Flagtail Corydoras (Corydoras robineae)
Flagtail Corys are very peaceful and suitable for many community aquariums. However, Flagtail Corys prefer being in schools; therefore, it would be best to keep them in groups of at least six individuals as they will show their dynamic behaviour more and come to the front more often. On the other hand, if you keep these Corys in too small a group, they may become timid and skittish, and the stress can considerably shorten their life expectancy.
Good tankmates for these Corydoras could include Tetras, Rasboras, Livebearers, smaller Cyprinids, Dwarf Gouramis, Dwarf Cichlids and other peaceful Catfish. However, you should avoid keeping them with anything very large or aggressive.
Like all Corydoras, Flagtail Corys are bottom dwellers that dig around in the substrate with their barbels looking for food. Therefore it would be better if you used sand as a substrate to avoid damaging their barbels. In addition, you will need to provide your Corys with plenty of hiding places; these can be in the form of bogwood, driftwood and smooth rocks.
These Corys will also appreciate areas of dense planting alongside some floating plants. Finally, you should also provide some surface turbulence and flow, as they prefer well-oxygenated water.
Flagtail Corys are sensitive to poor water quality and a dirty substrate; therefore, you must make sure that the quality of the water is kept pristine; otherwise, they may lose their barbels.
Flagtail Corydoras have a black and white horizontally striped "flag tail". These fish also have spots on their flanks that merge into five or six greyish-brown horizontal stripes that extend across the caudal fin. Due to the lack of the greyish brown ground colour on the caudal fin, the stripes become more black and white. Their dorsal fin shows some faint black lines but is otherwise transparent, and all their other fins are translucent.
|Scientific Name||Corydoras robineae|
|Other Names||Bannertail Corydoras, Flag-Tailed Corydoras, Mrs Schwartz's Cory|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 6+|
|Lifespan||up to 15 years|
|Temperature||70 - 79 ℉ (21.1 - 26.1 ℃)|
|PH||6.5 - 7.5|
|GH||5 - 12|
Natural Habitat of the Flagtail Corydoras
Flagtail Corydoras are endemic to the upper and middle regions of the Rio Negro River Basin, a vital tributary of the Amazon, in Brazil in South America. They inhabit slow-flowing streams, on the margins of larger rivers, in ponds, marshlands and lakes. You will never find these fish in stagnant waters.
Other Corydoras of interest
What to feed the Flagtail Corydoras
Flagtail Corys will accept most sinking dried foods, as well as small live, frozen and freeze-dried foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworm, tubifex worms, chopped earthworms and mosquito larvae. Providing your fish with a varied diet will ensure they display their best colours and are in the best condition.
How to Sex the Flagtail Corydoras
It is somewhat straightforward to distinguish the males from the female Flagtail Corys. Mature females are slightly larger and noticeably rounder and broader-bodied than males, especially when full of eggs. In contrast, males are more intensely coloured, are quite slim and more petite than females.
How to Breed the Flagtail Corydoras
Flagtail Corys are not the easiest species in the genus to spawn; however, you can still similarly breed them to many other Corydoras species.
It would be better if you set up a separate breeding tank with either a bare bottom, fine gravel or sand. An air-powered sponge filter will also be required, along with clumps of vegetation such as java moss. The temperature in the breeding tank will need to be around 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and a pH level of 7 should be satisfactory.
It's advisable to have a higher ratio of males to females when breeding Corydoras, and two males per female are recommended. You will then need to condition the group on a varied diet of dried, frozen and live foods.
When you notice the females are full of eggs, you should then perform a significant water change with cooler water and increase the flow and oxygenation in the tank. You should repeat this daily until your fish spawn.
If the fish do decide to spawn, they will typically lay their eggs on the tank's glass, usually in an area where the water flow is relatively high.
You will be able to tell when spawning is about to occur as there is an initial increase in activity and excitement before males begin to pursue females actively.
An interested female will allow a male to caress her with his barbels before the couple takes up the classic "t-position". This is where the male grasps the female's barbels between his pectoral fin and body. The male will then release some sperm that passes through the mouth and gills of the female, moving towards her pelvic fins. She uses her pelvic fins to form a basket where she deposits 1 to 4 eggs. Once the eggs are fertilised, she swims away to find a suitable place to deposit the eggs before repeating the cycle.
If you spawn the fish in a group, you will regularly see multiple males chasing a female as she goes to deposit her eggs to be the next chosen male to fertilise eggs.
The parents will consume their spawn if given the opportunity, so once spawning is complete, you will either need to remove the adults and raise the brood in the same tank, or you will have to move the eggs and raise the babies elsewhere. If you decide to move the eggs, you will find they are pretty hardy and can usually be gently rolled up the glass with your finger.
The rearing tank should contain the same water as the spawning tank and be similarly well-oxygenated. Wherever you decide to hatch the eggs, it's advised that you add a few drops of methylene blue to the water; this will help to prevent the eggs from getting fungus, although some eggs will still probably be fungus. You should remove any fungus eggs as soon as you spot them; otherwise, they will spread to the healthy eggs.
The eggs will usually hatch within 3 to 4 days, and once the babies have consumed their yolk sacs, you should provide them with microworms and baby brine shrimp. The fry seems to be less susceptible to disease when kept over a thin layer of sand than in a bare-bottomed setup.