March 18

Sarah Robertson

Caring for Your Corydoras Gracilis: Tips to Keeping Your Fish Healthy and Happy

Corydoras Gracilis, or "Shy Cory" as they are sometimes called, are a peaceful and social species of fish that make a great addition to any community aquarium. These bottom-dwelling scavengers are known for their playful personalities and curious nature, and they are relatively easy to care for as long as their basic needs are met.

At first sight, this species may resemble a loach rather than a cory catfish. The cautious cory is almost always hidden among the branches and leaves. For this species, a biotope tank is the ideal natural environment. They'll look fantastic on sand covered with leaves and driftwood.

Corydoras Gracilis is a schooling fish, so it's best to keep them in groups. They are relatively timid fish, so they may not do well with aggressive tank mates. A good rule of thumb is to choose tank mates that are similar in size and temperament.

To learn more about keeping your Corydoras Gracilis healthy and happy, read on!!

Quick Facts about Corydoras Gracilis

  • Scientific Name: Corydoras Gracilis
  • Common Name: Shy Cory
  • Family: Callichthyidae
  • Distribution: South America, Middle and lower Amazon River basin.
  • Behavior: Peaceful and gregarious
  • Size: Up to 0.9 in (2.3 cm)
  • Lifespan: 3 Years
  • Diet: Omnivores, Will eat leftover flake/pellet food in most cases. Accepts algae wafers and/or bottom feeder pellets with pleasure.
  • Min Shoal Size: 6 or more
  • Min Tank Size: 15 gallons (56.7 liters) or larger
  • Water: Freshwater
  • Temperature: 70 to 79.8°F (21 to 26.6°C)
  • pH: 6 to 8.0
  • Hardness: 36 – 215 ppm
  • Care: Moderate

Corydoras Gracilis Care

As with all corydoras, Corydoras Gracilis are peaceful fish that do best in groups of 6 or more of their own species. They prefer a planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places and a soft substrate such as sand. They are not fussy eaters but will appreciate a varied diet.

Corydoras Gracilis is best kept in an aquarium with other small, peaceful fish. This species is shy and will often stay hidden amongst plants and décor unless they feel safe and secure in their environment. Being omnivores, they will eat anything from live, frozen, or freeze-dried bloodworms to brine shrimp and daphnia along with algae wafers and most sinking pellets and granules.

To ensure good health, it is recommended to change 25% of the water every 2 weeks and to vacuum the gravel during these water changes. They are susceptible to high nitrate levels and prefer well-oxygenated water. Corydoras Gracilis is also very sensitive to changes in water parameters and will not tolerate any sudden changes. So for their optimal care, make sure to acclimate them slowly and carefully if you need to make any adjustments to their water.

Overall, Corydoras Gracilis is easy to care for as long as their basic needs are met. They are a peaceful and fun addition to any freshwater aquarium!

Corydoras Gracilis Size

Shy corys only grow to about 0.9 inches (2.3 cm) so they are one of the smaller corydoras species. This makes them a perfect choice for nano tanks!

There are several factors influencing their final size though, such as their diet and the water conditions in their aquarium. So if you want your fish to reach their full potential size, make sure to provide them with a well-balanced diet and stable water conditions.

Corydoras Gracilis Lifespan

With proper care, Corydoras Gracilis can live for up to 3 years in captivity. Fish that are susceptible to stress and poor water conditions often have a shorter lifespan. Diseases can also shorten a fish’s life if they are not treated in time.

To ensure your Corydoras Gracilis live a long and happy life, provide them with a clean and stress-free environment as well as a varied diet. Regular water changes and gravel vacuuming will also help to keep them healthy and disease-free.

corydoras gracilis

Corydoras Gracilis Appearance

Corydoras Gracilis has a thin, warm-grey body with a dark band that extends from the mouth to the eye and all the way to the caudal peduncle (root of the tail). There is a paler line above this one that is the same length. The fins are clear with a slight yellow tint and the ventral fins have a dark band in the middle.

Sexual Dimorphism

Looking at fish from the above, the female fish is widest in the middle of the body, whereas the male is widest just behind his pectoral fins. When females are well-fed or ready to breed, they appear plumper even when viewed from the side.

Males are generally smaller than females, with longer pectoral fins. Their pelvic (ventral) fins are more pointed. The pectoral fins of female fish are rounded. When spawning, the fish lay their eggs in a pouch created by the rounded shape of their pelvic (ventral) fins.

Corydoras Gracilis Behavior 

Corydoras Gracilis is a peaceful, social fish that do best in groups of 6 or more. They are active swimmers and prefer to be in the middle or bottom of the tank where they can forage for food.

They are nocturnal by nature and will often rest during the day. At night, they become more active and can be seen swimming around the tank in search of food.

