July 13

Sarah Robertson

Bandit Cory : the Perfect Pet for the Adventurous Fish Lover

Bandit Cory Cats are found in Colombia and parts of northern South America, where they may be discovered living along river banks and river beds.They spend the majority of their time scouring the river bottom for meaty or plant foods that have drifted down to the bank.

The bandit cory is a dark-bodied silver fish with a black stripe going vertically over its eye and another running horizontally from the dorsal fin to the tail. The Bandit Cory Cats coloration and pattern aid in its concealment, allowing the cory cat to avoid bigger predators.

To take care of your Bandit Cory, you need to have a 20-gallon aquarium or larger. These fish are schooling fish, so you will need at least 4 of them. They should also have plenty of hiding places in the form of plants and rocks. The water temperature should be between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH level should be between 6.0 and 7.5, and the water should be on the soft side.

Bandit Cory fish dwell in huge social groups in the wild and may even be found living together inside an aquarium. To meet their social needs, four or more cory cats should be kept in the aquarium. Overall, this is a very tranquil fish that would fit in well with other small peaceful fish in a serene aquarium.

Bandit Cory fish are omnivores, so their diet should consist of both meaty and plant-based foods. You can feed them freeze-dried bloodworms, brine shrimp, and other meaty foods. You can also give them algae tablets, pellets, and flakes that are designed for bottom-dwelling fish. Feed them twice a day, and only give them as much food as they can eat in 5 minutes.

Quick Facts about Bandit Cory 

  • Family : Callichthyidae
  • Scientific Name : Corydoras metae

  • Common Names : Bandit catfish, bandit cory, masked cory, meta river catfish, rio meta cory

  • Origin : Colombia, South America

  • Adult Size : 2 inches

  • Life Expectancy : 3 - 5 years

  • Care : Easy to Intermediate

  • Social : Peaceful

  • Tank Level : Bottom dweller

  • Minimum Tank Size : 10 gallons and larger

  • Diet : Omnivore, eats most foods

  • Breeding : Egg layer

  • Temperature : 72 to 79 F (22 to 26 C)

  • pH : 6.5 to 7.0

  • Hardness : 5 to 10 dGH

  • Diet / Fish Food : Bottom feeder, they scavenge the food off the bottom of the tank. Supplement their diet with algae wafers and sinking Shrimp Pellets fed at night.

  • Tank Region : Lower-bottom of the tank with the odd time of spawning surfaces being along the glass of the tank.

  • Tank Mates : Anything that will not eat them or harass them too much.

Bandit Cory Appearance

The name "bandit cory" is apt, as it refers to the black band that runs down the length of the body from gill to gill, over the top of the head and both eyes like a mask. Their body is a pale beige with pink undertones. The fins are all colorless, with the exception of the dorsal fin, which is black.

The bottom two-thirds to one-half of the dorsal fin is black, while the rest is colorless. A black line runs down the back ridge from the dorsal fin to the end of the tail. From top to bottom, the stripe then bends downward and parallel with the base of the tail, ending without extending into the tail itself.

The bandit cory, like other cories, has a variety of specialized fin rays. The rays on this fish's back are reinforced, quite strong, and can be locked into a firm position to defend against a predator that might consume it.

The dorsal fin has one spine and seven soft rays, while the anal fin only has one spine and six soft rays. These spines are present in the adipose, dorsal, and pectoral fins.Keep in mind these sharp spines when attempting to net or handle cories, as they can cut both net and skin. The scientific name for bandit corydoras or false bandit catfish is Corydoras melini.

The Bandit cories are one of the armored catfish, which means they lack scales. Instead, they have two rows of overlapping bony plates on their sides. They also have bony plates placed over their heads. Two pairs of soft barbs sprout from the front of the mouth. These are highly sensitive to smell, allowing food to be readily located.

Bandit Cory

What To Look For While Buying A Cory Catfish 

Look for fish that appear healthy, alert, active, and mobile when purchasing Cory Catfish. Check to see that the Cory has both eyes, and look for any injuries to its fins or tail. Make certain that the Cory has complete barbels on each side of its mouth. Barbels look like tiny whiskers.

