Scientific Name: Corydoras aeneus

 Breeding Strategy: Substrate spawner.

 Ease of Breeding: Easy.

 Introduction: Natives of South America, Bronze Corys have been bred in captivity since the turn of the last century. They can be spawned in species tanks or in a breeding tank that includes at least two males for every female. Like all Corydoras catfishes, they are happiest in groups of at least six.

 Sex Differences: Females are larger and thicker than males. Water Conditions: Not critical.

 Equipment: A 15-gallon tank equipped with heater and filter. Substrate should be sand or fine gravel with rounded edges to prevent injury to the fishes' delicate barbells (which, incidentally, are integral to the spawning process). Include plants, such as Cryptocoryne, that have broad, stiff leaves.

 Conditioning and Triggers: Condition sep­arately on blood worms, tubifex, and white worms. When in spawning condition, the metallic sheen of the male becomes more intense; the female's belly becomes plump and reddish in color. Raising the tank tem­perature to 80°, then allowing it to fall overnight to 65°F, seems to trigger breed­ing, as does a large water change with cooler water than that of the tank.

 Spawning: There are several stages to spawning. First, the male and female chase each other excitedly around the tank, sometimes for as long as several hours. They then select and clean a series of potential spawning sites, such as the undersides of leaves and the side of the tank itself, something that also may take an hour or two. Finally, the female butts the male's vent with her head, and he clasps her barbells with his pectoral spines. Locked in this T position, she releases a small number of eggs, and he releas­es sperm. The female then clasps the eggs in her ventral fins and rushes to deposit them in one of the prepared sites. She then returns to spawn with the same male or another. After spawning, remove the adults to prevent them from eating the eggs.

 Brood Size: Three hundred or more.

 Fry Care: Do regular partial water changes, but do not siphon out the mulm on the bottom of the tank; the fry hide in this, and experienced breeders report that it is critical to the success of raising these fish.