February 14

Sarah Robertson

Care Guide for Black Venezuelan Corydoras

The Black Venezuela Cory Catfish (Corydoras venezuelanus) is a peaceful, bottom-dwelling fish that originates from the slow-moving rivers and streams of Venezuela. It is a member of the Callichthyidae family. These Cory Catfish are gentle fish that loves to swim in groups. They are adaptable and can cohabit with most other Nano aquarium fish, such as dwarf cichlids and angelfish. Although it might go after smaller dwarf shrimp, it's safe with larger shrimp and most other docile ornamental invertebrates. The classic scavenger fish will feed at the bottom of your aquarium, which should be made of sand or smooth gravel. To protect its delicate barbels and underside, it should be kept in an aquarium with sand or very smooth gravel substrate.

Black Venezuelan Corydoras are moderate in its requirements, as it will consume most dry, frozen, and live foods. The fish is adaptable to most tropical freshwater conditions, as long as the standard maintenance requirements are met and sudden changes in the environment are avoided. Although it is a scavenger, care must be taken to ensure that it gets a varied diet of high-quality food and is not fed only leftover food that other fish refuse.

To know more about this fish and how to take care of it, please read on.

Quick Facts about Black Venezuelan Corydoras

  • Scientific Name: Corydoras schultzei Black Venezuela
  • Other Names: Black Venezuela Cory Catfish, Black Cory, Black Schultzei
  • Origin: Tank-Bred, but indigenous to Peru, South America
  • Diet: omnivore
  • Breed Type: Egg Layer
  • Current Size: approximately 3cm (Grows to approximately 6.5cm)
  • Average adult size: 2.4 inches (6.1 cm)
  • Average purchase size: 1+ inch (2.5+ cm)
  • Lifespan: 5 - 8 years
  • Diet: Omnivore, High-quality dry foods as well as live and frozen meaty foods. Variety is essential.
  • Temperature: 72° - 82° F (22° - 28° C)
  • pH: 6.0 - 7.5. Softer water is preferred, but this fish is somewhat flexible as long as sudden changes are avoided.
  • KH: 2 - 15 dKH
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Aquarium Level: Bottom
  • Best kept as Groups 5+
  • Minimum tank size: 15 gallons for a school of 6
  • Shoaling: Yes
  • Reproduction: Egg-Layer
  • Social behavior: Peaceful; requires a school of 6 or more to thrive.

Black Venezuelan Corydoras Care

The Black Cory is a colorful variety of Corydoras schultzei that has been bred in captivity. This species is often thought to be the same as C. aeneus. This black fish was first created by a German aquarist in the early 1990s. It was then sent to breeders in the Czech Republic, where it has been continuously bred commercially since. Many suppliers, on the other hand, market the fish as "Corydoras venezuelanus sp. black," which is a bit confusing. This black-strain C. schultzei was bred in captivity and does not originate from Venezuela. It is also not a variant of C. venezuelanus (which is another "aeneus type"). A misunderstanding is likely to have arisen due to the existence of a black wild form of C. venezuelanus - but this fish is not the same species. In any case, the wild black form of C. venezuelanus has not been widely exported to the aquarium industry.

If you aren't sure, young black C. schultzei fish have reddish fins which darken as they age into adults. The black form of C. venezuelanus usually has a reddish adipose and dorsal fin, but the anal, pelvic, and caudal fins are typically grey. The serene nature of this species makes it perfect for an aquarium housing more mature fish, and due to their social requirements, they should be kept in groups of 5 or more. Unfortunately, barbel infections/erosion can be a problem with it, so it's critical that the fish are kept on a soft sand substrate (rather than gravel, where waste may accumulate unseen) in order to protect their delicate sensory organs.

To keep these fish healthy, it is important to carry out regular maintenance, which should include partial water changes every so often. Provide lots of shaded areas between driftwood, rocks, and thick plantings. Other peaceful fish that may be kept with Corydoras include some of the smaller Pencilfish, tetra, and Rasboras. Their presence as "dither fish" in midwater will encourage the Corydoras to emerge from hiding more often.

Black Venezuelan Corydoras Size

These sociable little Corydoras only grow to a maximum length of around 2.4 inches (6.1 cm), so they are ideal for smaller aquariums or even nano set-ups. It is, however, important to remember that like all members of the genus, these fish do best when maintained in groups of 5 or more.

Black Venezuelan Corydoras Lifespan

The maximum lifespan of the black Venezuelan corydoras is around 8-10 years, although this is only achievable in prime conditions with excellent water quality.

