Name: Corydoras melanistius
I've had 2 Black Sail Cory's in a 128 liter tank for over 4 years. I bought them when I first got started in this hobby. Since then I've set up a larger 300 liter and transferred them to it. They seem happy no matter where they are, but seem to especially enjoy the larger tank. They are usually together and swim back and forth, up and down, taking occasional rests before starting all over again. When I got the larger tank I also purchased 3 small Pepper Cory's and an Albino as well. The Albino has made friends with the 2 Black Sail, but the Pepper's usually stay together in their own group. I have lots of plants, driftwood and rocks, which they seem to like to play on and around. I've heard Cory's are happier having a sandier substrate to nose through, so in this tank I've used a 2-3 mm grain substrate. My plants seem to be doing better in this tank too, but that could also be because of lots more light. My other fish are Tetras (8 Neons, 4 Pristellas, 3 Bleeding Hearts) along with a Weather Loach, 8 Otocinclus and a medium sized Pleco.
I've been keeping this particular cory for 12 years and it's become the only cory that I keep. Like most cories, it's gregarious and needs companionship as a single fish won't be happy and will hide often. In groups of 3 or more they normally won't hide at all; they'll only retire to a cave when they nap. These fish can eat large amounts of food, and will grow to full size in a 110 liter tank. Care should be taken to keep the bottom clean and make sure the gravel is not too coarse, their barbs are sensitive. (Often sold as merely "Schwartzi")
I have a pair of them and boy, do they eat like an animals. A lot of people say these are shy fish, but mine just don't really care if you are there or not, or if the lights are out. They just eat and eat and eat! I feed them whatever is left in the tank from my angels and they are more than happy to eat the leftovers. I have mine for about a month or so and they are getting lots of food and they are turning round (fat), pretty good looking!
I inherited two of these sweet little cory cats a couple of months ago. They are the best! They are peaceful, a little shy, and fun to watch. And as you can see from the picture, they are so adorable - they have this wide-eyed innocent look. They like to hang out in caves or under driftwood, but will come out often enough during the day. They will swim up and down along the glass occasionally, or grab a gulp of air from the surface, or just sit still on top of the rocks. Sometimes they will swim in the middle level of the tank, but they drift down to the bottom again almost right away. They are never very far from each other. They actually remind us of the 'tumble bugs' in the movie, 'A Bugs Life' - just a couple of sweet clueless guys amusing themselves and not needing anybody else. Like all corys, they use their 'barbels' - the whisker-like things hanging down in front of their mouths - to taste things. They come out and eat the live baby brine shrimp I put in the tank once a week, frozen bloodworm, frozen daphnia, sinking shrimp pellets, algae and flake food. They cruise the bottom looking for food, but do not disturb the plants, as far as I can see. They are a little slow to start eating, so I will put in enough food for the rest of the fish and once they are done eating I put in just a little extra for the corys to get and that works just fine. Highly recommended!
This is a beautiful type of cory. They are very active when happy. I originally had two of them, but, sadly, one was lost in an accident. Now, my little guy tries to school with my albino cories in my 100 liter, but he doesn't seem to be having much success. He loves shrimp pellets, and eats his share of spirulina wafers. I love how they swim, and just dead stop, popping their fins out. It reminds me of a boat. These cories seem to grow more slowly than the albinos I keep, and they desire more cover, too. These fish are rarely imported with leopard cories, to tell the truth, I had no intention of purchasing them! I love my remaining Black Sail, and I will never willingly part with him. I think every tank needs cories. They just bring a new light to a tank with their silly antics. Anyone could sit and watch them for hours and never be bored of them.
I have had 2 black sail cories for around five years now. They seem like a very peaceful species, never fighting among themselves or with other tankmates. Also, they seem very hardy, being the oldest fish in my aquarium. I used to keep them with my goldfish in another tank, but now I have them in my 80 liter community tank. One other thing I noticed was that they remain inactive during most of the day, but really come to life at feeding time, eating fallen food, and sometimes part of the algae discs that I feed my pleco.