Species group: Corydoras
Other common names: Banded Corydoras; Giant Cory; Barbatus Catfish; Banded Catfish; Filigree Cory
Scientific name: Corydoras barbatus
The Bearded Catfish is a member of the armored catfish family which is found in fast flowing coastal rivers in Brazil.
The Bearded Catfish is the largest among the known Corydora species. It has a deep and stout body, with an arched back. On either side of the fish, there is a row of bony plates. There are 21-23 plates on the upper row and 19-21 on the lower row. Two pairs can be found on the upper jaw. The fish is primarily colored a light brown or beige. An assortment of patterns and hues overlie the base coloring. The fish has a white belly and spotted fins. There are various color mutations of the Bearded Catfish, notable is the variety from Rio de Janeiro that has bright gold markings and distinctive yellow stripe along the middle of the head.
With its peaceful and undemanding nature, the Bearded Catfish is an ideal community fish. They can be housed with small to large fish. They enjoy shoaling, hence they should not be housed alone. Ideal tank mates include smaller Tetras, Discus, Dwarf Cichlids, Livebearers, Gouramis, Barbs, Danios, and Killifish. Six or more companions should be provided to ensure that the fish feel secure. This will also bring out their gregariousness.
The Bearded Catfish can be housed in a tank with a capacity of 20 gallons. These fish are bottom feeders, preferring soft sand as the tank's substrate. It should be noted that they are sensitive to water pollutants.
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