Corydoras Zygatus
by Tom Brecknell

This is my first corydoras to breed and hopefully not the last, when fully grown the Corydoras Zygatus males are 65mm with the female’s 70mm and more plump.

I keep them in the corner of my fish-house called Catfish Corner where I keep all my catfish of course. When I got them I was told they were corydoras rabauti, which look the same colour but are slightly smaller at 50mm for males and 55mm for females. They both have a light reddish tan body and are lighter coloured on the belly. They have a broad dark grey band on top, from the head as far as the peduncle and there is a metallic green sheen covering the dark band.

The truth only came out when my first fry were born, the rabauti fry are a beautiful tri-coloured and the zygatus are very plain and in no time become exact images of their parents. I collected the eggs and put the eggs into a net type breeding trap and the water coming from the filter goes directly into the trap which keeps the eggs moving and greatly reduces the amount of fungus on eggs. If one egg gets fungus on it it’s less likely to spread as the eggs get separated constantly with the movement. My fry are growing very fast as I have them in with bristlenose catfish which clean up any waste they leave, the tank has a built in filter, powered by air from my blower and an internal homemade box filter which is made from a caterers margarine tub and has its own under gravel filter.

The parent’s tank which was the only tank available at the time was a 150mm x 300mm x 300mm. I did water changes every week or so of approximately 50% and with a small box filter the tank stays healthy. Water is from my own well, through an R.O. unit and then through a deioniser, the tank parameters are as follows, 7.4 pH, Gh 12° hardness and the temperature is kept at between 70 and 740 F most of the time.

The way I got the corydoras to spawn was I fed them up with live and frozen worms then a large cold water change which simulates what happens in nature and I kept on feeding them worms. For spawning I dropped the temperature to about 61/62o C. They spawned in the typical corydoras T manner placing the eggs in groups of about 5 – 10 My broods have been small so far with about 50 to 60 eggs but I hope to improve this as the fish get more mature and with the move to a bigger tank on the same level.

The first food I gave the fry was micro worm and I put plenty in the tank as the excess was eaten by the bristlenose in the tank. At a couple of months, the fry have grown to be half an inch. They will now take any food offered to them, which is mostly tabimin sinking pellets and microworm. If you like a catfish that’s not shy and very busy around the tank I think these are ideal candidates best of luck with whatever fish you try and breed or keep.