Profile Photo

Maximum size : 5 cm

Bandit Corydoras - Corydoras metae : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


Bandit Corydoras are very common in the hobby and are suitable for beginner aquarists as they are a very hardy species. These Corys also make fantastic community aquarium fish due to their small size and peaceful nature. However, to create a beautiful display and let these sociable, shoaling fish feel more comfortable, you should keep them in groups of at least six, preferably more. Soft sand substrates are ideal for keeping Bandit Corydoras so they can root around and forage without risk of abrasion and bacteria from accumulated waste; coarse gravel can damage their barbels. For filtration to be efficient, there should be moderate water movement and a decent level of oxygenation. For these fish to remain healthy, regular maintenance, including periodic partial water changes, is necessary. Make sure there are plenty of shady spots amongst the driftwood, rocks, and dense plantings. You can keep Bandit Corydoras with most fish available in the hobby, including Dwarf Cichlids, Tetras, small to medium-sized Barbs, Gouramis and other peaceful Catfish. These Corys may prey on some more petite Dwarf Shrimp but are safe with larger shrimp and other ornamental invertebrates. However, it would be best if you refrained from keeping these fish with larger, more aggressive fish as they will feel intimidated and get outcompeted for food. Bandit Corydoras have a light brownish beige colour, and on the posterior portion of their bodies, they have an oblique dark bar that extends from the dorsal fin edge to the caudal fin base but does not extend onto the fin or split in two. Their dorsal fins are transparent, with slightly more than half of them tinted black, while their caudal fins have white and brown bands. Their dorsal fins are transparent, with slightly more than half of them tinted black, while their caudal fins have white and brown bands. A black eye band covers both eyes, stretching across the top of the head.

Bandit Corydoras Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

It is somewhat straightforward to differentiate between the male and female Bandit Corydoras. Adult males will be slimmer and a little shorter than females. In contrast, the females grow larger and are noticeably rounder and broader than males, especially when carrying eggs.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameCorydoras metae
Year Described1914
Other NamesBandit Catfish, Masked Corydoras, Meta River Corydoras
Max Size5 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan5 - 8 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH5 - 15
TDS90 - 215
68 - 79
20 - 26

Natural Habitat

The Bandit Corydoras is endemic to the Meta River Basin in Colombia, South America. These Corys inhabit pristine whitewater that flows rapidly over a sandy substrate.


It is relatively straightforward to breed Bandit Corydoras; having a separate tank with two or more males per female would be best. When the females are noticeably full of eggs, you should perform a significant 50 to 70 per cent water change with cooler water and increase the oxygenation and flow in the tank. It would help if you then repeated this daily until the fish spawn. These Corys will deposit their eggs on the tank glass, amongst fine-leaved plants or within submerged spawning mops. Once spawning is complete, you should remove either the adults or the eggs. If you decide to move the eggs, the raising tank will need the same water parameters as the spawning tank and be similarly well-oxygenated. Some breeders will add a few drops of methylene blue or place alder cones into the raising tank to stop the eggs from developing fungus. The incubation period is usually 2 to 4 days, and once the fry has consumed their yolk sacs, you can provide them with small live foods like microworm and baby brine shrimp. Corydoras fry can be quite challenging to raise, requiring excellent water quality. Still, they seem less susceptible to diseases when maintained over a thin layer of sand instead of a bare tank.

Diet & feeding

The Bandit Corydoras will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements. Additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide other benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish. It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages. This fish is an omnivore in the wild, consuming some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods consider this and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Other Corydoras you maybe interested in