July 14

Sarah Robertson

Pygmy Corydoras -the Perfect Community Bottom Dweller

The Pygmy Corydoras (Corydoras pygmaeus) is a freshwater fish that belongs to the Corydoradinae sub-family of the family Callichthyidae. It is also popularly known as the Pygmy Cory, Dwarf Cory, or Mosquito Fish. The pygmy corydoras is a small sized fish that can reach a maximum length of about 2.5 cm (1 in).

The body of the Pygmy Corydoras is torpedo shaped and slightly compressed laterally. It has a pair of barbels on the snout, which it uses to locate food in the substrate. The eyes are large and are located on the sides of the head. The mouth is small and downturned, and equipped with tiny teeth. The Pygmy Corydoras is found in a wide range of colors and patterns, but the most common coloration is brown or green with black stripes running along the body. Some specimens may also have yellow or white spots on their body.

The Pygmy Corydoras is a peaceful fish that can be kept in a community tank with other peaceful fishes. It is an omnivorous fish that feeds on small insects, larvae, and other tiny organisms in the wild. In the aquarium, it can be fed with live foods such as brine shrimp, or frozen foods such as blood worms. The Pygmy Corydoras is an easy fish to care for and can be a great addition to any freshwater aquarium. It is a hardy fish that may endure a wide range of water conditions. They are perfect for tiny aquariums. This species has endeared many people and has made it extremely popular.

Quick Facts About Pygmy Corydoras:

  • Common Name : Pygmy Corydoras
  • Scientific Name : Corydoras pygmaeus
  • Family : Callichthyidae
  • Origin : Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador
  • Tank Distribution : Bottom and Mid-water
  • Adult Size : 0.75 – 1.0 inches (1.9cm to 2.5cm)
  • Life Expectancy : 3-4 years
  • Care Level : Beginner
  • Minimum Tank Size : 10 Gallons
  • Breeding Method : Egg layer
  • Temperature : 72°F – 79°F
  • PH : 6.0 – 8.0
  • Hardness : 2-25dH

Pygmy Corydoras Natural Habitat 

Pygmy Corydoras are common in tributaries of larger rivers. They have been reported from the Madeira Basin in Brazil and the Aguarico River in Ecuador, as well as the Nanay River in Peru. They like to hide under fallen trees or branches. The river bed will almost certainly be deepened with fallen leaves. Pygmy Corydoras are most often seen in the shallower water near to the river's banks.

Pygmy Corydoras can be found in a wide range of water temperatures, as well as pH levels and water flows, according to studies. They can be found in both faster-flowing and slower-moving sections of the rivers.

Pygmy Corydoras Appearance

The Pygmy Cory is a member of the Corydoras family. These fish were formerly included with other tiny species from the Genus without debate. It's still not unusual to find Pygmy Corydoras in fish stores with the wrong label today!

The distinguishing features of these fish may help you tell them apart. They have a distinctive teardrop-shaped body with a big head, as do the other members of the species. They use their barbels to find food at the bottom of their habitat, which is why they have an under-turned mouth with barbs.

Pygmy Cory Catfish have a distinct black stripe that runs from the snout to their caudal fin and extends all the way back. These fish have a metallic silvery sheen on top of the stripe. You should also be able to make out some faint vertical black lines. The belly of the fish is white below the stripe.

In terms of looks, males and females are nearly identical. The primary distinction is in size. Females are generally larger. They also have a more bulbous form that is more apparent when viewed from above.

pygmy corydoras

Pygmy Corydoras Size 

Pygmy Cory Catfish are tiny, to the point where their name is apt. The typical size of a Pygmy Cory Catfish is about one inch in length.

They can reach sizes of about 1.3 inches on the large end of the scale. But, they are somewhat unusual (requiring both good fortune and excellent attention).

Pygmy Corydoras Lifespan 

The Pygmy Cory has a short lifespan. They typically live for around three to four years.

There are, of course, no guarantees regarding lifespan. There's a lot of luck involved. However, the quality of care you give plays a role as well.

Pygmy Corydoras Behavior

They are a tiny, peaceful fish. They prefer to keep to themselves and may be easily incorporated into a community tank setup. They spend the most of their time in the lower levels, but they will swim in higher up the tank shoals. When filling the tank, keep this in mind to prevent clogging the mid-levels.

You could find them at the surface. They may obtain oxygen from the air via their intestine. They only use this option when the water quality is poor.

