November 7

Sarah Robertson

Why Agassiz’s Cory Make Great Tank Mates

The Agassizi's Cory Catfish (Corydoras agassizii), often known as the Spotted Cory Catfish, is a beautiful Corydoras fish with distinctive spotting and gold coloration on much of its body. This species is a lively, boldly patterned schooling fish that is great for the nano, community, and planted aquarium.

The Agassizi's Cory Catfish is a peaceful schooling fish that may be kept with most tiny aquarium animals, such as dwarf cichlids and angelfish. It will eat tiny dwarf shrimp, but it is harmless to larger shrimp and most other peaceful ornamental invertebrates.

It's a traditional scavenger that likes to dwell and feed at the aquarium floor, which should be made of sand or smooth gravel. Because its delicate barbels and underbelly are easily damaged by coarse substrate, it should be maintained in an aquarium with sand or extremely smooth gravel.

This fish is not picky and will consume most dry, frozen, and live foods. It is suitable for most tropical freshwater habitats as long as appropriate regular maintenance is carried out, and sudden changes are avoided. While it is a scavenger, careful attention must be paid to ensure that it gets a sufficient amount of high-quality food and isn't just fed whatever leftovers other fish avoid.

To learn more about caring for Agassiz's Cory Catfish, read on!

Quick Facts about Agassiz's Cory 

  • Species Name: Corydoras agassizii
  • Common Names: Agassiz’s Cory
  • Family: Callichthyidae
  • Origin: Brazil, Peru
  • Environment: Fresh Water
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Mature females are larger and appear fuller when viewed from above.
  • Maximum Size : 2.4 - 2.8 inches (6 - 7 cm)
  • Diet: High-quality dry foods as well as live and frozen meaty foods. Variety is essential.
  • Social Behavior: Peaceful; requires a school of 6 or more to thrive.
  • Lifespan : 3 - 5 years
  • Temperament to its own species: peaceful
  • Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful
  • Minimum tank size: 15 gallons for a school of 6
  • PH: 6.0 - 8.0. Softer water is preferred, but this fish is somewhat flexible as long as sudden changes are avoided.
  • DH: 2-25
  • Shoaling: Yes
  • Lighting: No special requirements
  • Breeding: Spawning
  • Usual place in the tank : Bottom levels
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

Agassiz's Cory Care

Agassiz's Cory is a laid-back bottom-dwelling catfish that will thrive in mature community aquariums. In order to safeguard their delicate sensory barbels, the substrate should be made up of smooth sand.

 Keep only with tiny, peaceful tankmates like dwarf cichlids when possible, and provide some shaded resting places among bogwood and areas of dense planting. To keep these fish in good form, regular maintenance, including frequent partial water changes, is required.

 Corydoras can breathe air through their intestines, so a little space should be left between the water's surface and the cover slides for the fish to rise and take air in. It may perform this several times each day.

Ideal water conditions for Agassiz's Cory are a temperature between 22.0-26.0°C or 71.6-78.8°F, pH 6.0 - 8.0, and dH 2-25. Softer water is preferred, but this fish is somewhat flexible as long as sudden changes are avoided.

Because it is a schooling fish, it should be kept in a group of at least 6 individuals. Larger groups are even better and will result in these fish being much more active and visible. If possible, purchase all of the Corydoras agassizii for your aquarium at the same time so that they are acclimated to the same conditions.

Agassiz's Cory Size 

Males and females of this species are very similar in size, with a maximum length of around 2.4 - 2.8 inches (6 - 7 cm). Their growth rate is moderate, and they can reach their full size within a year with proper care.

Agassiz's Cory Lifespan

It is possible for a Corydoras to live for ten years in the wild, but it is more probable that it will be three to five years in an aquarium. If you provide them with optimal conditions and a varied diet, they will have a better chance of living to their full potential.

Agassiz's Cory

Agassiz's Cory Appearance

The Agassiz's Corydoras have a silvery body with a golden tint along its lateral line. The dorsal fin spine is characteristic of this species, and the first two or three dorsal soft rays are black throughout the length of the rays while the rest are clear to whitish.

With age, this may vary in intensity, but at least the majority of the dorsal fin spine is black. The ventral and pelvic fins are translucent, but some individuals may have a yellowish tint to them, and their caudal fin might be see-through to bluish-white with three or five rows of transverse dark spots. Corydoras Agassiz's is frequently confused with Corydoras ambiacus.

Sexual Dimorphism 

It might be difficult to distinguish between the male and female Agassiz's Corydoras. When viewed from above, females are larger and fuller-bodied, especially when pregnant. Males are somewhat smaller and skinnier than females.

