Tiny Corydora Species

Basic Requirements of Tiny Corydora

  • Must be kept in groups – Keep at least six, ideally nine or far more.
  • Need soft substrate – Their barbels (small whisker-like bits by their mouths) get worn down on large rocks. Stick to fine gravel or sand.
  • Need hiding spots – These fish all come from waters with lots of tree roots, rocks, etc. This needs to be recreated for them to fair well in a tank. ->Think Amazon River Biotope
  • Need stable water– Only add these corydora to established tanks. They will not tolerate salt, medications, or chemical spikes well.
  • Prefer subdued lighting – Having floating plants or many obstructions of the light will reduce their stress and encourage them to come out more frequently.
  • Need sinking food source – Switching their diet between bottomfeeder/agae pellets with the occasional addition of frozen brine shrimp, daphnia, or minced blood worms should keep them happy enough. Avoid letting uneaten food accumulate.
  • Need peaceful, small tankmates – Larger fish will try to eat these little Corydora. Keep them alone or with other similarly sized species.

Signs of Stress

All these species of cory will show signs of stress when they need your help to alter their environment, food source, etc. If you see any, and especially if you see multiple, of your corydora displaying signs of stress, test your water to see if you can identify a cause (such as a mild ammonia spike or temperature out of range) and perform a partial water change.

  • breathing heavily/rapidly – watch their gills on the sides of their face
  • inactivity/just sitting around – healthy corydora are quite active!
  • rolling or flicking their bodies
  • staying on their sides

Pygmy Corydora, (C. pygmaeus)


The Pygmy Corydora: reaches ~1.2″, dark stripe along either side, occasionally swims mid-level in the tank but mostly are bottom-dwelling

Water: Soft to medium-hard, acidic to slightly basic (6.5-7.5) , 71 – 79 degrees Fahrenheit

Here is a phenomenal video of a huge group of Pygmy Corydora: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Bizjkn8bGw

Dwarf Corydora, (C. hastatus)

Other names for it include Tail Spot Pygmy Cory and Panzerwels Corydora/Catfish

Dwarf Corydora: distinguished by the diamond shaped marking neartheir tail with otherwise few markings, females reach ~1.3″ while males stay a bit smaller, will spend a great deal of time mid-level an swimming about

Water: 72 – 79 degrees Fahrenheit, pH of 6.0 to 7.2,

Salt and Pepper Corydora, (C. habrosus)


Salt and Pepper Corydora: reach 1.4″ max, enjoy limited water movement, extremely active and outgoing compared to the other tiny corydora listed

Water: Temperature 72 – 79 degrees Fahrenheit, pH 6.2 to 7.2, Hardness 2 – 12 degrees

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