Corydoras burgessi by Eric Bodrock
C. burgessi resembles Corydoras adolfoi and Corydoras duplicareus in color scheme; noticeably possessing the bright orange "cap" on the top of their head, just in front of the dorsal fin and behind the eyes. This intense orange marking resembles a bar or a teardrop of color rather than a patch of color as in the others mentioned. They lack the "skunk stripe" but do have a dark black mask concealing their eyes. There is also a large black spot that fills most of the dorsal fin. This spot also runs into the top of their silver/white body, just in front of the orange "cap". The body shape of C. burgessi, with the high back and thick full body, reminds you of a Brochis rather than a Corydoras catfish. Females are easy to distinguish in adults by their fuller, plump bellies. Both male and females can reach a good size, almost three inches in total length.
They aren't timid at all, being very active swimmers that even seem to strut as they move thru the aquarium.
My thirty-five adult fish were received direct from Germany. I'm assuming that they were all wild fish, being that they were fully grown adults and knowing that they aren't commonly bred or mass-produced. Upon arrival I split the shipment into two bare bottomed tanks for quarantine; about two dozen were introduced into a forty-gallon long aquarium and the other dozen or so into a twenty-gallon high aquarium. Both tanks were filtered with sponge filters. The twenty-gallon had a small, six-inch piece of sinking driftwood added for cover. The filters in the forty provided those fish with some cover.
Diet consisted of live black worms, freeze-dried tubifex worms, live baby brine shrimp, frozen bloodworms and assorted flake foods. All of these seemed to be eagerly accepted.
Much to my surprise, about two weeks into quarantine, I noticed a couple of eggs stuck to the glass in the back corner of the twenty-gallon tank. As the day went on, I found several more eggs. The grayish/clear eggs are one of the largest Cory eggs I have seen, approximately 2mm in size, maybe even a bit larger, and are very sticky when deposited but once you roll them off the glass with your finger, it is difficult to get them to stick on the glass again. I moved the eggs into a smaller plastic tank for hatching. I used water from the spawning tank along with a few drops of methylene blue to help retard egg fungus. An airstone was added for air and water circulation. The water quality at the time of the spawn was as follows:
- Temperature - 76 degrees F.
- pH - 6.8 - 7.0
- Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) - 186 ppm
- Nitrate 10-15 ppm
The eggs hatched in four days. The fry have huge eggs sacs, the same size as the eggs, which takes almost three days for the fry to absorb! I'd say the hatch rate was fifty - sixty percent. Raising the fry presents no problems. First foods added after their egg sac was absorbed were sponge filter dirt, squeezed form a seasoned sponge filter, and microworms. Live baby brine shrimp was added soon after. Fry grow rather quickly, nearly an inch in ten weeks.
Since the first couple of spawns, I have observed several interesting factors that I feel might help someone in spawning these striking Corys. Importantly, I have found that they will deposit almost all their eggs in a sunken yarn mop lying on the bottom of the tank if offered. This provides a quick, easy way to remove the eggs by simply removing the mop and it prevents the eggs from being damaged while being handled. They don't seem to bother with eggs in the mop, but eggs deposited on the glass will usually be eaten during the day. Also have found out that they prefer to spawn during the daytime. I had a spawn of them one night, but it was a night that I forgot to turn off the overhead lights in the fishroom. So artificial light can act as daylight to encourage spawning. Many Corys are triggered to spawn when storm fronts move into the area, but every spawning I can think of with C. burgessi has been on mild, pleasant days with calm weather. Their spawns aren't very large, usually numbering fifty to seventy eggs. I have noticed that different females will spawn several days apart from each other but I haven't found a pattern as to why...yet!