Corydoras Catfish can also be kept in display tanks with fish that nip at them, causing harm to the sensitive region around their mouth. Buying fish from display tanks with sick, diseased, or dead individuals is a bad idea. This may suggest that the Cory Catfish is unhealthy.

Bandit Cory Size 

It can grow up to 5 cm long and the growth rate is fast. Cory Catfish can reach 6 cm more in ideal situations. The factors that influence the Cory Catfish size are the quality of water, food, and tank mates. The Bandit Cory is a peaceful fish that can be kept in almost any freshwater aquarium.

Bandit Cory Lifespan 

The average lifespan of Bandit Cory is around 3-5 years. However, with proper care and maintenance, they can live even more than that. However, it's not uncommon for some Cory Cats to perish soon after being introduced to a tank. It may be due to poor water quality, lack of food, or aggressive tank mates. Sudden water change can also be a cause of death in Cory Catfish.

Bandit Cory Behavior 

The Bandit Cory is peaceful, active, and social. They are bottom-dwellers and prefer to stay in groups. Cory Cats are known to be very active and playful. They often swim in schools near the bottom of the tank. They are shy fish that hide when they feel threatened.

Bandit Cory Tankmates 

The Cory Catfish is commonly kept with most community tank fish, as long as they are non-aggressive and pleasant in disposition. Otocinclus Catfish, Tetras, Swordtails, and other Corys are all good choices. Cory catfish tank mates can also be filter-feeding shrimp like Bamboo Shrimp, or fan-feeding shrimp like Vampire Shrimp. Amano Shrimp, Red Cherry Shrimp and Ghost Shrimp are also suitable.

Freshwater snails suitable for Bandit Cory include Rabbit Snails, Gold Inca Snails, Ivory Snails, Mystery Snails, Pond Snails, Ramshorn Snails, Malaysian Trumpet Snails, Japanese Trapdoor snails, and Nerite snails. Bandit Cory fish should not be housed with cichlids or aquarium crayfish.

Oscars, Texas Cichlids, and Jack Dempsey fish can harm Cory Catfish, or they may even consume them. So they are not the best tank mates for Bandit Corys.

They are tiny bottom feeders, yet they may appear to be very active, alert, and interesting to watch. Corys, on the other hand, may be fascinating since they feed and interact with a variety of snails and shrimp. It's not unusual for Corys to eat beside their tankmates.

They appear to be able to coexist with their smaller tankmates without frightening them away. Corys can even feed in close quarters with Otocinclus Catfish without scaring the Otto, which is remarkable.

Bandit Cory Care 

The bandit cory searches for food particles in the gravel, just like other cory species. Sharp edges in a substrate can harm the soft barbels, resulting in infection and possibly death. Use sand or small, smooth-edged gravel for Bandit Corys habitat. It should be as dark as possible. Lighting should be dimmed.

Arrange the tank so that there are open spaces for swimming. They enjoy hiding places like driftwood or bogwood, as well as plants. Water temperatures that are too high or low for extended periods of time should not be allowed for this species, so regular care is required.

Corydoras are finicky about water quality; salt, copper, and almost all drugs should be avoided with scale-free fish such as the bandit cory. The use of such products is more likely to do harm than aid in the treatment of disease.

Bandit Cory Diet and Feeding 

The bandit cory is an easy-to-please omnivore that will eat a wide range of foods. The most popular diet is one that includes flakes, pellets, or tablets that sink. The fish should be fed brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms.It can be either freeze dried or frozen. Live foods should always be supplemented whenever feasible.

Remember that the bandit cory is a bottom-dwelling fish, and only eats food that sinks to the bottom or is inserted via tongs and placed. They're also likely to be nocturnal feeders, since that is when they are most active. Before shutting off the light for the day, provide them with a meal.


Bandit Cory Tank Setup 

These bottom dwellers will like plenty of bogwood and some rocks as well as much vegetation and a planted aquarium is a must for these Corydoras. In a 10-gallon tank or larger, they'll flourish. It is always better to house Corydoras in a group as they are schooling fish by nature.

