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Thread: My adolfoi/duplicareus breeding setup/guide! Lots of Information

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr kberg2498's Avatar
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    My adolfoi/duplicareus breeding setup/guide! Lots of Information



    Hey so I think this deserved it's own thread mainly because of how many updates I want to do on it. I think the bedroom thread I'm going to reserve for more big overall updates with my large 120 etc. I also typed down a ton of information related to my adolfoi and cory breeding in general. Some of the information here is taken from other guides but it's mainly my experience with breeding these cories and tweaks I've learned to perfect my formula. enjoy the super long thread!


    So I have 8 wild caught corydoras duplicareus. These are commonly mis-represented as corydoras Adolfoi by wholesalers because of their pattern changing during stress makes their larger black-bar thinner aswell as their color of their head more yellow. After a week in a good home, they darken up and you end up with corydoras duplicareus. They are often called "False Adolfoi" when properly identified. Kinda like False Julii cories. Anyways If you do order adolfoi from wetspot tropical fish or your LFS, it's likely a duplicareus. Not that it's a bad fish, in my opinion they're better than the real adolfoi because they have much more color and they are a bit more "chubby" and stout!.

    Anyways, My fish originated from my local fish store Aquarium City. At the time I way overpaid because of the sheer size of the brutes. I got around 8 and tossed em in a cycled 60gal aquarium. Only to come back the next day to find them slowly die off one by one due to ph shock as these were literally my first ever wild caught fish. Luckily I didn't lose all of them and I ended up having 3. 2 big females and 1 little male. At this point I had given up hope on breeding em. I tossed em in my 20gal tall quarantine tank by the end of my bed and used em to maintain the cycle on that tank. That tank just had a little weak whisper 10 with a sponge filter. So one day that whisper 10 was dying. I woke up to clanking and the thing was blistering hot. I immediately unplugged it and slapped on what any fishkeeper would do. I slapped on a whisper 100 with a spare airstone. The water was rising 3 inches + in the tank and I thought "heh, they probably would like the flow more". Little to my surprised the next day I glanced over and saw eggs everywhere. Especially on the glass where the airstone was. This happy little accident is what started my craze for more and more corydoras. Overtime I've learned many things about em and have had many many failures. I'll try posting any tips I can in the post below.

    So my breeding setup for my adolfoi is currently a 20gal petco tall with a black spray painted background. 15lb of caribsea white sand, a sponge filter rated for a 40gal tank, a hydor nano 240gph powerhead that I dont always use, and a little filstar xp canister filter newly installed. Oh and a decent wattage eheim jager set to like 74F incase of a new ice age or something. Oh I also have a little 30$ nicrew "delux" led. They're pretty good lights but maybe not the strongest for plants. But for 30$ eh they're good.

    I think in total I've probably had around 500-800 adolfoi eggs......... I know I've sold/traded around 35ish. I've lost a ton of fry due to inexperience aswell.

    My biggest failure was probably around 6 months ago when I first setup my new 40gal. It had a double-sponge filter that were both very ancient and cycled up. One day I decided my breeder box was getting too crowded with around 40ish adolfoi all probably big enough to go in a regular tank. I dumped em in, fed them up, and slowly but surely I noticed them just disappearing. No bodies were ever found, and all that was in there was sponge filters. After I noticed a significant loss I moved em back into the marina hang on box and was devastated that I lost around 25. Not only that but 25 healthy eating adolfoi that were big enough to move out of their box into one of my tanks......... I'm almost 99% certain that it was just due to the tank size and spread of food that probably those 20 starved off. After that I probably had a few batches of 12-15 each but nothing that monumental until today.

