So I’ve slowly amassed a rather large collection of pretty decent photos of my kubotai loaches. I currently have 11 of these beautiful fish in my 150 gallon, though I only ever get a full head count once every few weeks. With all of the plants and hideouts in the tank, I rarely see more than a handful of them at any instant. When they are out, I try to grab a camera, and this is the result of that.
Every Monday for the next ten weeks, I’ll be posting new shots of my Kubotai loaches. Enjoy!
I already mentioned these adorable little guys in a recent post on the three commonly found species of dwarf Corydora (C. pygmaeus, C. hastatus and C. habrosus). Here’s my chance to show off my own little shoal of C. habrosus, also known as the salt and pepper catfish/corydora.
These guys are ridiculously small fish, maxing out around 3/4 an inch (~2.0 cm) when fully grown. They like soft, mildly acidic water around 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
Salt and pepper corydora are from areas with plenty of cover from plants, roots, and rocks. I went with the C. habrosus instead of the C. pygmaeus because habrosus are typically more adventurous (read: more visible) than their other diminutive counterparts.
Corydora need shoals with many members to remain healthy and happy. Ten or more is suggested, and the more you have, the better they typically fare (assuming the tank is appropriate and has enough filtration). Furthermore, they need lots of swimming room! Anything with a footprint smaller than a typical ten gallon tank will probably be too small to keep any shoal happy.
Despite their small size, handling these little guys can be dangerous. As with all corydora, they have sharp pectoral spines that can easily pierce human skin or get caught in netting. Handle with care. Larger or more aggressive tank mates will usually try to make a meal of these guys. This almost never ends well for the corydora, and occasionally doesn’t end well for the attacker either.
They need a well rounded diet, and love munching down on bloodworms, algae pellets, sinking food, etc. Don’t expect them to complete scavengers or a tank cleaning crew. Corydora are great fish with personality, but still can make a decent mess. Keep them in a well established tank that has stable parameters, and they’re do just fine.
Here’s my “Death Mountain” tank, though the way I’ve been trimming the vallisneria spiralis (the tall green plant in the back left corner) and cutting all other plants low has made the similarity to the video game mountain less obvious.
Plants are starting to grow in well, and my red cherry shrimp began breeding almost immediately after being added. I’ve still got the Boraras brigittae swimming around in the back of many of the full tank shots. They were doing quite well, being very friendly and adventurous, until a recent water change that disrupted the substrate. I’m planning on setting up a more stable habitat for them, with lower lighting and more leafy plants to hide in, quite soon. I’m also tempted to add in a gas CO2 system to improve growth, because my impatience is starting to get the best of me!
These are the newest inhabitants of this tank. I ordered 30 red cherry shrimp. They were rather cheap, as many were culls from a shrimp breeder. Included with the shrimp were also three fish I hadn’t expected. Two red wag platies and a female guppy, all still quite small and young, were thus added to the tank with the shrimp.
I am really enjoying watching the shrimp go about their daily activities! Their limbs are a blur of motion, constantly picking up little tidbits from around them. The males are rather pale and small compared to the bright red females. They group together in a huge colony when feasting on added food.
I’ll update again once the tank has progressed further!