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Corydoras trilineatus  Cope, 1872    

his months factsheet takes me back to my favourite family, the Callichthyidae, namely the Corydoras genus and a firm favourite for many years in the hobby, the three-lined Corydoras, Corydoras trilineatus.

Corydoras trilineatus = male

Now these monthly factsheets would not be the same if there wasn't a mystery or two! this month there is no exception. If you visit your local aquarist establishment and you are greeted with a tank labelled, Corydoras julii, you can bet that in 95% of the cases that you will be looking at Corydoras trilineatus, unless the shop owner is very much "into" cats and so that will take care of the other 5%!. Why the confusion, well apart from the reason that C. julli hails from Brazil and is rarer and trilineatus is found in Peru & Ecuador there is a marked difference in the markings on the area of the snout/head.

Below you can see the comparisons as the C. julii on the right has a fine spotted head and C.trilineatus on left has what you would term, reticulations in that area.

Corydoras trilineatus
Corydoras julii
Corydoras trilineatus   

  Corydoras julli

Apart from these obvious differences, julii is a finer spotted species and not as robust as C.trilineatus. Keeping the "three-lined corydoras" is not that difficult and with most Corydoras species will do best kept in a group of six or more as above all they are social animals.

Another Cory that is similar is Corydoras leopardus but in this species the longer head is a give-away.

Original description type, locality Peru ( Lectotype designed by Nijssen & Isbrücker 1980 ). Holotype size: 40.2mm SL. Dorsal1/7;Anal1/7; 23-24 bony scutes in the upper lateral series, 20-22 in the lower.

Underside pale grey to white. Gill-cover with a greenish lustre. Markings are variable with three longitudinal patterned stripes running along the lateral line, reticulated head pattern, caudal fin with five vertical bands, anal fin spotted, dorsal fin with dark blotch but specimens have been collected with clear dorsal fin.

This is akin to most of this genus, very peaceful, and would be best housed with small to medium tankmates such as Tetras, Rasboras and Danios or in a species tank for breeding purposes.

As per standard Corydoras breeding structures.

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. There are no hard and fast rules to breeding Cory's but the above method works for me and countless other breeders, you may find another method that suits you, as long as you are successful that's what matters.

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.
trilineatus: Three lined Corydoras.

Fuller, Ian A.M. Breeding Corydoradine Catfishes
Morris J.T. Catfish Association of Great Britain 1986
Sterba, Günther. Sterba's Freshwater fishes of the World 1

Photo Credits

Ian Fuller @
Corydoras World
Factsheet 064

Common Name:
Three-lined Corydoras
Peru Peru : in the tributaries of the Rio Ambyiacu.

Ecuador Ecuador
: tributaries of the Rio Napo and the Rio Pastaza
5.5.cm ( 2½ins)
24-27°C (75-81°F)
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                                                                                                                                          Factsheet 64= updated April 14, 2005 © ScotCat 1997-2018  Go to Top