    Here are some things I have been doing to get my corydoras to spawn. Obviously you want to do cold water changes. Unfortunately our tap water comes out around 77-78 in the last few months so what I would do is get a bucket of fresh water, prime it, and dump my entire refrigerator's ice tray into it. Once the ice dissolved, do a 5gal water changes on the 20gal tank. I've found that dumping it in directly is much better than slowly siphoning it in. Another thing I do is add a few indian almond leaves to the tank. Because my water is soft the tannins released will drop the ph to near 6-7ph aswell as give the corydoras some cover to hide under aswell as a good flat surface to lay their eggs on. I also try to mix up the flow of the tank whenever possible. Sometimes I'd plug in the 240gph powerhead, sometimes I will open up my manifold from my linear piston air pump and have the water rise up 4 inches in the tank creating a really strong flow. One of the more recent things I've done to the tank was add a filstar xp mini to the tank to give it linear flow. I think this is a important factor as streams don't really whirl pool around like a tank does with a sponge filter. In the last few days I also have been feeding mine a lot of bloodworms and a mix of flake and pellets.

    As for tank decorations you dont really want a ton of hiding spaces for them to hide in a breeding tank as the tanks are usually a tad smaller than a regular 20L or 30gal I would recommend keeping them in. Just recently I've been making my own Spawning mops and the most recent spawning of my adolfoi has been inside that spawning mop. I also made some that sink and they seem to like those over the floating ones. My most recent spawn about 90% were in the mop. However in the past the indian almond leaves were their primary spawning material. I think really searching the tank for eggs is how you end up with the biggest spawns. Where there are 5 there maybe 50. They will lay them almost everywhere on the heater, sponger filter, powerhead, filter, everywhere. Search everywhere. And when you have finished searching, search again in a few hours. And again a few hours after then. My adolfoi spawns often take all day and when one female finishes laying, another one may start. Even in the dark. Luckily mine haven't developed a taste for the eggs like my peppered cories!

    Food wise I feed a mixture of Hikari tiny wafers, Brine Shrimp Direct Flake mix, Fluval Bug bites(both pleco and tropical), freeze dried tubifex from jehmco, some cheaper pellets now and then like aqueon shrimp pellets, wardley, api bottom feeder etc. I also feed some veggie flake from Brine Shrimp Direct. I also have some repashy morning wood and community I feed every now and then. Generally I keep to the BSD flake mix and hikari wafers.

    My method for hatching out eggs is fairly normal. I roll the eggs off the surfaces or pinch em carefully and place them inside a tumbler. I do not move the adults at all. I use internal tank tumblers. You can tumble them in containers outside the tank and do daily water changes but I find that tumbling them in external containers increases the chances of fungus as the water isn't as diluted or fresh as a large tank. Heating them can also help if you are tumbling them externally but once again it's a huge waste of time and risky as in tank tumbling is far superior in my opinion. I put them in a Ziss Aqua 65mm egg tumbler designed for cichlids. It has a sponge intake and a fine stainless mesh as the outtake. They're pretty expensive but built like a tank and hold a LARGE amount of eggs before being over-filled and do great with small batches aswell. I currently only have one but one more is on order coming soon so I can stop combining batches of eggs. Anyways once they are in the tumbler, I set the flow of the tumbler to the point where they're jumping about half an inch. As time goes on I slowly bring down the flow. I did originally experiment with Methylene Blue but I found that to be a big waste of time to prevent fungus. Often times it would discolor the eggs to the point of good/bad eggs being indistinguishable. MY #1 METHOD TO PREVENTING EGG FUNGUS IS TO INSPECT THE EGGS DAILY/EVERY 12 HOURS. Removing white eggs or eggs that stand out is the BEST fungus prevention you can do. The difficulty of that also depends on what corydoras species you are breeding as some are easier than others. I find that sterbai corydoras are probably the easiest to distinguish the color of eggs where the adolfoi are nearly one of the hardest. I think the smaller egg size of the sterbai makes the color difference much more distinguishable aswell as the rate they grow fungus compared to the duplicareus eggs makes them a much much easier cory to hatch out. A good rule of thumb I use to separate eggs is just squint. Pull out any that stand out. You can try tumbling them externally from the group but often times they just get fungus but if you want the highest yield running more than 1-2 tumblers is best. After day 3-5 they should start hatching from their eggs. I usually wait half a day or 1 day after the first one hatched so the rest of the eggs have a chance to hatch.