Corydoras Gracilis is known to be one of the more "boisterous" species of Corydoras. They are not shy about begging for food at feeding time and will often swim to the top of the tank to beg for food from their owners.

They are compatible with most other fish species and make good community tank mates. Because they are non-aggressive, little to no damage is caused to plants or other fish by them.

Corydoras Gracilis Tank Mates

Corydoras Gracilis is an excellent bottom dweller for community aquariums. Ideal tank mates would be smaller, peaceful fish.

Some of the best tank mates for Corydoras Gracilis include:

  • Tetras
  • Rasboras
  • Danios
  • Weather Loaches
  • Loricariids (plecos)
  • Other Corydoras species

Avoid housing them with larger, more aggressive fish as they may become intimidated and stressed. This can lead to health problems and a shortened lifespan.

Fish that shouldn't share a tank with Corydoras Gracilis include:

  • Bettas
  • Gouramis
  • Cichlids
  • Barbs
  • Dwarf cichlids

While choosing tank mates, it's important to consider the size of your fish. Corydoras Gracilis are small fish and can easily be outcompeted for food by larger fish. Also, make sure that the fish you're considering are compatible in terms of temperament and water conditions.

Corydoras Gracilis Tank Setup

Corydoras Gracilis is a smaller species of Corydoras, so they don't require a large tank. For setting up a tank for Corydoras Gracilis following factors must be taken into consideration:

Tank Size

A 20-gallon tank is sufficient for a group of 6 Corydoras Gracilis. If you plan on keeping more fish, a larger tank will be necessary.

Water Type

Corydoras Gracilis is a freshwater fish and prefers water with a neutral pH. They can tolerate a wide range of water conditions, but prefer water that is on the cooler side.

Water Temperature

Corydoras Gracilis prefer water temperatures between 70-79.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tank Setup

Corydoras Gracilis is a bottom dwelling fish and prefers a tank with plenty of hiding places. Driftwood, rocks, and plants are all good options for providing hiding places. Be sure to leave plenty of open swimming space as well. Mosses and live plants are appreciated by Corydoras Gracilis and help create a naturalistic environment.


Corydoras Gracilis is a messy fish and produces a lot of waste. A good filter is necessary to keep the water clean and prevent ammonia and nitrites from building up. A sponge filter or canister filter is recommended for Corydoras Gracilis tanks.


Corydoras Gracilis is a nocturnal fish and prefers dim lighting. A low wattage fluorescent bulb is sufficient for lighting a Corydoras Gracilis tank.


Once you set up the tank and it is cycled, you are ready to add your Corydoras Gracilis. When adding fish to the tank, it's best to do so a few at a time so that they can acclimate to their new environment.

corydoras gracilis

Corydoras Gracilis Breeding 

Just like other Corydoras, Corydoras Gracilis are egg scatterers. The female keeps 2-4 eggs in her pelvic fins, where the male fertilizes them for about 30 seconds. The female then swims to a suitable spot where she attaches the very sticky eggs. The pair repeats this process of fertilization and attachment until they have done so for approximately 100 eggs. Corydoras Gracilis have been known to lay up to 300 eggs at a time.

For Corydoras Gracilis breeding following things must be kept in consideration:

  • A male to female ratio of 1:2 is ideal for breeding Corydoras Gracilis.
  • A tank of at least 20 gallons is recommended for breeding Corydoras Gracilis.
  • The addition of live plants to the tank will give the fry a place to hide and feel secure.
  • Fine grained sand or smooth gravel can be used as a substrate in a breeding tank.
  • Corydoras Gracilis is best bred in a group of 6 or more. This will help to ensure that the fry has a better chance of Survival.
  • To replicate the rainy season and stimulate breeding, a water change of 25-50% should be done with cooler water.
  • Feed them live foods such as brine shrimp or daphnia to help condition them for breeding.

Corydoras Gracilis Fry

Once the eggs have been laid, they will hatch in 3-5 days. The fry is very small and needs to be fed micro food such as baby brine shrimp or infusoria. As they grow, they can be fed larger food such as daphnia or bloodworms. It is important to crush the food into a powder before feeding it to the fry so that they can digest it properly. It is best to remove the parents from the tank once the fry is born as they may eat their own young.

Corydoras Gracilis Diseases

Corydoras Gracilis is a peaceful and hardy species of fish, but like all fish, they are susceptible to diseases. Some common symptoms of diseases in Corydoras Gracilis are listed below:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Hanging at the surface of the water
  • Flashing (rubbing against objects in the tank)
  • White spots on the skin
  • Red or bloody patches on the skin
  • Swelling
  • Breathing difficulties

The most common diseases that affect this species include:

White Spot Disease

This is a parasitic infection that causes small white spots to appear on the fish's body. It is highly contagious and can be treated with medication from a pet store.

