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Maximum size : 5 cm

False Bandit Corydoras - Corydoras melini : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The False Bandit Corydoras (Corydoras melini) is a captivating and amicable fish that adds vibrance and character to any aquarium. This species thrives in groups of five or more, but three or four can be kept together if there are other corydoras species present in the tank. As a peaceful and non-aggressive fish, they make excellent companions for other fish species with similar water requirements in a community aquarium. This Corydoras stands out with its short and compact brownish-beige body and distinctive black eye mask and lateral stripe that extends into the lower lobe of the caudal fin. The dorsal ridge is buff colored, and sometimes a line of spots runs from the gill covers along the lateral line. Their fins are transparent and yellowish, with the front half of each fin displaying dark coloration that extends to the apex. The pectoral, dorsal, and adipose fins each have a hardened and modified ray that precedes them, providing additional visual interest.

False Bandit Corydoras Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Male and female False Bandit Corydoras can be distinguished with relative ease. The females typically have a more substantial and broader body, especially when they are full of eggs. Additionally, their ventral fins are rounded. On the other hand, males are usually more slender, and their ventral fins are pointed, making them easily recognizable.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameCorydoras melini
Year Described1930
Other NamesFalse Bandit Cory
OriginsBrazil Colombia
Max Size5 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan3 - 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 8.0
GH2 - 25
TDS18 - 90
72 - 79
22.2 - 26.1

Natural habitat

The False Bandit Corydoras is an enchanting species that calls the pristine blackwater rivers and creeks of South America home. They can be found in the upper Rio Negro and Meta River Basins, as well as the Orinoco River in northwestern Brazil and east-central Colombia. These fascinating fish are specially adapted to thrive in areas of flooded forest where the water is stained a rich, tea-like color due to the presence of organic chemicals. The water in these habitats is typically slightly acidic with very little hardness and low conductivity, creating the perfect environment for these little beauties to flourish.
 Orinoco - Venezuela
Venezuela Flag
 Meta River - Colombia
Colombia Flag

How to breed the False Bandit Corydoras

The False Bandit Corydoras is a fascinating species that has seasonal spawning patterns, making them an exciting challenge for aquarists. They are reactive to changes in water temperature and chemistry, which is typically triggered by the rainy winter season. To induce spawning, it is essential to imitate these seasonal changes, which can be achieved by decreasing the temperature, softening the water, and lowering the pH. It is crucial to conduct frequent water changes with cooler water than the tank, and adding peat to the filter or using blackwater treatment can lower the pH while softening the water. Regular testing should be done to ensure that the pH is at the correct level. To ensure a successful breeding, it is advisable to have a ratio of two males to every female, and breeders should be conditioned 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. When a female is ready to spawn, she will allow the male to caress her barbels and eventually take up a T position in front of her head. In this position, the female creates a basket with her pelvic fins to release one or two eggs while the male releases sperm to fertilize the eggs. After fertilization, the female will find a suitable place to store the eggs, and the males will anxiously await the placement of the egg. This method will repeat itself until 60 to 80 eggs are laid, and adult fish may eat the eggs, so it is crucial to remove the parents after spawning or to move the eggs to another tank. The grow-out tank should have the same temperature and water chemistry as the breeding tank, and daily water changes are essential. The eggs will hatch four to five days later, and after consuming their yolk sacs, they can be fed freshly hatched brine shrimp. Gradually, they can be introduced to more substantial foods as they grow, and any loss of fry may be due to inadequate tank maintenance or water changes.

Diet & feeding

The False Bandit Corydoras is known for its hearty appetite and is an excellent choice for those looking for a low-maintenance fish. As a bottom-dwelling species, they are specialized feeders and will only consume food that sinks to the bottom of the tank. Their diet should be primarily comprised of high-quality flake food and sinking pellets or tablets. However, to ensure optimal health and nutrition, supplementing their diet with brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworm, whether live, freeze-dried or frozen, is highly recommended. These fish are most active during the night and seem to prefer feeding during this time. Feeding them just before turning out the lights for the day can be an effective strategy to ensure they receive the necessary nutrition.

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