Black Venezuelan Corydoras1

Black Venezuelan Corydoras Appearance 

The Black Venezuela Cory Catfish (Corydoras schultzei) is an uncommon color morph of the Gold Flash Cory Catfish. The body is generally jet black, although the fins are dark brown. It is not from Venezuela and is instead indigenous to Peru, despite its name "Venezuela."

This dark variant was developed and line-bred by German aquarists in the 1990s, and it has since spread to aquariums across the world, although it is not commercially bred at the rate of other popular Corydoras species.

Sexual Dimorphism

It can be tricky to tell male and female Black Venezuela Cory Catfish apart. Mature females usually grow larger than males and appear more round when viewed from above, especially when they are carrying eggs.

Black Venezuelan Corydoras Behavior

Black Venezuelan Corydoras have a unique ability to breathe air through their intestines. Because of this, it's important to leave a small space between the surface of the water and any cover slides. This way, the fish can come up for air as many times per day as they need.

Black Venezuelan Corydoras Food & Diet 

Most excellent quality dried foods such as granules, flakes, and sinking pellets will be readily accepted in the home aquarium by the Black Venezuela Corydoras. These fish food products have been developed to provide your fish with all the nutrition they need to stay healthy and happy.

Live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and Tubifex twice a week will positively affect your fish's health, but it is not necessary. Bloodworms should only be given to fish as an occasional treat, rather than the main meal. This is because they are hard for fish to digest and can cause intestinal blockages.

A high-quality protein-based tablet or granule, complemented with frozen food enhanced with garlic and vitamins, is recommended as a core diet. This will guarantee excellent health and vibrant hues.

In the wild, this fish is an omnivore, eating both plant and animal material. Blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini make good supplements to your fish's diet. However, don't overfeed them, and remove any leftover food the next day.

Black Venezuelan Corydoras Tank Mates 

The Black Venezuela Corydoras is a calm schooling fish that gets along with just about any nano aquarium animal, including dwarf cichlids and angelfish. It can eat some smaller dwarf shrimp but is not dangerous to larger shrimp or most other peaceful ornamental invertebrates.

Although it's not an aggressive fish, the Black Venezuela Corydoras will compete for food with other bottom-feeders, so make sure to provide enough food for everyone.

These Corydoras should be kept in a group of at least six fish. They are known to school in the wild, so they will feel more comfortable and secure in numbers. A single fish is likely to become withdrawn and stressed.

Some good tank mates for Black Venezuela Corydoras include:

  • Swordtails
  • Tetras
  • Dwarf cichlids
  • Guppies
  • Angelfish
  • Mollies
  • Platies
  • Barbs
  • Danios
  • Rasboras

When choosing tank mates for your Black Venezuela Corydoras, make sure they are peaceful fish that won't bully or harass them. Also, avoid keeping them with larger fish that might see them as food.

Once you've chosen your fish, it's time to set up the perfect environment for them. Choosing tankmates that have similar water parameter requirements will make it easier to maintain optimal water conditions for everyone.

Black Venezuelan Corydoras Tank Setup 

For setting up a black Venezuelan Corydoras tank, you'll need a few things:

Aquarium size: This catfish thrives in a tank with dimmed lights and several hiding places (plants, driftwood, rocks, and manmade caverns). A small tank of 24x12x12" (60x30x30cm.) is more than enough for a group of 5-6 fish.

Substrate: The best substrates for Corydoras are sand or smoothened gravel since sharp, jagged gravel can damage the barbels. Once damaged, barbels do not regrow. Consequently, injured Corys often die from starvation.

Water Parameters: Black Venezuelan Corydoras are tropical fish that prefer warm water. The ideal temperature for them is between 72° - 82° F (22° - 28° C). They also prefer slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH of 6.0 - 7.5. Water hardness should be between 2-15 dGH.

Filtration: Because they are bottom-dwelling scavengers, Black Venezuelan Corydoras generate a fair amount of waste. A good filtration system is essential to keeping the water quality high and the fish healthy. An air-powered sponge filter or canister filter works well for this species. If you use a strong filter or powerhead, create hiding spots in your aquarium where the water flow is weaker.

Lighting: Corydoras are a nocturnal species, so they do not require strong lighting. A simple fluorescent tube light will suffice.

Plants and Decorations: Black Venezuelan Corydoras are shy fish that like to hide. Be sure to include plenty of plants and hiding places in your aquarium. Driftwood, rocks, and manmade caves all make good hiding spots. Live plants are not necessary, but they do help to create a more natural environment and provide shelter for the fish.

