Monday, 19 November 2007

On breeding corys

My fascination with corys dates to my childhood. I bought my first corys when I was 11 or 12. I had no idea what they were, but eventually I was able to match them to illustrations of Corydoras aeneus which, as it turns out, is native to Trinidad. After we moved the corys ended up as the sole denizens of their tank, alone and ignored. So it was much to my surprise that I found four or five of them swimming around in a tank where there had only been three. (And I use the word "tank" loosely - it was a very large old enameled pot that had once been used to boil diapers.)

Ever since, I have had a fascination with corys. They were among the first fish that I bought when I got back into fish keeping this year, and I now have five species of Corydoras. While I would be happy just collecting them, I have an urge to replicate what I once achieved through chance and neglect.

Most descriptions of corys mention spawning - this species is easy to spawn, that one is very difficult. In addition, they refer to the "classic" T configuration. Some people will even mention that the male forms the top of the T, and the female faces him. But I was never able to visualise it, and no one bothered to provide illustrations. Thankfully, I have finally come across an article with pictures. Ian Fuller's article So you want to breed corys? provides just that - a picture of the "classic T-position" (scroll down pretty much to the bottom of the page). On seeing that, my reaction was "oh, really?" Have I seen that before? I may have. It has a terribly commonplace look, the sort of thing I would not have identified as spawning behaviour. A while ago my first corys (species unknown) did a lot of what looked like spawning behaviour. I was looking for the T position, but never saw it (I was looking for something more dramatic). In my main tank eggs would probably be snail food and fry fish food. But it makes me hopeful that I could induce them to try a second time.

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