Corydoras elegans, Steindachner, 1877
Origin:Brazil, Amazonas; Rio Solimoes, vicinity of Tefe. Peru, Loreto; Rio Ucayali, Rio Ampiyacu, Rio Nanay, Rio Yavari, Rio Tamaya. Ecuador, Napo; Rio Lagartococha, Rio Napo, Rio Aguarico. Colombia, Rio Caqueta, Rio Amazonas, Rio Solimoes.
Etymology: Elegans means tasteful or fine.
Synonyms: Corydoras pestai, Holly, 1940. Common name(s): Elegant Corydoras
First import: 1865, Thayer expedition.
Description:Corydoras elegans is very similar to Corydoras napoensis. C. elegans has an irregular pattern in the dorsal fin and the males are more colorful(more iridescent green and more spots). Full grown Corydoras napoensis males have a dark blotch in the upper dorsal fin. Corydoras latus has also a blotch in the dorsal fin, but in this species it is located in the middle.
Care: Keeping Corydoras elegans is easy. The fish will do well in most community tanks, as long as the water isn't too hard, and the temperature doesn't exceed 25 degrees for longer periods. Corydoras elegans inhabits the lower and the middle(similar to Corydoras hastatus!) regions in the tank. If kept in fresh water, with a dark soil, and tempered light, this corydoras can be quite colorful. A sandy region in the tank for feeding the fish will protect the barbs.
Feeding: Omnivorous, all food is taken.
Size:Males 5 cm, females 5.5 cm.
pH: 6.0-7.5 Hardness 2-20
Breeding:This corydoras does not spawn in the typical T-formation known from most corydoras species. The fish can be bred at temperatures of 21 degrees or less, in a 50 cm tank or larger. More males than females should be introduced to the breeding tank. After a large waterchange the animals will become restless, and will start to clean the upper 5 cm of the tank. The female(s) will then start to nudge the males in the side, until they respond. The males will respond by startining to swim in circles around the female, which will then also start to circle. After this the female will clean a particular spot again, lay some eggs in between her ventral fin, and deposit them on the previously cleaned spot. The males will then hover over the eggs and fertilize them. The eggs will hatch in 3 days, and be fully free swimming after another 3 days. Corydoras elegans fry grow slow, up to 2 cm in three months, and resemble the parents after 6-8 weeks. The parents do not eat the eggs!
Sexual dimorphism:Males are smaller, thinner, and more colorful.
Prices:Netherlands: 2-3 €
Additional: Besides the described differences, the behaviour and the way the fish breed, are ways to determine whether the fish are Corydoras elegans, or napoensis, latus, nanus or undulatus.
Picture references:All pictures: E. Naus
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