Corydoras Care 101: A Beginners Guide to these Fascinating Bottom-Dwellers

Corydoras are a popular species of freshwater fish that are well-known for their social behavior and attractive appearance. They are part of the Callichthyidae family and are native to South America. There are over 170 species of corydoras, each with its own unique physical and behavioral characteristics. In this article, we will delve into the world of corydoras, exploring their natural habitat, behavior, care requirements, and more.

Natural Habitat

Corydoras are found in freshwater environments in South America, such as rivers, streams, and lakes. They prefer shallow, slow-moving waters with a soft substrate and a few places to hide. They are bottom-dwelling fish that feed on the substrate, so having access to a variety of food sources is important for their survival. 

Appearance and Behavior

Corydoras are known for their distinctive appearance, with a flat, triangular-shaped head and an armored body. They are usually around 1-3 inches long. Their most recognizable feature is their two barbels, or whiskers, which they use to locate food.

In terms of behavior, corydoras are social fish that thrive in large groups. They are peaceful and do well in community aquariums, and can be kept with other species such as tetras, rasboras, and angelfish. Corydoras are also known for their active swimming style and are most active during the day. They are also quite social, as they will often swim together in a group and form tight bonds.

Caring for Corydoras

Caring for corydoras is relatively straightforward, making them an ideal choice for beginner aquarists. Here are some key tips for keeping these fish healthy and happy:

Aquarium Size: Corydoras are small fish, so they do not need a large aquarium. A tank size of at least 20 gallons is recommended for a small group of corydoras.

Water Quality: To keep corydoras healthy, it is important to maintain good water quality. They are hardy fish and can tolerate a range of water parameters, but a pH between 6 and 7.5, with a water hardness of 2-15 dKH, is ideal. 

Substrate: Corydoras prefer a soft substrate, such as sand or fine gravel, so it is important to choose a substrate that will not harm their delicate barbels.

Diet: Corydoras are foraging onmivores. They should be fed a variety of foods, including pellets, flakes, freeze dried, frozen or live food. It is better to feed them in small quantities a few times a day, as they are slow eaters and need to be fed regularly.

Temperature: Corydoras are tropical fish, so they need a temperature range between 72-78°F. Maintaining a stable temperature to keep them healthy and prevent stress.


Corydoras are wonderful and fascinating fish to keep in your aquarium. With proper care and maintenance, they can thrive and bring joy to their owners for many years. Remember to always research the specific species of corydoras you are interested in keeping, as some may have specific requirements or preferences. Happy corydoras keeping!