A single Bandit Cory will feel vulnerable and be stressed if not in the company of others, which can lead to illness and a shortened lifespan. When housing more than one, it is best to have at least three of the same species. The bandit cory should not be kept with other cory species.

A good rule of thumb when stocking a tank is one gallon of water per inch of fish. When housing Corydoras, an additional half-gallon per fish should be provided due to their active nature and love of swimming. For example, three bandit corys would do best in a 20-gallon tank that is at least 20 inches long. This will give them plenty of room to swim and explore without feeling cramped.

The ideal water temperature for Bandit Cory is between 72 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit (22 and 26 degrees Celsius). The pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5, and the water should be soft to medium-hard (5 to 10 dGH). Water changes of 20% should be done every other week to keep the tank clean and the water quality high.

When setting up a new tank, it is best to use a gravel vacuum during water changes to remove any uneaten food or waste that has accumulated on the bottom. This will help to keep the tank clean and free of harmful ammonia and nitrites.

It is also a good idea to take care when adding new fish to an established tank. They are sensitive to changes in water quality, and it is best to acclimate them slowly by floating the bag in the tank for 30 minutes before releasing them. This will give them time to adjust to the new water temperature and chemistry.

Bandit Cory Breeding 

Bandit Cory are seasonal breeders that react to changes in the water's chemistry and temperature, which occur during the rainy winter season. Inducing spawning by mimicking these seasonal changes is a wonderful method to get things going. Reduce the temperature, make the water softer, and lower the pH to help them along (do not go below 6.0).

Performing a water change every other day with water that is several degrees cooler than the tank is a good idea. Peat or blackwater treatment will lower the pH and soften the water if it is added to the filter. Make sure the pH of the water is not too low. Regular testing is essential to ensure that the water quality is not too extreme for the fish.

If possible, keep two males for each female for spawning.Use a combination of live and frozen brine shrimp and worms to condition the breeders. The females will become fuller as they fill with eggs, suggesting that they're close to spawning. At this point, the breeders will begin to be extremely active and energetic. Spawning may occur for a number of days after this activity begins.

The fish will continue to swim in the tank, going through periods of intense activity followed by resting periods. Females may become bored and uninterested at times. Males will move about or stay in one spot and shake their bodies. Mocking combat is not uncommon among males. The males will become aroused and spring into action as soon as the female begins to move, pursuing her relentlessly.

When a female is ready to reproduce, she will allow the male to fondle her barrels before assuming the "T" position in front of her head. The female folds her pelvic fins together to form a basket in which she may deposit one or two eggs while in this posture. The male then discharges sperm, which fertilizes the eggs.

The female swims away with the eggs after fertilization, looking for a suitable location to deposit them. The egg will be carefully placed, and males will anxiously await its arrival. They may follow the female as she finishes placing the egg. Until 60 to 80 eggs are produced (not all of them are fertilized), the process will repeat itself. The majority of bandit cories are fertilized at a rate of 50 to 80 percent.

Adults will feed on the eggs, so they must be kept apart after spawning. Many breeders find it more convenient to transport the eggs rather than the adults. If the eggs are put on plants, the entire plant may be relocated. When eggs are adhered to the glass, they may be gently rolled off with your finger.

The rearing tank should be kept at the same temperature and chemistry as the breeding tank. To prevent egg fungus, use a sponge filter and add a few drops of methylene blue to the water. Remove any fungus-infected eggs as soon as possible. Cherry Shrimp are occasionally utilized in rearing tanks since they will consume infected eggs while leaving good ones alone.

Bandit Cory Fry

Bandit Cory Fry 

The eggs of the Bandit Cory will hatch in four to five days. The fry will eat the yolk sacs after two to three days, at which point they should be offered freshly hatched brine shrimp. They may gradually transitioned to larger meals as the fry grow. During this period, regular water changes are required.

