Max Size: 10cm

Banded Corydoras (Scleromystax barbatus)

Banded Corydoras are an active schooling fish and should be kept in schools of at least six. These catfish are entirely peaceable towards other fish species. They can be kept safely alongside other temperate species in the community aquarium, but it is not recommended to combine these fish with more aggressive Cichlids or Bottom-dwelling Cichlids.

When the fish come into spawning condition, the aggression between males can heighten, causing significant damage to each other, even leading to fatal outcomes on some occasions; therefore, it is advisable to house one male with a group of females.

The Banded Corydoras get more extensive than most Corydoras species so therefore require a bigger aquarium than usual. Just like other Corydoras, they have barbels that are used to find food particles in or on the substrate.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameScleromystax barbatus
Other NamesCorydoras Barbatus, Bearded Catfish
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespanup to 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 8.0
GH2 - 25
TDS18 -215
68 - 82℉
20 - 27.8℃

Photos of the Banded Corydoras

Banded Corydoras
Banded corydoras
Banded corydoras
Banded corydoras
Banded Corydoras

Natural Habitat

Banded Corydoras are endemic to tributaries of the Capivari, Inbomirim and the coastal Rios Guapi in south-eastern Brazil, between Santa Catarina and Rio de Janeiro in South America. They inhabit slow-flowing almost still coastal drainages, ponds and streams with a substrate of fine pebbles or sand often covered by mud.

Guaporé River

What to feed the Banded Corydoras

Banded Corydoras are scavenging omnivores and will accept high quality dried foods such as sinking pellets or wafers. They will also happily eat small live and frozen foods such as bloodworm, Tubifex, daphnia and suchlike.

Providing these Corydoras with a varied diet will ensure the fish are in optimum health and condition.

Even though these fish are foragers, it is not acceptable to expect them to survive on the left-overs from other fish inhabitants of the aquarium, nor be relied on to clean the aquarium of algae.

How to sex the Banded Corydoras

It is effortless to differentiate male from female Banded Corydoras. Males stomachs are silvery-white, and they have dark Black to yellowish-brown markings on the flanks. They display two large golden blotches on the upper side of the caudal peduncle with big, shimmering brassy spots on the upper surface of the head and the cheeks and their fins are translucent with black spots. Males also have more extended pectoral fins than females and possess a row of bristles across their cheeks.

In contrast, Females body colour is dark brown with random lighter blotches, their stomach is a creamy-white, and their head is dark brown with irregular light spots. Females also have some light brown colouring, forming faint lines in all their fins.

How to breed the Banded Corydoras

you can breed banded Corydoras similarly to many Corydoras species. However, The fry is not the easiest to raise, requiring excellent water quality.

Place a single male and female together to avoid rival males concentrating on each other, and when the female is noticeably full of eggs perform a large 50-70 per cent water change with slightly colder water, and increase the flow and oxygenation in the tank. Repeat this every day until the fish spawn.

The Banded Corydoras will deposit their eggs on the aquarium glass, amongst fine-leaved plants or spawning mops, with the spawning mop being prefered by breeders since they facilitate easy removal of eggs.

Once spawning has concluded, it would be better if you removed the eggs. You can usually roll the eggs gently up the glass with a finger. Place the eggs into a separate grow out tank containing the same water and oxygenation. Most breeders add a few drops of methylene blue, or a couple of alder cones at this point to prevent the eggs from developing fungus.

Incubation usually takes 3-4 days, and once the fry has fully-absorbed their yolk sacs, can accept small live foods such as artemia nauplii, microworm and suchlike.

Other Corydoras of interest

Adolfos Catfish(Corydoras adolfoi)
Agassizs Corydoras(Corydoras agassizii)
Albino Corydoras(Corydoras aeneus)
Bandit Corydoras(Corydoras melini)
Black Venezuela Corydoras(Corydoras schultzei "Black Venezuela")
Bronze Corydoras(Corydoras Aeneus)
View all Corydoras
Date Added: 07/12/2020 - Updated: 18/11/2021 19:32:17