    For raising fry I feed live baby brine for the first 3-4 weeks and slowly move onto hikari wafers and flake. I try to reset my brine shrimp hatchery every day but sometimes I half-harvest and run it for 2-3 days. I have some bottles I need to make a holding rack with so I can run 3 different hatcheries at the same time. That would really come in handy times right about now when I'm sitting on over 50 baby fish from 3 different species. The first 2-3 months I keep my corydoras in breeder boxes. I used to use Marina Hang on boxes but as the sponge that I cut on the outflow would clog there was always a few that would escape the box and ultimately end up dying in the tank if not re-caught. I have since invested in a pair of the large "German Breeding Rings" which are basically floating acrylic tubes with a mesh bottom and sponge-intake on a air-lifter. They're cool but pretty expensive. I think it's like 33$ for one from swisstropicals. At Least for the biggest one. I will probably be investing in a few more soon.

    Once the babies are around 3-5 months old they are ready to go into a display tank/tank of their own. By then they will be actively hunting out food and look just like miniature adults. They are very cute, but keep a close eye on them! Make sure they are eating and liking their new tank! If not, move them back asap!


    Here are some pictures, some dating back to October 1st of last year. When I first started my adolfoi/duplicareus adventure. Some pictures are sterbai aswell as I think I learned a lot breeding those aswell.
    https://imgur.com/a/WdmGSny


    Well there is it... Imma tag a few people who I think would be interested. Also to keep a list of scape members who I know have my cories! @Scipio @Suedehead92 @Tankaddict

    @dodgerblew thanks for the canisters Helped make this tank recently successful. I had a 2 month period where they weren't doing anything.
    Last edited by kberg2498; 09-16-2018 at 06:54 PM.

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr dealend's Avatar
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    Good info. I wonder how to sex them, i didn't see on your post.

    Thanks for great info.

    Sent from my SM-G925T using Tapatalk

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr kberg2498's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dealend View Post
    Good info. I wonder how to sex them, i didn't see on your post.

    Thanks for great info.

    Sent from my SM-G925T using Tapatalk
    To sex them usually the female is more plump and larger than the rest. The males are typically smaller and more "hyper" in my opinion. The males will also sometimes have "larger" more taller fins than the females. If yours are too small you can sometimes find the male trying to get in front of the female for a T pos long before they are breeding size. If you see a group of yours moving around the tank together in a line, the female will usually be in the front with some males following behind lol.


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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr jayo's Avatar
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    Have you ever tried feeding worms to your cory fry? I've heard that microworms are great for newly hatched fry, and Grindal's once the fry hit about a half inch. Mix it in with BBS and it would reduce your BBS costs/effort (worms are comparatively easy and cheap, and I'd think variety is a good thing).

    What's your plan to sell the little guys? You can sell some through the board, but if you're raising hundreds, what's the back-up plan?

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    SCAPE Member 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! swoof's Avatar
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    Needs more photoz.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr kberg2498's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swoof View Post
    Needs more photoz.
    Click da link at the bottom D:

    edit: here https://imgur.com/a/WdmGSny
    Last edited by kberg2498; 09-16-2018 at 08:32 PM.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr kberg2498's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayo View Post
    Have you ever tried feeding worms to your cory fry? I've heard that microworms are great for newly hatched fry, and Grindal's once the fry hit about a half inch. Mix it in with BBS and it would reduce your BBS costs/effort (worms are comparatively easy and cheap, and I'd think variety is a good thing).

    What's your plan to sell the little guys? You can sell some through the board, but if you're raising hundreds, what's the back-up plan?
    I had a starter culture of grindals from scipio but it eventually got too wet and turned into a very smelly mess. I am interested in trying it again in the future but idk how soon. As for cost, I buy my brine shrimp eggs in bulk. I have a 1lb can that will last me atleast 5 years. Salt wise it's just aquarium salt so like 4$ every year?. Anyways yeah I want to try grindals again. Just gotta hit up scipio again soon.

