Corydoras catfish are very famous in the American continent. There are about 150 known species which are spread all around.
Corydoras catfish are very good for keeping with the other species of fish in the same aquarium. They live peacefully and will never trouble any other fish in the aquarium. As they keep on searching for food at the bottom of the aquarium, they help in cleaning the dirt and excessive food which is accumulated at the bottom.
They cannot grow beyond 2 to 3 inches. In the nature, they are happy in a place where the water is still. They usually eat the insects which are lying at the bottom of the water. They also eat the flesh of a dead fish, so they are called cleaners.
|Photo by Genista|
They are considered 'social' in the aquarium as they would form a group along with other Corydoras. This group will swim together, search for food together and even take rest together! Usually you will find one catfish resting on the other. Even if there is no catfish around, they will become friends with other species of fish and live happily. So you must keep them in a group or at least with some other species in the aquarium. If you keep them alone, they may not live long.
You need not spend much on their food. You will find their mouths facing downwards so they will always be searching at the bottom of the aquarium. You can offer them the same food which you offer to the other species of fish. Usually they will prefer sinking food, but occasionally they will come to the surface of the water to eat food like bloodworms.
If you provide them normal conditions of water, they are happy. If the ph level of the water is 7.0 and the temperature is of about 80° F, they will have no problems. The only precaution you should take is not adding salt to the water. They may not survive in such water.
You can provide sand or rocks at the bottom of the aquarium but care should be taken to avoid rocks with sharp edges. As Corydoras catfish would like to hang around at the bottom, such things may damage their body.
Breeding of Corydoras catfish is not normal. They should be kept in the proportion of two males to one female. The female will put their mouth at genitals of the males for swallowing the sperm. It will pass through the digestive system and it will then pass on to the eggs released by her. Initially, she will hold these eggs in her fins. Once they are fertilized, she will carry them to a safe surface in the tank, may be on a plant or on the glass.
The eggs will hatch in few days. However, there is a risk of other fish eating them before they are hatched. For this reason, the breeding should preferably take place in a separate tank.
Corydoras catfish do not take care of their little ones so you can remove them from the tank after spawning.
The small ones will start swimming around and eating food available at the bottom of the tank. They will be happy with the small brine shrimp.
Corydoras catfish can adjust themselves to any setup. They are not colorful, but they perform a great job of maintaining the cleanliness of the aquarium. That is why they have recently become popular among the fish keepers.