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Maximum size : 6.5 cm

Imitator Corydoras - Corydoras Imitator : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Imitator Corydoras (Corydoras imitator) epitomize peaceful and sociable characteristics, rendering them exceptional additions to community aquariums housing other compatible temperate species. To promote their well-being, it is advisable to maintain these fish in a group of no less than six individuals, as smaller numbers may lead to withdrawal, heightened stress levels, and increased susceptibility to illness.

Well-suited tankmates for Imitator Corydoras include Tetras, Pencilfish, Dwarf Cichlids like Apistogrammas, and smaller Barbs. However, caution should be exercised when selecting tankmates, as aggressive fish may pose a risk to the Imitator Corys due to their possession of venomous spines. Providing a substrate of fine sand in the aquarium is paramount, although regularly cleaned smooth gravel can serve as an acceptable alternative. While decorative elements are not imperative, driftwood branches, aquatic plants, and dried leaf litter offer essential cover and security for these fish when needed.

The Imitator Corys exhibit a striking silvery-white body colouration adorned with a dark diagonal band spanning their dorsal surface, including the dorsal fin. The remaining fins are transparent, harmoniously complementing their distinctive appearance. Additionally, a dark marking extends through the eye, further accentuating their unique facial features.

Imitator Corydoras Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Imitator Corydoras can be accomplished with relative ease. Sexual dimorphism becomes apparent as these fish reach maturity. Females typically exhibit larger, broader, and deeper bodies compared to their male counterparts. In addition, their fins possess a rounded shape, contributing to their overall robust appearance. On the other hand, males showcase a more petite, slimmer physique, with pointed dorsal and pelvic fins that lend a more streamlined appearance. This contrasting physical morphology allows for reliable differentiation between the sexes in Imitator Corys.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameCorydoras Imitator
Year Described1983
Other NamesNone
OriginsBrazil Venezuela
Max Size6.5 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH4.0 - 7.0
GH5 - 20
TDS18 - 90
68 - 78
20 - 25

Natural habitat

Imitator Corydoras are indigenous to specific regions within South America. They are found exclusively in the Amazonas state of southern Venezuela and the upper Rio Negro Basin in Amazonas state, northern Brazil. These remarkable fish thrive within the confines of pristine blackwater tributaries and the submerged domains of flooded forests, where the water adopts a rich dark brown hue owing to the presence of organic compounds.

The natural habitats of Imitator Corys are characterized by water conditions typified by low conductivity, low hardness, and relatively elevated acidity levels. These environmental parameters collectively contribute to the distinct characteristics of the water in which they reside, underscoring their remarkable adaptation to these unique ecosystems.

 Rio Negro - Colombia
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How to breed the Imitator Corydoras

To facilitate the successful breeding of Imitator Corydoras, it is recommended to establish a dedicated breeding tank housing two or more males per female. Once the females display noticeable fullness of eggs, a significant water change of 50 to 70 per cent should be conducted using cooler water while simultaneously enhancing oxygenation and flow within the tank. This process should be repeated daily until spawning occurs.

Imitator Corydoras deposit their eggs either on the tank glass, among fine-leaved plants, or within a sunken spawning mop. Following the completion of spawning, either the adult fish or the eggs should be promptly removed. If the decision is made to move the eggs, the rearing tank must replicate the water parameters of the spawning tank and possess adequate oxygenation. In addition, some breeders introduce a few drops of methylene blue or utilize alder cones in the rearing tank to prevent fungus development on the eggs. The incubation period typically lasts between 3 to 4 days, after which the fry will have consumed their yolk sacs and can be provided with small live foods such as microworms and baby brine shrimp.

Raising Imitator Cory fry can present challenges, primarily due to their requirement for excellent water quality. However, they appear to be less susceptible to diseases when reared over a thin layer of sand rather than in a bare tank. Ensuring optimal water conditions is crucial for their successful development.

Diet & feeding

Imitator Corydoras exhibit the feeding habits of foraging omnivores, engaging in a diverse diet that encompasses crustaceans, small worms, detritus, insects, and plant matter within their natural habitat. However, in an aquarium setting, these fish readily accept a range of nutritionally balanced options. Flake and granulated foods, as well as most sinking dry formulations, are eagerly consumed. Moreover, the inclusion of frozen or live offerings such as Tubifex, bloodworms, and brine shrimp further enhances their dietary variety. Maintaining a well-rounded and varied diet ensures the optimal health of the Corydoras.

It is important to note that Imitator Corydoras should not be solely relied upon to consume leftover food from other aquarium inhabitants or tasked with maintaining aquarium cleanliness. Providing them with their own diet and not relying on them as "clean-up crew" is vital for their well-being.

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