Bandit Corydoras (Corydoras melini) Species Profile & Care Guide
The Bandit Corydoras is an excellent looking, friendly and peaceful bottom dweller that do best when maintained in a group of 5 or more of its own species. However, three or four will be fine as long as there are other cory species in the same tank. These Corydoras are perfect for a community aquarium with other non-aggressive fish with comparable water requirements.
Their short and compact browny-beige body distinguishes the Bandit Corydoras. They sport a black eye mask and black lateral stripe that extends into the lower lobe of the caudal fin. This stripe divides just after the dorsal fin, leaving the dorsal ridge buff coloured. Sometimes a line of spots runs from the gill covers along the lateral line, and between this and the major, some pale striping is visible. The gill covers have a golden-yellow shimmer. Their fins are yellowish and transparent, with the front half of the fin having a dark colouration extending to the apex. The pectoral, dorsal and adipose fins are each preceded by a spine which is a hardened and modified ray.
|Scientific Name||Corydoras melini|
|Other Names||Bandit Cory|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 5+|
|Lifespan||3 - 5 years|
|Temperature||72 - 79 ℉ (22.2 - 26.1 ℃)|
|PH||6.0 - 8.0|
|GH||2 - 25|
|TDS||18 - 90|
Natural Habitat of the Bandit Corydoras
The Bandit Corydoras is native to the upper Rio Negro and Meta River Basins as well as the Orinoco river in northwestern Brazil and east-central Columbia in South America.
They inhabit small rivers and creeks with pristine blackwater and areas of flooded forest where the water is characteristically stained dark with organic chemicals.
These habitats typically contain tea-coloured water are slightly acidic with very little hardness and low conductivity.
Other Corydoras of interest
The Bandit Corydoras is an unfussy eater and will eat a wide variety of foods. High-quality flake food, as well as sinking pellets or tablets, should be their primary diet but it would be best if you supplement their diet with brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms either live, freeze-dried or frozen.
Remember that the Bandit Corydoras is a bottom-feeding fish, and will only eat food that will sink to the bottom of the tank. They also seem to be nocturnal feeders, as this is when they are most active. Try feeding them just before turning out the lights for the day.
Sexing the Bandit Corydoras
It is relatively straightforward to differentiate male from female Bandit Corydoras. The females are more extensive and have broader bodies than the males mostly when full of eggs and their ventral fins are rounded whereas the males are more slender and their ventral fins are pointed.
Breeding the Bandit Corydoras
The Bandit Corydoras are seasonal spawners, reacting to changes in the water temperature and chemistry that occurs during the rainy winter season. Imitating these seasonal changes is an excellent way to induce spawning. You can do this by decreasing the temperature, making the water softer, and lowering the pH.
Implement a water change every other day with water that is a few degrees colder than the tank. Add peat to the filter or use blackwater treatment as this will reduce the pH while softening the water. Make sure you test the water to make sure that the pH is not too low.
If possible, the spawning group should contain two males for every female. Make sure you condition the breeders with a variety of live and frozen foods.
The females will become plumper as they fill with eggs, indicating that they are almost ready to produce. At this point, the breeders will grow very active. This movement may continue for several days before spawning takes place going through periods of intense activity followed by rest periods. Females may remain fixed and disinterested at times. Males will dash about, or stay still shaking their bodies. It is not unusual for males to employ in mock fighting. The moment the female moves, the males will become excited and jump to action, chasing the female relentlessly.
When a female is open to spawning, she will allow the male to caress her barbels and sooner or later take up a T position in front of her head. While in this position the female will bring her pelvic fins together, creating a basket into which she releases one or two eggs. The male consequently releases sperm that fertilises these eggs.
Once fertilisation happens, the female swims away with her eggs and will find a suitable place to store them. Males will anxiously await the placement of the egg, sometimes chasing the female before she is done. This method will repeat itself until 60 to 80 eggs are laid.
Bandit Corydoras usually have a 50 to 80 per cent fertilisation rate.
Adults will eat the eggs, so you must remove the parents after spawning. Many breeders find it more hospitable to move the eggs, rather than the adults. If the eggs are attached to plants, you may move the entire plant, or if the eggs are affixed to the glass, they can be carefully rolled off using your fingertips.
The grow-out tank should have the water at the same temperature and chemistry as the breeding tank. It is advisable to use a sponge filter and to add a few drops of methylene blue to the water to stop egg fungus. Immediately remove any eggs that develop fungus.
Eggs will hatch four to five days later. After two or three days the fry would have entirely consumed their yolk sacs and should now be fed freshly hatched brine shrimp. They may slowly be moved to more substantial foods as the fry grow. During this time, daily water changes are essential. Any loss of vast numbers of fry will generally be due to not keeping the tank clean or failure to change the water.