Pygmy Corydoras Diet

The omnivorous nature of this species implies they will eat both meat and plant food. This is an excellent quality because you have a lot more alternatives when it comes to creating their diet. The Cory Catfish is mostly a scavenger. frozen, live, or freeze-dried foods are all good choices for this species. Best food for Pygmy Corydoras are those with high protein and low fat content.

To encourage their natural scavenging behavior, place the food at the bottom of the tank for them to find. Sinking pellets and wafers are also available and may be a good option because they quickly sink straight to your Pygmies.. The most basic selections are dried meals, which may be bought for a low price at any pet shop.

However, dried foods are not particularly nutritious, so they should be complemented. Bloodworms, insect larvae, or brine shrimp might be used as a supplement to their daily diet. You may also modify the diet by adding green vegetables from your kitchen, or creating some homemade fish foods. This is an extremely cost-effective method to add variety to the menu.

Pygmy corys are not algae eaters. This is a popular misconception, but they require more than just plant-based meals. Make sure they're all getting fed by watching them at feeding time. Another species may steal all of the food before it has had a chance to settle at the bottom of the tank. Feed them once or twice a day. They just need to eat for around 2 minutes, although they will continue to search for food afterward that might have been skipped.


Pygmy Corydoras Tank Mates

There are several potential tankmates for the Pygmy Corydoras. If you want to keep the pygmy corydoras safe, choose tank mates that are non-aggressive and don't have mouths big enough to swallow the tiny fish.

Pygmy Cory is a docile fish that will not start fights. If other tank mates are also peaceful, there should be no compatibility issues. The mouths of tank mates should be smaller than an inch. Otherwise, they might see your Cory as a meal and there is a chance they could be eaten.

As long as the fish you select are not too big and have a similar temperament, your Pygmy Corydoras should do just fine.

Some examples of good tank mates include:

  • Neon Tetras
  • Guppies
  • Zebra Danios
  • Cherry Barbs
  • Marbled Hatchetfish
  • Dwarf Gourami
  • Mollies
  • Above mentioned fish are all mid-to-upper level swimmers. So, they will not compete with your Pygmy Corydoras for food at the bottom of the tank.

    For the lower regions, you may keep Otocinclus, Kuhli Loaches, or Chinese Algae Eaters as companions.

    Invertebrates, such as snails and shrimp, might be used to add diversity to freshwater tanks. Cherry Shrimp or Mystery Snails are common, but there are many other species available.

    Bad tank mates include:

    • Bettas
    • Cichlids

    These fish are too aggressive or may eat your Pygmy Corydoras. So, it's best to avoid them.

    Keeping the Pygmy Corys Together

    This fish likes to be in the company of its own kind. They often shoal, which is unusual for a bottom-dweller and may even swim in groups in the tank's mid-levels.

    Keep them in groups of four or more, but eight is preferable. The bigger the group, the more stunning the spectacle.

    Pygmy Corydoras Care 

    The Corydoras Catfish is an easy fish to care for, which is one of the reasons they are so popular. They are very adaptable and can survive in a wide range of water conditions.

    As long as you provide them with the proper environment and diet, they will thrive in captivity. One important thing to remember is that Corydoras are sensitive to water quality. Ammonia and nitrite levels should be kept as close to zero as possible, and nitrate should be below 20ppm. To maintain water quality, do a partial water change of around 25% once a week.

    Another important aspect of Pygmy Cory care is the substrate. This fish likes to dig and will sift through the substrate in search of food. A smooth, sandy substrate is best because it's gentle on their barbels. They may also uproot live plants, so artificial plants are a better option.

    When it comes to tank size, a 10-gallon aquarium is sufficient for a small group of Pygmy Corydoras. If you want to keep a larger group, you will need a 20-gallon tank. Pygmy Corydoras are not fussy eaters and will accept most foods. They are omnivorous and their diet should consist of both plant and animal material. To keep them healthy, it's best to feed them a variety of foods. A good diet for Pygmy Corys includes:

    • Live food, such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia
    • Freeze-dried food, such as tubifex worms
    • Canned food, such as shrimp pellets
    • Vegetables, such as zucchini, cucumber, and lettuce

    Pygmy Corydoras should be fed two or three times a day. Give them as much food as they can eat in around 2 minutes, although they will continue to search for food afterward that might have been skipped.

    pygmy corydoras

    Pygmy Corydoras Tank Setup 

    Pygmy Corydoras, like other fish, thrive in a natural-looking aquarium that mirrors their natural habitat. Freshwater fish adore brightly decorated tanks that have plenty of hiding places and points of interest.

