Skunk Corydoras (Corydoras arcuatus) Fish Species Profile

The Skunk Corydoras is a peaceful, enjoyable, active, hardy and armoured catfish that can help keep the bottom of your tank clean. These fish are shoaling species that prefer living amongst other Corys of their own size. This Catfish is popular with hobbyists for community aquariums.

The skunk corydoras possess an ability to supply at least part of their oxygen needs by swallowing air at the water's surface. As the air passes through its functional intestinal tract, oxygen is absorbed into the bloodstream.

The short nose can identify Skunk Corydoras. Their fins are transparent; however, the tail has a smattering of very tiny dark spots. The body of the skunk cory is creamy-white coloured, sometimes showing an attractive yellow-gold sheen. They have a black stripe that runs over their eyes, along their back to the tail where it splits and trails down to colour the lower edge of the caudal fin.

They possess strengthened overlapping bony plates, as well as pectoral-fin spines that are exceptionally competent of piercing human skin. This can cause a painful sting from their mildly toxic secretions that are produced by the axillary glands at the bottom of each spine, so be careful when handling these.

Scientific NameCorydoras arcuatus
Other NamesSkunk Cory, Arched Cory, Sands Cory Cat
OriginsSouth America
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Maximum Sizeup to 5.5 cm
Water Conditions
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature68 - 82 ℉ (20 - 27.8 ℃)
PH5.0 - 7.5
GH2 - 12

Origins of the Skunk Corydoras

Skunk Corydoras is native to the Rio Unini, a whitewater area of the Rio Negro River in Brazil generally thought to occur throughout the upper Amazon region in Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia in South America. They inhabit fast-flowing waters covered in dense vegetation.


In the home aquarium, Skunk Corydoras will readily accept a variety of meaty and vegetable matter foods such as flakes, granules, freeze-dried, frozen, live foods and pellets. This Catfish is an excellent scavenger that will work hard to keep the aquarium substrate clean of excess foods and some decaying plant matter.

Sexing the Skunk Corydoras

It is relatively tricky to differentiate males from females. However, the female Skunk Corydoras appear noticeably larger and broader than males when viewed from above, especially when they are full of eggs.

Breeding the Skunk Corydoras

Though this is one of the more tricky Corys to breed it is similar to other Corys.

Conditioning the pair a diet of live and frozen foods, keeping the pH steady and dropping the temperature of the water slightly when doing water changes should usually induce spawning.

The female will cup her pectoral fins to form a basket into which she carries and releases a few eggs at a time while the male fertilises them. She then chooses a safe spot to hide the eggs, usually near thick vegetation, and continues the process until she is spent of eggs and they have all been deposited. Typically, the female will lay around 100 eggs in several safe places.

After hatching, you should remove the fry from the tank to avoid them being consumed by the parents or other fish.

After about 3 to 4 days you should feed the fry with a diet of infusoria or microworms until they are big enough to accept flake, granule and frozen foods.

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Date Added: 10/12/2020 - Updated: 10/14/2020 8:11:03 PM