Maximum size : 6.5 cm

Rusty Corydoras - Corydoras rabauti : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


The Rusty Corydoras (Corydoras rabauti) is a petite and visually appealing Catfish species renowned for its peaceful nature, making it an excellent addition to a typical well-established softwater community aquarium. These Corys offer a manageable level of care, rendering them suitable for both novice and experienced aquarists. However, it is crucial to provide them with clean, oxygen-rich water and ensure an ample food supply at the bottom of the tank.

The sociable nature of Rusty Corys is best appreciated when kept in a group of at least six individuals. By maintaining them in more significant numbers, an aesthetically pleasing display is achieved while also fostering a sense of comfort that encourages the fish to venture out regularly. Compatible tankmates for the Rusty Corys include small and peaceable species such as small to medium-sized Cyprinids, Characins, Dwarf Gouramis, and Dwarf Cichlids. It is advisable to refrain from housing them alongside significantly larger or more aggressive species, as this may cause them to feel intimidated, potentially leading to a decreased appetite.

To replicate the natural environment of the Rusty Corydoras, a soft sandy substrate is recommended within the aquarium. Providing adequate cover in the form of driftwood or bogwood, along with areas of dense planting, offers the fish a sense of security. Regular maintenance practices, including substrate cleaning and frequent partial water changes, are vital to ensure the optimal health and well-being of these Catfish.

The Rusty Corydoras exhibits a striking rusty orange body colouration that extends into the fin rays. A notable characteristic is the presence of a prominent black diagonal stripe on the upper portion of its body, originating from the head and extending down to the lower region of the caudal peduncle. These distinct markings contribute to the visually captivating appearance of the Rusty Corydoras.

Rusty Corydoras Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Rusty Corydoras can pose a moderate challenge. Nevertheless, certain characteristics aid in their differentiation. When observed from an overhead perspective, females tend to exhibit a relatively larger size and a broader body profile, particularly when gravid. In contrast, males generally display a slightly smaller and more streamlined physique in comparison to their female counterparts. These discernible distinctions provide valuable insights for identifying and distinguishing between male and female Rusty Corydoras.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameCorydoras rabauti
Year Described1941
Other NamesRusty Cory, Rabaut's Cory, Rabaut's Catfish
Max Size6.5 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
ReproductionEgg Depositor
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 6.0 - 8.0
GH 2 - 15
TDS 18 - 215
Ideal Temperature
73 - 79
22 - 26

Natural Habitat

The Rusty Corydoras is native to the Solimões River and the Negro River Basin in Brazil, South America. While it is plausible that these Corys may also be found in parts of Peru and potentially Colombia, the complete extent of their distribution remains somewhat uncertain. These Corys thrive in various aquatic habitats, from meandering oxbows and serene floodplain lakes to dynamic riverine environments. These resilient creatures have adapted to the diverse conditions found within these captivating landscapes.


To achieve successful breeding of Rusty Corydoras, it is advisable to establish a dedicated breeding tank. While the tank itself may be relatively simple in terms of decor, a soft substrate is essential to accommodate the natural foraging behaviour of the Corys. The water conditions should be mature, characterized by softness and slight acidity. Additionally, the breeding tank will benefit from subdued lighting, the presence of broad-leaved plants, and gentle aeration.

As the female Rusty Corydoras approaches the spawning period, notable behaviours will indicate her readiness. These include cleaning the surface of leaves or the aquarium glass, where she will lay her eggs. To simulate their natural spawning behaviour, significant water changes using rainwater or cooler water and conditioning them with live foods can help encourage the spawning process. During a single spawning event, the female may lay up to 100 eggs.

Once spawning is complete, removing the adult fish from the breeding tank is crucial, as they will not partake in the rearing of their offspring and may consume the eggs if given the opportunity. Returning the adults to their regular tank is recommended at this stage. The incubation period for the eggs typically ranges from two to four days, depending on water temperature and conditions. Subsequently, the fry will consume the yolk sacs and become free-swimming within an additional two to three days.

At the free-swimming stage, the fry can be provided with infusoria-type foods such as rotifers. As the fry grows to a suitable size, they can be introduced into the community aquarium, where they will join the existing shoal. However, before transferring the juvenile fish into the community tank, it is important to ensure that water temperatures are properly balanced to minimize the risk of triggering diseases. In a heavily planted aquarium, it is not uncommon for Rusty Corys to spawn within the community tank, with the fittest fry surviving to adulthood.

Diet & feeding

Rusty Corydoras exhibit a versatile feeding behaviour within the confines of a home aquarium. These fish readily accept sinking dried foods and a range of small live, frozen, and freeze-dried options, including bloodworms, Tubifex worms, and mosquito larvae. To maintain the optimal condition of your Corys, it is imperative to provide them with a diverse and well-balanced diet.

It is essential to note that relying on leftover food from other aquarium inhabitants or expecting the Corys to fulfil a "cleaning" role within the aquarium is strongly discouraged. These fish should not be solely dependent on remnants from other tank mates. Instead, intentional and regular feeding practices should be employed to meet their nutritional requirements. By ensuring a varied diet, you contribute to the overall health and well-being of your Rusty Corydoras.

Providing suitable food directly for Corydoras is recommended rather than relying on external sources. This approach fosters optimal nutrition and ensures that the fish are not subjected to inadequate sustenance. By maintaining conscientious feeding practices, you contribute to the long-term vitality and vibrancy of your Rusty Corydoras population.

Other Corydoras of interest