Catfish / Callichthyidae / Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras sp.

Size/Length: From 1" (2.5 cm) to 4" (10 cm)
H: This family is spread throughout South America with the greatest concentration found in the Amazon Basin. Corydoras catfish come from a wide range of biotopes; from rocky rapids to slow-moving, muddy rivers.
A: Most swim in the bottom levels of the tank. Some dwarf species may swim in mid water.
Aquarium: Most can tolerate an aquarium that is 20" long (50 cm) or has the capacity of 10 gallons (38 L). These catfish like a well-planted tank with many hiding places (wood, roots, rocks). Use fine gravel or sand as a substrate, for these fish burrow. Members of the Genus Corydoras prefer shallow tanks.
Water chemistry: With most individuals of this species, water properties are not critical. Most thrive in water with a pH of 6-8, a hardness of 2-25 dH, and a temperature of 72-82°F (22-28°C).
Social behavior: All of the fish in this family are good community fish. They like to school and should be kept in groups. Do not combine Corydoras species with huge fish as they may eat this pleasant little catfish. Corydoras catfish are diurnal fish.
Social behavior: Smaller tetras, Discus, Dwarf Cichlids, Livebearers, Gouramis, Barbs, Danios, Killifish
FOOD: Live; aquatic insects, white worms, Tubifex, Brine Shrimp, insect larvae; tablets; flake
Suggested companions: It is fairly difficult to distinguish between the sexes, although the mature females are usually plumper.
Breeding techniques: Use a breeding tank with a sand or fine gravel substrate. Provide some large-leafed, potted plants. Usually spawning occurs after addition of cooler water, in water with a pH of 6-7 and a water hardness of about 6 dH. The most success of spawning Corydoras catfish is reported during the winter months that correspond to the rainy season of their natural habitat. Recreating rainy season conditions this far has lead to the most spawning successes. For Corydoras catfish, just the change ion temperature is usually enough to initiate spawning. One-fourth of the tank's water should be changed daily, with cooler water added after each change. Continue this until the temperature has been lowered 4-8 F. Corydoras catfish usually spawn in groups. The female holds 2-4 eggs between her ventral fins while the male fertilizes them. After being fertilized, the eggs are carried by the female to a large leafed plant, where they are attached to the underside of a leaf. In all 100-400 eggs are laid. The eggs should be removed as the parents may consume them. Place the eggs in a well-aerated rearing tank after spawning is complete. The eggs are somewhat sensitive to fungus, so the tank should be kept as dark as possible. Fry hatch after 3 days and are free-swimming in 3-5 days further. Young should be fed small live foods such as white worms, Tubifex , Brine Shrimp nauplii, innards of fresh peas, and water fleas. The fry can also be fed tablet foods. Young grow quickly.
Breeding potential: 7. Breeding is fairly difficult.
Remarks: This family has the ability to take atmospheric oxygen from the surface which aides them in water with insufficient amounts of oxygen. Air is taken in through the mouth and passes along the intestine to the hind gut, where it absorbed into the blood stream.
Difficulty of care: 2. As a general rule, Corydoras catfish are easy to care for.

By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com