Scientific Name: Aspidoras paucira-diatus

Breeding Strategy: Egg layer

Ease of Breeding: Difficult

 Introduction: Like many species of Corydoras catfish, this fish is native to the Amazon Basin of Brazil. It so close­ly resembles a Cory that when first described in 1970, it was placed in the same genus; later it was reclassified. A. pauciradiatus is happiest in groups of six or more. It has been bred in captivity, but infrequently; it is a fish to aspire to once you have mastered all of the techniques necessary to spawn less difficult fish.

 Sex Differences: Males are larger and slimmer than females.

 Water Conditions: Soft, acidic water, with a pH of about 6.0 and a dH no greater than 12. Temperature should be between 70° and 78°F. These fish also like strong currents and highly oxygenated water.

 Equipment: These fish can be bred in species tanks of 20 gallons. Add power filter, air-stone, pump, heater, and a sand substrate. Plant densely, including many clumps of Java moss as spawning sites. Some breeders use a powerhead attached to sponge fil­ter to create horizontal water flow in the tank. A barometer, while not required, can be useful, since some breeders report that the drop in barometric pressure that accompa­nies storms seems to trigger spawning.

 Conditioning and Triggers: Condition together on white worms, black worms, brine shrimp, and other high-protein foods. Females in breeding condition become so full of eggs that they look bloated. When the barometric pressure begins to drop, do a water change of 50 to 75 percent, replacing the tank water with slightly cooler water that is very soft and acidic.

 Spawning: There are few descriptions of the actual spawning; it is known to be pre­ceded by frantic swimming, sometimes vertically in the water column. The eggs are laid among dense clumps of plants or on the sides of the tank. There are also a couple of reports of these fish spawning on the filter; some experts theorize that this is linked to the fishes' love of heavily oxygenated, moving water.

 Brood Size: Up to 50.

 Fry Care: Fry hatch in about four days. When their yolk sacs have been absorbed and they become free swimming, feed microworms, baby brine shrimp, and powdered fry food two or three times a day. Do water changes of 25 percent twice a week.