|Synonyms||Corydoras melanistius longirostris, C. wotroi|
|Distribution||Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname.|
|Sexual Dimorphism||Mature females are larger and appear fuller when viewed from above.|
|Maximum Size||6cm (2.4")|
|Temperature||22-26 deg C (72-79 deg F)|
|Water Parameters||Will acclimatise to a wide range of conditions. pH: 6.0-7.8, dH: up to 20 degrees.|
|Lighting||Medium. Brighter lighting should be diffused with broad-leaved or floating plants.|
This is a peaceful bottom dweller which should be maintained in groups of 5 or more due to shoaling nature. In the wild, C. melanistius is known from coastal rivers and their tributaries with quite an extensive range of different water parameters; they will acclimatise to most community set-ups as long as extremes are avoided. Unfortunately, this species can be a little prone to barbel infections/erosion, so it is of paramount importance that they are kept on a soft sand substrate (rather than gravel where waste can build up unseen) in order to protect these delicate sensory organs. Regular maintenance, including frequent partial water changes, should be carried out in order to keep these fish in good condition. Provide plenty of shady areas amongst driftwood, rocks, and areas of dense planting. Other peaceful species such as some of the smaller pencilfish, tetra, and rasboras make ideal tankmates, and their presence as ‘dither fish’ in midwater will encourage the Corydoras out into view more often. Corydoras have the ability to breathe air intestinally, so a small gap should be left between the surface of the water and the cover slides in order for the fish to come up to the surface and take air in. It may do this numerous times per day.
Many species are misidentified as C. melanistius by exporters and the genuine fish is incredibly rare in captivity. Check any fishes labelled as melanistius as they're usually leucomelas, brevirostris, delphax or similar.
Sinking catfish pellets, frozen foods such as bloodworm, white mosquito larvae and vitamin-enriched brineshrimp.
This species has been bred in the home aquarium. Mature pairs can be triggered into spawning by performing a large, slightly cooler water change. The pair will adopt the classic ‘T position’ where the male fertilises the eggs that are held between the female’s pelvic fins. The adhesive eggs will then be deposited onto plants, décor, or the sides of the aquarium etc and the process repeated. Unfortunately the eggs of this species are prone to fungus, so some fishkeepers like to add a small amount of methylene blue to the breeding tank. The eggs generally take 3-5 days to hatch after which time the tiny fry should be offered finely powdered first foods. A few days later they will be able to take newly hatched brineshrimp.