Corydoras habrosus, Weitzmann, 1960
Origin:Venezuela, Rio Salinas and tributary of Rio Pao Viejo; Colombia, Rio Casanare.
Etymology: Greek habros means pretty, delicate or dainty.
First European import: 1950, by A. Fernandez-Yepez
Description:See picture. Dwarf corydoras, closely related to C, cochui. Irregular blotches along the linea lateralis, sometimes forming a complete stripe. Large blotch at the base of the cadal fin is always present. Depending on mood and environment the colored regions vary. Caudal fin has 6-8 irregular vertical bars formed by small spots. Other fins also have small blotches.
Care: Corydoras habrosus can be kept in very small tanks, a 30 cm tank with good filtration will do fine, in small groups, especially with other small fish. They can also be kept in community tanks, although they are somewhat delicate. The tank should have densely planted zones for the fish to hide in. Corydoras habrosus is a school fish, and should always be kept in groups of no less than 5 animals. Corydoras habrosus is sensitive to pollution, and easily will contract bacterial and or fungal infections in tanks that are high in nitrates, carry out frequent small waterchanges. As for the waterchemistry, the fish can be kept in all kinds of water, but are best kept in soft acidic water and the temperature in the lower region. A dark soil in the tank is highly appreciated by the fish, and will increase the colorintensity. Corydoras habrosus should not be kept with larger fish, since even though they cannot eat them, attempts will be made by larger fish, and usually this will lead to stress and or wounds that will cause the corydoras to die., although no strong current is neccessary for the animals well-being. They like soft acidic water and not too high temperatures. The darker the environment, the more melinated areas the fish show. Very quiet and relaxed fish, that are hardly disturbed by anything. During the day not much swimming and foraging takes place.
Feeding: Lots of small live food, although flake food and pellets are also eagerly accepted.You will have to overfeed the other fish in a community tank for them to get some food. Despite their size they can easily master mosquito larvae.
Size:Females up to 3.5 cm, males smaller, up to 2.5 cm.
Breeding: This fish has only been bred a few times. I've bred Corydoras habrosus in the following setup; a 30*20*20 tank with three males and two females. Temperature 22 degrees, during the day climbing to 25-26 degrees. Soft, acidic water(pH 4.5, DH 3, KH 0), densely planted, and three sides of the tank darkened. After a few weeks of feeding the fish well, larger waterchanges with neutral cold water were conducted. Temperature dropped to 16 degrees. The females lay a single very large brown spotted egg at a time, 1-1.2mm, and continue to do so for a few days, around 30 eggs are laid in total. After a week or two she will start laying smaller eggs again if fed well, and the waterchanges are continued. The fry are very delicate and small, and are extremely sensitive to bacteria. They will grow up to 1 cm in two months.
Sexual dimorphism:Females larger and less colorfull as the males.
Prices: Netherlands: 2€
Additional:Recently a Corydoras has been imported in the Netherlands that looks very similar to Corydoras habrosus, but grows larger and thicker. It could be C. cochui. My Corydoras habrosus, which were the fish in the picture, have not grown larger than 2.5 cm(females) and 2 cm(males) after keeping them for 3-4 years. Perhaps the reported sizes have been confused between the species.
Picture references:Both pictures E. Naus
References:Lambourne, D. ((1995): Corydoras catfish, An Aquarist's Handbook. Blandford, London, UK.
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