by Don Kinyon
Corydoras gossei is relatively new to science and the hobby, being officially described by Nijssen in 1972. It originates from a creek near Guajara Mirim in Rondonia, Brazil.
These are fairly large Corys, reaching over two inches in length. Both male and female are darkly colored in the upper half of the body and yellow/white in the lower half. The head is a dark background with orange/yellow markings and the front spine of the dorsal and pectoral fins are the same orange/yellow. The rest of the fins are mainly clear, with wavy vertical stripes on the tail. Descriptions in print can’t do justice to this fish; while it sounds a little bizarre, it’s truly an attractive Corydoras and is on a lot of catfish nuts’ wish lists.
After a year or so of actively looking for some of these fish, I was finally able to acquire five from two different sources: four females and a male. I’m sure this isn’t the best ratio for this or any Corydoras breeding program, but it’s what I had, so it would have to do.
For the first few months, the adults were kept in a 55 gallon community tank, with tetras, dwarf cichlids, and other Corys. They were fed twice daily on a wide variety of foods; including live, frozen, freeze-dried, and flake foods. The water was collected rainwater kept at room temperature (72° to 76° F), with 30 to 40 percent changed weekly. On this schedule, the females were soon ripe with eggs.
When a ten gallon tank came available, all the breeders were moved into it. The water was taken from the community tank. The breeding setup was bare, except for a few broad leafed plants, and an outside power filter. The filter was oversized for the tank and made quite a current, which the fish seemed to enjoy. Flake and freeze-dried foods were dropped from their menu, and live foods became the bulk of their diets. I then started water changing on a daily routine, at about 50 percent, using much cooler water (55° to 60° F).
After a few days of this, the fish started spawning. It lasted five days, and well over five hundred eggs were laid. After all the females had "thinned down", I removed the adults and added a small amount of acriflavin to the tank water. Many of the eggs were infertile, leading me to believe more males in the setup may have been better, but over one hundred hatched in seven days.
The baby catfish looked like an egg with a tail when first hatched and ate nothing for the first few days. Once they started to look like a miniature of the parents, they took to micro worms and, in a few more days, newly hatched brine shrimp. They were left in the breeding tank during this time, and the daily water changes were continued to keep their environment clean, only now with water of the same temperature.
The young fish ate well; in fact, they seemed to eat constantly, and grew very quickly. In three weeks, they had outgrown the breeding tank (and I was tired of the water changes), so they were all moved into a 50 gallon breeder-style tank. The water in this tank was slowly changed over to tap water, which seemed to cause no problems with the youngsters. Other than a die-off of about 5% at six weeks of age (unknown reason), I’ve seen no problems in raising the young.
At two months the young cats are half an inch in length and beginning to show the coloration of the parents.
Although these Corydoras are fairly rare in the hobby now, with their unusual coloration, ease of maintenance and prolificacy, I don’t foresee a shortage in the near future.
For More Information:
Aqualog - all Corydoras, Glaser, Schafer, & Glazer, pg 113, pictures & info.
Web Site: Planet Catfish Pictures of this fish, plus many others. A great site with much information on many, many catfish.
This article first appeared in PVAS’s Delta Tale, Vol 31, # 1
© Potomac Valley Aquarium Society, Inc.