Catfish / Callichthyidae / Panda Catfish

Panda Catfish, Panda Cory
Corydoras panda

Synonyms: None
Physical description: The body is stocky and deep, with an arched back. Two rows of bony plates make up each side of the fish. The upper has 21-23 plates, while the lower 19-21. Two pairs of barbels are located on the upper jaw. The body color is white. The body has two dark spots; one around the eye-from which the Panda Catfish receives its name- and the other by the base of the tail. The fins are the tan to bronze in color, but the dorsal fin is black. There are several of similar Corydoras species that are often confused and sold as this fish.
Size/Length: To 2" (10 cm)
Similar species: Adolph's Cory ( Corydoras adolphoi ), Burgess' Cory (Corydoras burgessi ), Bandit Cory ( Corydoras metae ), Diagonal-stripe Cory (Corydoras melini )
H: Along banks of slow-moving clear rivers. South America; the tributaries of and in the Ucayali River in Peru.
A: bottom
Aquarium: 16" (40 cm) or 5 gallons (19 L). Use a fine gravel bottom. The lighting should be dim and the tank well-planted and well-oxygenated. Like most other catfish, the Panda Cory prefers shallow tanks.
Water chemistry: pH 5.8-7.8 (7.0), 2-20 dH (10), 72-82°F (22-28°C)
Social behavior: Follow suggestions for the genus description.
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: The females are larger and plumper behind their pectoral fins, and less colorful. Easier to sex when viewed from above.
Breeding techniques: The Panda Catfish has spawned in Java moss and against the glass of the aquarium. In one case, when a group of fish reached maturity, a pair was isolated in a spawning tank. They were fed Tubifex and Daphnia . The water had a hardness of 18 dH. Frequent partial water changes were performed. Cooler (72-75°F) water was used to initiate spawning. The female lays 3 to 5 yellow eggs per spawning. After spawning, parents should be removed. The fry hatch in 4-6 days. Start feeding after 2 days. Maintain good water properties and change small portion of water every day to every other day. The fry grow fast if fed the proper diet of crushed flake, small crustaceans, and micro-food.
Breeding potential: 8. The Panda Catfish is a difficult fish to breed.
Remarks: Water maintenance is important with this Corydoras . Frequent partial water changes are needed for this catfish to prosper.
Difficulty of care: 5. The Panda Cory is hardy, but slightly more sensitive to water conditions than other Corydoras species.

By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com