Imitator Corydoras (Corydoras Imitator)
Imitator Corys are peaceful and sociable fish that make excellent members of a community aquarium with other temperate species. Ideally, it would be best to keep these fish in a group of at least six individuals; otherwise, they will become withdrawn, easily stressed and more susceptible to illness.
Ideal tankmates for Imitator Corys could include Tetras, Pencilfish, Dwarf Cichlids such as Apistogrammas and smaller Barbs. However, you should not house them with aggressive fish, as they may get harmed by this fish's venomous spines if they try to attack them.
Ideally, it would be best to use fine sand as a substrate in your aquarium, although smooth gravel is a satisfactory alternative, provided you clean it regularly. Aquarium decor is not essential; however, you should provide some cover using driftwood branches and aquatic plants, so these fish have some security if needed. It would also benefit your fish if you added some dried leaf litter.
Imitator Corys have a silvery-white body colouration, with a dark diagonal band running across their body's dorsal surface, including the dorsal fin. All the other fins are transparent. In addition, these fish have a dark marking on their head through the eye.
|Scientific Name||Corydoras Imitator|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 6+|
|Lifespan||1 - 3 years|
|PH||4.0 - 7.0|
|GH||5 - 20|
|TDS||18 - 90|
|68 - 78℉|
20 - 25.6℃
Photos of the Imitator Corydoras
Imitator Corys are endemic to the Amazonas state, southern Venezuela and the upper Rio Negro Basin in Amazonas state, northern Brazil in South America. These fish inhabit spotless blackwater tributaries and areas of flooded forests where the water is stained dark brown from organic chemicals. The water in their habitats usually has low conductivity, low hardness and relatively high acidity.
What to feed the Imitator Corydoras
Imitator Corys are foraging omnivores that primarily feed on crustaceans, small worms, detritus, insects and plant matter in the wild. However, in the aquarium, these fish will readily accept flakes, granules and most sinking dry foods, as well as frozen or live foods like Tubifex, bloodworms and brine shrimp.
Providing your Corys with a varied diet will ensure the fish are in optimum health. However, you should not expect these fish to survive on leftover food from other aquarium inhabitants or rely on them to clean the aquarium.
How to sex the Imitator Corydoras
It is somewhat straightforward to differentiate between male and female Imitator Corys. Sexually mature females are usually larger, broader, and deeper-bodied than males and have rounded fins. In contrast, males are smaller, slimmer and have pointed dorsal and pelvic fins.
How to breed the Imitator Corydoras
To breed Imitator Corys successfully, it would be best to have a separate tank with two or more males per female. When the females are noticeably full of eggs, you should perform a significant 50 to 70 per cent water change with cooler water and increase the oxygenation and flow in the tank. It would help if you then repeated this daily until the fish spawn.
Imitator Corys will deposit their eggs on the tank glass, amongst fine-leaved plants or within sunken spawning mop. Once spawning is complete, you should then remove either the adults or the eggs. If you decide to move the eggs, the raising tank will need to have the same water parameters as the spawning tank and be similarly well-oxygenated.
Some breeders add a few drops of methylene blue or alder cones into the raising tank to stop the eggs from developing fungus. The incubation period is usually 3 to 4 days, and once the fry has consumed their yolk sacs, you can provide them with small live foods like microworm and baby brine shrimp.
Imitation Cory fry can be quite challenging to raise as they require excellent water quality. Still, they seem less susceptible to diseases when maintained over a thin layer of sand rather than in a bare tank.