    As for selling these guys, I plan to just sell to individuals on here and keep some of course. If I do get over run, I have a few local fish stores I know who want some just at larger sizes. If I'm really hurting I can ship them but thats not going to happen. The adolfoi/duplicareus are a very expensive cory and I could just discount em to move. The sterbai are also a mid-range cory that sells for 6-10$ at a store I Could offload them in bulk for 5$ each lol. I also have plenty of empty tanks so it will take a LOT to make me overstocked. I have like 9 fish tanks and most are understocked with super filtration so that isn't a big concern for me. I do want to grow out my cories a bit further now that I am not messing with their tanks to adjust em etc. Focusing primarily on sterbai and adolfoi. I would do pygmy but their eggs don't tumble well and the fry are microscopic. Those are a type of corydoras that you have spawn in a tank and move the adults and grow out the fry in the tank. I also have some orange laser cories I'm currently growing out to eventually breed! When I get those going it's going to be fun. Those lay a lot more eggs than adolfoi and are cute and stubby.

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    SCAPE Member 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! swoof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kberg2498 View Post
    Click da link at the bottom D:

    edit: here https://imgur.com/a/WdmGSny
    I aintz got time for no linkidy linx!!! Hahah

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr Shoulan's Avatar
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    Awesome post! Loved learning all the info about cory breeding. If you ever decide to try breeding dwarf cories, let me know!

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr kberg2498's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoulan View Post
    Awesome post! Loved learning all the info about cory breeding. If you ever decide to try breeding dwarf cories, let me know!
    I have some pygmy cories that are constantly spawning however they are the type of cory you can't really remove the eggs from and tumble. Instead you would want to do like a few 10gals and remove the parents after they spawn. I don't have the tiny tanks setup to do this as most my tanks are 40's-30s. I've tried tumbling a few and have gotten minor success but when I got corydoras worth 15-10$ each I am not going to bother with the pygmy for awhile.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr kberg2498's Avatar
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    Alright so I had a few people ask me at the grand auction what makes the adolfoi cories worth so much over like a sterbai or regular common corydoras. Well today you will know why. The corydoras sterbai lay around 100 eggs per female while the adolfoi lay around 30-50. Ontop of this already lower ratio I've noticed I get near 100% fertility rate on the sterbai eggs, while the adolfoi only about 60% are good in the best case scenarios. The sterbai eggs are actually much smaller than the adolfoi eggs therefore in a few days when the infertile eggs turn white, it's much more distinct and easy to remove the bad eggs. On the other hand adolfoi eggs will barely change color and already start getting fungus on the first day in the tumbler. If you are running em on a low tumble, that 1-3 days it takes for them to develop color could wipe out an entire batch. My most recent batch of Adolfoi which are going to hatch probably tomorrow had around 45 bad eggs and 65-70 good eggs. The 45 bad eggs stayed a brownish color for 3 days. If I had been running a bad tumbler or not been actively removing fungused eggs every single 12 hours, the batch would've been fungused over.

    Say that wasn't even the reason they are more expensive, there is also the fact that my sterbai have spawned much more easily for me where the adolfoi have taken MONTH breaks without laying a single egg. Ontop of finding a good breeding group is near to impossible without blowing 300$, that is what really makes the adolfoi corydoras expensive today. I feel like eventually it will go down, but they will always be desired by a fair amount of cory people.


    Adolfoi Eggs Morning 2. Some eggs Distinctly dark, but most are indistinguishable from bad/good.



    Adolfoi Eggs Morning 3. Eggs FINALLY Distinguishable, some have already hatched. If you are not actively removing eggs that have fungus on the side, you will lose the entire batch by this point.


    I feel like I should also include some more pictures here that I found interesting

    A corydoras adolfoi that was born without an eye on one side. He swam circles int he breeder box but was eating like a champ!


    My old external-heated tumbler setup for eggs back when I was using Methylene Blue. Don't use MB....It's over rated and stains the eggs. Not worth your trouble if you do proper egg sorting daily.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr Shoulan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kberg2498 View Post
    I have some pygmy cories that are constantly spawning however they are the type of cory you can't really remove the eggs from and tumble. Instead you would want to do like a few 10gals and remove the parents after they spawn. I don't have the tiny tanks setup to do this as most my tanks are 40's-30s. I've tried tumbling a few and have gotten minor success but when I got corydoras worth 15-10$ each I am not going to bother with the pygmy for awhile.
    Ah I see. That makes sense. Normal pygmy cories are easy enough to find, but I saw some hasbrosus at Nautilus on Sunday (not for sale, of course), and I kinda like them better than the regular pygmies. I don't think I've ever seen them at any LFS though, so it'd be cool to have a local breeder. Unfortunately since I'm downsizing my tank, I can't keep any bigger cories. But when I can have a bigger tank again, I'm definitely gonna have to see if I can get some cories from you.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr kberg2498's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoulan View Post
    Ah I see. That makes sense. Normal pygmy cories are easy enough to find, but I saw some hasbrosus at Nautilus on Sunday (not for sale, of course), and I kinda like them better than the regular pygmies. I don't think I've ever seen them at any LFS though, so it'd be cool to have a local breeder. Unfortunately since I'm downsizing my tank, I can't keep any bigger cories. But when I can have a bigger tank again, I'm definitely gonna have to see if I can get some cories from you.

