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Brochis splendens - Emerald cory


  • Brochis splendens - Emerald cory

    Photo thanks to briztoon

    Scientific name: Brochis splendens
    Common name: Emerald cory
    AKA: Blue catfish/ Corydoras Brochis/ Common Brochis/ Emerald Brochis/ Emerald cory/ Green catfish/ Hi-fin corydoras/ Shortbody catfish/ Callichthys splendens/ Brochis coeruleus/ Brochis dipterus, / Callichthys taiosh/ Chaenothorax bicarinatus/ Chaenothorax eigenmanni/ Corydoras semiscutatus/ Corydoras splendens / Brochis-Panzerwels (Germany)
    Country of origin: South America – Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru

    pH: 5.8 – 8.0
    Temperature: 22 - 28c
    Hardness: 2 – 30 dGH
    Water flow: low - standard
    Oxygenation: standard

    Maximum size: 8 cm

    Diet: They will eat live, frozen, flake or pellet food – they are predators. They need at least weekly live or frozen food of a suitable (small) size. They eat worms, crustaceans & insect larvae (e.g. mozzie wrigglers). They are not overly fussy, but do require the food to be on the substrate.

    As with all catfish, although they are described as a “clean-up crew” to eat extra food, they cannot survive simply on leftovers or the faeces of other fish. They require food of their own.

    Females – larger, rounder, pink tinged belly when mature
    Males – slimmer, more streamlined, yellow tinged belly when mature

    They are difficult to breed, and require very low light in dense vegetation. The females will paste the eggs onto plants using their fins, near the top of the tank. The adults will predate on eggs & fry, so should be removed after laying.

    Tank companions:
    They are NOT good tank companions with shrimp. In their native habitat they predate on crustaceans as a large part of their normal diet.

    They are peaceful tank companions, and can be kept with most species that coydoras can be kept with.

    As with all fish, they will eat any fish they can fit in their mouths, and equally can be eaten by other shrimp.

    They are shy fish if kept alone, and gregarious, so best kept in a group of 6+. They are active and boisterous fish when kept in groups, often digging in the substrate looking for food. They do better with loaches that Corydoras, as they are able to compete for food more effectively.

    Overall they are hardy fish, tolerating a wide range of water conditions.

    Minimum tank size is 4 ft for a small group.

    Because they live most of their lives on the substrate, they cannot be housed with sharp substrates (which will cut them) and are really best kept with a fine soft (sandy) substrate. 2Tone’s DIY substrate is therefore ideal for them with a heavily planted tank, giving them many hiding places using driftwood or caves. Some open spaces for viewing, feeding & swimming are ideal.

    Alternately they could be kept in an Amazon River biotype, with sand or sand-topped substrate, driftwood, tannins and pants such as anubias and java ferns.

    They live at the bottom of the tank.

    Confused with:
    Brochis spp. are thought to be a sub-species of Corydoras, although they have a larger, deeper body, more pointed snout and 10+ dorsal fin rays, rather than Corydoras’ 7.

    B. splendens are particularly easy to confuse with Corydoras aeneus (bronze cory), but the differences are listed above.

    There are 3 named species in the genus, although there are thought to be more undescribed species:
    Brochis britskii - Britski's catfish – 15-18 dorsal fin rays (usually 15)
    Brochis multiradiatus - Hognosed brochis – 17-18 dorsal fin rays
    Brochis splendens - Emerald catfish – 10-12 dorsal fin rays - most commonly traded
    Brochius sp. (Cw 034)
    Brochius sp. (Cw035)

    Juveniles look completely different – they go through a few different colour morphs, including dark spots with red fins.

    The dorsal rays are capable of piercing holes in hands or are easily caught in nets, so take care when handling. There is a theory that a mild toxin or venom is emitted from glands at the base of these rays.

    They have armoured plates covering their bodies.

    They can tolerate lower oxygen than many fish, but do better with standard oxygenation. They are capable of taking gulps of air from the surface, particularly when O2 levels drop.

    All Brochis spp. Are legal imports to Australia as of 23/09/2013:

    The IUCN Red List reports Brochis spp. as species which have not yet been assessed:

    Ideal plants are: They do not eat plants, and can be kept with most plants that will tolerate their water parameters.

    It is a good fish for beginners +1.


    Planet catfish:

    TFH magazine:

    Seriously fish:


    • Jtez
      Jtez commented
      Editing a comment
      Tank companions:
      They are NOT good tank companions with fish.In their native habitat they predate on crustaceans as a large part of their normal diet.
      My guess is this is meant to say shrimp?

    • DiscusEden
      DiscusEden commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes. That's what I get for trying to multi-task.

      Thankyou for the edit - done now.

      I really appreciate you reading it over & giving me a heads up on the correction.

    • Jtez
      Jtez commented
      Editing a comment
      No worries. It's a very comprehensive write up, one that I found quite interesting to be honest
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