Tutorial: How to not fail at breeding Cory catfish

Discussion in 'Corydoras' started by FedoraWearingCory, Nov 4, 2014.

  1. FedoraWearingCoryValued MemberMember

    So you want to breed Cory catfish? Well you are going to need this guide! I have learned quite a bit from my first cory spawn, and I made some really stupid mistakes. And I probably will make plenty more mistakes, it's part of the experience! So if you want to get things right the first time and not be me, then this guide is for you!

    Stuff you probably should know before breeding:
    Lets get the basics down first

    Decide what cory you want to breed. First timers are best off going for common and well known cories, such as Green, Emerald, Peppered, Albino, or Panda to name the most common ones. Get about 4-6 per kind and make sure that they are in a suitable size tank (I'd say 20 Gallons is a healthy size, 10 at the very minimum) with soft substrate and plenty of hiding places and lots of air flow. You can keep them with pretty much any community fish, and they will do well on a diet of bottomfeeder pellets with some other source of good nutrition (Look it up, I won't list all of it here)

    It is hard to determine the gender of cories until they are full grown, and even then it can be difficult. Males tend to be smaller and skinnier then females, and females are usually rounder with bigger bellies. I would look up pictures of both genders of the cories you are keeping as a better method.

    Your cories need to be grown before they can spawn. It can be difficult to tell when they are ready to spawn, but females will start to look more plump and males might get more frisky. If they simply have no spawning behavior, you may want to wait a bit longer.

    Keep your PH steady. My cories would not breed because my water was too acidic, once I started putting doses of PH stabilizer in every time I did a water change they started breeding. Give them lots of places to hide, but enough room to swim around. And make sure the water is well aerated.

    So should I break out the candles and wine?
    First, start by making sure the tank stays clean and start feeding them things that they like such as Brine shrimp or Bloodworms. The females will start to look very fat with eggs. Know where you will keep the eggs and how you'll go about feeding fry and the like. (We'll go over that later) Do a larger then usual water change and use slightly colder then normal water, if conditions are right anywhere from a few hours to a few days later, usually during the night, you'll find your females plastering eggs everywhere!

    Look, it may sound like a good idea to keep the eggs where they are, but it isn't. Anything and everything including the parents will eat the eggs. If your tank is dedicated to just cories, wait until spawning has stopped and move the parents out into another tank. If your like me and have a community tank you'll need to get those babies out ASAP! I personally use my finger to gently roll the eggs off the glass and into my breeder, but you can use a credit card, plants like java moss, or a lot of other stuff.

    You may want to move them into a separate tank, but once again if your like me and don't, you have several options. First, don't move them into a separate container if it doesn't have a heater or filter, or your gonna have a bad time. I wouldn't recommend platic breeders, they don't allow much water flow. Mesh breeders are your best option. Both net like and the square ones work fine.

    Caviar anyone?
    Place an airstone near the eggs. This will keep water flowing and keep any nasty bacteria away from the eggs. Do water changes more often, I don't have an exact number, some people do them daily, some do it only once a week, just make sure that the eggs stay underwater through the change. Keep your water at about normal temperature, you may want to turn it up a notch because of the colder water used to induce spawning.

    First, if you see any eggs that look fuzzy, get them out of there as they are growing fungus. (Using a syringe or eyedropper would work) Eggs that are white are usually infertile, but I keep them in there unless they get moldy. Fertile eggs grow darker in color over time, ranging in color from tan to dark brown. Eggs can take anywhere from 3-7 days to hatch, depending on breed and water conditions.

    No, fish are not potatoes!
    Fry will not need food for about two days, their yolk sac's provide them with nutrition. Most people start on liquid fry food and after a few weeks they switch to baby brine shrimp. If your not so fancy (yes, like me again!) then you can make newborn fry food for them by grinding up normal fry food. You may wonder why we need to grind up fry food, but let me explain. Get a grain of rice from your pantry. A newborn catfish fry is half the size of that. If you cannot find baby brine shrimp, buy freeze dried brine shrimp. (Not frozen, dried) And grind it up.

    Your catfish will probably start to outgrow their breeder quite quickly. Depending on what is in your tank, you will be able to let them free at different ages. There is no real estimate on the exact age, but if you have a community tank with nothing that could snack on a small cory, they should be fine at about 2/3-3/4 an inch. If your cories are getting too crowded and they are smaller then that, you may want to get a second breeder. If you have them in a separate tank, you can move them whenever they are 1 inch, as room isn't as much of an issue.

    You may find that you will get another batch of eggs while rasing eggs and fry already. If you only have eggs, it should be safe to put the two batches together, but you will have to be extra wary of fungus from the older eggs. If you are rasing fry already, you will have to keep the batches separate, as older fry tend to bully or even kill younger fry.

    This is a WIP, I have stuff to add
    Stuff to add
    More sections

    Feel free to suggest changes or additions
    My brain is fried ok
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
  2. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Thank you for the tutorial! Please remember, any photos that you add must be your own. :)


  3. FedoraWearingCoryValued MemberMember

    Thank you for the comment! I probably won't add pictures anyway, my camera is terrible.