When a significant number of baby fish perish in a tank, it's usually because the water wasn't changed and the tank was not kept clean. So, perform water changes as needed and vacuum the gravel to remove uneaten food and fish waste. The fry will grow quickly if they're well-fed, and they can be expected to reach one-half to three-quarters of an inch within six weeks. After that, growth will slow down considerably.

Bandit Cory Diseases 

Bandit cory catfish have the potential to get sick just the same as all other fish. Knowing about diseases ahead of time will make it easier to watch out for symptoms. You can also learn a bit about ways to prevent your fish from getting sick.

Anyone who cares about keeping their fish as healthy as possible should take the potential diseases seriously. It’ll help you to enjoy your cory catfish in your fish tank for as long as you can.

Here are some of the most common diseases that bandit cory catfish may suffer from:


Ich is one of the most common fish diseases, and bandit cory catfish are not immune to it. This disease is caused by a single-celled protozoan that can attach itself to the gills, fins, or body of your fish.

The first symptom you’ll likely notice is your fish scratching themselves against objects in the tank. This is because the ich protozoan causes your fish to feel itchy.

If you look closely, you’ll also see small white spots on the affected areas of your fish. These are the ich parasites. As the disease progresses, your fish will become listless and stop eating. If the disease is left untreated, it will eventually kill your fish.

The good news is that ich is fairly easy to treat. There are a number of Ich medications available that will kill the parasites. It’s important to follow the directions on the package carefully, and to treat all the fish in your tank even if only some of them are showing symptoms. This is because the ich parasites can fall off your fish and into the water, where they will infect other fish.

You should also do a partial water change and vacuum the gravel to remove any parasites that have fallen off your fish.

Fin Rot 

Fin rot is another common fish disease that bandit cory catfish can suffer from. This disease is caused by bacteria, and it usually affects the fins first. The fins will become ragged and may eventually fall off entirely. You may also see redness or bleeding in the affected area.

As the disease progresses, it may spread to the body of the fish. In severe cases, the fish may die.

Fin rot is fairly easy to treat with antibiotics. It’s important to catch the disease early, before it has a chance to spread. You should also do a partial water change and vacuum the gravel to remove any bacteria that have fallen off your fish.

Red Blotch Disease 

Cory catfish are most frequently afflicted with blotch disease. This is a fish disease that causes bloody sores to appear on the skin.

These painful red bumps are most common on the belly. Even though the sores are clean, they might also include dead skin. You may notice that the sores have a similar appearance to blisters. This sort of ailment can take time to spread.

Some fish can show symptoms for weeks or even months before dying. This disease has some characteristics with fin rot. If you detect this sickness early, a fish can be treated. If you discover it late, the fish is likely to die.

The fish are treated with antibiotics to cure the disease. It will also be important to To treat the sick Bandit Cory, fix any water quality concerns in the first place.

Gill Flukes

Gill flukes can also be an issue for cory catfish. These fish appear to be very vulnerable to gill flukes, so you should keep your eyes open for any sign of them. This is another form of parasitic infection. Gill flukes get into the skin and gills of the cory catfish.

When a fish has gill flukes, it might find it difficult to breathe.When the fish is suffering from this problem, it will probably be unable to breathe. Gill flukes can be treated with a variety of medications. Formalin is a popular gill fluke treatment, but some people also use aquarium salt. If you detect a problem promptly, you should be able to remove the gill flukes and nurse your cory catfish back to good health.

Poor water quality is thought to be the source of gill flukes. The aquarium must be kept clean and the water parameters must be checked on a regular basis.

Popeye Disease 

When a fish has this condition, its eyes will appear to be bulging. This is an illness that is induced by bacteria. Because of severe complications with the condition, some fish will even lose their eyesight.

You can usually tell if your fish has popeye because its eyes will be visibly enlarged. The fish might also have cloudy eyes or raised scales around the affected area. As the disease progresses, the fish may stop eating and become lethargic. If the disease is left untreated, it will eventually kill the fish.

Fortunately, treating the illness is simple. All you have to do now is administer antibiotics to the fish in order to cure the sickness. Popeye's illness is treated with standard antibiotics such as penicillin.

