Maximum size : 6.5 cm

Armatus Corydoras - Corydoras armatus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


The Armatus Corydoras (Corydoras armatus) possesses remarkable scavenging capabilities, effectively contributing to a cleaner and healthier aquarium environment. These visually appealing and docile species are well-suited for inclusion in most community setups. For optimal behaviour and confidence, it is recommended to maintain Armatus Corydoras in groups of no less than six individuals, as they naturally exhibit shoaling tendencies. When selecting tankmates, small to medium-sized Tetras, Danios, Rasboras, Livebearers, Gouramis, Dwarf Cichlids, Loaches, and other peaceful Catfish represent suitable companions. However, avoiding housing them alongside aggressive or significantly larger species is advisable.

To successfully breed these Corydoras, it is prudent to maintain a species-only aquarium to prevent the risk of other voracious fish consuming their eggs. Creating an aquarium environment that closely mimics their natural habitat contributes to the overall well-being of the Armatus Corydoras. Accomplishing this entails employing a sandy substrate, incorporating driftwood (preferably thoroughly dried and bark-free beech), and ensuring subdued lighting conditions. Further enhancing the natural ambience involves periodically adding dried leaves to gently stain the water, though regular replacement is necessary to prevent decay and water pollution. Additionally, introducing aquarium-safe peat into the filtration system aids in simulating blackwater conditions.

Despite the absence of aquatic plants in their native waters, Armatus Corydoras appreciates a well-planted aquarium setup. However, it is vital to note their sensitivity to deteriorating water conditions, necessitating a diligent maintenance schedule. Proper substrate cleanliness and regular substantial water changes are paramount to preserve the health of these Corys, as neglect can result in the loss of their barbels.

The Armatus Corydoras boasts a dark silvery-grey body adorned with irregular dark spots on the flanks, with the prominence of these spots diminishing as the fish matures. Notably, as juveniles, these spots are more pronounced. Furthermore, this species showcases a tall, pointed dorsal fin, with the first two fin rays presenting a dark grey hue. The remaining fins display translucency, accompanied by faint darker spotting and banding, adding to the visual allure of these remarkable Corydoras.

Armatus Corydoras Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Armatus Corydoras can present a challenge. Nevertheless, there are key characteristics that aid in differentiation. Typically, sexually mature females tend to exhibit slightly larger size compared to males. Additionally, females assume a rounder and broader body shape, particularly when they are carrying eggs. In contrast, males appear slimmer and shorter in comparison to their female counterparts.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameCorydoras armatus
Year Described1868
Other NamesNone
Max Size6.5 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
ReproductionEgg Depositor
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 6.5 - 7.5
GH 2 - 15
TDS 36 - 215
Ideal Temperature
73 - 79
22 - 26

Natural Habitat

The Armatus Corydoras species is indigenous to the Río Huallaga, a notable tributary of the Río Marañón, situated in Peru within the South American continent. These Corydoras primarily occupy habitats characterized by swiftly flowing blackwaters, commonly found in floodplain lakes and small forest streams. The substrate in these environments consists of a white sandy composition, providing a distinct visual contrast. Although aquatic vegetation is not prevalent in these habitats, an abundance of submerged wood, driftwood, and leaf litter serves as essential components of the aquatic landscape.


Regrettably, comprehensive reports on successful breeding endeavours for the Armatus Corydoras are currently unavailable, accompanied by limited information on the breeding process specific to these fish. However, assuming that breeding practices akin to other Corydoras species may yield similar outcomes is plausible. To embark on the breeding journey, it is advisable to establish a separate breeding tank equipped with either a bare bottom, sand, or fine gravel substrate. Including an air-powered sponge filter and clusters of Java moss can further enhance the breeding environment.

Achieving more favourable results entails maintaining a higher ratio of males to females, with an ideal configuration of two males for every female. Conditioning the group with a varied diet comprising dried, live, and frozen foods can prove instrumental in stimulating the spawning process. Once females exhibit signs of being full of eggs, initiating a substantial water change with cooler water, coupled with increased flow and oxygenation in the tank, should be repeated daily until spawning occurs. Heightened activity among the fish, particularly males pursuing females, may signify their readiness to spawn. When the females are prepared to spawn, they allow the male to make contact with their barbels, subsequently assuming the classic T-position. The female then forms a basket with her pelvic fins, depositing 1 to 4 eggs. After fertilization, she swims away to locate a suitable spot, often the tank's glass near an area with a swift current, to lay the eggs. This cycle is repeated until all the eggs are released. To prevent consumption, it is crucial to remove either the adults or the eggs from the breeding tank promptly.

If the decision is made to transfer the eggs, care should be taken to maintain the same water parameters and adequate oxygenation in the new tank. Introducing a few drops of methylene blue to the water can help prevent fungus growth on the eggs; however, any eggs exhibiting signs of fungus should be promptly removed to prevent its spread. Typically, the eggs hatch within 3 to 5 days, and the fry initially relies on their yolk sacs for nourishment. Once the yolk sacs are absorbed, providing microworms and baby brine shrimp becomes essential for their continued growth. The fry may benefit from a thin layer of sand in the tank rather than a bare bottom, as it offers greater protection against disease. As the fry mature and become less vulnerable to predation, they can be introduced to a community aquarium.

Diet & feeding

The Armatus Corydoras display foraging behaviour as omnivorous creatures, readily accepting high-quality sinking dried foods such as pellets and algae wafers. In addition, they readily consume small live, frozen, and freeze-dried offerings such as Tubifex, bloodworms, and decapsulated brine shrimp. Offering a diverse diet to these Corys is essential for maintaining their overall health and vibrant colouration, ensuring that they remain in optimal condition.

Other Corydoras of interest