Aquarium fish: Panda corydoras (Corydoras panda)
Size: 5 cm
Origin: South America
Water temperature: 22-25 ° C
Aquarium volume: 40 l
Panda corydoras (Corydoras panda ) – a small, bottom, freshwater aquarium fish from the cuirass family, its color resembles a panda. It was introduced to aquarium in 1971. Wild fish are now hard to come by, virtually all commercial fish come from livestock farms.
South America. It comes from the upper parts of the Amazon in Peru.
It lives in both white and black waters, tributaries of rivers, streams, often flowing on sandy ground. Many of them are fed with water from the local Andean mountains during the thaw. In these periods, the flow of water increases and its temperature drops to approx. 19 ° C.
Characteristics and disposition
Adult females are up to 5.5 cm long.
Barrel-shaped, white to pinkish-orange in color. Under certain lighting conditions, a faint iridescent green is visible on the sides and gill fin. The fins are similar in color to the body, transparent or translucent. The dorsal fin is almost completely covered with a black, distinct stain. At the base of the tail there is a wide black band covering the dorsal part and the abdomen.
The fat fin, sometimes black in color, has a small spike. Visible on the head is a black “mask” passing through the eyes and ending in front of the abdominal surface. In young animals, the coloration is more contrasting. The pectoral fins, located just behind the gill covers, and usually when the fish is at rest, extend vertically, like the wings of an airplane. The pelvic fins are located slightly behind the pectoral fins.
The first ray of the dorsal fin is approximately at the highest point of the body. Anal fin far in the caudal area, roughly at the beginning of the black stripe. Mouth opening in the lower position, where three pairs of whiskers are visible. They do not have scales, and their body is covered with two rows of bone plates. The first rays of the pectoral and dorsal fins are hard and sharp, so be especially careful when catching them , as they can easily become entangled in the net or prick painfully.
Like other Corydoras , they have an additional respiratory organ , a specially adapted, modified intestine. Thanks to it, they can collect the atmospheric air from above the water surface. In aquariums, they often swim rapidly to the surface to draw air, which is perfectly natural. Gender of young fish is difficult to distinguish. Females are stockier and wider when viewed from above compared to smaller and slender males.
Adult females are clearly larger. Gregarious, peaceful, more delicate than other cuirasses, they require careful water quality supervision. It is recommended to keep min. 6 individuals, preferably 10 or more. When kept in larger quantities, they are bolder, more active, and exhibit more interesting behaviors.
Under the right conditions , they sometimes live to be 15 years old !
Nutrition and feeding
Omnivorous, but mainly feed on animal foods. They are usually recommended by aquarists as a cleaning crew, but it must be remembered that they cannot only feed on the remains that fall (or not) to the bottom. It is imperative to be sure that they are also receiving their food. They are particularly eager to eat live and frozen, for example, Dafnie, Artemie, Rurecznik or Ochotka, but they will also not despise the dry (falling to the bottom).
Pandas will feel best in min.
A 40-liter aquarium (45x30x30 cm), arranged in the style of an Amazon biotope, with a sandy base and a decoration of roots or dry twisted branches. A handful of dry leaves, such as Oak, Beech or Ketapang, will complete the impression of a natural look. Underwater plants are rarely found in their natural habitat. The wood and leaves should color the water the color of weak tea over time. Old leaves should be removed every few weeks and replaced with new ones so that they do not rot and contaminate the water.
You can add a bag filled with peat to the filter, which will help to achieve the “black water” effect. Lighting should be rather dim. If they prefer a different approach, they will also do well in an aquarium with lots of plants. Regardless of the decor, the quality of the water and the bottom must be taken care of, as these fish are more sensitive to pollution than other cuiras. The substrate should be regularly cleaned (desilted), because if it is too heavily polluted, it may lose its whiskers (e.g.
due to bacterial contamination). Sharp-edged gravel should also be avoided.
Reproduction similar to that of other cuiras. The spawning tank should be approx. 45 cm long.
Sand may be poured on the bottom, but it is not essential. A small sponge filter is sufficient for filtration. For reproduction, the optimal parameters seem to be – 6.5 pH and temperature approx. 24 ° C. The use of RO water and / or peat water may be helpful in achieving a lower pH.
Clumps of small-leaved plants, e.g. Java moss , will also be useful in the tank . It is recommended to breed Kiryski mainly males, 2-3 for each female. Spawning in pandas appears to be mainly driven by a sudden change in food availability and an influx of fresh, well-oxygenated water. Therefore, live and frozen food should be given more frequently prior to the planned spawning period.
When the females are clearly thicker (full of eggs), a large change (approx. 50%) of fresh, clean water should be made, as well as increased aeration and flow. We repeat the process every few days until spawning occurs. It should be noted, however, that many species of fish breed seasonally. If, for example, Kiryski won’t wipe out in summer, let’s try in winter.
In addition , patience is recommended as some species reach sexual maturity late. It is also worth trying different approaches, i.e. changes at different times of the day, changes in aeration or temperature. The courtship is initiated by the males, chasing the female all over the aquarium. After a few days the roles are reversed and shortly afterwards the spawning takes place in a T-position, typical for Kirysk.
Usually one winner, among the admirers, starts stimulating the females with his whiskers, usually starting with caressing the tail and then the head. If the female is susceptible, the male positions itself in front of her so that her mouth is close to his pectoral fins. The male clamps the female’s whiskers between his pectoral fins and the body, which in turn provokes the female to put pressure on the male’s body. The male, excited in this way, releases the dandelion. The observations show that the female takes the milk into her mouth and, by passing it through the gills, directs it to her pectoral fins.
Spawning of C. panda , compared to most other cuirasses, seems to be more spectacular, as the T position is often taken in the water, some distance from the ground, instead of directly on it. After fertilization, the female flows away and lays eggs in a selected place, e.g. on a flat stone, aquarium glass or among small-leaved plants. The situation repeats itself many times and may last 4-5 hours in total.
During the entire cycle, an adult female Panda can lay around 15-25 eggs, which is considerably less than most other Corydoras species . After spawning, adults should be caught or moved to a separate aquarium. Eggs go moldy easily , so you need to watch carefully and remove any spoiled grains. You can also add a few drops of methyl blue to the water. Hatching, depending on the temperature, takes 3-5 days.
Initially, the larvae consume food from their yolk sac. After this period, you can start feeding the smallest foods, e.g. brine shrimp larvae, micro nematodes. The fry require clean, oxygenated water to develop properly and appear less prone to disease when buried in a thin layer of sand .