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October 28, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Wet Spot Tropical Fish’s newsletter!

The genus Corydoras belongs to the large family of Callichthyidae, which translates from the Greek words kallis, meaning beautiful, and ichthys, meaning fish. Corydoras, or more commonly known as Cory’s, are known as armored catfishes due to the two rows of bony plates (called scutes) running down the length of the body. They have become one of the most popular of all the tropical fish being imported from South America. They account for 7% of all the catfish found in the world. The subfamily Corydoradinae make up about 90% of the Callichthyidae family and have over 180 species known to science with many more not yet identified; these are labeled with a C number. Corydoras come from the Greek words kory, meaning helmet, and doras meaning skin. So now that we know more of their background, let’s discuss a few species we have imported just for your tank!

Imported directly from the Rio Meta basin in Colombia, Corydoras melanotaenia “Green/Gold Cory” reaches a max size of 2.4” and Corydoras metae “Bandit Cory” grows to only about 2”. They inhabit small creeks, flooded forests and sand banks. Like all other Corys, these are very peaceful fish and prefer to be in larger schools.

Corydoras melanotaenia

Unlike most other South American fish, the Green/GoldCory and the Bandit Cory like the water temperatures in the low 70’s. They will feed on pretty much anything that makes its way to the bottom. Don’t let either of these great cats pass you by!

Corydoras metae

Moving onto the “dwarf” corys we come across three different fish that all share big stature in appearance. First, the Corydoras pygmaeus “Pygmy Cory” is endemic to the Rio Madeira in Brazil. This is probably one of the smallest members of the family and is probably the most sold in the trade. The body is a light grey with a black stripe running down the lateral line. It is found in large numbers in small pools and creeks seeking shelter in the thick vegetation and tree roots. This means keeping them in large schools will keep them happier in your tank!

Corydoras pygmaeus

Second is the Corydoras habrosus “Dwarf Cory” is from the Rio Salinas, which is part of the Rio Orinoco river drainage in Colombia and Venezuela. These fish are the larger of the three reaching just about 1.4”. The Dwarf Cory is very common throughout the Orinoco and is frequently imported into the states. They prefer soft water with a pH value of 6.2 to 7.2 and like the water temperature in the mid 70’s.

Corydoras habrosus

The third of the dwarf types is the Corydoras hastatus “Tail Spot Pygmy Cory” from the Villa Bella in Brazil. The Tail Spot Pygmy Cory can be differentiated from the common Pygmy Cory by a lack of the black lateral line. Instead, it has a black spot at the base of the tail fin and two white spots on either side of it. These Corydoras like their pH a little higher, anywhere from 6.8 to 7.6. The Tail Spot Pygmy Cory is also the oldest known of the three corys being described as early as 1888 by Eigenmann & Eigenmann. All three of these fish prefer to feed on small foods like frozen daphnia or chopped up bloodworms. Whatever fish you decide to place in your tank they will surely make you happy!

Corydoras hastatus

Hailing from the rivers near Manaus in Brazil lives Dianema urostriatum “Flagtail Porthole Cat”. Reaching nearly 5” in length these fish are very adaptable to any water condition. They love a warm tank around 77-82 degrees. You’ll want to keep the Flagtail Porthole Cat in smaller groups, which will keep them swimming out and about. Like most catfish, these are rather unfussy eaters and will readily feed on just about anything. The body is a light brown with dark spots covering its body. Then, of course, there are the black and white stripes on the tail fin from which the common name is derived from. Once in your tank you’ll love how these cats coming hobbling through!

Dianema urostriatum

That wraps up the wonderfully amazing Corydoras species we are offering this week. Well, that, and one of its closely related cousin, the Flagtail Porthole Cat. If you like Corys, you’ll also love Corydoras arcuatus “Skunk Cory” and Corydoras duplicarius “Duplicate Cory” which have been in our care for some time now and are ready to be added into your home or office aquarium. Be sure to check the products link at the bottom of the page for the current list. Thanks again and until next week!

Corydoras arcuatus

Corydoras duplicareus

Anthony Perry
Sales Manager