    Begin by laying a secure foundation for these fish. The bottom of the water column is where Pygmy Corydoras spends the most time hunting for food. To preserve their little barbels, avoid gravel or rocks. Instead, use fine sand or other smooth substrate.

    Sand is the greatest choice because it is softer, preventing your fish from scraping their barbels when looking for food. Barbels are delicate, and if they are damaged, the fish may struggle to find food.

    Bottom-dwelling fish, such as this one, enjoy having many hiding places. These may be created using a combination of plants and decorations. Natural beauty is enhanced with rocks and bogwood. Dwarf Hairgrass would be a wonderful pool to swim in for Pygmy Cory, but Amazon Swords and Java Fern can also be used. Tall background plants, floating plants, and tiny foreground plants are all fine as long as it is soft and safe enough for your fish to swim in.

    Set the temperature to 72-79°F, and make sure the pH level does not go beyond 6-8. The only other pieces of equipment you'll need are a high-quality filter and aquarium lights. If the tank is properly constructed, your fish will remain healthy and active, and you'll have a lot more fun watching them.

    Pygmy Corydoras Breeding

    It is simple to get this species to breed. Because they mate frequently, breeding Pygmy Corydoras is simple, but the most difficult aspect is raising the fry. If you thought the adults were tiny, wait until you see their children! If your Pygmy Cory is fed a nutritious diet and water conditions are kept healthy, spawning should take place naturally. A female may lay up to 100 eggs at a time during mating. The pelvic fin is where she keeps a few eggs until the male fertilizes them. The fertilized eggs are kept on a safe surface until they hatch. Keep an eye on them and remove any that get fungus, since it may spread and harm the other eggs.

    The eggs should be kept away from the parents since they may eat them. You can either remove the parents to another tank or set up a breeding trap. A breeding trap is simply a clear plastic container with small slits cut into it so water and air can circulate. When the female drops her eggs, she can be placed in the breeding trap.

    Pygmy Corydoras Fry 

    The fry will hatch in about 3-5 days and should be free swimming after 7-10 days. For the first few weeks, they should be fed very small live foods such as infusoria and micro worms because their mouths are so tiny. You may feed your fry with crushed flakes as well until it is old enough to eat an adult diet. After a few weeks, you can start feeding them baby brine shrimp or other similar sized foods. It is difficult to get the fry to grow quickly, so be patient and don’t expect them to reach adulthood overnight.

    Pygmy Corydoras Diseases

    Pygmy Corys are susceptible to the same health issues that other freshwater fish face. They can get the same illnesses and infections as other species do. However, the Pygmy Cory Catfish is more vulnerable to red blotch disease, which is a bacterial infection. Bloody sores, which appear all over the body, are a symptom of this health problem.

    Stress is often the major cause of this problem. When water conditions become unpredictable, Pygmy Corydoras may be stressed. They may also have Ich, a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease. The symptoms of Ich include white spots on the body, gills, and fins. Fish that have Ich may also rub against objects in the tank or scratch themselves.

    To avoid these problems, make sure to test your water regularly and keep an eye on your fish for any unusual behavior. If you see any changes in your Pygmy Corydoras, take them to a vet as soon as possible.



    What Size Aquarium Do They Need?

    Pygmy Cory is a tiny fish that's ideal for a small aquarium. The minimum size for a group of four to eight people is 10 gallons, but if you want a larger group, you'll need a bigger aquarium. For each additional fish, you'll need another 2 gallon. According to the number of fish, you have to find the appropriate aquarium size.

    How Big Do Pygmy Corydoras Get? 

    Male Pygmy Corydoras grow to be about 0.75 inches (1.9cm) long, while females reach around 1 inch (2.5cm). Females are generally larger and rounder than males, especially when preparing to spawn.

    Are Pygmy Corydoras Hardy?

    Pygmy Corydoras are a hardy fish and may live for three to four years if their tank is properly maintained and they are fed a varied diet.

    Can Pygmy Corydoras Live with Shrimp? 

    Yes, shrimp can be kept in the same tank as Pygmy Corydoras. Pygmy Corydoras are a peaceful species that may be kept in a community tank with other peaceful fish and shrimp.

    How long do Pygmy Corydoras Live? 

    Pygmy Corydoras can live up to 3 or 4 years in captivity if their requirements are met.

    What to Feed Pygmy Corydoras? 

