Panda Cory Catfish are peaceful, easy to care for and often, one of the first fish that an enthusiast will get. Panda Cory are named because of the black patches around their eyes, they also have a base color of white or orange, that reflects some green. Minimum tank size 50 litres, adult size up to 5 cm.
This popular Corydoras (cory) species originates from Peru, where it is found in the Ucayali river system, the main headwater of the Amazon River. The region from which the panda cory originates is known for its blackwater conditions. The water is on the acidic side and quite soft due to a lack of minerals. Additionally, these waters are a bit cooler than other tropical areas, running in the mid to low 70s on average.
Panda corys are a highly energetic fish that rarely stays in one place for too long. At times, they seem to move faster than the speed of light as they tear around the aquarium, usually in trios or as a large shoal.
Panda Cory prefer cooler waters and demand a higher quality of maintenance because their native rivers have mountain streams and meltwaters from mountain snow flowing into them. They live in shallow streams with soft sediment and slow-moving water. The water in these environments is clear and warm, and this should be reflected in their tank. They require soft sediments, preferably sand, however, small and rounded gravel can also be used for the substrate. If the gravel is sharp, then it can lead to cuts and infections.
Corydoras have the ability to breathe air intestinally, so a small gap should be left between the surface of the water and the cover slides in order for the fish to come up to the surface and take air in. It may do this numerous times per day.
Take care not to stress them, as this can cause them to release toxins that can kill other fish.
Though many assume that because of their location a fast flow is required, they much prefer slower streams and inlets where they are sheltered from fast-moving water. This should be reflected in the aquarium by adjusting the filter to a weaker setting. A planted aquarium will break the water flow too, as well as oxygenating the water and providing cover from the light. Plants to consider include amazon swords, crypts, penny warts, and dwarf hairgrass.
In the wild Cory Catfish would be found among tetras, such as neon tetras or phantom tetras. They can also be paired with livebearers such as Guppies, Mollys, and Swordtails. Again, brightly colored fish that are peaceful and easy to care for. Corys can also live with other types of Catfish, such as ottos or plecos, or some other types of an animal such as snails or shrimps. Because they mostly stay at the lower levels of the tank, they make perfect community fish and can be paired with other peaceful fish. However, despite being armored they should not be kept with aggressive fish. Oscars and cichlids will often try and injure or eat Corys.
They are schooling fish so require a group – 6 is recommended. These fish will happily join other species of Corydoras, and some have been known to shoal with similarly colored tetras. In the wild the groups would be much larger than this, so don’t shy away from having a big collection.
They eat by sucking up food with their mouth from the ground, sometimes digging so that half their face is buried. They will eat most of the basic foods, such as flake food, but sinking pellets that sink to their level replicate their natural feeding habits better. These fish will also enjoy bottom feeder tablets, shrimp pellets, and algae wafers. Bloodworms and daphnia make great treats too. Changing their food source every few days will ensure they get a good variety of nutrients. Corydoras should be fed once daily, and only given as much food as they can eat in 3-5 minutes. Corys will spend most of their active hours searching for food along the substrate, picking up sand with their mouths and filtering through it.
High nitrate levels can cause stress in Corydoras, so test the water regularly and keep it at 0 ppm. Stress can lead to barbel infections, so it is always best to monitor your water quality as well as their behavior. Weekly water changes are also needed – you should aim to charge around 20% of the water.
They are also susceptible to a few diseases such as red blotch or ich.
See Fish Disease Diagnosis and Treatment at Rebel Pets for help with diagnosing and treating diseases.
|Adult Size:||5 cm|
|Aquarist Experience Level:||Beginner|
|Minimum Tank Size:||50 litres|
|Water Flow:||Slow to Moderate|
|Temperature:||20 to 25°C|
|pH:||6 – 7|
|Hardness:||2 to 12 dGH|