Corydoras julii is a peaceful freshwater catfish that has become popular as a tank fish. They are known to be great community fish and have stunning color patterns. If you are looking for help on this fish species, this is the right article. We will look at the tank requirements, dieting, tank mates, and how to take care of them.
Origin and Habitat in the Wild
The catfishes are said to have originated in North-East Brazil. You will also find them in coastal rivers to the south of the Amazon River. Other rivers that have corydoras julii include; Guama, Maracana, Morego, Kaete, Parnaiba, Turiacu, and Mearim rivers.
Corydoras julii is often confused with the leopard catfish as they almost look alike. They also share the same habitat in the rivers and water basins of the rainforest. Nevertheless, many specialists can identify them and also this guide will help you.
The Corydoras Julii is one of the fish species with very interesting color patterns. The majority of the body is cream white covered by small black spots plus lines scattered all over. This makes them popular for commercial aquariums as they provide beautiful sceneries.
There is a lateral line in the middle of the body with black spots stretching up to the tail.
The dorsal fin’s end has a fairly big black spot.
The tail fin has vertical black stripes running on it.
The spots on the head are distinctly separate, which is unique to them.
For the fish’s abdomen, there are no black spots on it with light coloration. Instead of scales, the covering consists of hard plates known as scutes. You will notice three pairs of barbs near the mouth which look like a mustache.
The Size and Lifespan
Corydoras julii is one of the smallest fish species in the world. They can grow up to 6.4 cm long in a home aquarium with proper care.
The fish’s life span is 5-7 years’ average, but can live up to 10 years depending on the tank conditions.
For telling the gender difference, it is just like in other types of catfishes, which is by examining from above. The female tends to be rounder and larger than the males. The plumpness is evident when the fish is full of eggs.
Caring for Corydoras Julii
These are peaceful and undemanding fish species. However, you need to provide the best care to reap most of the benefits. Here we will look at important information a beginner can use to provide a happy and healthy life for the fish.
- What Tank Size Is needed?
The Corydoras Julii is a peaceful fish making them a good addition to most of the community tanks. They should be kept in a group of six minimum but can thrive in large groups.
The minimum tank size is a 20-gallon tank to give them the freedom to move around.
- Water Conditions
There are optimum water conditions that provide an environment that comes close to their natural habitat. These include;
- Temperature; 20-26⁰
- pH; 5.5-7.5
- Water Hardness; 36-215 ppm
The fish species can tolerate a range of water parameters and are quite undemanding. However, tanks with few water changes and poorly maintained affect them badly. The water should be filtered and oxygenated enough for a comfortable environment for your fish.
What to Include in the Tank
The decoration and arrangement of the aquarium should be done with the natural habitat in mind. The fish species appreciates having plants with twisted roots for hiding. You can provide caves and driftwood, which also provide hiding spots and a place to relax.
Provide an effective filtration system that will keep the water well oxygenated through aeration or by plenty of surface movement. Poor oxygen supply may cause stress and frequent fish movement to the surface to gulp for air.
Normal lighting will be appreciated but can be taken higher if plenty of shade is provided.
For the substrate, sand or fine gravel are the best options. Large gravels have sharp edges that can damage the barbels when the fish is scavenging in the substrate. Poorly kept substrates can cause infection in fish barbels.
An under-gravel filter can be used to keep the substrate clean and the tank well oxygenated. This is done by regularly vacuuming the filter.
Potential Tank Mates and Temperament
Corydoras julii is generally a peaceful fish species and thus, makes a good community fish. You will often see them swimming together in schools darting up and down. They can coexist in peace with other small, gentle community fishes.
They enjoy the company of their kind. It will be hard to keep them together with an aggressive fish species. Here are some of the potential Tank mates for your catfish;
- Zebra Danio
- Apistogramma Ramirezi
- Tetra Family
- Dwarf Cichlids
The large and aggressive fish to avoid include;
- Oscar Fish
- Green Terror Cichlid
- Flowerhorn fish
- Jaguar cichlid
Feeding and Diet
Like the other corydoras, this fish species is omnivorous; they are not picky with the food they want. Most of the time, they will feed on the drowning food as they are bottom dwellers and feeders. Look for the commercial foods meant for catfish.
Both live and frozen foods should be provided to keep them entirely healthy. The live foods include;
- White worms
- Brine shrimp
These are delivered to the fish at the bottom of the tank using long tongs. If you do not do this, the top and middle dwellers will feed on the food meant for your catfish. Frozen foods such as mosquito larvae can be given as treats occasionally.
Remember to look for sinking foods so that they can reach the fish. Also, do not overfeed them as you increase the risk of poor water quality. Feed them 2-3 times a day in spans of five minutes.
The process is relatively easy in this fish species as the males and females will mate when kept together. The adults may feed on the eggs and young ones when hungry. This necessitates a separate breeding tank.
You will start by setting up the breeding tank with a lot of plants and having a thin substrate at the bottom. Some may try to avoid substrates for easy cleaning. However, results show something different than the eggs and fry surviving more on a substrate.
After setting up the breeding tank, you can place two males and a female in there. The next step is conditioning them for the spawning process. Feed them with frozen and live foods for about a week until you notice the female bulking up.
Always do a water change
With the female being egg-laden, you make like a 50% water change. The water should be at slightly lower temperatures than the one in the tank. This will signify the annual rains and thus should trigger breeding. If spawning does not occur, repeat the process until you get the results.
If the mating is a success, the females will lay eggs on the substrate, plants, and at times on the glass.
Once the female has laid the eggs, remove all the catfish and take them back to the original tank. Another option includes transferring the eggs to a new tank with the same water conditions.
The eggs will hatch after some hours and can be seen in the tank as small specs. The incubation period lasts 3-4 days where they feed on the egg yolk. You can then start feeding them crushed brine shrimp, vinegar eels, and artificial food.
The water for the juveniles has to be very clean. A thin sand substrate reduces the risk of getting infected by various diseases. Once they are large enough, you can introduce them to the other Corydoras julii.
Health Concerns for Corydoras Julii
These corries are quite a hardy fish species and will thus rarely suffer health problems in a well-maintained tank. However, that is no guarantee that you will not encounter any health problems with your fish.
High nitrate levels in the aquarium will cause your fish to develop infected barbels. This will make it difficult for the fish to eat and navigate. Try to maintain the nitrate levels below 20ppm by doing regular water changes.
You can use melafix or pimafix to treat the corydoras julii. Do not use copper or potassium permanganate-based medications because they are a scale-less fish species. Formalin or malachite green can be used with the medication but in small quantities. Remember to be cautious when dealing with medications.
A balanced diet and clean water tank
The best way to prevent any health concerns is by providing a well-balanced diet and a clean environment. The more you imitate their natural habitat, the happier your fish will be. A stressed life is vulnerable to infections thus making them happy.
Anything new to the tank can bring infections. It can be other fish, substrate, plants, or decorations harboring a bacterium. Take care and clean anything new or quarantine other fish before you add them to the tank.
A peaceful fish and easy to take care of. What more could you have asked of an aquarium fish? The stunning color patterns will attract everyone’s eyes. Provided you give them a healthy and happy life, you will never be disappointed.
The fish species are readily available, and the price range from very inexpensive to moderately in price. It also depends on the part of the world that you are in. Visit the nearest pet shop or online store and get one for yourself.