Bandit Cory Fry


Are Bandit Cory Schooling Fish? 

The Bandit Cory Catfish is a peaceful schooling fish that gets along well with most nano aquarium animals.

How to differentiate Male and Female Bandit Cory? 

The sex of a Bandit corrie is most evident from above. The female will be considerably rounder and wider than the males. The male is also smaller in size than the female. The males' ventral fins are more pointed than the females.

Can I put Bandit Cory with Other kinds of Cory? 

You can keep Bandit Cory with any other kind of Corydoras as long as the water parameters are suitable. Remember that all Corydoras species require soft, slightly acidic water to thrive. Also make sure that the Other Cory is non aggressive and of a similar size to the Bandit Cory.

How Big Do Bandit Corys Get? 

Bandit Corys can grow up to 3 inches in the wild. In captivity, they usually only grow to be about 2 inches long.

Bandit Cory Vs Panda Cory, Which one is better? 

When it comes to choosing between these two types of cory catfish, it really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a fish that is a little more active, then the bandit cory might be a better choice. If you’re looking for a fish that is a little bit more low-maintenance, then the panda cory might be a better option.

Both of these fish are great choices for beginner aquarists. They are both hardy and relatively easy to care for. If you’re not sure which one to choose, you can always ask your local fish store for advice.

How Many Bandit Corys Do I Need? 

Bandit Corys are schooling fish, so you will need at least 4 of them. It is best to have 6 or more in a school though. This way they will feel more secure in their environment and be less likely to stress out.

How Long Do Bandit Cory Live? 

Bandit Corys have a lifespan of 3-5 years. With proper care, they can live even longer.

What Do Bandit Cory Eat? 

Bandit Corys are omnivorous, so they will eat both plants and animals. In the wild, their diet consists mostly of insects, larvae, and small crustaceans. You should provide them with a varied diet in captivity. They will accept most sinking pellets and tablets, as well as frozen or live foods.

How Often Should I Feed My Bandit Cory? 

You should feed your Bandit Cory 2-3 times a day. They are not very efficient at digesting food, so they need to eat small meals more often. It is best to provide them with as much food as they can eat in 5 minutes.

How Often to Change the Water in My Bandit Cory Tank? 

You should do a partial water change of 20-30% once a week. This will help to keep the water quality high and prevent build up of toxins.

What Do Baby Cory Bandit Eat? 

Baby Cory Bandits are very small and need to eat frequently. They should be fed 3-4 times a day. You can give them baby brine shrimp, daphnia, or bloodworms. As they grow larger, you can start giving them adult foods.

How Long Will It Take for Bandit Cory to Grow? 

Bandit Corys grow relatively quickly. They can reach their full size in 8-12 months. They will develop the quickest when they are just hatched, and they will grow more slowly after the first three months until they reach their full size.

What is the Best Filter for My Bandit Cory Tank? 

The best filter for a Bandit Cory tank is a sponge filter. These filters provide gentle filtration and are ideal for smaller fish like Corydoras.

What is the Best Substrate for My Bandit Cory Tank? 

The best substrate for a Bandit Cory tank is gravel or sand. These substrates are soft and won't damage the fish's delicate barbels.

Final Thoughts: 

Bandit Corys are a great choice for beginner aquarists. They are hardy and relatively easy to care for. With proper care, they can live for 3-5 years. Bandit Corys are schooling fish, so you will need at least 4 of them. It is best to have 6 or more in a school though. They should be fed 2-3 times a day. You should do a partial water change of 20-30% once a week.

Though they are easy to care for, it's important to research everything about them before you bring them home. Make sure you have the proper setup and that you are prepared to provide them with the best possible care.Caring for Bandit Corys can be rewarding and fun. These fish are a great addition to any freshwater aquarium.

Sarah Robertson

I am a passionate blogger who also happens to be a fish keeping enthusiast. Writing about my hobby is something that I absolutely love to do, and it's no secret that my chosen topic is always centered around fish keeping.

Sarah Robertson

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