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September 21, 2012

 Good news, everyone! 

Anthony is taking the week off from writing this week, so once again you get to enjoy the Wet Spot Tropical Fish weekly newsletter according to Jess.

We’ve gotten in a whole host of new Corydoras species and a lovely new killifish this week and they are positively gorgeous. I’m quite excited to write on our new additions and learn a bit more about them in the process.

Our first new Cory cat is Corydoras ortegai, a comparatively thin-bodied Corydoras.   These grey –toned fish feature black masks and a dark, somewhat circular blotch beneath their adipose fins. These markings are very similar to the ever popular Corydoras panda, but they are set apart from their relatives by a generally slimmer body and some additional markings and the absence of a dark coloration of the dorsal fin. Their armor-like scales are rimmed in black and their tails feature four or more broken vertical black stripes. C. ortegai reach an average length of 1.6”, somewhat small for their genus, and prefer an average tropical temperature around 77°F. Possibly the most interesting thing about C. ortegai is a small feature. In all other Corydoras species, the inner barbels of the fish are separated into two unique barbels from their origin at their chin; in C. ortegai the barbels are connected as one   Overall they are a striking fish and quite unique anatomically amongst Corydoras.

Corydoras ortegai

In my first newsletter on subtropical aquaria, I mentioned many species of Corydoras that prefer cooler water temperatures. One of our new additions, Corydoras loxozonus, likewise prefers their water in the 70-75°F range. These little fish feature a fascinating black stripe beginning along the front edge of their dorsal fin and taking a sharp angle to continue along their body just below their dorsal edge and extends along the bottom edge of their caudal fin. This line is punctuated by several parallel dotted lines beneath these stripes on their sides. Like with many other Corydoras species, loxozonus features a black mask across its eyes. These little subtropical Corydoras from the Rio Orinoco in Venezuela reach about 2.2” full grown.

Corydoras loxozonus

Corydoras loxozonus

The last of our new species of Corydoras is Corydoras sp. “New Panda”, also known as the C-number CW051. This fish appears to be quite new to the hobby with most references only reaching back to 2010. These cute little fish reach approximately 2” (males) to 2.25” (females) and enjoy water in the standard 77°F range. Their exact origin is unknown at this time, however, they are exported from a location near the borders of Brazil, Colombia and Peru. These pale, somewhat peachy-beige Corydoras feature only the typical black mask and a very large rounded black blotch beneath their dorsal fin. These are definitely my personal favorite of our new Corydoras species and I’m considering a small fleet for my home aquaria.

Corydoras sp. CW051

Corydoras sp. CW051

Finally, we’ve reached the point in the article that I return to that new killifish I mentioned, Aphanius mento, “Orient killifish”. These little fish, reaching a length of about 2”, originate in various countries of western Asia (including Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon) in temperate to subtropical waters. Their temperature range lies between the extremes of 50°F and 77°F, though they can tolerate temperatures down to 36°F and up to 86°F. It is advised to allow these fish a cool winter period to extend their lifespans. Their typical environment includes streams originating from areas of karst topography – a geologic region wherein the bedrock is composed of limestone and moderate levels of precipitation dissolve the bedrock into networks of caves and sinkholes (karsts), resulting in a high carbonate content in the groundwater. In the case of the Orient killifish, between 10 and 30 degrees of general hardness and a pH of 7.5-9 is preferred. Acidic water (below pH 7) should be avoided as the fish will not likely survive. What makes these fish so amazing, in my opinion, is their coloration. The males are a dark greenish-brown color, nearly black in fact, and are peppered with brilliant blue spots along their bodies and stripes across their fins. They remind me very much of starry nights in the Oregon coast range and are astoundingly beautiful.

All four of these fish enjoy dense planting and remember to provide your Corydoras species with soft sand substrate to protect their delicate barbels.

Thank you for reading and have a great week!

Jessica Supalla