The Corydoras Paleatus or Pepper Corydoras is one of the easiest species of corydoras that one can keep. They are very sturdy fish and well adapted to a wide range of water chemical values. As most of the other corydoras species they do appreciate to have other Cory’s in their tank. This is a social fish that needs a shoal of at least 6. They are an active bunch, seeking food on the substrate all day long. They feel most at comfort in a planted tank that offers some hiding spots where they can rest.
The males remain a little bit smaller then the females. A female is recognisable by being rounder at the belly around the moment of mating, making the males look a lot more slender.
As most other corydoras species, the paleatus is an omnivore. Flakes and dried food is happily taken but also tubifex, mosquito larvae and other frozen foods are consumed without any problems.
The pepper cory is a good tank mate in a community aquarium. Make sure that the substrate is made up out of sand. As all cory-species the pepper cory will search the substrate for food with it’s whiskers so make sure the substrate does not injure these.
With the right nutrition and good water chemistry changes are they will spawn eggs. Other fish will eat most of these eggs and also the parents will tend to nibble on these. If the tank is however well planted with plants having fine leaves, a number of fry might survive
Breeding Corydoras paleatus is fairly simple. To prepare the parents it’s recommended to feed lots of tubifex or red mosquito (high protein food). When they are well fed, have a large water change with cooler water. This is often the trigger for them to spawn their eggs. Be sure to remove excess foods as these will pollute the water and affect the water chemistry negatively. The eggs are sticky and will be spawned against the plants, the filter or the planes of glass of the tank. After 5 days the fry will hatch. The fry can be fed immediately with artemia nauplii or fine small foods.
The first results regarding breeding of this species are from the early days of the hobby. This was one of the first species of Corydoras ever to be bred in captivity. The first known reproduction occurred in Paris, France in 1878 by Pière Carbonier.
Many of the Corydoras species have a self-defence mechanism to prevent becoming another’s fish diner. When there is danger they will lock stingers in their dorsal and pectoral fins. This cause them to remain stuck in the assailant’s throat or beak. When you want to remove them from the tank it can be that they become stuck in the netting, be careful however when removing them as these stingers can penetrate or even break off in the skin causing inflammation of the wound.
The toxin from the glands can also be released when they are stressed or in danger. When transporting Cory’s don’t put too many of them in a bag and also remove any other fish, as the toxin will be lethal to them if released.
Not much research has been done towards the toxin and it is yet unclear if the toxin is released from the gills or stingers. Following Corydoras species are believe to have this toxin: Corydoras adolfoi, Corydoras arcuatus, Corydoras melini, Corydoras metae, Corydoras panda, Corydoras robineae, Corydoras rabauti, Corydoras atropersonatus, Corydoras sterbai and Corydoras trilineatus.
John de Lange