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I have always loved catfish of all shapes and sizes. They are such an attractive fish, but many species do grow too large for most tanks. Thankfully the corydora can fit into most aquarium set ups.
Corydoras originally come from South America, but many in the pet trade will be commercially bred. Some varieties like albino being distinctly man made. There are at least 142 types of corydoras, or cories for short. They range in size from the pygmy corydoras, which are about 0.75" , to Corydoras barbatus, reputed to reach lengths of up to 5". I would note though that both of these species can be harder to keep than the standard corries, who are quite study little fish. In particular, Corydoras barbatus, is often wild caught and may have trouble adapting to tank life. This fish is also far more exacting on water requirements. The pygmy isn't much more difficult, but I would wait until the tank is fully cycled - at least 6 -8 weeks and because of their small size, tank mates must be chosen carefully. In a tank with small tetras and gentle fish these could be ideal though.
The most common corydoras in the pet trade are the bronze corydoras, and its variant, the albino, along with the peppered, green, panda, Shultz's and pygmy ,varieties. I currently keep albino and panda corydoras. Theoretically, both of these species reach about 2.5 " in length, but I have found the pandas to be slightly smaller. For novice fish keepers - or simply those who just like as few difficulties as possible. I would strongly recommend any of the common species of corydoras, but the bronze and albino are meant to be the absolute easiest to keep. My personal favourites though are the albinos, which I find very active and amusing. Of course the bronze is identical except in colour. Albinos are usually white, but you can get them quite pink with a diet high in brine shrimp, blood worms and a bit of cichlid red. I will note that while "blue" and "green" varieties are available, the blue are not the least bit blue and the green only have the slightest of green tints. Panda corydoras really do have markings that remind me of a panda, and Schultz's or leopard corydoras are covered in small brown spots. The bronze cory can be reflect a number of different colours with it's metallic sheen.
Corydoras serve a purpose in the tank as well. As bottom feeders, they do help keep the tank cleaning by gobbling up whatever foods fall to the bottom, stirring about through the gravel to find bits and pieces. They are considered bottom dwellers, but in the right circumstances can be very active, racing up and down the sides of the tank.
These little fish will eat just about anything, flake, pellets, worms, brine shrimp, even shelled peas now and again. Although they are happy enough to eat flakes, they may not get enough in a tank full of more voracious eaters. Watch and make sure some flakes are reaching the bottom, but I would also suggest feeding some sinking foods as well. I feed flake, catfish pellets and frozen food with the odd bit of vegetable.
This is a pretty sturdy fish and can survive a wide variation water qualities but they do prefer slightly cooler water. They can be kept from 22 - 27 Celsius but temps around 24 would be ideal. Younger fish and fry will usually only survive at lower temperatures. Lowering temps will also spark breeding, and I did end up with home grown corydora after a heater failed. Unfortunately I bought a new heater and did not know that the warmer temps likely caused the death of the rest of my hatchlings - still you don't get many eggs hatching in a community tank. PH should be about 6 -7, or soft to neutral. This would be average for most tropical tanks, with the exception of some fish like cichlids where the water is deliberately hardened.
Corydoras are social fish and do not like to live alone. You should keep at least three. The ideal group is meant to be variants of 3 with 2 males to each female - which is pretty much their natural breeding arrangement. Females are larger and fatter and most experienced pet shops can distinguish the difference.
Corydoras are quiet easy going fish and will not bother other tank mates. They are suitable for most community tank set ups with small to medium fish. They should not be housed with very large or aggressive fish.
Corydoras release a toxin when stressed. They can also be poisonous to other fish. Most bigger fish leave them alone, but as they are small and timid, it isn't fair to house them with large aggressive species, and constantly being harassed may affect the health of the larger fish. If one eats them, it will likely die. Dead corydoras need to be removed from the tank ASAP.
Corydoras should never be transported in the same bag as other fish. The toxins released due to the stress of transport in such a small volume of water will be very likely to kill any other fish in the bag. Keep this in mind if moving house too - a separate container for these little guys.
Please note corydoras are especially susceptible to aquarium treatments. Use medicines and chemicals with care.
BRIGHT NEON COLOURED CORYDORA?
Please do not buy any garishly coloured cory. Colour feeding does not achieve results like this. Although less commonly dyed then other white fish - like parrot fish or albino black widows it has been done. This is a cruel process which no reputable pet store will participate in. The fish is injected with dye. Many die during the procedure. The majority of the fish die within weeks, but should your fish be one of the very few survivors it will revert to it's natural colouring in a few months. If you want a brightly coloured fish, please choose one with naturally bright colours.
Average lifespan is meant to be about 5 years. I have read of one being kept for 8 years, but I have never managed more than 6.
The corydoras is one of the many types of catfish you can buy for your tropical fish tank.
They are a small catfish that reach between 3-4 inches. They should be kept in groups; at least 5 will keep them all happy.
There are many different types of corydoras, such as bronze and albino.
They have small barbs around their mouth which helps them feel around the bottom of the tank while they look for food.
You can tell the difference between the sex of these fish, the female is usually bigger than the male and will have a rounder belly.
They are an egg laying fish and will scatter them anywhere, on the glass, floor or a rock.
Corydoras are one of the many fish you can own that come under the category of peaceful fish. They will never attack other fish in they tank due to their peaceful nature.
They need at least a 10gallon tank, should be more if you want to keep many of these fish.
They usually cost a couple of quid each so that makes them a cheap little fish.
They will do well with most other small fish, like clown loaches, plecos and angel fish.
Larger fish will eat them, such as cichlids and some bigger catfish.
This causes 2 problems. One, you will lose your corydoras catfish, and two, you could lose the fish trying to eat it.
I have handled this fish before through the net and found out that they have very sharp fins and spines.
This could get stuck in the fish's mouth and end up piercing its mouth or throat and will choke the fish. So for those two reasons, dont keep them with fish that are known to eat small fish.
Another problem i have had with these fish are that mine seem to be prone to fin rot. I dont know if this is just me but mine have had it a few times. They have always recovered but seems to come back after a while.
Cat fish are the scavangers and cleaners of the fish world.
They have whiskers and barbels around there mouths which they use to stir up the gravel in the bottom of the tank to route out any food scraps which is realy good for your fish tank as all the rotting food in your gravel causes nitrate levels in your tank to rise which is not healthy for your fish.
Corydoras catfish are a smooth armoured cat fish which originally comes from south America. They have two horn type rows of scales down there backs which is where the expression armoured comes from, this protects them from bites from other fish.
They are tolerant of realy bad water conditions and would in the wild live in pritty bad water.
They are a peaceful fish that wont attack other fish or show agression which makes them a great fish for a small tropical comunity tank which is where ours lives and with them only getting to 4 inches maximum length they dont need to be in a massive tank like other cat fish do.
They are realy easy feeders and will take pellett food off the top of the water but i have found by feeding mine like this it made him very lazy and he didnt forage as much for his own food so didnt serve the purpose he was brought for.