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Maximum size : 5 cm

Elegant Corydoras - Corydoras elegans : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Elegant Corydoras (Corydoras Elegans) is a striking and distinctive fish, adding an exquisite touch to any community aquarium. These sociable and peaceful creatures are ideal for beginners, as they are relatively easy to maintain, provided they receive clean, oxygen-rich water and a steady supply of food at the tank 's bottom. Given their gregarious nature, keeping these fish in groups of at least six individuals is best. Unlike most Corydoras, Elegant Corys tend to spend much of their time away from the substrate, forming gatherings in midwater without disturbing the sediment. These fish boast an olive background, marbled with striking greyish-brown markings, with a body that is not as tall as it is long, complemented by lowered-set eyes. A wedge-shaped, dark-edged band extends from the head 's rear to the caudal peduncle, passing through several blotches, while a pale stripe runs below the band, with a row of dark spots along its lower edge. The gill cover is pale blue, and the fins are grey, with a mottled and spotted pattern adorning the head area.

Elegant Corydoras Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Elegant Corydoras is a relatively straightforward process. Mature females typically exhibit a more significant and fuller physique when viewed from above, with their dorsal fin characterized by a transparent appearance. Conversely, adult males often display a more intricate and vivid colour pattern, along with the presence of three reticulated bands on the dorsal fin, setting them apart from their female counterparts.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameCorydoras elegans
Year Described1976
Other NamesElegant Catfish, CW044
OriginsPeru Ecuador Brazil
Max Size5 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan5 - 8 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 8.0
GH2 - 25
TDS18 - 268
72 - 79
22.2 - 26.1

Natural Habitat

The enchanting Elegant Corydoras is a species widely dispersed throughout the western Amazon Basin, inhabiting streams and rivers such as the Itaya, Tamaya, Nanay, Carahuayte, Ucayal Ampiyacu, and Rios Yavari in Peru, the Napo and Rios Aguarico in Ecuador, as well as the Rio Solimoes in Brazil. Their natural habitat comprises forested waterways with soft, slightly acidic water, where a substrate of leaf litter, mud, sand, and fallen branches supports a thriving ecosystem. These captivating fish blend seamlessly into their environment, adding to the serene ambience of their aquatic home.
 Itaya River - Peru
Peru Flag
 Nanay River - Peru
Peru Flag
 Rio Napo - Ecuador
Ecuador Flag


Breeding Elegant Corydoras follows a pattern similar to many other Corydoras species. To ensure successful breeding, keeping more males than females is advisable, especially when the females are replete with eggs. Additionally, a significant water change using cooler water, combined with daily tank oxygenation and flow, promotes spawning. Providing alternative surfaces for spawning, such as plants or spawning mops, may also be beneficial to avoid glass impact. Once the eggs have been fertilized, it is imperative to remove the adult females or eggs, with the latter typically done by rolling them up the glass side using your fingers. The container housing the eggs should have the same water parameters as the spawning tank and should be adequately oxygenated. Using methylene blue drops or alder cones can help prevent fungal growth, ensuring the optimal development of the eggs.

Diet & feeding

As foraging omnivores, Elegant Corydoras readily accept high-quality sinking dried foods such as pellets or wafers, as well as small live and frozen fare like bloodworm, daphnia, and Tubifex. Offering a diverse diet will promote the fish 's optimal health and well-being, as they receive a range of essential nutrients from various food sources. Notably, these fish should not be expected to survive on leftovers from other aquarium inhabitants or relied upon to clean the aquarium. Therefore, providing a consistent and balanced diet is paramount to ensuring these fascinating fish 's continued health and longevity.

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