CCA: Eric Bodrock: Breeding Corydoras

June 14th, 2009

CCA LogoOn Saturday, I attended the Capital Cichlid Association’s meeting where they brought Eric Bodrock down from Pittsburgh to talk about breeding Corydoras. Eric is quite experienced in this regard as the owner of All Oddball Aquatics, where he breeds and sell many rare or hard-to-find fish, including Corydoras.

I’m going to provide a short summary of his talk, as I remember it from my notes. For starters, there are hundreds of Corydora species in the wild, all from South America. Just like with the L-numbers used to denote undescribed species of plecos, there are now C-numbers, and then CW-numbers which are being used to describe the multitude of new Corydoras species that are being discovered. Once you find a source for the species that you want to breed, you need to make sure you get healthy fish. Make sure their barbels are long, their eyes clear, and free of deformities in their body or fins. Cories are social animals, so buy in groups of 6-10, and try to break them down from there to 2 males/female, or pairs.

Corydoras Paleatus

Now you need a tank to use as a breeding tank. They don’t need large tanks, so 10G and 20G tanks work great. Use a sponge filter, and provide plenty of spawning mediums, such as Anubias or Java Fern, yarn spawning mops, piles of rocks, etc. Also, ensure that there’s plenty of circulation in the tank, as many species prefer to spawn in the current.

Corydoras Paleatus

Once in your tank, you need to prepare the fish for breeding. Feed them a variety of high-quality foods, such as tubiflex worms, earthworm sticks, daphnia, blackworms, etc. Blackworms in particular do a good job at conditioning the fish to breed. Sexing Corydoras is relatively easy. Females are much larger than males, broader across, and often their pectoral fins are rounded. Males are more slender, often have pointed pectoral fins, and also are often the more attractive fish.

When eggs are laid, you must either remove the parents, or remove the eggs, as the fish will eat their own eggs. It’s often preferable to use a mesh container, floating the eggs inside of that, with the whole box in the parent’s aquarium so that the water chemistry is consistent. In addition, alder cones are useful tools to prevent fungus from infecting unfertilized eggs. Once the eggs hatch, and you have free swimming fry, squeeze a dirty sponge filter into the tank to provide microscopic organisms for the fry to feed on. As they grow, switch to baby-brine-shrimp, and other live foods to rear them.


Eric gave a great talk, and really provided much more information than I can possibly provide here. I’d definitely trust him as a source for healthy fish on Aquabid. He brought a number of fish to the auction. I ended up with Apistogramma alacrina, which I’m looking forward to breed. Another great meeting, thanks CCA!

8 Responses to “CCA: Eric Bodrock: Breeding Corydoras”

  1. Phillip Says:

    Great post, you do go to some fascinating events.

  2. Jason Says:

    Eric gave much the same presentation at the big convention in Raleigh, NC, earlier this year. It was easily one of the best talks at the event – informative, easy to listen to, and pitched at about the right level for most participants. I’m hoping more local clubs try to get Eric in for a talk and am glad that CCA managed it.

  3. guitarfish Says:

    I’m glad you got to hear Eric in Raleigh, Jason. That’s one of the conventions that every year I’m hoping to get down to, and have yet to make it fit into my schedule.

  4. Blaise Says:

    Eric also mentioned stimulating the fish via a big, cool water change, especially if done the night before a storm rolls through.

  5. Sonny Disposition Says:

    Nice post Chris! You got all the fine points down. Eric’s talk had lots of good information, and was lots of fun.

  6. guitarfish Says:

    Thanks Guys! Blaise, thanks for adding that. He listed quite a few triggers, that I couldn’t get them all down in my notes.

  7. Tmom Says:

    I’ve raised several spawning of my cories, the first few batches I couldn’t keep the babies alive. I think I didn’t feed them the right things. then when they spawned again, I removed the eggs and put them in my cherry shrimp tank.

    The shrimp kept the eggs clean, and my kids and I actually watched the little guys break out of their eggs and sprial down and head for the marimo balls. they survived just fine in the shrimp tank and after a few months they were big enough to move back into the “big tank”. I think there was just the right amount of “something” in the marimo balls for them to eat and thrive on.

  8. guitarfish Says:

    Thanks for the comment Tmom! Good to hear from you! That’s a great trick, I always figured that cherry shrimp would eat the eggs. No matter what the fish, I still enjoy finding eggs, and watching the fry that come out of them.

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