panda corydoras

Panda Corydoras: The Ultimate Guide to the Black & White Bottom Feeder

Explore the charming world of Panda Corydoras with my expert care tips on habitat, diet, and companions for a thriving aquarium experience.


Did you know that panda Corydoras, also known as panda catfish, can form groups of up to several hundred individuals in their natural habitat? These captivating freshwater fish with their black and white coloration are a favorite among aquarists. Whether you’re thinking of adding them to your aquarium or you already have some, this extensive guide has everything you need. We’ll cover their care, behavior, tank setup, breeding, and more. Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways:

  • Panda Corydoras, also known as panda catfish, are popular freshwater fish appreciated for their black and white coloration.
  • They are peaceful and ideal for community aquariums.
  • With proper care, panda Corydoras can live up to five years or more.
  • A tank of at least 20 gallons is recommended, with a sandy substrate and suitable hiding spots.
  • Panda Corydoras are omnivorous and require a mix of sinking pellets, live or frozen foods, and plant-based supplements in their diet.

About Panda Corydoras

The panda Corydoras is a type of catfish found in Peru and Ecuador. It’s known for its black and white colors, like a panda bear. These fish are very calm and do well in aquariums with other fish. They are part of the Callichthyidae family, which has many catfish species.

Physical Characteristics of Panda Corydoras

Panda Corydoras are tiny, around 2 inches long. They have a beige to orange-ish body. This body is covered in bold black markings, looking much like a panda’s coloring. That’s how they got their name, dwarf panda corydora.

Their top fin and area before the tail are black. And their eyes seem to wear black “eyeshadow.” They have a downturned mouth, and three pairs of barbels on their face. These barbels help them find food on the ground.

Even though they are small, panda Corydoras have sharp spines. These spines are on their top and side fins. They use these spines to protect themselves from danger. This way, they stay safe in their environment.

Natural Habitat of Panda Corydoras

Panda Corydoras come from Peru and Ecuador’s clear, fast waters. They prefer rivers and streams with sandy bottoms and lots of plants. This environment is cool, thanks to Andes’ mountain meltwater.

Often, you’ll find them in big groups. They are lively mainly at dawn and dusk. That’s when they search for food and check out the area.

Watching these fish in their natural space is interesting. You get to see how they act and get along. For those who love aquariums, this can be quite a fun thing to do.

Tank Setup for Panda Corydoras


To make the perfect home for panda Corydoras, you need the right tank setup. We’ll talk about what you need.

Tank Size

Your tank should hold at least 20 gallons so your panda Corydoras have room to swim. This size gives them space to roam and check out their home.


Put sandy or fine gravel on the bottom of the tank. Don’t pick sharp gravel because it can hurt the pandas’ barbels. They like to sift through the bottom for food, so pick something that feels like their wild home.


Make the tank cozy with live plants, rocks, driftwood, and caves. These give the pandas places to hide and make the tank look good too.

Water Parameters

Keep the water between 65-68 °F. Panda Corydoras like it cooler than some other fish. The pH should stay between 6 and 7.5. Test the water often to make sure it’s just right for them.

Tank Mates

Choose friends for the pandas that are calm and like the same water temperatures. Good choices are small schooling fish, or shrimp and snails. Just make sure they get along and don’t cause trouble.

Feeding Time

Pandas eat at night because they are scavengers. Drop sinking foods, like pellets, at the bottom. Add some frozen or live treats like bloodworms or brine shrimp to their meals.

With these steps, you can set up a great space for panda Corydoras. This way, they’ll be happy and healthy in your tank.

Tank Setup for Panda Corydoras  
Tank Size Minimum 20 gallons
Substrate Sandy or fine-gravel
Decorations Include live plants, rocks, driftwood, and caves
Water Parameters 65-68 °F, pH 6-7.5
Tank Mates Peaceful fish and compatible invertebrates


Feeding Panda Corydoras

Panda Corydoras eat both meat and plants. It’s crucial to give them a varied and healthy diet. This keeps them in good health.

High-quality Fish Foods: Feed them sinking fish foods. These are designed to drop to the bottom, where panda corydoras like to feed. Examples are pellets or wafers for fish that stay at the bottom. Such foods are rich in nutrients, supporting the corydoras’ growth and health.

Frozen and Live Foods: Panda corydoras also love frozen or live bites. Add in things like bloodworms, brine shrimp, and mosquito larvae sometimes. These treats make sure they get different proteins and enjoy their natural eating habits.

