Corydoras Fowleri

Get these cats to fall in love with these tips:

• Maintain excellent water quality

• Provide a protein-rich diet

• Provide insect larvae in the diet

• Increase average water circulation

• Perform daily 25 to 75 percent water changes

• Lower water temperature a few degrees below the average tank temperature and adjustment to your local water chemistry and conditions.

Get the Right Fish

Corydoras semiaquilus is often mistaken for and sometimes sold as C. fowleri. This species is closely related to C. semiaquilus and shares with it a similar color pattern and overlapping plates on the chest and abdomen. AccordJcg to Weitzman, C. fowleri has^Jhortgr snout and head, smaller eyes and its dorsal fin is placed closer to the front than in C. semiaquilus.

Corydoras semiaquilus is built like a bull shark with the majority of its mass located in the head and shoulders, quickly tapering ngo a deeply forked tail. It has neat, sharply pointed unpaired fins, and those of the pectoral and pelvic girdles are elegant and flowing. Afc|ndsome head with a base color of gunmetal blue is flecked with gold leaf. These handsome fish have badger stripes that can just be seen running through the dorsally placed eyes and tracing down to huge barbels. The barbels sit proudly like a handlebar moustache under a long and aristocratic nose that is used to burrow deeply in the sand.

At Jn adult size of 23/ inches, this species is long but not the longest member of the group. What makes the fish so impressive is its height at the dorsal fin and width across the chest. These fish remind me of champion boxers. Egg-laden females do not become as swollen as the gluttonous bronze Corydoras, but when fed on a steady diet of frozen insect larvae and high-quality flake food, these fish become muscular athletes capable of traversing a 6Y2-foot aquarium in the blink of an eye.

I have always preferred to keep large aquaria and small fish, believing that theyi|re easier systems to maintain and in which more natural behaviors can be observed. In suitably sized aquaria, C. semiaquilus spends most of its time roaming the tank in search of worms, squabbling over resting spots and pushing itself through the soft fronds of aquatic plants. Healthy fish are very active and boldly explore the branches and other surfaces placed higher in the aquarium. They are not easily spooked and ignore the scare tactics of cichlids. As such, they are suitable Corydoras for a large community aquarium containing a mixture of robust fish.

Corydoras semiaquilus has been likened to C. barbatus because of its size, snout and coloration. Many aquarists have problems maintaining C. barbatus in community tanks because it requires a cooler temperature than that at which most other fish are happy. If you have suffered the frustration of C. barbatus and are reluctant to pay the high price of another batch, I can highly recommend C. semiaquilus as an excellent substitute. It seems tolerant of higher temperatures and is hardier overall.

Cory Behavior

Corydoras semiaquilus behavior is different to most other Corydoras in that it can be quite aggressive and some aquarists have attributed losses of this species to its violent nature. Corydoras semiaquilus does not seem to enjoy company as much as other corys, and individuals will even chase off those that try to join them in their favorite spot under a branch or in a nicely rounded sand hollow.

Mature males, like some other long-snouted Corydoras, have well-developed pectoral fin spines. The pectoral fins are used to wrestle with

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and drive other males and females into the substrate. These encounters are usually brief, but they can be frequent and do not seem to be a prelude to, or coincide with, spawning.

Several other callichthyids (e.g., species of Hoplosternum, Megalechis and Callichthys) also have developed pectoral fin spines that are used by males during the breeding season to establish nest sites and attract females. The well-developed pectoral fin spines and aquarium behavior of C. semiaquilus suggest that competition exists among males of this species, although establishing a nest site is not the objective. Perhaps in this system, the aggressive encounters are used to establish a subtle dominance hierarchy that manifests itself through access to females during spawning.


Corydoras semiaquilus spawns in the typical corydoradine fashion. Within the group in which pairs repeatedly form, spawning ensues and females select and attach their eggs to surfaces

This is an example of a typical corydoradine spawning embrace for C. semi-aquilus. The female (facing away) is taking in sperm from the male as he holds her barbels against his flank with a thickened pectoral fin spine. The sperm is Sjasiedthrough the female's intestine in a matter of seconds and released onto one or two eggs held between her pelvic fins.

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