Got Microsorium??

How are you all doing? All is well I hope! 🙂
This post we will be getting back to plants, and my favorite genus of plants at that, Microsorium.
Most people know of the common “Windelov, Red, Tropica, and Narrow” leaf types, but did you know that there are at least 15-20 (possibly much more yet undiscovered) types of Microsorium?? Most have not been established in the hobby, but there are a large number of locality types, and a few cultivar types.

Microsorium are easy to grow, sometimes they can be a bit finicky if you let the water quality go too far down. They will do fine in the CO2/fertilizer/lighting tank setup (leaf stunting and crinkling can be a side effect of the unnatural conditions) but they naturally come from areas where there is filtered light coming down through the forest canopy, the choice is really yours.

Being that this my favorite group of plants, I had invested the last 6 years searching for the various hard-to-find/unknown cultivars and locality types, and I would like to share some of them with you.

Micro. Reverse Tropica
This Microsorium’s trademark is it’s scalloped leaves, although this is a picture of an emersed specimen, the leaves maintain that scalloped-look just the same while immersed. Leaves are approximately 5-7 inches maximum

Micro. Fork Leaf
This one may look similar to Tropica, but if you were to compare the two, you would notice that this one has much more “teeth” on it’s edges, and the teeth are much more narrow. I really prefer this one over Tropica, but of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder 🙂 This one is relatively new, and not many hobbyists have this certain variety. Leaves are approximately 5-6 inches maximum.

Micro. Small Leaf
As you can see from the size reference of my finger in this picture, this particular Micro. stays quite small, the largest leaves that you see in the picture, are as big as they get, about 2 inches. Great for those people looking to add a fern into a smaller sized, “micro”-type tank. This Micro. is also one of the softer-leaved ones, meaning the leaves aren’t very hard to the touch, and basically those Micro. that are soft-leaved, tend to be the ones that are more sensitive to water conditions.

I hope you enjoyed this post about my favorite genus of aquatic plants! 🙂
Take care everyone!

Extravagant Corydoras

Hello all!
Sorry I haven`t kept up with my usual once a week posts, but today there will be one about one of my favorite genus of catfish, the Corydoras.

Corydoras are an armored genus of catfish which hail from streams and small backwater areas of the Amazon river basin in South America. They are a schooling species of catfish that, in the wild, can be found in groups of up to 100 individuals or more. Raising these fish are quite easy, they aren`t very sensitive to water parameters (prefer soft acidic water), although they can be sensitive to water quality. Also when Keeping Corydoras, try to be sure to scrub the bottom of the tank, or if you have a substrate, sift through it to get the detritus out of it, as Corydoras, especially wild specimens, tend to have sensitive barbels(whiskers) and if you let bacteria and such build up where their whiskers are most in contact (bottom of the tank) they sometimes can get infections at their mouth, which can be quite pesky to get rid of.

As a side note: Really try to avoid getting pricked by one of their spines of their 1st dorsal fin ray, and 1st rays of their pectoral fins, of course it hurts, but it THROBS, as I believe there is a mild toxin released from the spines. Trust me I know how much it hurts, it is quite uncomfortable!

Corydoras “Super” Schwartzi
The body pattern can vary quite a bit, but in Japan they rate the quality of this and a few other Corydoras by how well the horizontal lines along the body line up well making clean straight lines. The more straight and clean the body stripes are, the better “quality” the fish is and of course the more expensive it gets. I`m sure that you`ll agree that cleaner lines make a more attractive fish. The sexual dimorphism between males and females is not distinct as both males and females share the same characteristics, but that the females are a bit wider (As seen from the top) and a bit larger in general.
Cory super schwartzi
Cory super schwartzi

Corydoras pulcher
Corydoras pulcher
This is one of the longer-nosed species of “white fin” Corydoras. The tall cream-colored dorsal fin, with it’s extended dorsal rays is the premier characteristic of this Corydoras. The first few dorsal rays of this fish can get long enough that they will curl back towards the fish, making a small “loop” at the tip of the dorsal fin, seems odd when you think about it, but it is really quite beautiful. The sexual dimorphism between males and females is not distinct as both males and females share the same characteristics, but that the females are a bit wider (As seen from the top) and a bit larger in general.
Cory pulcher
Cory pulcher

Corydoras “Super” eques
I don’t believe this Cory gets its due amount of attention, in terms of its coloration. There are other forms (which don’t even come close in color) of eques out there, I like to believe this is the true form of this species. The green coloration is actually metallic (as you can see from the bad over exposure 😛 where certain areas of the green mirror my flash) and that color’s contrast against the orange-red spots behind the head and in the fins are very eye-catching.
Cory Super eques

Corydoras pantanalensis (C5)
This is that extra, AMAZING Corydoras I was speaking of, this is nothing especially new, (once known as “C5), but this is still quite the colorful and attractive Cory. This Cory has a base body color of metallic green but the males have a mottled pattern over their whole body, fins included (the fins can also get quite long also), and on top of that pattern they have a metallic sheen. There is a distinct sexual dimorphism with this fish, when the males are on top of a dark substrate, or in a breeding mood, the pattern becomes really dark almost black, but with the green body color still showing through the pattern and still with the metallic sheen on top of all that. This fish in that situation is quite the sight to see.
Cory pantanalensis male

The females are such a contrast to the males, as they are a bit simple, with the green body color and no pattern, also with most other Corydoras, this sex is the larger of the two.
Cory pantanalensis female
I hope you enjoyed this post about the a few dwarf catfish of the Genus Corydoras! My next post, in about a week, will most likely be something related to aquatic plants, I am thinking something along the lines of wild Microsorium (Java fern) varieties. These plants took a lot of searching for, and they cost me quite a bit of cash, we`re talking in the 100s of dollars for a cutting, want to see what they look like!? Keep checking back here, Aquatic Quotient or Aquatic Plant Central for new posts to this blog!