Plant-Based Foods: It’s vital to give them plant meals too. Algae tabs and other plant foods are full of important vitamins and minerals. Now and then, you can treat them with blanched vegetables like zucchini or spinach.

A Balanced Combination: A mix of proteins and veggies is key for panda corydoras. It keeps them healthy, boosts their immune system, and makes their colors shine. A balanced diet is the best care for them.

Remember, feed panda corydoras little bits several times a day. They eat small amounts due to their tiny stomachs. Keep an eye on how they eat. Adjust their food if needed to make sure they stay healthy and the water stays clean.

Breeding Panda Corydoras

Panda Corydoras are a unique addition to any fish tank. To breed them, you need just the right setup. Let’s look at how to do it:

  1. Set up a separate breeding tank: You’ll need a special tank that’s at least 10 gallons. It should have enough room for the breeding pair and their babies.
  2. Add suitable spawning materials: Place Java moss or spawning mops in the tank. This gives the fish a place to lay their eggs.
  3. Maintain a group of breeding panda corydoras: To boost your chances of success, keep six or more in the tank. This makes sure you have both males and females.
  4. Condition the fish: Feed them well before breeding. A good diet gets them ready to spawn. Also, slightly lower the water’s temperature to encourage the breeding process.
  5. Protect the eggs: If you see eggs laid, make sure they are safe. Other fish might try to eat them.
  6. Feed the fry: After about five days, the eggs will turn into fry. Feed them tiny food like infusoria or brine shrimp to keep them healthy.

Breeding these fish is both challenging and rewarding. By following these steps and keeping a close eye on your tank, you’ll see new fish life appear. It’s like a small miracle in your own aquarium.

“Breeding panda Corydoras is a fun way to learn about fish. You get to watch the whole process, from eggs to grown fish.” – Experienced Fish Breeder

Breeding Behavior of Panda Corydoras

Panda Corydoras show off some cool behavior when they breed. The males flirt with the females by chasing them and wiggling. Once the female is impressed, she lays eggs on plants or rocks. The male then fertilizes the eggs. After that, both mom and dad protect the eggs.

Characteristic Description
Spawning method Eggs are deposited on surfaces
Parental care Both male and female guard and protect the eggs
Incubation period Around five days
Fry feeding Infusoria, powdered fry food, or newly hatched brine shrimp

Availability of Panda Corydoras in the Aquarium Trade

Panda Corydoras are in high demand for aquariums because of their striking look and easy upkeep. They have a unique black and white color pattern that looks like a panda’s. These fish are great for the bottom of your tank and make it look amazing.

You can easily buy panda Corydoras at many fish stores and online. They are a common find in the aquarium world. Just make sure they were born in captivity, not caught from the wild.

Buying pandas that were caught in the wild is a bad idea. It harms their natural homes and the wild populations. Choosing ones that were bred in safe places helps protect these special fish and their environment.

Always ask where your panda Corys came from and how they were raised. Good stores and websites will tell you all about the fish’s background. This way, you know you’re getting healthy fish from a good source.

Pandas can live over five years if you take good care of them. Create a nice, suitable home and meet their needs. They’ll bring joy to your aquarium for a long time.

Benefits of Choosing Captive-Bred Panda Corydoras

Getting panda Corys that were born in safety has many upsides:

By picking captive-bred panda Corydoras, you’re supporting their future. You’re also being a responsible fish keeper.

Panda Cory Lifespan

Panda Corydoras can live about five years if you look after them well. They might even live longer. The right care and a good tank can really help them thrive. But remember, not all of them will live the same number of years.


Panda Corydoras boast a striking black and white look. They are calm and low-maintenance, perfect for aquariums. Keep them in an ideal tank, and they’ll flourish.

Breeding them is easy with the right setup. They are widely available in pet stores. This makes them a great choice for adding life to your underwater world.

These fish are great for beginners and experts alike. Their elegant colors and peaceful behavior make them stand out. Every aquarist, from novice to expert, can enjoy these beautiful creatures.


What are some common names for the panda Corydoras?

The panda Corydoras goes by the names panda catfish or Corydoras panda.

 What is a Panda Corydoras?

