Corydoras stenocephalus by Eric Bodrock

I received my breeding group of six adults from a fellow hobbyist in Milwaukee who had some success with spawning them. Thanks Kevin! They arrived to me, via USPS Express mail, in great condition. They are full-grown at a rather large total body length of two and a half inches. At first look they resemble a common bronze or green (C. aeneus) Cory, but with a closer look you will notice a longer snout, sharper defined fins and a faint dark marbling pattern in the body.

I set them up in a ten-gallon to quarantine them, as I do with any new fish entering my fishroom, for a period of time. The tank was bare bottomed and contained a sponge filter. A handful of Java Moss rested on the bottom for cover. The underside of the tank was painted black to provide a little comfort from light. They were pretty active from the time I introduced them into the tank so I assume they were happy! Their diet consisted of live black worms, freeze-dried tubifex worms, assorted crushed flakes and small amounts of live baby brine shrimp. Being the middle of summer, June, the tank temperature was pretty warm, near eighty degrees Fahrenheit. The pH was at 7.0. A fifty percent water change was done approximately every ten days. I didn't pay much attention to them during the quarantine period, until one day when I was doing a water change, I noticed some small white cotton-like balls scattered in the Java Moss. Those ended up being bad eggs that had fungused. Upon a closer look, I could see some tiny eggs that were already eyed-up and developing nicely. The eggs are really small for such a good-sized Cory, just over a millimeter in size. I moved the Java Moss, along with some tank water, to a smaller, shallow tank and added an airstone. Within two days the eggs hatched, about sixty of them. They were then moved into a ten-gallon tank that was filled just enough to cover a sponge filter, about five inches deep. A heater was added to maintain a temperature of eighty degrees Fahrenheit.

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Microworms and sponge "scrunge" (debris acquired by squeezing a dirty sponge filter into the tank) were added in their diet, along with Java Moss that houses many different microorganisms that are excellent first foods. With a small water change every few days, the fry grew quickly, reaching a total body length of a solid inch in eight weeks! In the first several weeks, the fry show an iridescent blue color on the sides of their head that fades as it extends into the body. By eight weeks most of that blue color is gone. The fry show many different colors and patterns as they grow, all better looking than the adults! They defiantly aren't the best-looking Corydoras of all but they are rarely seen in the hobby.

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