Masked corydoras

Aquarium fish: Masked corydoras (Corydoras metae)
Size: 4 – 5 cm
Origin: South America
Water temperature: 22-26 ° C
Aquarium volume: 54 l

Masked corydoras (Corydoras metae ) – a mild, small aquarium fish from the cuirassid family.


South America. Endemic species. It occurs only in the upper section of the Meta River, which is the left tributary of the Orinoco in eastern Colombia. In the lower section bordering Venezuela, this species has not been recorded.

It lives in small streams, watercourses and flooded forest areas.

Characteristics and disposition

Adult specimens reach up to 5 cm in length. Light, cream body decorated with two diagonal, dark stripes. One on the head passes through the eye, the other from the tip of the dorsal fin to the base of the tail. May be confused with   Corydoras melini and C.

davidsandsi . C. the den on the body has additional spots and the main stripe clearly spreads to the sides of the body. C.davidsandsi is lighter, slightly more orange in color, and the black stripe passes to the caudal fin. Gender of young fish is difficult to distinguish .

Adult females are noticeably larger and wider, especially when viewed from above. Males are smaller and more slender. Colombian cuiras are very calm shoal of 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.

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 completely natural behavior. Instead of scales, they have a kind of armor.

The sides of the body are protected by two rows of bone plates. The first rays of the pectoral and dorsal fins play a deterrent role. They are very sharp and can easily become entangled in the net and even prick painfully. Be careful when caring.

Nutrition and feeding

Omnivorous and unrefined fish.

They can be given good-quality dry food falling to the bottom, regularly supplemented with frozen and live food, e.g. artemia, bloodworm, hydration, daphnia.


A group of Colombian cuiras will feel good in min. 54 l aquarium, arranged like a black water biotope. The best substrate will be fine river sand that 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 leaves should be replaced every few weeks. The roots and leaves will release the desired tannins into the water and color the water the color of weak tea. Additionally, you can put a bag of peat into the filter.

The light should not be too bright. A peaceful species that can be a perfect complement to a social aquarium. It should not be combined with much larger and aggressive fish. Small tetras, carps, labyrinths, cichlids and gentle catfish will be good company.


Reproduction similar to that of other cuirassi.

The spawning aquarium should have min. 45 cm long. Sand may be used as the substrate, but is not necessary. A small sponge filter is enough for filtration. Optimal parameters of the water for reproduction are 6.5 pH and 24 ° C.

Filtering the water through peat or using RO water may help. Kiryski can spawn on the aquarium glass, among small-leaved plants or on a special aquarium mop. 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 its pectoral fins and releases the milk into her mouth. The female releases the already fertilized eggs into a basket made of her pelvic fins, then flows away and lays them in the chosen place. The situation repeats itself several times and usually lasts 2-3 hours.

During the entire cycle, an adult female lays about 100-200 eggs. After the parents have spawned, the eggs should be separated or transferred to a separate tank. Unfortunately, eggs can become moldy easily, so you need to watch carefully and remove any rotten grains of roe. Adding a few drops of methyl blue to the water can slow this process down. Hatching takes place after 3-4 days.

Initially, the larvae use up their yolk sac. Then you can start giving them the smallest food, e.g. artemia 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.


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