Elegant corydoras (Corydoras elegans) is a catfish native to the Upper and Central Amazon River basin. They are chiefly found near Tefe/Rio Ampiyacu. It is a shoaling species and you should therefore keep at least six specimens together, regardless of whether you are interested in breeding Corydoras elegans or not.
Sexing Corydoras elegans
Sexing adult Corydoras elegans is not very tricky because the males are more lavishly patterned. You can also see reticulations when you look at the dorsal fin of a male Corydoras elegans. If the dorsal fin is clear, you are most likely looking at a female Corydoras elegans.
Breeding aquarium for Corydoras elegans
The aquarium should ideally be densely planted; you can for instance use Java moss and Java fern. Before you start trying to trigger spawning, the water temperature should be 22 – 26°C, the pH around 6.5 and the water hardiness within the dH 2-25 range (but preferably as soft as possible). Perform small and frequent water changes to keep the water quality up.
Triggering Corydoras elegans to breed
When you want to coax your Corydoras elegans into breeding, cool water changes can be of great aid. Perform large water changes (>35%) twice a week using water considerably cooler that the water in the aquarium. The temperature should drop by several degrees. In addition to this, you should increase the aeration of the water. Lowering the General Hardness also seems to have a beneficial effect when breeding Corydoras elegans.
Feed your Corydoras elegans meaty foods, such as live or frozen bloodworms and daphnia. A high quality flake food or catfish tablets is a great supplement since they contain a good mix of necessary nutrients.
Prior to spawning, the males may chase the fertile female around a bit in the aquarium. The eggs can be deposited on various surfaces, including plant leaves, spawning mops and aquarium glass. Compared to may other Corydoras species, Corydoras elegans produces very small eggs.
Egg and fry rearing of Corydoras elegans
Most breeders chose to raise eggs and fry without the parents, either by moving the eggs or by moving the parents. If the water temperature is 25-26 degrees C, the eggs will normally hatch within four days. Corydoras elegans fry will instinctively seek shelter somewhere if when they live in their own aquarium and they can therefore be hard to spot at first. They may for instance be hiding among the gravel. After 48 hours, most of them will have consumed the yolk sac and you can start feeding liquid fry food. Remember, these fry are much smaller than most other Corydoras fry and liquid fry food is therefore better than microworms. When they are four days old they are normally big enough to eat microworms.
Fry development in Corydoras elegans
If given a nutritious diet, Corydoras elegans fry will have grown to be around 6 mm in length within 10 days. At this age, you can normally notice four dots along the lateral line. When the fry is about a month old, these spots will have formed a black line.
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