
1 & 2. Allan James @ ScotCat  
3.       Andy Isoft.
Factsheet 089

Callichthys paleatus, Corydoras maculatus,Corydoras marmoratos, Corydoras punctatus var. argentina, Corydoras microcephalus
Common Name:
Peppered Corydoras
Argentina Argentina
Brazil Brazil
Uruguay. Uruguay
Male: 6.5cm, Female: 7.5cm
22-26°C (71-79°F)
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                                                                                                                                               Factsheet 089= updated February 24, 2005 © ScotCat 1997-2018  Go to Top