The Panda Corydoras, scientifically known as Corydoras panda, is a freshwater catfish species native to South America. It is a popular aquarium fish known for its distinctive black and white patterning, resembling a panda bear.What is the natural habitat of Panda Corydoras?Panda Corydoras are found in slow-moving streams, rivers, and tributaries in the Amazon basin, primarily in Brazil, Peru, and Colombia.What is the ideal tank size for keeping Panda Corydoras?A minimum tank size of 20 gallons is recommended for keeping a small group of Panda Corydoras. However, a larger tank of at least 30 gallons is preferred to provide ample swimming space and accommodate their active nature.Are Panda Corydoras peaceful fish?Yes, Panda Corydoras are generally peaceful and non-aggressive fish. They can be kept in community aquariums with other peaceful species of similar size and temperament.What is the ideal water parameters for Panda Corydoras?Panda Corydoras thrive in soft, slightly acidic water conditions with a temperature range of 72°F to 79°F (22°C to 26°C), a pH between 6.0 and 7.5, and a water hardness of 2 to 15 dGH.What do Panda Corydoras eat?In the wild, Panda Corydoras are omnivores and feed on a variety of small invertebrates, plant matter, and algae. In captivity, they should be offered a varied diet of high-quality sinking pellets, live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, and blanched vegetables.Are Panda Corydoras suitable for beginners?While Panda Corydoras are generally hardy and adaptable fish, they may not be the best choice for complete beginners due to their specific water parameter requirements. They are better suited for aquarists with some experience in maintaining a stable freshwater aquarium.Can Panda Corydoras be kept in pairs or groups?Panda Corydoras are schooling fish and should be kept in groups of at least 6 individuals. They are more active, confident, and exhibit their natural behaviors when kept in a compatible group.How can you identify male and female Panda Corydoras?It can be challenging to distinguish between male and female Panda Corydoras based on external characteristics alone. However, males tend to be slightly smaller and slimmer, while females are larger and rounder when viewed from above.Are Panda Corydoras hardy fish?Yes, Panda Corydoras are generally considered hardy fish once they have acclimated to their new environment. They are resilient to minor fluctuations in water parameters and can adapt well to captive conditions if their care requirements are met.Do Panda Corydoras need special lighting?Panda Corydoras do not have specific lighting requirements, but they may appreciate subdued or dimmed lighting conditions to mimic their natural habitat. Bright lighting can stress them and cause them to hide more often.Can Panda Corydoras be kept with other Corydoras species?Yes, Panda Corydoras can be kept with other Corydoras species, as they generally get along well and have similar care requirements. However, it is important to provide ample space and hiding spots to prevent any potential territorial disputes.Are Panda Corydoras suitable for a planted aquarium?Yes, Panda Corydoras are suitable for planted aquariums and can help control algae growth by grazing on it. However, they may uproot or disturb delicate plant species while foraging for food.Do Panda Corydoras need a specific substrate?Panda Corydoras do not have specific substrate requirements, but they may appreciate a soft, sandy substrate that allows them to sift through and forage for food comfortably.Can Panda Corydoras jump out of the aquarium?While Panda Corydoras are not known to be skilled jumpers, it is still recommended to have a tight-fitting lid or canopy on the aquarium to prevent any potential accidents or escapes.Are Panda Corydoras sensitive to water quality?Like most freshwater fish, Panda Corydoras are sensitive to poor water quality and require stable water parameters. Regular water changes, efficient filtration, and proper maintenance are crucial for their long-term health and well-being.Can Panda Corydoras be bred in captivity?While breeding Panda Corydoras in captivity is possible, it can be challenging and requires precise environmental conditions, including specific water parameters, spawning triggers, and the presence of a suitable spawning substrate or cave.What are the common diseases or health issues in Panda Corydoras?Panda Corydoras are generally hardy fish, but they can be susceptible to common freshwater fish diseases like ich, fin rot, and bacterial infections if water quality is poor or they are stressed.Are Panda Corydoras suitable for a community aquarium?Yes, Panda Corydoras are suitable for community aquariums, provided their environmental and dietary requirements are met. They can add interesting behavior and help control algae growth in a well-established community setup.Do Panda Corydoras need a specific water flow?Panda Corydoras prefer a gentle to moderate water flow in their aquarium, as they are adapted to slow-moving streams and rivers in their natural habitat. Strong currents can stress them and make it difficult for them to swim and forage.How many Panda Corydoras should be kept together?It is recommended to keep Panda Corydoras in groups of at least 6 individuals, but larger groups of 8 to 10 fish are ideal. They are schooling fish and feel more secure and exhibit natural behaviors when kept in larger compatible groups.Can Panda Corydoras be kept with other bottom-dwelling fish?Panda Corydoras can be kept with other bottom-dwelling fish species, such as other Corydoras catfish, plecos, or small loaches. However, it is important to ensure that the tank is large enough to accommodate their combined space requirements and that they have similar water parameter needs.Do Panda Corydoras need hiding spots?Yes, Panda Corydoras benefit from having plenty of hiding spots in their aquarium, such as driftwood, rocks, or caves. These hiding spots provide them with a sense of security and allow them to exhibit their natural behaviors more readily.How long do Panda Corydoras live?With proper care and optimal water conditions, Panda Corydoras can live for 5 to 8 years in captivity. However, their lifespan can be shorter if their care requirements are not met or if they are subjected to poor water quality.Can Panda Corydoras be kept with live plants?Yes, Panda Corydoras can be kept in a planted aquarium, as they are generally peaceful and will not intentionally harm live plants. However, they may uproot or disturb delicate plant species while foraging for food or digging in the substrate.Are Panda Corydoras nocturnal or diurnal?Panda Corydoras are primarily nocturnal, meaning they are most active during the night or in low-light conditions. During the day, they may spend more time resting or hiding, but they will come out to feed and explore when the lights are dimmed or off.Can Panda Corydoras be kept in a brackish water aquarium?No, Panda Corydoras are strictly freshwater fish and cannot tolerate brackish or saltwater conditions. They require stable freshwater parameters and should not be kept in aquariums with any salt content.Do Panda Corydoras need an air pump or bubbler?While Panda Corydoras do not strictly require an air pump or bubbler, they can benefit from moderate surface agitation or water movement. This helps to oxygenate the water and mimic their natural habitat conditions.Can Panda Corydoras be kept with aggressive fish?It is not recommended to keep Panda Corydoras with aggressive or territorial fish species, as they are peaceful and may become stressed or bullied. They are best kept with other peaceful community fish of similar size and temperament.What is the minimum group size for Panda Corydoras?While the recommended group size for Panda Corydoras is at least 6 individuals, some aquarists suggest keeping a minimum of 4 fish together. However, larger groups are generally better for their overall well-being and natural behavior.How often should Panda Corydoras be fed?Panda Corydoras should be fed once or twice a day, offering only what they can consume within a few minutes. Overfeeding can lead to poor water quality and health issues.Can Panda Corydoras be kept in a bare-bottom aquarium?While Panda Corydoras can be kept in a bare-bottom aquarium, it is generally recommended to provide a soft, sandy substrate to mimic their natural habitat and allow them to forage and sift through the substrate comfortably.Do Panda Corydoras need a quarantine period?It is advisable to quarantine new Panda Corydoras for at least two weeks before introducing them to an established aquarium. This helps to prevent the spread of any potential diseases or parasites.Can Panda Corydoras be kept with shrimp?Panda Corydoras can be kept with shrimp, as they are generally peaceful and will not intentionally harm them. However, it is important to provide ample hiding spots for the shrimp and ensure that the tank is large enough to accommodate both species.Are Panda Corydoras sensitive to water fluctuations?Yes, Panda Corydoras are sensitive to fluctuations in water parameters, such as pH, temperature, and hardness. Sudden changes in water conditions can stress them and make them more susceptible to diseases.

