Maximum size : 4 cm

Smudge Spot Corydoras - Corydoras similis : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


The Smudge Spot Corydoras (Corydoras similis), although rare in the aquarium trade, possesses a captivating allure sought after by enthusiasts worldwide. Adorned in its mature form with a mesmerizing dark violet hue, this species stands out as a distinctive and spirited addition to nano, community, and planted aquariums alike.

As a peaceful shoaling fish, the Smudge Spot Corydoras thrives when housed in groups of no less than six individuals. The dynamic interaction within a larger school not only creates a more natural and harmonious aquarium environment but also offers an intriguing spectacle for onlookers. Compatible with a wide array of popular fish species, including Dwarf Cichlids, Tetras, small to medium-sized Barbs, Gouramis, and other peaceful Catfish, the Smudge Spot Corydoras can coexist harmoniously in diverse aquatic communities.

While this Corydoras may exhibit a predilection for smaller Dwarf Shrimp, it poses no threat to larger shrimp or other ornamental invertebrates. It is, however, advised to exercise caution when pairing them with larger, more aggressive fish to avoid any intimidation or competition for resources.

To replicate the natural splendour of an Amazon biotope, create an environment that mirrors the Smudge Spot Corydoras' native habitat. A sandy or smooth gravel substrate, complemented by carefully arranged driftwood branches and intermittent dried leaf litter, will contribute to the authenticity of this beautiful setting. In the wild, aquatic plants are absent from their natural habitats, but you can imbue the water with a rich brown hue by allowing the wood and leaves to impart their tannins. Regularly removing decaying leaves and replacing them will help maintain optimal water quality.

Alternatively, if a biotope setup is not your preference, the Smudge Spot Corydoras will flourish in a well-planted aquarium as well. As guardians of these exquisite creatures, it is vital to maintain optimal water conditions and adhere to a diligent maintenance routine. Regular water changes, coupled with a mindful approach to feeding, will ensure the long-term well-being of these undemanding and resilient fish.

The Smudge Spot Corydoras boasts a cream-coloured base with intricate brown spots adorning their heads. These spots cascade down their bodies in precise rows above the lateral line, gradually diminishing in size towards the caudal peduncle. A tan-coloured region beneath the lateral line provides a striking contrast, while a captivating blue blotch emerges behind the dorsal fin base, culminating at the caudal peduncle. This ethereal blue intensifies as it progresses towards the caudal peduncle, creating a visual spectacle. The ventral surface boasts a pristine whiteish-cream tone, while the fins maintain a translucent quality.

During spawning conditions, the Smudge Spot Corydoras undergoes a transformation, showcasing its bright body colouration, making it an awe-inspiring sight to behold.

Smudge Spot Corydoras Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between the male and female Smudge Spot Corydoras can be relatively straightforward. Females typically exhibit a larger and more rounded body shape compared to males. Notably, the pectoral fins of females are more deeply convexed towards the posterior portion, and their ventral fins appear larger in size. In contrast, males possess a slimmer physique and are slightly smaller in comparison to their female counterparts.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameCorydoras similis
Year Described1991
Other NamesViolet Cory, Smudge Spot Cory
OriginsBrazil , Argentina
Max Size4 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
ReproductionEgg Depositor
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 5.5 - 7.5
GH 5 - 20
Ideal Temperature
72 - 79
22 - 26

Natural Habitat

The cute and stunning Smudge Spot Corydoras can be encountered in the Rio Madeira, near the city of Ariquemes in Rondonia State, Brazil, as well as in Argentina, in South America. These fish thrive in habitats characterized by the presence of serene, slow-flowing, to nearly stagnant waters, such as pools, creeks, and flooded forest areas. The substrate in these environments consists predominantly of sandy or silty material.


For the successful breeding of Smudge Spot Corydoras, it is advisable to establish a dedicated breeding tank. This tank can be kept relatively unadorned, but it is essential to provide a soft substrate, allowing the Corydoras to effortlessly scavenge for food within the substrate. In order to mimic their natural habitat, the water conditions within the breeding tank should be mature, characterized by softness and acidity. A subdued lighting environment, coupled with the presence of broad-leaved plants, will further enhance the breeding setup. Gentle aeration is also recommended to ensure optimal oxygenation.

As the females approach the spawning phase, they will exhibit a behaviour of cleaning the surfaces of leaves or the aquarium glass where they intend to deposit their eggs. To facilitate and stimulate spawning, it is beneficial to implement significant water changes utilizing rainwater or cooler water while simultaneously conditioning the fish with live foods. This approach closely replicates their natural spawning behaviours, fostering a conducive environment for successful reproduction. During a single spawning event, females may lay a substantial quantity of eggs, potentially reaching up to 100.

Following the deposition of the eggs, the adult fish will cease their involvement in the rearing process and may even consume the eggs if given the opportunity. To safeguard the eggs, it is recommended to promptly return the adult fish to their usual tank. The incubation period of the eggs typically spans between one and three days, contingent upon the prevailing water conditions and temperature. Subsequently, an additional two to three days are required for the absorption of the yolk sacs by the developing fry, enabling them to attain the free-swimming stage.

At this juncture, the fry can be nourished with infusoria-type foods, such as rotifers, to cater to their specific nutritional requirements. Once the fry has sufficiently developed and is no longer viewed as potential prey, they can be introduced into the community tank, where they will integrate with the existing shoal of Corydoras. Prior to transferring the adolescent fish into the community tank, it is vital to ensure a gradual acclimatization process by carefully balancing the water temperatures, effectively minimizing the risk of triggering White Spot or other diseases.

Diet & feeding

Smudge Spot Corydoras, being traditional scavengers, are well-suited for the role of aquarium floor inhabitants. These Corys display a versatile appetite and will readily consume a wide range of sinking dried foods, including algae wafers and pellets. Additionally, they exhibit a preference for small live and frozen foods such as mosquito larvae, bloodworms, and Tubifex. To ensure the optimal health and condition of your Corys, it is advisable to supplement their diet with ample amounts of vegetable matter. While these fish possess remarkable feeding capabilities, it is important to note that relying solely on leftover food from other tank inhabitants or expecting them to fulfil the role of aquarium cleaners may not yield satisfactory results.

Other Corydoras of interest