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Maximum size : 3 cm

Pygmy Corydoras - Corydoras Pygmaeus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Pygmy Corydoras (Corydoras Pygmaeus) is a captivating, charming, and diminutive fish popular among aquarium enthusiasts due to its peaceful demeanour and hardy nature. These fish are perfect for small to medium-sized tanks and are suitable for community tanks with compatible tank mates. It is important to be cautious when selecting the right tank mates, as bigger fish can intimidate or out-compete them for food. Maintaining a group of at least ten Pygmy Corydoras is recommended, as this will help them feel more secure and result in a more natural-looking shoal. In addition, small Characins like Ember Tetras, Micro Rasboras and small ornamental shrimps such as Red Crystal Shrimp or Red Cherry Shrimp are ideal tank mates. Mature, densely planted nano tanks are perfect for these shoaling catfish. A sandy substrate is crucial to protect their delicate sensory barbels, and plenty of shady hiding spots should be available among driftwood and broad-leaved plants. Floating plants are also helpful in diffusing bright lighting. Peat filtration will keep the water soft and acidic, and the tannins released will enhance the fish's colouration. Frequent partial water changes are necessary since these fish are sensitive to elevated nitrate levels. The Pygmy Corydoras displays a silvery body with a striking uninterrupted black line that runs horizontally along the centre of the sides of the fish from the tip of its nose to its caudal peduncle. A second black line runs along the bottom of the side of the body, starting behind the ventral fins and proceeding into the tail. The upper body has a light black or dark grey shading that begins on the top of its nose and ends at the rear. Its upper body is visibly darker than the lower body, giving these fish a unique and attractive appearance.

Pygmy Corydoras Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

When it comes to identifying male and female Pygmy Corydoras, it can be a bit challenging as they look almost identical. However, there are some subtle differences to note. Females tend to be broader than males, especially when carrying eggs, and they are also slightly larger in size.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameCorydoras Pygmaeus
Year Described1966
Other NamesPygmy Catfish, Pygmy Cory Catfish
OriginsPeru Ecuador Brazil
Max Size3 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asTrios
Lifespanup to 3 year

Water Parameters

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

Natural habitat

Pygmy Corydoras can be found in the peaceful waters of smaller tributaries to more generous rivers in South America, such as the Nanay River in Peru, the Mediera River in Brazil, and the Aguarico River in Ecuador. These petite fish prefer to dwell in tropical waters that move at a gentle pace and are awash with light. Keep an eye out for them as they playfully hide amongst debris, such as fallen leaves and branches, as well as within lush plants nestled on sandy silt. Don't miss your chance to witness these charming creatures in their natural habitat!

How to breed the Pygmy Corydoras

Revised: Breeding Pygmy Corydoras is a moderately simple process, and they are constant breeders, which makes it important to provide adequate care for the fry. To initiate breeding, it is essential to maintain and keep healthy water conditions, and provide them with a nutritious diet. During the breeding process, a female may lay around 100 eggs, which she carries in a pouch next to the pelvic fin until the male fertilizes them. The female will then attach the fertilized eggs to the plant surfaces, where they will remain until they hatch. It is recommended to remove the parents from the tank after this stage as they may consume the eggs. Once the eggs hatch, feeding the fry can be a challenge as their mouths are incredibly tiny. It is recommended to feed them with crushed flakes or infusoria to ensure their survival.

Diet & feeding

To maintain optimal health, a varied and balanced diet is essential for Pygmy Corydoras. These bottom-dwelling fish are not fussy eaters and will readily consume a variety of foods. Flake foods are a good starting point, but to provide a diverse diet, supplement with frozen or freeze-dried options such as daphnia, mosquito larvae, blackworms, brine shrimp, and bloodworms. It is important to note that being bottom feeders, sinking algae wafers and pellets should also be incorporated into their diet. These foods ensure that they receive adequate nutrition while foraging at the bottom of the tank. With proper feeding and nutrition, Pygmy Corydoras will thrive and display their best colors and behavior.

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