There is probably no other freshwater fish that can show such a poisonous green as body coloration as the about 4-5 cm long ground tetra Ammocryptocharax elegans, which we were able to import in small numbers from the Orinoco darinage (Colombia/Venezuela).
However, the animals have an extreme color change ability and if they sense danger, they are camouflaged brown in a flash. You should keep the animals in planted aquariums, because only if they can sit on plants, they stay permanently green – this has been found out in field studies.
For our customers: the fish have code 203753 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.
The beautiful Corydoras elegans is widely distributed in the Amazon region and locally forms numerous color forms. Possibly all these variants are even independent species, but scientifically this has not been investigated yet. A color variant from the Rio Nanay in Peru stands out above all by yellow-orange tinted fins. Some males (they have higher dorsal fins with dark bands) have even strongly orange colored dorsal fins, but only in old age and our animals are still quite young. Anyway, this Rio Nanay variant has been given the code number C123 to facilitate communication among enthusiasts.
Apart from the pretty fin coloration, C123 is a typical Corydoras elegans. The fish are very social and peaceful, swimming in open water more often than most other Corydoras. The maximum length is about 5-6 cm.
For our customers: the fish have code 229102 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
Finally we have the dwarfish Neoheterandria elegans in our stock again. They originate from German breeding. These are among the smallest livebearing toothcarps regularly kept in the aquarium. Males grow to about 1-2 cm long, females up to 3 cm, but usually around 2 cm.
The Teddy Livebearer, as it is called to distinguish it from the actual Dwarf Livebearer Heterandria formosa, originates from Colombia and likes it cozy and warm with 24-28°C.
Otherwise the animals do not have high care requirements, which even beginners can fulfill well. The water values (hardness, pH etc.) hardly play a role, everything is eaten, which fits into the small mouth. In addition, the species is completely peaceful.
The females of the Teddy Livebearer have only 1-2 young per day during a litter period, but this takes several days. Therefore, they should not be placed in spawning boxes, but in densely planted, small extra aquariums, from which the young are collected daily and transferred to a rearing aquarium.
For our customers: N. elegans has code 438352 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.
Lexicon: Heterandria: means “different male”. Neoheterandria: means “new heterandria”. elegans: means “elegant”.
The armored catfishes of the closer relationship around Corydoras elegans belong to the most interesting species of this huge genus. They do not live as strongly bottom-bound as most other armored catfishes and are very nicely colored. Males and females differ relatively clearly in coloration. However, it is not easy to provide a color description of these extremely variable colored animals because coloration changes with sexual activity. Animals ready to spawn are the most colorful and contrasting in coloration, the males also more intense than the females. Outside the spawning period the color intensity decreases.
From Peru we have received extremely pretty knife fish of the species Steatogenys elegans. The genus Steatogenys comprises three species, which are all zebra-like striped. With a total length of approximately 20 cm, they remain comparatively small, only S. ocellatus clearly becomes bigger with 30 cm. The three species are very similar in color. One can distinguish them best on the basis of the anal-fin-coloring. S. elegans has a largely colourless anal fin, this fin is strongly marbled in S. duidae and dark in S. ocellatus with light spots along the belly.
Steatogenys are considered comparatively peaceful among each other and against other fish. They mainly feed on small invertebrates such as mosquito larvae, crustaceans or worms.
Around the mouth the animals show extremely pronounced sensory pits. With this, they can still perceive the electrical activity of the muscle activity of a wriggling worm. The eyes are overgrown with a fine skin and not very functional. This clearly shows that these knife fish, which are found in nature in the Terra firme forests of the entire Amazonas and Orinoco river basin, do not seek and find their food optically but sensory.
For our customers: the animals have code 293804 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.
There are several species of Corydoras, which even pronounced specialists are not able to distinguish. In such cases it might be useful to speak of species groups instead of species. One such example is the species group around Corydoras elegans in the narrower sense, which includes C. elegans, C. napoensis, C. nanus and several C- and CW-numbers. What they all have in common is that the males and females are completely different in colour during the breeding season. In addition, these species swim more frequently in open water than other Corydoras.
In wild catches, a distinction is usually made between Corydoras elegans (widespread in Amazonia), in which the sexually active males have bands in the dorsal fin, and C. napoensis (Peru, Rio Napo), in which the sexually active males have a black dot in the dorsal fin; there are usually no imports from the distribution area of C. nanus (Suriname) and the various C- and CW-numbers. Based on the characteristic of the dorsal fin coloration, the beautiful Corydoras we have currently in our stock from Peru are C. elegans.
For our customers: the animals have code 229054 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.
There is probably no other species of freshwater fish that has such a bilious green coloration as it is shown by the 4-5 cm long ground characin Ammocryptocharax elegans. We were able to import a few specimens from Brazil. However, one should know that these fish can change their coloration very fast and in case the fish are concerned they can become camouflage brown in a glimpse. One should keep these fish in planted aquaria, for field studies showed that they have their green colours only when they can sit on submerged plants.
For our customers: the fish have code 203752 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
We received a small number of this pretty cory from Peru. It was shipped under the nice name „Corydoras Brilliante“. In fact the dark longitudinal band of the fish shines in a bright emerald green when the reflecting light comes in the correct angle, but all in all the fish is „only“ a local variety of Corydoras elegans as it currently understood; C. elegans has a very wide distribution in the Amazon basin. However, on the other hand, a good number of doubts exist that all the „varieties“ applied to C. elegans really represent only one species.
A close look shows differences in coloration. The Peruvian fish have – in contrast to specimens from Brazil, the type locality of C. elegans is near Tefé – a short dark band in the neck that end below the dorsal fin. This shot band is well separated from the usual longitudinal dark band along the complete body that is so typical for C. elegans. This coloration of the Peuvian fish fits perfectly to the pictures made in the 1940ies from a species named Corydoras pestai. The scientific description of C. pestai bases on a specimen imported by the aquarium trade and exhibited with some conspecifics in the zoological garden of Munich, Hellabrunn. The type locality is unknown, and the type specimen destroyed during a bombing attack in WW2.
Nowadays Corydoras pestai is considered to be a synonym of C. elegans, but due to the lack of a type specimen this synonymization is not very certain. Maybe the „Brilliante“ is a C. pestai? Anyway, we name them Corydoras elegans „Peru“…
For our customers: the fish have code 229053 on our stocklist. Please note thta we exclusively supply the wholesale trade. Available in very small numbers only!
Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer