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November 22, 2013

Good morning, friends! We have so many beautiful Corydoras in that I thought I’d tell you about some of our more splendid offerings.

Many of you I’m sure know of Corydoras similis “Violet Cory” or, as some know it, the “Smudge Spot Cory” from the Rio Jamari in Brazil. The Violet Cory is a fairly average Corydoras with an adult length of just under two and a half inches, enjoying water in the 70s Fahrenheit and a slightly acidic pH in nature. Its versatile water parameters make this Cory a perfect option for many community aquariums. This Corydoras stands out with its beautiful patterning – a warm yellow gold head is marked with tiny brown spots. As the spots continue down the fish’s body towards the caudal edge, they appear to blur and smudge together, creating a gentle gradient to a blue or violet toned tail. The origins of both common names for this gorgeous fish are obvious. C. similis would enjoy a blackwater biotope with a bit of leaf litter, root or branch wood decorations, and a bit of peat or Indian Almond Leaf to add tannins. Of course, our tank raised stock are perfectly content at a 7.5 pH and upper 70s and would look equally stunning in a well-planted setup.

Corydoras similis

Corydoras cf. agassizi is slightly larger than the Violet Cory at just over two and three quarters of an inch, and has a slightly narrower range of temperature – these little cats prefer temperatures between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. However, C. cf. agassizi has a wider pH range, tolerant in the wild of both slightly acidic and slightly alkaline waters. These Cory cats display dark masks over their eyes and snouts as well as a broad dark band across the base of their dorsal fin, often extending along the first few fin rays. Around these dark patches are complex designs of small black spots over a silvery base, with the exception of a slightly orange-toned region between the dark markings at the head and dorsal crown, slightly reminiscent of C. duplicareus or C. adolfoi. Our C. cf. agassizi originated in Colombia and are more than ready for your planted aquarium.

Corydoras cf agassizi

Corydoras sodalis, sometimes called the “False Network Cory”, is similar to the Violet Cory in size but prefers its water in the same temperature range as C. cf. agassizi – between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. A pH of 6-7 suits this catfish in the wild. The False Network Cory is native to the waters of the Rio Yavari in Peru and is notable for its beautiful, complex and variable pattern of dark reticulation over a pale silvery or slightly green body. C. sodalis tends to show a slightly more rotund body shape than some other species of Corydoras, a body form that is best described, in my opinion, as incredibly cute. As with the Violet Cory, C. sodalis finds itself quite at home in blackwater Amazonian biotopes but will thrive just as well in a well-planted aquarium, perhaps shading itself under an overhanging Amazon Sword leaf or beneath a bit of root wood.

Corydoras sodalis

I’ve spoken so far of highly patterned Cory cats, marked with spots and stripes and bits of color. I feel, however, that it’s time to move on to simpler patterns with the rich, gorgeous colors that make so many hobbyists swoon. Let’s begin with the 2.4” Corydoras concolor “Blue Cory” or “Slate Cory” of Venezuela. Rarely, does one see the grey-blue coloration of this fish, particularly not paired with its warm sepia-toned fins, and especially not in a Corydoras species. This wonderful, special Cory sports one other unique feature – the dorsal fin of the males is extended, sometimes growing to nearly twice the length of that of the females. While our specimens are not old enough to display these extended dorsals, once they reach their adult size of just under two and a half inches, they are sure to be quite the lookers! Unlike our previously mentioned species, the Blue Cory is more particular of water parameters, preferring water with a pH between 6.5 and 7 and temperatures from 74 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Corydoras concolor

The “Gold/Green Cory”, Corydoras melanotaenia, is a true beauty in the aquarium. Unlike the above-mentioned Cory cats, the Gold/Green Cory enjoys cooler water from about 68 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit and the typical neutral to slightly acidic water. These beautiful little Corydoras have an overall golden coloration to their body and fins, marked by a dark stripe beneath the iridescent green coloration of their scales along the flank. These fish are fairly elongate, with slightly shorter dorsal edges and longer snouts than the average Corydoras build. This species is native to the Rio Meta of Colombia and enjoys overhanging rocks, wood, and plants. These fish are quite similar in coloration to the ubiquitous Corydoras aeneus “Bronze Cory”, though the Bronze Cory is significantly stockier and larger than any of the above-mentioned species. Unlike the brilliant golden color of the C. melanotaenia’s fins, Bronze Cories have dark brownish finnage and an overall brown and blue coloration. C. aeneus is still a beautiful fish, however, and shouldn’t be disregarded as a gorgeous addition to the community aquarium.

Corydoras melanotaenia

Corydoras aeneus

Remember to keep your Corydoras catfish over soft, sandy substrates: Those adorable barbels are easily damaged by larger substrates! Sinking foods are highly advised – these fish are comparatively slow eaters and should not be allowed to subsist on the leftovers from their tankmates above.

Thanks for reading and have a lovely weekend!

Jessica Supalla