    yeah no worries because it's going to be a LONG time before I am going to even think about selling my cories. My problem before was that I didn't grow em out that much last time. Well it wasn't a problem but I kinda want to make sure they're larger before moving em this time around. I also am thinking of setting up an adolfoi only swarm-tank with like 20-30 for fun so definitely going to be a bit. I think in like 4-5 months I might be thinking of selling mine. So around my birthday on the 4th of Feb.

    The first cory I will probably have available will be a lot of sterbai corydoras. I have a fair bit that are already on week 2.



    I have setup another tumbler so hopefully I will be able to branch out and do more species like peppered. I noticed that a lot of peppered cories raised in stores are very inbred or have a decent amount of defects. I think they're underappreciated as being one of the coolest cories to keep.



    I am currently debating setting up either a 40g pfr cherry shrimp tank or investing in another cory species to breed. Maybe corydoras Esques but still undecided. I was interested in CW051 the "New" Panda cories but those haven't really been documented as breedable in tank and are newly discovered only 8 years ago. Esques has been documented to breed and look to be very fun but Im not sure what I'll do at the moment. My Biggest fear is getting an expensive exotic corydora and having it be like sterile in our fish tanks. I really like the possibility of growing out a tank with many babies and the size difference between the parents and such. Most of the "rare" cories are like 100% wild caught. Adolfoi, Esques, etc. are like exceptions where they are wild caught but also tank raised. More so still wild caught. Its crazy how much aquarium fish is wild caught and yet no one is stopped the illegal mining going on in those countries. One day there will be a problem.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr Shoulan's Avatar
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    Well it'll probably be a couple years before I get a big tank again. Lol. But that's why I'm looking into the smaller cories. I considered not getting any for my new tank, but I like cories too much. Haha. They're so cute, especially when they're little. If you do set up a swarm tank, please take videos.

    Wow, there're so many cory species that I didn't know about! It's definitely understandable to be hesitant in making the investment in a species that no one else has bred. But at least you'd still end up with some cool cories to keep! I would personally prefer tank raised for sure, but with some species it's just not possible to find anyone breeding them. I imagine most people don't think about where their fish come from. And most of the countries that these fish are from, probably don't have much regulations on things like mining.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr kberg2498's Avatar
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    Time for an update!
    So the batch of 120 eggs of adolfoi/duplicareus I had turned into 42 babies now at week 2. I also have moved the sterbai babies into a little 9 gal in my living room with some slightly older sterbai. I also got more adolfoi eggs! 38 so far. Seems like only one female is spawning this week.

    So far I currently have around 45-50 sterbai fry, 42 adolfoi fry, and 60 peppered corydoras fry.................. It's going to be a fun couple of months.

    In order to do a cold water change I had to empty out the ice-maker in my fridge to get the water down because the tap water here comes out around 78. Even after that, I used some ice-packs for like a lunchbox and floated them in the water for 20 minutes. I siphoned out one 5gal bucket from the 20gal tall tank and DUMPED the colder bucket in. The water dropped from 78.8 to 75.5 and within an hour I had one of em spawning!


    This female seems to have liked laying them on the snail lol.


    34 of the 38 eggs I've found so far


    ALL the peppered fry. Why did I try hatching all these fry LOL


    In the few weeks I've also learned some new tips and have been trying out some new things. I finally figured out a way to have a live source of baby brine all hours of the day using a single hatchery. Normally you would have to reset and have a 1 day gap in your feeding schedule unless you were running 2 hatcheries. What I do instead now is I harvest the baby brine on day 3 into a small cup and feed the cup over the next 24 hours while the next batch hatches out! Works like a charm.

