Adult size: 3″
Origin: South America
Sexing: Females are plumper
Care level: Easy
Breeding method: Egg-depositor
Breeding potential: Moderately easy
Minimum tank size: 20 gallons
Bronze Corydoras catfish are the most common Corydoras species in the aquarium trade. They have a brown/grey colored body with a white underbelly with bronze /green iridescent coloring along their flanks. Their down facing mouths have barbels to help them detect food as they swim along the bottom. Corys can live up to ten years if well cared for. One interesting characteristic of corys is their amusing ability of rolling their eyes seeming to wink at you!
Corys are well protected from predators. Instead of scales, they have two rows of scutes along their flanks. Scutes are bony external plates similar to scales. It acts like armour giving corys extra protection from predators. Corydoras are quite capable of defending themselves and actually have sharp barbs on their dorsal and pectoral fins, which can sting other fish if they try to attack.
Corydoras are ideal inhabitants of a community tank. They have a very peaceful temperament and will not bother your other fish. In the wild, they will move in large schools searching the river bed for food and they also need their own kind as company in home aquarium. They should be kept in groups of at least six.
They will get along with all other community fish but it is best that you avoid keeping them with too many other bottom feeding species to prevent competition over food. They will mix best with fish that swim in the middle and upper levels of the aquarium. Rainbowfish, tetras and angelfish are just a few examples of suitable Corydoras tank mates.
Corydoras are a bottom dwelling species. They will root around the bottom burying their barbels into the substrate as they scavenge for leftover food. They must be kept in an aquarium with rounded gravel or sand to prevent their barbels becoming damaged. They should be provided with plenty of natural retreats including planted areas and caves.
They require a well balanced diet and should be fed on sinking foods to enable the food to reach the bottom before being consumed by other fish. Corys will naturally enjoy live and frozen foods like bloodworm but will also appreciate sinking tablet foods and pellets.
Female Corydoras are identified as being plumber than the males, which is more noticeable when looking from above. When kept in relatively large shoals in the aquarium corys will begin to pair off when they are ready to breed. The pairs can then be separated into breeding aquariums ready for spawning. Breeding pairs should be fed on a good diet.
In nature, corys will breed during the rainy season. This can be simulated by making a fifty percent water change using cool water, which can often induce spawning. During spawning the pair will adopt the “T-position”. The pair will lay around one hundred or more eggs and attach them to a submerged surface such as a clay pot cave or plants. When the fry hatch, they should be removed from their parents and fed on baby brine shrimp until they are large enough to accept regular foods.