How to Breed Corydoras Catfish
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Corydoras Factoids

Origin

Amazon River basin

Maximum Size

Males smaller than 2 inches, females larger

Housing

10-gallon okay.  Larger better for breeding.

Security

Not necessary

Temperature

70 to 80

Attitude

Good natured.  Eager eater.

Foods

Loves all foods – especially worms

Water

Prefers pH around neutral but very flexible

Sexing

Males pointed dorsal fin. Females rounded belly

LA
Female albino corydoras aeneus catfish.  Great scavengers in your average community tank.

LA
Corydoras aeneus -- the standard bronze cory.  Female.

Corydoras Name:  Corydoras means “little armored catfish.”  Cory scales protect them from some predators that snap up little swimming morsels.  Their dorsal and pectoral fins also contain the so-called catfish “horns,” another protection against fish gulpers.  Most people shorten their name to “cory cats” for convenience.

LA
Brochis couruleus -- usually called the green cory -- but not really a cory.

Lots of Species:  You can usually find a good variety of species in our tanks on any given day.  Most people prefer the bronze corys (Corydoras aeneus), spotted corys (C. paleatus), and albino corys (probably both C. aeneus and C. paleatus).  These locally raised species sell for less and do the same job as the “cooler-looking” imports.

LA
Corydoras ? -- usually called the gold green cory.  Female.

LA
Corys like to travel in packs.

Origins:  The Amazon River level goes up and down with the rainfall amount.  Schools of thousands of corys congregate in shallow pools left behind.

LA
Corydoras aeneus or C. paleatus.  How ya gonna know?    Female.

Labyrinth Breathers:  Corydoras prefer to live in cooler waters but possess an auxiliary breathing organ that enables them to survive in those shallow pools of low oxygen warm water.  You can see them come up to the top to breathe.  If youve walked barefoot along a river in the summer, you know how warm these shallow pools can get.  

LA
Corydoras rabauti.  Female.

 

Water Conditions:  Corydoras easily adapt to a variety of clean water conditions as well as nearly any temperature – even unheated goldfish aquaria.

LA
Corydoras julii or close facsimile.  Female.

Appeal:  Corys rank among the easiest fishes to keep.  They stay small.  They sport cute little whiskers.  They roll their eyes occasionally.  They interact with each other when kept in herds. Corydoras make excellent scavengers, but they are also good looking fish.  And the different species provide a variety of color patterns.

LA
Mostly
Corydoras melinis.

LA
C. melinis like to bunch up when in a new tank.

Size and Sexing:   Corydoras top out at two inches.  Mature females grow longer (and wider) than the males.  The rounded belly of the female keeps her nose off the gravel when she rests. They usually take two years to attain breeding size, but some breed earlier.  Corys live several years.

Jumpers:  Not usually thought of as jumpers, corydoras can leap out when going to the top for air.  It happens most often where your filter stems release their bubbles.  Their armored plates and air breathing abilities enable them to live quite awhile on the floor.  We still prefer keeping ours wet.

Beware Large Goldfish:  Small corydoras mix poorly with large goldfish.  Big goldfishes try to swallow small corys.  The cory’s “horns” stick in the goldfish’s mouth.  The cory drowns.  You have to extract the cory with longnose pliers or your goldfish could die also.

Foods:   Corys eagerly eat whatever you feed them, but don’t expect them to clean up your overfeeding mistakes.  They will not eat old, spoiled food growing mold on the bottom.  Use snails to clean up any nasty food on the bottom.  Corys love live California blackworms.

LA
Probably
Corydoras julii or C. blochi

LA
... These came in as C. blochi blochi.  They school the same way.

LA
Nice pregnant female
Corydoras aeneus on top.  You might suspect a full cargo of eggs.

Breeding Corydoras:  Minimum you’ll need two males and a female.  They breed best in larger groups.  One trio laying eggs tends to trigger the others.  Give them a large shallow tank.  Add two trays of ice cubes (simulates rainfall) and watch them breed in the morning.  They lay eggs on the glass or your filter stems.  Remove the parents or the eggs.  Use a single-edged razor blade to (carefully) slice off the eggs after they harden and put them in a half-filled pre-prepared tank.  Newborn catlets make very tasty snacks.

