CORYDORAS CATFISH: COMMUNITY-FRIENDLY BOTTOM FEEDERS
In terms of their water condition requirements, corydoras catfish prefer soft water between 5 and 10 dGH and it should be neutral in pH with a little bit of wiggle room either way. Though these are the ideal conditions for cory cats, they are fairly adaptable in terms of tank parameters – this is another factor that makes them a great choice for community tanks. Corydoras tend to live in shoals or schools with large numbers of other corydoras and this is how they prefer to be kept in the home aquarium.
- Adolfo’s Corydoras(Corydoras adolfoi) – This species of corydoras has a light-colored body with a black dorsal fin and a black line running through the eye and long the base of the tail. Adolfo’s corydoras grow to about 2.2 inches in length and they are one of the easiest species to breed in the home aquarium. These cories feed on a wide variety of foods and they do best when kept in groups.
- Bronze Corydoras (Corydoras aeneus) – Also known as the green corydoras, the bronze corydoras has a pink or yellow stomach with a blue-gray coloration over its back. These fish grow to about 2.75 inches in length and they can live for up to 10 years when properly cared for. Bronze cories breed readily in the home aquarium and they are very hardy as well when it comes to varying water conditions.
- Skunk Corydoras (Corydoras arcuatus) – The skunk corydoras does very well in community tanks when kept with other peaceful fish of similar size. These corydoras grow to about 2 ½ inches in length and they are named for their black and white coloration. Though corydoras are bottom dwellers, panda cories sometimes come to the surface of the water for feeding and they will accept a wide variety of fresh, frozen, and flake foods. This species also tends to breed fairly readily in the home aquarium.
- Peppered Corydoras (Corydoras paleatus) – Also known as the mottled corydoras or the peppered catfish, the peppered corydoras is a medium-sized species growing to about 2.5 inches in length. These fish feed on insects, worms, and small crustaceans as well as decaying plant matter. This species is particularly popular for community tanks because it is a very hardy species and they are attractive with their peppered pattern. The peppered corydoras does come in an albino form as well.
- Pygmy Corydoras (Corydoras pygmaeus) – Also known as the pygmy catfish, pygmy corydoras only grow to a maximum size around 1 inch in length. These cories have silver bodies with a dark black line running horizontally through the eye all the way to the tail. Pygmy cories do particularly well in community tanks but, despite their small size, they need plenty of space to swim – tanks no smaller than 10 gallons are recommended for this species.
- Sterba’s Corydoras (Corydoras sterbai) – One of the most popular species of corydoras catfish, Sterba’scorydoras is known for its black and white spotted appearance. These cories grow to a maximum length around 2.6 inches and they are highly compatible with other corydoras species. Sterba’s corydoras feed on a variety of sinking pellets and wafers as well as fresh vegetable matter and detritrus.
Any of these corydoras species would make a great addition to your community tank. Just keep in mind that corydoras need to be kept in groups with at least 5 or 6 others. You can mix different species together if you like, just make sure that they are compatible in terms of water conditions and other tank requirements.
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