Can Panda Corydoras be kept in a fish-only aquarium?

Yes, Panda Corydoras can be kept in a fish-only aquarium, provided their water parameter requirements are met and they are kept in a compatible group with other peaceful fish species.

Do Panda Corydoras need a specific type of filtration?

Panda Corydoras do not require a specific type of filtration, but they benefit from efficient mechanical and biological filtration to maintain good water quality. Overpowered filters can create strong currents, which they may find stressful.Can Panda Corydoras be kept with live driftwood?Yes, Panda Corydoras can be kept with live driftwood in the aquarium. Driftwood can provide hiding spots, create a natural-looking environment, and help maintain stable water parameters.Are Panda Corydoras sensitive to medications or chemicals?Panda Corydoras can be sensitive to certain medications and chemicals used in aquariums, such as copper-based treatments or high levels of ammonia or nitrites. It is important to follow dosage instructions carefully and monitor water parameters closely.Can Panda Corydoras be kept in a nano aquarium?While it is possible to keep Panda Corydoras in a nano aquarium (under 20 gallons), it is generally not recommended due to their active nature and the need for a larger group. Nano aquariums may not provide enough space for their long-term well-being.


International Federation of Online Clubs and Aquatic Societies (IFOCAS)

Federation of British Aquatic Societies (FBAS)

Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies (NEC)

Federation of American Aquarium Societies (FAAS)


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