Maximum size : 5 cm

Axelrods Corydoras - Corydoras axelrodi : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


The Axelrod's Corydoras (Corydoras axelrodi) is a small and visually appealing catfish species that thrive in peaceful community aquariums with soft water conditions. These corys are relatively easy to care for, making them suitable for beginner aquarists. However, maintaining clean and oxygen-rich water, as well as providing an ample food supply at the bottom of the tank, is crucial for their well-being.

These sociable fish exhibit a strong preference for group living, and keeping them in a school of six or more individuals is recommended. Doing so not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the aquarium but also encourages their natural behaviour and promotes their overall confidence and activity. When housed in more significant numbers, Axelrod's Corydoras are more likely to venture out into the open, creating a captivating display.

When considering tankmates for Axelrod's Corydoras, it is advisable to select small and peaceful species such as small to medium-sized cyprinids, characins, gouramis, and dwarf cichlids. It is important to avoid housing them with significantly larger or more aggressive species, as this can lead to intimidation and feeding difficulties for the corys.

Creating a suitable habitat for Axelrod's Corydoras involves using a soft sandy substrate in the aquarium. Providing ample cover in the form of driftwood or bogwood, along with areas of dense planting, allows these catfish to feel secure and exhibit natural behaviours. Regular aquarium maintenance, including frequent partial water changes, is essential to ensure the well-being and health of the fish.

Axelrod's Corydoras display a certain degree of variation in appearance. They typically exhibit pinkish-gold bodies with one to three dark horizontal stripes. Their dorsal fin is black, featuring a translucent top section, and their pectoral and pelvic fins are semi-transparent with a pinkish hue. The unique combination of colours and patterns adds to the visual appeal of these fascinating catfish.

Axelrods Corydoras Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between the male and female Axelrod's Corydoras is relatively straightforward. Females generally exhibit a larger size and possess rounder and broader bodies compared to their male counterparts. Conversely, the males tend to be smaller and possess a slimmer physique in relation to the females.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameCorydoras axelrodi
Year Described1962
Other NamesPink Corydoras, Axelrod's Cory
Max Size5 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
ReproductionEgg Depositor
LifespanUp to 6 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 5.5 - 7.5
GH 5 - 20
TDS 18 - 215
Ideal Temperature
72 - 79
22 - 26

Natural Habitat

The vibrant Axelrod's Corydoras (Corydoras axelrodi) claims its home in the captivating Meta River Basin of Colombia, South America. Delighting in the company of moderately fast-flowing, crystalline waters, these fascinating creatures grace the streams and rivers adorned with lush vegetation. Beneath their nimble fins, a tapestry of sand and fine gravel, often accompanied by submerged driftwood remnants resulting from the cutting down of trees.

 Meta River - Colombia
Colombia Flag


To successfully breed Axelrod's Corydoras, it is recommended to establish a dedicated breeding tank. This tank should have a simple setup, with an austere environment and a soft substrate that allows the Corydoras to forage and feed by sifting through the substrate. Water conditions in the breeding tank should mimic the natural habitat of the species, which entails mature, soft, and slightly acidic water. Maintaining a low lighting level, along with broad-leaved plants and gentle aeration, will create an environment conducive to spawning.

As the female Axelrod's Cory approaches the spawning period, you will observe her engaging in cleaning behaviour, diligently preparing the surfaces of leaves or aquarium glass on which she will deposit her adhesive eggs. To encourage spawning, it is beneficial to perform significant water changes using rainwater or cold water while conditioning the fish with live foods. These practices emulate the natural spawning behaviour of the species. A single female can lay a substantial number of eggs, potentially reaching up to 100 eggs during a single spawning event.

Following egg deposition, the adult Corydoras will cease their involvement in caring for the eggs and may even consume them if given the opportunity. Therefore, it is advisable to promptly return the adults to their original tank to prevent any accidental predation. The eggs typically hatch within one to three days, depending on various factors such as water temperature and conditions. Subsequently, it takes an additional two to three days for the fry to consume their yolk sacs and become free-swimming.

Once the fry has entered the free-swimming stage, they can be provided with suitable food, such as infusoria-type organisms like rotifers. In some cases, Axelrod's Corydoras may even spawn within a heavily planted community tank, allowing some of the fittest fry to survive and reach adulthood. When the fry has attained a sufficient size, they can be introduced into the community aquarium, joining the existing shoal. It is crucial to ensure that the water temperatures are properly balanced before transferring the adolescent fish to the community tank to minimize the risk of triggering diseases and stress-related complications.

Diet & feeding

Axelrod's Corydoras, being scavenging omnivores, display a versatile feeding behaviour that readily accepts a wide range of sinking dried foods, including pellets and algae wafers. They also exhibit a fondness for small live, frozen, and freeze-dried foods such as vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, bloodworms, and tubifex. Additionally, supplementing their diet with ample vegetable matter is highly beneficial, as it ensures the fish's overall health and optimal condition. It is important to note that relying solely on leftover food from other aquarium inhabitants or expecting them to fulfil the role of aquarium cleaners is not recommended.

Other Corydoras of interest