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Our New Discus Tank - VI

by George J. Reclos

Corydoras aeneus (Gill 1858)

The next step was to add some Corydoras aeneus in the tank - see photo below. I initially bought five of them while I am waiting for an additional 12 to create a nice school. Corys are doing best when they are present in large schools and I have had the experience of keeping just four of them in a tank - which never worked very well for them. No matter what some may tell you, the difference in their behavior between a large school and a small one is remarkable. Once the extra 12 Corys were added in the tank we immediately saw them mixing with the already existing ones, forming smaller groups of 5-6 Corys raging the substrate, the leaves and every little crevice in the tank. Our discus didn't seem to mind their presence as they went on caring about their own territories. Corys will happily eat any kind of food which hits the bottom so we had to increase the quantity of food added as well the number of feedings per day (from two to three)  since our Discus seem to do exactly the same. Now there seems to be enough food for everybody. Those little beauties will not exceed 6 cm when adults so there is no problem with space - let alone the fact they stay in the bottom of the tank most of the time. Breeding them is always an option.. but we will come back to it when this takes place (I will not use the word "if" although perhaps most appropriate since I feel very optimistic about this). Their green hue is a delight to see and their cute little faces add another point of interest in the tank. As you can see, the gravel is still sand (as with all our African cichlid tanks) which is a must to protect their barbells from injury - which is a very common cause of loses with Corys. The use of sand in this tank makes the use of de-ionized extra soft water a must for water changes since no matter how well the sand is washed beforehand still the GH of the water will slowly rise in time. It is important to notice that in my tank the GH and KH will rise approximately 1 degree every 10 days if no water changes (using de-ionized water) take place. Those particular Corys are wild caught specimens from Peru but they are also found in many rivers of the Amazon basin (Rio Negro, Rio Branco) thus fitting in the Amazon biotope we are trying to re-create. It should be noted that - in contrast to Discus - they prefer a somewhat lower temperature (ideally 24-26C - can tolerate 21-27C) and a stronger water current than discus. The ideal number of Corys is about 6-8 per 100 liters of water and it is evident that they prefer as large a surface as possible. It should be noted that adding 1-2 member from each species is not the same as adding many members of the same species. Final size: 6 cm. The female, as with all Corydoras is wider and longer than the male.

Spawning conditions Sex ratio : in pairs or several pairs at the same time. Temperature : 22-24oC. Size of eggs: 1.3 mm. Hatched: at 24oC after 3 to 4 days. Food is first taken after 2 to 3 days. Total number of eggs : 400 or more.

New photos - November 2004

Photo of the Month - November 2004

Click on the images above to see the high resolution photos.

Photo of the month - October 2002

Usually we don't refer to other sources for further reading but in this case I would like to share with you a very interesting and informational book; one of the best I have read. Written by Werner Seuss, entitled  "Corydoras" and published by Daehne Verlag it is an excellent book which will help you understand many things about those small armored catfishes.

Continued in next page

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