LA
Corydoras lay eggs on your plant leaves.  Cory eggs are white -- unlike most fish eggs.

LA
Same eggs out of the water.  Usually you get 100 to 200 eggs per spawning female.

LA
Cory eggs stick to your aquarium walls but corys manage to eat some of them anyway.

LA
You can see where they pried some loose.

LA
Two days later, you can see a little development in the eggs.  They ate most of them.

LA
First one hatched seven days later.  Look in upper right corner.  Not exactly a fish yet.

LA
More now hatched and starting to wiggle a lot.

LA
Next batch was scattered everywhere.  They continued to eat probably 95% of their spawn.  Corydoras eggs are soft when first laid.  They harden fairly quickly.

LA
Two days later, they're wiggling around like a catfish on a hot tin roof.  We fed microworms.

LA
Another few days later.  Still on microworms.

 


LA
Eggs on front, sides, filter, and aponogeton bulb -- just the ones they didn't eat.

LA
Next morning's production -- still just a fraction.  Corydoras will eat their eggs.

LA
Scraped off with a razor blade and caught in this net.

LA
Here's another batch of eggs.  Lots of females in this 10-gallon tank.

LA
Take a curtain call, ladies.

LA
Here's 147 of them at 1.5 inches.

LA
Inch-long albino Corydoras aeneus rooting for food.

Fry Foods:  Weirdly enough, corydoras catlets do best in tanks with a little gravel sprinkled on the bottom.  Best first foods include microworms and newly hatched brine shrimp – even the frozen.  You can see baby albino cory bellies turn orange when they eat brine shrimp.  Use a sponge filter.  They need clean water.  LA.
 

Siva Vasu, Mumbai, India, 11th November, 2009
Hi, I just wanted to mention something about sexing corydoras catfish that no website or anyone I've seen or met ever seems to know. In my experience in keeping albino Corydoras aeneus, I have noticed that all my female corydoras have cup-like pelvic fins. These are for holding the eggs during breeding. In males, they are flat. If you carefully see the picture with five bronze corydoras, the female with the "full cargo of eggs" has cup-like pelvic fins. Besides the fat belly, these fins also explain why female corydoras' mouths never reach the gravel when they rest. Also, the lower tail fin of all my female corydoras are bent. This gives the appearance that the tail fins are 'u' shaped instead of the 'v' shape in males. 
I would also like to say that your website is simply great. I've found almost all of the information for fish keeping here. I hope that my mail would be of any help to you. Thank you.   

A:  Namaste and shukria for the kudos and the info.  I'll add it to my cory page.  LA

Victor-Alan Weeks, Atlanta, Georgia, September 4, 2011
Hello! I just wanted to share some info on breeding/spawning cory cats. I have kept them for several years now and I have a pattern that I use to spawn them. I keep them in warm water around 75 Fahrenheit for about 6-8 months, keeping them with a consistent diet of flakes , then bloodworms once every two weeks. During that time I change about half the water every two weeks as well. After the 6-8 months is done I do a full water change and remove the heater and lower the temperature down to about 68 .During this period I feed them three times a day instead of two and I feed them a mix of bloodworms, flakes and some brine shrimp. They usually spawn in this period. So far I have successfully incubated and raised 4 batches of cory eggs (about 200-300 laid, about 100 fungus over, about 50-80 fry keel over and die.. then the rest survive. But I've just started using this method. Hope it helps! I attached some pictures of my two corys (male in back, he is a bronze cory, and the female up front is an albino cory, and their roommate, a female honey gouramis). Thanks.
 

VAW

A:  I'll add your report to my cory page.  The cool water is a good spawning trigger.  To increase your live egg %, add methylene blue.  Hatch the eggs in a bare tank with a bit of gravel on the bottom and start them on microworms or newly hatched shrimp (hatched daily).  You'll get more survivors.  LA

 

Want More Corys?  Go to Just Cory Pics

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