Corydoras in Paradise

by Gene Moy

I’ve been fortunate to have a job that sends me to different parts of the country and the world. Over the years, I have visited Hawaii a number of times.

Prior the most recent trips to Honolulu, I went on the Internet and found the site of the Honolulu Aquarium Society (HAS). I sent emails to two of the contacts listed on the web. The HAS officers responded almost immediately, and stated that they would find who in the club was into Corydoras. Shortly after that, I began corresponding with Lance Pang. I informed Lance of my interests and told him when I would be in town. Lance stated that he was into rare Corys.

After arriving to Honolulu, I contacted Lance by telephone and made arrangements to stop by on my last day on the island. Lance was located not too far from my hotel.

Lance has an impressive setup. Because of the climate, all of Lance’s tanks are kept in his garage. Lighting is primarily indirect sunlight. The water and climate must agree with the Corys. Lance has a dozen or more species, including C. sterbai, C. C05, C. aeneus (black), C. barbatus, C. duplicarus and C. oiapoquensis. All of Lance’s breeding stock are wild imports or their offspring.

Speaking to Lance, I learned some of his techniques. Lance believes in wild stock, as they have not been inbred. Other principles that Lance practices are frequent water changes, quality food and lots of it. Lance is fortunate that his day job is managing a seafood supply company. He customizes a blend of beef heart, fish and other seafood to feed his fish. All his Corys were exceptionally large and healthy. At the time of my first visit, Lance had at least a half dozen different types of fry. During my second visit, Lance had several hundreds of C. aeneus (black) fry at various sizes.

Lance is a former Discus breeder, so most of his tanks are 29 gallons. The primary filtration is air driven sponge filters. Large groups (20 or more) of adult Corys are used as breeding stock. Heaters are not necessary for his Corys, although the one remaining Discus tank has a heater.

Are there problems transporting fish from Honolulu to Washington, D.C.? Two concerns are the distance and Hawaii’s agriculture laws. It’s about 12 hours, barring any flight delays, from Honolulu to Washington, including a layover. That’s no different than what fish undergo during shipment. Hawaii’s agriculture laws are aimed at protecting Hawaii, so transporting fish off-island only has the normal concerns with airport security. Lance did inform me that a number aquarium fish can be shipped into Hawaii, as these are on an approved list. By the way, cats and dogs have be quarantined at the expense of the owner.

On my recent trips I brought back Corydoras sterbai, C. gossei, and C. aeneus (black) for another club member.

Note: HAS recently celebrated its 50 anniversary. Congratulations!

This article first appeared in PVAS’s Delta Tale, Vol 32, # 3