Black Venezuelan Corydoras Breeding

If you want to breed this species at home, perform a large water change with cooler water to trigger spawning in mature pairs. The male and female will mate by adopting the classic ‘T position,’ in which the male fertilizes eggs held between the female’s pelvic fins. The eggs will then be deposited on plants, decor, or the aquarium's sides and the process continues. Some fish keepers add a small amount of methylene blue to the breeding tank because the eggs of this species are prone to fungus. It usually takes 3-4 days for the eggs to hatch. Once they've hatched, offer the fry tiny amounts of powdered first foods. They will be able to eat freshly hatched brine shrimp a few days later.

Black Fowleri Corydoras

Black Venezuelan Corydoras Fry

The fry of this species is very small and delicate, so they need to be kept in a separate fry tank. The fry tank should have plenty of plants and décor for the fry to hide in, and the water should be well-filtered and clean. To prevent the fry from getting sucked into the filter, you can use a sponge filter. Feed the fry small amounts of live foods several times a day. As they grow, you can start to offer them frozen or freeze-dried foods. Once they reach 1” in size, you can start to slowly introduce them into the main tank.

Black Venezuelan Corydoras Diseases 

Like all aquarium fish, Black Venezuelan Corydoras are susceptible to disease. The most common diseases that affect this species are parasites, bacterial infections, and fungal infections.

Preventing disease is much easier than treating it, so it's important to take steps to minimize the risk of disease in your aquarium. Some simple things you can do to prevent disease include:

  • Quarantine new fish before adding them to your tank.
  • Keep your aquarium clean and well-maintained.
  • Avoid overfeeding your fish.
  • Do not overcrowd your tank.

If you suspect that your fish are sick, observe them carefully and look for signs of disease. Some common signs of disease in fish include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Flashing or scratching
  • Clamped fins
  • White patches on the skin or fins
  • Bulging eyes
  • Lethargy

If you notice any of these signs, isolate the sick fish in a hospital tank and contact a veterinarian who specializes in fish health.

Some of the most common diseases that affect Black Venezuelan Corydoras are discussed below:


Ich is a common parasitic disease that affects many species of fish. This parasite infects the fish's skin and gills, causing irritation and heavy breathing. The parasites reproduce rapidly, and soon the fish is covered in white spots. In severe cases, ich can be fatal.

Treatment: There are a number of effective treatments for ich, including heat treatment, salt bath treatment, and medication.

Fin Rot

Fin rot is a common bacterial infection that affects the fins of many species of fish. The bacteria that cause fin rot are usually present in every aquarium, but they only become a problem when the fish are stressed or have other health problems. Fin rot starts as a small white lesion on the fins and quickly spreads. If left untreated, fin rot can lead to death.

Treatment: Fin rot can be treated with a number of different antibiotics, including sulfa drugs, tetracyclines, and erythromycins.

Red Blotch Disease

Red blotch disease is a viral infection that affects many species of fish. This virus is highly contagious and can spread quickly through a tank. Red blotch disease causes red or purple lesions on the fish's body, fins, and gills. In severe cases, the fish may stop eating and become lethargic.

Treatment: There is no known cure for red blotch disease, and infected fish should be euthanized.

Gill Flukes

Gill flukes are parasitic flatworms that attach to the gills of fish and cause irritation and heavy breathing. Gill flukes are difficult to detect, but they can be seen with a microscope. In severe cases, gill flukes can lead to death.

Treatment: There are a number of effective treatments for gill flukes, including heat treatment, salt bath treatment, and medication.

Popeye Disease

Popeye disease is a bacterial infection that affects the eyes of fish. This bacteria enters the fish's body through open wounds and quickly spreads to the eyes. Popeye disease causes the eyes to bulge and become cloudy. In severe cases, the fish may go blind.

Treatment: Popeye disease can be treated with a number of different antibiotics, including sulfa drugs, tetracyclines, and erythromycins.

Issues with Nitrates

Nitrates are a common problem in aquariums. Nitrates are produced by the fish and other organisms in the tank, and they can build up to dangerous levels if the tank is not properly cleaned. High nitrate levels can cause a number of health problems in fish, including respiratory problems, skin lesions, and death.

Treatment: The best way to treat nitrate poisoning is to do a water change and add fresh, clean water to the tank. You may also need to add an aquarium filter to help remove the nitrates from the water.

If you have any concerns about the health of your fish, please contact a veterinarian who specializes in fish health.

Black Venezuelan Corydoras


How Big Will a Black Venezuelan Corydoras Get? 

