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Maximum size : 3.5 cm

Salt and Pepper Corydoras - Corydoras habrosus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Salt and Pepper Pygmy Corydoras are good-looking, peaceful fish perfect for a nano or well-planted aquarium. However, due to their shoaling nature, you should keep these Corys in groups of at least six individuals, ideally ten or more. You can house these Corys in a community aquarium if you ensure they are kept with smaller peaceable fish species such as Ember Tetras, Clown Killifish, Endler guppies and Micro Rasboras. However, you should avoid keeping these fish with much larger, overly aggressive tankmates as they may be intimidated by or preyed upon. There should be a sandy substrate in the aquarium to protect the delicate sensory barbels, as well as some shady hiding spots among driftwood and broad-leaved plants to provide shade. Floating plants are also beneficial as they can help diffuse bright lighting. The tannins released by peat filtration will keep the water soft and acidic, allowing the fish to show their best colours. The filtration process should be efficient, but the water movement should be gentle. The colour pattern varies among the Salt and Pepper Pygmy Corydoras; however, these Corys typically have a light tan body covered with black and shiny silver spotting and broken striping. There are two blotches along the flanks of these fish and a distinct large blotch on the caudal peduncle. Additionally, their Caudal fin also possesses dark stripes.

Salt and Pepper Corydoras Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively straightforward to differentiate between a male and female Salt and Pepper Pygmy Corydoras. The females will usually grow larger than the males and will be wider when viewed from above.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameCorydoras habrosus
Year Described1960
Other NamesDainty Cory, Salt And Pepper Cory, Venezuelan Pygmy Cory, Salt And Pepper Catfish
OriginsVenezuela Colombia
Max Size3.5 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespanup to 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 8.0
GH5 - 20
TDS36 - 215
68 - 82
20 - 27.8

Natural Habitat

Salt and Pepper Pygmy Corydoras are endemic to inland waters in the Upper Orinoco River Basin in Venezuela and Colombia in South America. These Corys inhabit floodplains and periodic wetlands, and the leaf litter and plant life in their natural habitat provide ample cover for them to roam.


To successfully breed the Salt and Pepper Pygmy 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 spawned. 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. You should offer the fry finely powdered first foods, then a few days later, they will be able to take microworms and newly hatched brine shrimp.

Diet & feeding

In the home aquarium, the Salt and Pepper Pygmy 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.

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