Agassiz's Cory Food & Diet 

Agassiz's Corydoras are omnivores that will eat sinking dried foods like pellets and algae wafers, as well as tiny live and frozen foods such as mosquito larvae, bloodworms, and tubifex.

It would also be beneficial for your Corydoras if you fed them with a wide variety of vegetables, since offering a varied diet will guarantee that the fish are in peak health and receiving all the nutrients they need. However, you should not expect your fish to subsist on leftover food from other aquarium inhabitants or count on them to clean the tank

The following are some of the foods that may assist Cory Catfish to maintain their health:

  • Fish flakes
  • Chunks of meat
  • Bloodworms
  • Algae wafers
  • Mosquito larvae
  • Tubifex
  • Vegetables like shredded lettuce and cabbage leaves

Check to see whether you're feeding your fish too much. Only offer them a quantity of food that can be finished in around 5 minutes. Overfeeding can foul the water and cause your Corydoras health problems.

Agassiz's Cory Behavior

Peaceful and sociable is how Agassiz's Cory is described. They are shoaling fish, so they like to be in groups. They should be kept in a group of at least four to six individuals. Although they can live alone, if not kept in a group, they may become easily stressed, withdrawn, and more susceptible to sickness. A 15-20 gallon aquarium is the minimum size for these guys, but the bigger the better.

Most of the time they hang out at the bottom of the tank, but will occasionally swim up to the middle and top layers. They are very active fish that like to play and explore their surroundings. Corydoras are known as "cleaner fish" because they help keep the aquarium clean by eating uneaten food and detritus off of the substrate. Agassiz's Cory is peaceful fish that gets along well with other peaceful fish of a similar size.

Agassiz's Cory Tank Mates

Agassiz's Cory is an ideal tank mate for other peaceful community fish. They do best in a group of six or more individuals of their own species. Other fish that make good tank mates for Agassiz's Cory include:

  • Neon Tetras
  • Guppies
  • Mollies
  • Swordtails
  • Tetras (Phantom tetras)
  • Dwarf Cichlids such as Apistogramma, Rasboras, smaller Barbs and Otocinclus. 
  • Coral Red Pencilfish 
  • Desana Corydoras 
  • Flash Plecostomus 
  • Hockeystick Pencilfish 
  • Picta Swamp Guppy 
  • Tiger Otocinclus 
  • Elephant Nose Fish

You may also keep these fish with aquarium snails and Shrimp (Filter shrimp, Nerite snails). However, they should not be kept with aggressive fish since their poisonous spines might cause harm if they try to defend themselves.

Bad Tank Mates for Agassiz's Cory Catfish 

A Cory Catfish tank should be avoided with aggressive fish species, as they will try to harm or consume them. Some of the fish species that should not be kept with  Agassiz's Cory include:

  • Barbs
  • Jack Dempsey
  • Oscars
  • Aquarium crayfish
  • Texas cichlid
  • Convict cichlid
Agassiz's Cory

Agassiz's Cory Tank Setup

Setting up the perfect living environment for your Agassiz's Cory needs no decor; however, provide some shade using driftwood, bogwood, rocks, or tall or floating aquatic plants to give these fish some safety if necessary.

Fine sand, if possible, is the ideal substrate for your aquarium, but smooth gravel may also be used as long as it is cleaned on a regular basis. Adding a few dried leaf litter to the water would also be beneficial to your fish.

Here are the tank requirements for an Agassiz's Cory:

Optimum Tank Size 

The Agassiz's Cory is a sociable species that like to hang out with one another. To make their stay in the tank more enjoyable, stock at least four, five, or more of them. Depending on the number, a hobbyist will require at least a 15-20 gallon tank for five of them. Choose a tank size that is greater than what is required.

Filter Type

A medium to fast water flow is required for Agassiz's Cory tank filter. Keep the filter on a lower setting to allow the water to flow at a moderate rate, even though Corys are used to living in sluggish streams and occasionally fast-flowing bodies.


As per their natural habitat, Agassiz's Cory requires soft sediments. A smooth sand bed is suggested for their tank. Before you add fine sand, place smooth pebbles at the bottom. For the substrate, you may consider using tiny and rounded gravel as well. However, because they are bottom-dwelling fish and will spend more time there, the gravel might cause wounds and infections if it is sharp.