Fin Rot

This is a bacterial infection that causes the fins to rot and fall off. It can be treated with antibiotics from a pet store.


This is a parasitic infection that causes the fish to develop small white spots on their body. Symptoms of Ich include lethargy, loss of appetite, and scratching against objects in the tank.


This is a bacterial infection that causes the skin to turn white or gray and eventually slough off. Symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite, and open sores on the body.


This is a parasitic infection that causes the fish to develop a velvety coating on their body.

To prevent your Corydoras Gracilis from getting sick, it is important to maintain a clean and healthy tank. Regular water changes and vacuuming of the gravel will help to remove Built-up toxins and waste from the tank. It is also important to feed them a balanced diet and to avoid overfeeding. If you think your fish may be sick, please consult a veterinarian who specializes in fish health. They will be able to diagnose and treat your fish properly.

corydoras gracilis


How Big Does a Corydoras Gracilis Get?

The average size of a Corydoras Gracilis is 2-3 inches.

How Long Do Corydoras Gracilis Live?

Corydoras Gracilis have a lifespan of 3 years. Due to their short lifespan, it is important to provide them with the best possible care to ensure that they live long and healthy life.

What do Corydoras Gracilis Eat?

Corydoras Gracilis are Omnivores and will eat a variety of foods such as pellets, flakes, live foods, freeze-dried foods, and vegetables.

It is important to feed them a variety of foods to ensure that they are getting all the nutrients they need.

How often should I feed my Corydoras Gracilis?

Corydoras Gracilis should be fed 2-3 times a day. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and health problems, so it is important to only feed them as much as they can eat in 2-3 minutes.

What is the Natural Habitat of Corydoras Gracilis?

Corydoras Gracilis come from South America and are found in slow-moving rivers and streams. The Amazon river basin in Brazil is one of the most popular locations where you can find this species of fish.

The Amazon river basin is a rainforest and the water is murky and contains a lot of debris. Corydoras Gracilis is used to these conditions, so it is important to recreate these conditions in their tank.

Can Corydoras Gracilis Live Together?

Corydoras Gracilis is a peaceful and social species of fish that do well in groups. They should be kept in tanks with at least 3-5 other fish of the same species. 6 is the ideal number.

When kept in groups, Corydoras Gracilis will form bonds with their tank mates and will often school together. This behavior is natural and should be encouraged. When housing Corydoras Gracilis together, it is important to provide them with plenty of hiding places such as caves and plants. This will help to reduce stress and provide them with a sense of security.

Do Corydoras Gracilis Need a Filter?

Corydoras Gracilis do not need a filter, but it is beneficial to have one in their tank. Filters help to keep the water clean and free of toxins and waste. Filters should be cleaned on a regular basis to maintain their efficiency.

Can I Keep Corydoras Gracilis With Other Fish? 

Corydoras Gracilis is a peaceful species of fish that can be kept with other peaceful fish. It is important to avoid keeping them with aggressive or nippy fish as they can be easily bullied.

Some good tank mates for Corydoras Gracilis include Tetras, Guppies, Mollies, Platies, and Swordtails.

Do Corydoras Gracilis Eat Snails?

Corydoras Gracilis is not known to eat snails. However, if they are kept with other fish that do eat snails, there is a chance that the Corydoras Gracilis will also eat them.

It is important to research the fish you want to keep with your Corydoras Gracilis to make sure they are compatible.

Do Corydoras Gracilis Eat Algae?

The Corydoras Gracilis fish does not consume the algae growth present in aquariums on walls, substrates, or decorations. However, they may be fed with sinking algae wafers at a rate of 1/6th of a wafer per Cory Catfish per day, as part of their diet.

Final Thoughts 

Corydoras Gracilis is relatively easy to care for, but it is important to provide them with a well-rounded diet and plenty of hiding places. Corydoras Gracilis is a peaceful species of fish that do well in groups. Caring for your Corydoras Gracilis properly is important to ensure that they live long and healthy life.

They are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and health problems. Corydoras Gracilis is a peaceful and social species of fish that do well in groups. They do well with other peaceful fish but should be avoided with aggressive species.

Corydoras Gracilis is a bottom dwelling fish that prefers a sandy substrate. Sharp objects should be avoided as they can damage their barbels. Corydoras Gracilis is a hardy species of fish but are sensitive to changes in water parameters. It is important to acclimate them slowly to any new tank conditions.

With proper care, Corydoras Gracilis can live for 3 years. They are a great addition to any community tank and make a wonderful pet for both beginners and experienced fish keepers alike. Thanks for reading and good luck with your new Corydoras Gracilis!

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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