    Another thing I've been trying out is the Aquarium Coop Fry Food. I originally bought it to try it out and immediately fell in love with it for cories. It sinks very quickly and spreads throughout the 9gal tank. Not only that but the 3 week old babies eat it and whatever is left over the slightly larger cories clean up. Also the bottle is a ketchup bottle so instead of screwing off a stupid lid or prying off the stupid sera micron bottle its 20 times easier. This is now my goto fry food and I've reordered the large refill as I can see myself using them up quickly.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr kberg2498's Avatar
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    Update time
    I dumped this bin of 40ish adolfoi into a new 10gal I got setup.



    The large batch in the reply above this one have grown a bit. Still too young to move into the same 10g tank for grow out but they are getting bigger! Around 60 of em leaving me with a grand total of 100 adolfoi fry or so.


    In the meantime the 2 month old-ish sterbai have grown a ton! This is a 10gal that is in my livingroom that I had them in. Going to be moving them to a 40gal today with their parents
    https://youtu.be/bkgbmGZgPjA

    I also got a small batch of sterbai eggs today. Like 25-20. Going to start shuffling my fish around so I can start experimenting with my 10 orange lasers now that I know I have mature females. Hopefully I will get eggs but you never know for sure. I still have to net out the new weitzmani from that 30g and do a little bit of tank cleaning before I attempt those. So in a few days I'll be doing the first big water change on that tank with some cold ice-water.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Been tossing ideas around on what my next upgrade should be. Im debating tearing down my 40g dirted tank and doing a 3x20g tall setup with a 40g sump so they share the water. The benefit of this is that I can do cold water changes to the sump and it will be like I did it on all 3 tanks. Also when a species of corydoras spawn they release a hormone into the water that tells the school to spawn. This hormone is cross-species and is often how people get more than 1 species of corydoras to spawn. This would make breeding corydoras a bit easier I think.



    Also moved out some sterbai corydoras to a larger tank today. Had around 55. Very quick and fast bois but I am good at netting them with all the practice I've had.

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  21. #18
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr kberg2498's Avatar
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    Can't get over-excited for batches of eggs! I found eggs in my adolfoi 20gal again and turns out it was 190 eggs by the end of the day. Sadly only 70 or so were fertilized. I still have them tumbling alongside each other so I can pick out any that end up good in a day or so. Still 70 new adolfoi though. That is if everything goes well!

    Bad eggs https://i.imgur.com/QqqaGJN.jpg

    Good ones https://i.imgur.com/vBsuoow.jpg


    This time they spawned when the PH was 5.1 and the water had evaporated about halfway down the tank as I left the lid open. I also have been feeding lightly so I unintentionally did a "dry season" trigger on them I guess. Was totally non intentional but it seems it was pretty effective. I estimate around 1 female per 30 eggs. So I think I had all 3 females spawn twice within a week. Going to be gone for a few days so hope my dad does well with my training on running the brine shrimp hatchery and stuff

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  23. #19
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr kberg2498's Avatar
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    Been doing some experiments with some of my adolfoi babies. So I had this 9gal grow out tank in my living room that I was using for my sterbai and stuff. Well it got detritus worms, and I mean like a TON of detritus worms. Usually most people would do a gravel vac and feed less to get rid of them. I decided to try raising entire batches of corydoras just off the worms and dry-food (aquarium coop fry food). So far the test has been very successful with a large number of duplicareus surviving past 2 weeks now off just dry food and all the mulm/detritus worms in that little tank. I think I am going to try doing this for alot of my batches as it seems to be a pretty good method of raising babies easily with very little die off.


    Notice the detritus worms in the substrate. There are 2 week old adolfoi next to some day old newly hatched fry

    Tank just has black diamond blasting sand, Sponge filter, nicrew led, and a little fluval heater.


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  25. #20
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr phreeflow's Avatar
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    Very cool...seems more natural for the fish and makes your life easier = win win!

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