Choosing plants for a Cory Catfish tank is essential since these fish are accustomed to alkaline, hard water. Add a lot of plant life since they're often hidden by vegetation. There's no need to be concerned about uprooting the plants because they are small and will rarely obstruct the roots. Some of the live aquarium plants suitable for this fish are:

  • Java Moss
  • Marsilea Hirsuta
  • Rotala Macrandra
  • Java Fern
  • Crypts
  • Penny Warts
  • Dwarf Hairgrass
  • Anubias Barteri
  • Anacharis
  • Water Sprite
  • Banana Plants and Star Grass.

Apart from live plants, you can also use fake ones. But make sure they are not made of plastic since it will release toxins into the water and harm the fish. Also, the fake plants should not have sharp edges that can tear the fish's fins. Plants that can't withstand the Cory Catfish's water parameters should be avoided to minimize damage.


Driftwood, leaves, or rock fragments can all be used to decorate your aquarium. A small plant or a bright stone may be added to this aquarium if you have one available, as the Cory Catfish enjoy hiding and seeking throughout these enormous edifices. Add a few decorations to liven up the scene. It's fascinating to watch fish dashing around these.


Moderate to normal light is sufficient for the Cory of Agassiz's. Artificial light sources should be used to replicate natural lighting as closely as possible. They are found in dark patches of vegetation and murky water or marshes in the wild, so the lighting should not be too bright.

Agassiz's Cory Breeding

There are no known breeding instances of the Agassiz's Corydoras at this time; nevertheless, they will undoubtedly reproduce similarly to other Corydoras species, with the couple taking on the standard 'T' position where the male fertilizes eggs that the female holds between her pelvic fins.

If you want to breed Agassiz's Corydoras, it is suggested that you set up a separate breeding tank. It is not necessary to decorate a breeding tank, but a soft substrate is required because your Corydoras will prefer to rummage in the soil for food. A low light level, mature, soft and acidic water with gentle aeration is required. To offer shade and moderate aeration, you'll need broad-leaved plants as well.

As the female approaches spawning, she will begin to sweep leaves or aquarium glass on which she will lay her eggs. Significant water changes, such as rainwater or cold water, and then conditioning them with live foods, can simulate the natural spawning behavior of fish and encourage reproduction.

During a single spawning, the female may deposit up to 100 eggs. After that, the adults will have no further involvement in rearing their young and, if given a chance, might consume the eggs, therefore it's best to return them to their regular tank.

Agassiz's Cory Fry

It takes between one and three days for the eggs to hatch, depending on water temperature and conditions, as well as an additional two to three days for the yolk sacs to be consumed by the young fish and for them to become free-swimming. You can offer them infusoria-based diets such as rotifers once they have become free swimming.

When the fry reaches a decent size and no longer seems like a snack, they may be introduced to the community tank, where they will join the existing shoal. However, before introducing the juvenile fish into the larger tank, be sure the water temperatures are equalized to decrease the risk of White spots or other diseases.

You can also purchase an Agassiz's Cory from your local fish store, or online. If you decide to purchase one online, make sure to research the seller and always quarantine your new fish before adding them to your tank.

Agassiz's Cory Diseases

Agassiz's Cory is a relatively hardy fish and, if given the proper care, is not susceptible to many diseases. However, like all fish, they can contract diseases if their environment is not maintained properly or if they are stressed. The most common disease seen in Agassiz's Cory are:

Red Blotch Disease

Blotch disease is a widespread bacterial infection that affects fish when they are kept in unsanitary tank conditions or moved under stressful shipping circumstances. The disease is marked by reddish, bloody spots on the fish's body, as well as blisters and dead skin.

To avoid red blotch disease, keep ideal tank conditions, and utilize a gentle substrate that won't scratch the fish and raise the risk of bacterial infections. To cure the problem, add one or two teaspoons of tonic salt per gallon of water and use a broad-spectrum antibiotic like tetracycline.


Ich is a parasitic freshwater disease that affects fish, causing white, irritating spots on their bodies. Ich is more difficult to detect in Agassiz's Cory catfish than in other fish, since the white spots on their bodies are hard to spot. Look for other indications of Ich even if the white spots aren't apparent, such as flashing (rubbing against rough surfaces in the tank), lethargy, and loss of hunger.

To treat Ich, you need to remove the sick fish and put them in a quarantine tank with water that is a few degrees warmer than the home tank. Adding one teaspoon of salt for each gallon of water in the tank will also help to kill the Ich parasites. You can also purchase a commercial Ich treatment from your local fish store.

Bacterial blooms

When cleaning the tank, one should avoid stirring up the bottom or re-arranging the decorations. It can release decaying organic material into the water, resulting in germs that might lead to infections.