    Pygmy Corydoras are omnivores that need a diet that includes both meat and vegetables. They should be fed a high-quality fish flake or pellet, as well as some live or frozen bloodworm.

    Is 4 Pygmy Corydoras Enough? 

    Minimum 4 pygmy corydoras are recommended, but more is better. Pygmy corydoras prefer to be in close proximity to other pygmy corydoras. So, it's recommended to keep them in a group rather than alone. It will be interesting to watch them shoal together if there are many of them.

    How Often Should I Feed My Pygmy Corydoras?

    Pygmy Corydoras should be fed two to three times a day. They are small fish and have a high metabolism, so they need to be fed more often than larger fish.

    You should feed what they can eat in 2 minutes. They may not get all of their food at once, so it's okay to leave some for later. If a lot of food is left uneaten, you're feeding them too much. Excess food can dirty the water and cause problems for your fish. So it is necessary to take care not to overfeed them.

    Dwarf Corydoras Vs Pygmy Corydoras, What’s the Difference? 

    The main difference between dwarf corydoras and pygmy corydoras is their size. Dwarf corydoras grow to be about 1.5 inches, while pygmy corydoras only each around 1 inch (2.5 cm). Pygmy corydoras are also more slender than dwarf corydoras.

    The scientific names of both dwarf corydoras and pygmy corydoras are 'Corydoras hastatus' and 'Corydoras pygmaeus', respectively.

    Even though they have some differences, both dwarf corydoras and pygmy corydoras make great additions to a freshwater aquarium. Pygmy and dwarf corys are quite comparable when it comes to behaviour. They are peaceful fish that get along well with other peaceful fish and shrimp.

    The pygmy cory has a solid black line down the whole side of its body. The fish's body above the black line is generally dark gray, while the one below the line is white or cream.

    The body of a dwarf corydoras is white, with olive undertones, and some have a bright horizontal line down their side. The common name of these fish comes from the black spot on their tail that is bordered with a white crescent.

    Do Pygmy Corydoras need a sand substrate?

    Pygmy Corydoras prefers a fine substrate like sand. If they're kept on rough gravel, their barbels may be harmed.

    Are Pygmy Cory Suitable For Your Aquarium? 

    These tiny fish can fit into even the tiniest aquariums. They are popular additions to aquariums since they blend in nicely with a variety of species.

    Pygmy Corys are one of a kind since they exhibit some unique traits that you won't find in other fish. It's uncommon to see Catfish like this high up the tank, swimming together.

    Anyone can enjoy this tiny shoaling species. They are simple to breed, feed, and maintain. This makes them appealing to novices and veterans alike.

    Do Pygmy Corydoras Eat Algae

    Many people think that corydoras consume algae. Pygmy Corydoras do not consume algae. Pygmy Corydoras are omnivorous fish that require a varied diet, including live or frozen food such as bloodworm or cyclops to supplement their diet. You may notice them nibbling on algae, but this is not their primary food source.

    How Many Pygmy Corydoras Should Be Kept Together?

    Pygmy Corydoras should be kept in groups of four or more. They are a shoaling fish that prefers to be in close proximity to other Pygmy Corydoras. So, it's best to keep them in a group rather than alone. When they're in a group, they feel more secure and are less likely to be stressed. This results in a healthier fish.

    Are Pygmy Corydoras Good Cleaners?

    Yes, they may also help to clear away some of the debris. Pygmy cories are actually bottom-feeders that sift through the substrate looking for food. In the process, they may stir up some of the debris and help to keep the tank clean.

    Do Pygmy Corys Need Sand? 

    While Pygmy Corydoras do not need sand, they prefer it. If they're kept on rough gravel, their barbels may be harmed. A sandy substrate is much gentler on their barbels and helps to keep them healthy.

    Final Thoughts:

    Pygmy Corydoras are a great addition to any tank. They are peaceful, easy to care for, and interesting to watch. Their small size and unique appearance make them a popular choice for many aquariums. When it comes to feeding, Pygmy Corydoras are omnivores that require a balanced diet that includes both meat and vegetables. A high-quality fish flake or pellet, as well as live or frozen bloodworm, should be offered to them. Pygmy Corydoras should be maintained in groups of four or more. They prefer to hang out with one another and tend to be in close touch with other Pygmy Corydoras. Because they are social creatures, it's typically better to keep them in a group rather than alone. Overall, Pygmy Corydoras are a fantastic fish for both beginners and advanced hobbyists!!

    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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