Black Venezuelan Corydoras typically grow to be about 2.4 inches (6.1 cm) inches long. Their size can vary depending on the quality of their care.

How Long Do Black Venezuelan Corydoras Live?

In captivity, Black Venezuelan Corydoras typically live for 5 to 8 years. Their lifespan can be affected by a number of factors, including the quality of their care.

Do Black Venezuelan Corydoras Need a

How Often Should I Feed My Black Venezuelan Corydoras? 

You should feed your Black Venezuelan Corydoras twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Since they are bottom-dwellers, you should drop the food near the bottom of the tank. Being nocturnal fish, Corydoras are most active at night, so feeding them just before you turn the lights off for the night is a good idea.

What Do Black Venezuelan Corydoras Eat?

Black Venezuelan Corydoras are omnivorous, meaning that they will eat both plants and animals. In the wild, their diet consists mostly of insects, worms, and other small invertebrates. In captivity, you can feed them a variety of foods, including pellets, flakes, live food, and frozen food.

How Many Black Venezuelan Corydoras Should Be Kept Together? 

You should keep at least 5-6 Black Venezuelan Corydoras together. They are social fish and do best when they are kept in groups. Keeping them in groups also helps to reduce their stress levels.

Can a Black Venezuelan Corydoras Live With a Rainbow Shark?

No, a Black Venezuelan Corydoras should not be kept with a Rainbow Shark. Rainbow Sharks are aggressive fish that may attack and eat small fish like the Corydoras. So, it is best to keep them separate.

Can a Black Venezuelan Corydoras Live With a Betta Fish? 

No, a Black Venezuelan Corydoras should not be kept with a Betta fish. Betta fish are aggressive and may attack and eat small fish like the Corydoras. So, it is best to keep them separate.

Do Black Venezuelan Corydoras Need a Filter? 

Yes, Black Venezuelan Corydoras need a filter. A filter will help to keep the water clean and free of toxins. It is important to choose a filter that is the right size for your tank.

Are Black Venezuelan Corydoras Poisonous?

No, Black Venezuelan Corydoras are not poisonous. They are safe to keep with other fish and animals.

My Black Venezuelan Corydoras Has Stopped Eating. What Should I Do?

If your Black Venezuelan Corydoras has stopped eating, there are a few things you can do. First, make sure that you are feeding them the right food. If you are unsure, you can ask a veterinarian or a fish specialist for advice. Second, check the water quality in your tank. Ammonia and nitrite levels that are too high can cause fish to stop eating. Third, make sure that the tank is the right size for your fish. A too-small tank can cause stress and lead to a loss of appetite. Finally, check for signs of illness, such as cloudy eyes, flukes, or skin lesions. If you think your fish may be ill, please contact a veterinarian who specializes in fish health.

Why Are My Black Venezuelan Corydoras Dying?

There are a number of reasons why fish may die. First, check the water quality in your tank. Ammonia and nitrite levels that are too high can be deadly to fish. Acclimating your fish slowly to a new tank can help to avoid sudden changes in water quality that can be fatal. Second, make sure that you are feeding them the right food. If you are unsure, you can ask a veterinarian or a fish specialist for advice. Third, check for signs of illness, such as cloudy eyes, flukes, or skin lesions. If you think your fish may be ill, please contact a veterinarian who specializes in fish health. Finally, make sure that the tank is the right size for your fish. A too-small tank can cause stress and lead to death. Keeping aggressive fish together can also cause fish to die, so be sure to check compatibility before adding new fish to your tank.

Final Thoughts

Black Venezuelan Corydoras are beautiful, social fish that make a great addition to any community tank. They are easy to care for and can live for 5-8 years with proper care. Be sure to keep them in groups of 5 or more and provide them with a filter, clean water, and the right food. Since they are omnivores, they will eat a variety of foods, including pellets, flakes, live food, and frozen food. Providing vegetable matter, such as blanched spinach or zucchini, will help to ensure that they get the nutrients they need.

They are peaceful fish and get along well with other community fish. However, they should not be kept with aggressive fish, like Rainbow Sharks or Betta fish, as these fish may attack and eat the small Corydoras. For healthy living, Black Venezuelan Corydoras need the right environment and care. Maintaining ideal temperature and water quality levels is essential for their survival. Be sure to do regular water changes and, if you notice any signs of illness, contact a veterinarian who specializes in fish health as soon as possible. With the proper care, they will thrive in your tank for years to come! Good luck!

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

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Subscribe to our newsletter