The Cory fish is quite resilient, but when other aggressive fish nip its barbels, it may suffer significant harm. As a result, it is critical to ensure that the tank is safe for the fish. Bacterial bloom happens when there is an overgrowth of bacteria in the tank. This can be a result of too much food, not enough aeration, or poor water quality.

The best way to treat bacterial blooms is to do a partial water change and vacuum the gravel. You should also remove any decaying organic matter from the tank. If the problem persists, you can add a broad-spectrum antibiotic like erythromycin to the tank.

Nitrite Poisoning

Although nitrite poisoning is not a disease, it is one of the most prevalent causes of early death in Agassiz's Cory catfish. When nitrite levels in the water are not properly managed, it is possible to be poisoned by nitrite. At the top of the tank, Cory catfish with nitrite poisoning swim sluggishly. Add nitrate and nitrite absorbers to the tank's filter to treat nitrite poisoning, which must be done with a 25 percent water change. Add more plants to the tank and avoid feeding your fish excessively to prevent future nitrite spikes.

If you see any signs of disease in your Agassiz's Cory, it is best to consult with a veterinarian or aquarist before treating them, as some treatments can be harmful to catfish.

Agassiz's Cory


How Often Should You Feed the Agassiz's Cory?

The Agassiz's Cory fish is notorious for scouring the aquarium for any uneaten food under the gravel. This behavior makes it an excellent tank cleaner, and it's even been known to eat algae! The Cory Catfish should not be overfed while you're at it. This practice may prevent the fish from moving quickly in its tank to clear up leftovers. As a result, you should only offer them food they can eat in 2 to 3 minutes to avoid bloating or overfeeding. In a day you can feed them 2-3 times.

How Big Does an Agassiz's Cory Get? 

The Agassiz's Cory is a small fish, only growing to be about 2-3 inches in length. They are one of the smaller species of Corydoras catfish. Despite their small size, they are hardy fish that can withstand a wide range of water conditions.

How Long Do Agassiz's Cory Live? 

The Agassiz's Cory is a freshwater fish, with a lifespan of up to 3-5 years. They are hardy fish that can withstand a wide range of water conditions and are resistant to most diseases. However, like all animals, they are susceptible to poor water quality, which can shorten their lifespan.

What is the Best Way to Breed Agassiz's Cory?

Agassiz's Cory is a schooling fish, so it is best to keep them in groups of six or more. They are not difficult to breed in captivity and will often spawn in a well-maintained aquarium. The female will lay her eggs on a smooth surface, and the male will fertilize them. The eggs will hatch in about 3 days, and the fry will be free-swimming a few days later.

To increase the chances of spawning, you can raise the water temperature and add some live plants to the tank. You should also feed them a diet high in protein to encourage growth.

Are Agassiz's Cory Catfish Societal or Lone?

The Cory Catfish is a pleasant fish that will rarely conflict with other species. They are sociable schooling fish, and they are friendly with one another. Remember that the Agassiz's Cory hardly defends itself when other tankmates are added. So, avoid keeping them with aggressive tankmates in the tank. Because they are small, do not put them in the same tank with larger fish that may eat them up.

What is the Best Way to Keep My Agassiz's Cory Healthy?

The best way to keep your Agassiz's Cory healthy is to provide them with a well-maintained aquarium. This means regular water changes, proper filtration, and maintaining stable water conditions. You should also feed them a high-quality diet and provide them with plenty of hiding places.

Final Thoughts

The Agassiz's Cory is a peaceful, hardy fish that makes an excellent addition to any freshwater aquarium. They are easy to care for and will thrive in most tanks. Be sure to provide them with plenty of hiding places and a high-quality diet, and they will be happy and healthy fish.

They are omnivores so a diet of pellets, flakes, live, or frozen food is just fine. Be sure to offer them a variety of food to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need. A good rule of thumb is to feed them 2-3 times a day, only giving them as much food as they can eat in 2-3 minutes. This will help prevent overfeeding and bloating.

Agassiz's Cory is schooling fish, so they should be kept in groups of at least 6. They are relatively easy to breed in captivity and will often spawn in a well-maintained aquarium.

Like other freshwater fish, they are also susceptible to diseases like ich and fin rot. The best way to prevent these diseases is to maintain a clean and healthy tank. If you notice any of these symptoms in your fish, be sure to treat them immediately.

The Agassiz's Cory is a great addition to any freshwater aquarium. With proper care, they will thrive and provide you with years of enjoyment.

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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