Emerald catfish

Aquarium fish: Emerald catfish (Corydoras splendens)
Size: 9 cm
Origin: South America
Water temperature: 22-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 112 l

Emerald catfish (Corydoras splendens ) – an interestingly colored, small aquarium fish of the cuirassid genus. Until recently, it was included in the genus Brochis . In 2007 it was found that species of the genus Brochis ( B. splendens, B.britskii, B. multiradiatus ) do not have such significant differences in anatomy as compared to the genus Corydoras and were included in it.


South America . A widespread species. It occurs in the Amazon basin in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. It lives in smaller tributaries, river courses and lagoons, in shallow waters with silty bottoms.

Characteristics and disposition

It can be up to 9 cm in length.

It is mainly characterized by beautiful coloration that changes depending on the incident light. It can be seen as metallic green, blue green or deep blue. The pectoral, abdominal and anal fins are yellow. Dorsal, caudal and fat brown fins. In females on the abdomen, it is usually more pink in color, in males – yellow.

The young have spots on their bodies and are sometimes sold under the name “hi fin cory” due to the large dorsal fin. It can be confused with the smaller cuirass, e.g. a similarly colored bronze cuirass ( Corydoras aeneus) . The emerald cuneiform has a more elongated snout, a higher body and a dorsal fin which has 10-12 rays (7-8 for bronze). Gender of young fish is difficult to distinguish .

Adults are best distinguished when viewed from above. Females are larger and wider. Emerald cuiras are calm, shoal fish. It is recommended to keep at least 6 individuals in the aquarium – preferably 10 or more. In a large group, they show greater activity and more interesting behavior.

If kept individually, they will be shy and scared, which will translate into stress

Nutrition and feeding

Omnivorous and will eat most drowning dry, frozen, and live foods. Diversifying their diet will keep them in optimal condition. Under no circumstances should you assume that they will survive on scraps that other fish have not eaten.


A group of streamers will feel good in min. 112 l aquarium, arranged in the style of the Amazon biotope.

The best substrate will be river sand, which will not damage their whiskers. For decoration, you can use dry roots, twisted twigs and leaves of e.g. oak, beech, ketapang, which will give the tank a natural look. The roots and leaves will release the desired tannins into the water and color the water the color of weak tea. Additionally, you can also put a bag of peat in the filter.

The light should not be too bright. A peaceful and sociable species. It will feel good in the company of other gentle, small fish such as, for example, beautifulls, danios, razbors, and cichlids.


Breeding similar to other fish of the genus Corydoras . The spawning aquarium should have min.

60 cm long. A small sponge filter is enough for filtration. A substrate is not required. The optimal parameters of water for reproduction are 6.5 pH and 24 ° C. Filter the water through peat or use RO water.

There should be 2 or more males for each female. Before the planned spawning, fish should be plentifully fed with live or frozen food. When the females are clearly thicker (full of eggs), a large change of cooler water should be performed (approx. 50%), aeration should be increased and circulation strengthened. We repeat this process every day until spawning.

It is worth adding here that many species reproduce periodically. If, for example, it fails in summer, let’s try it in winter. It should also be borne in mind that some fish reach sexual maturity late. The males start spawning. They stubbornly chase the female all over the aquarium.

After a few days, the roles turn and shortly afterwards spawn in the T-position typical for cuiras – the male at an angle of 90 to the female covers her head with his pectoral fins and releases the milk into her mouth. The female releases the already fertilized eggs into a pocket made of her pelvic fins, and then flows away and sticks them in selected places, e.g. on the aquarium glass, on a flat stone, among small-leaved plants. The situation repeats itself several times and usually lasts 2-3 hours. According to some sources , an adult female can lay up to about 800 eggs.

After the parents have spawned, the eggs should be caught or transferred to a separate tank. Roe molds easily, so you need to watch it closely and remove any spoilage grains. You may find it helpful to add a few drops of methyl blue to the water. Hatching takes place after 3-4 days. Initially, the larvae use up their yolk sac.

Then you can start feeding them the smallest food, e.g. brine shrimp larvae, micro nematodes. The young require excellent water quality to develop properly and appear to be less susceptible to disease when kept in a thin layer of sand.

Additional information

Kiryski are adapted to survive in oxygen-poor waters. Their modified intestine functions as an additional respiratory organ thanks to which they can draw atmospheric air from above the water.

In an aquarium, you can often observe them swimming rapidly to the surface to get air. This is perfectly normal behavior. They have no scales. The body is protected by two rows of bone plates. Be careful when caring.

The first rays of the pectoral and dorsal fins are very sharp and can easily become entangled in the net and even prick painfully.


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