Pygmy Cory: Complete Guide to Care, Breeding, Tank Size and Disease

Pygmy Cory Overview

The Pygmy Cory (Corydoras pygmaeus), sometimes known as the Pygmy Catfish, is a tiny freshwater fish species that belongs to the Corydoradinae family.

Corydoras is their family, and ‘Cory’ is an abbreviation for Corydoras.
The Pygmy Cory is primarily found in Brazil’s Madeira River basin, but individuals can be found all over South America.

Traditionally, just one type of small Corydoras was considered to exist (Corydoras hastatus). However, the Pygmy Cory variety was identified in the early 1900s after discovering that several varieties had been misinterpreted.

They flourish in subtropical tanks and are an excellent option for novices; however, seasoned aquarists also enjoy them. Refer to this Pygmy Cory Care guide to know more about

Information Chart Pygmy Cory
Scientific Name: Corydoras pygmaeus
Family: Corydoradinae
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful fish
Color: Silver body with black lines on it
Lifespan: Three years
Size: About 1 inch
Diet: Omnivorous
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons tank
Temperature: 72–79-degree Fahrenheit
Water Conditions: Freshwater
Tank Mate Compatibility Small compatible communities

Pygmy Cory Appearance

Pygmy cory

Pygmy Cory is a little fish, as its name implies. Males are much tiny, measuring only 0.75 inches. Females are about an inch in length. Females are also often larger, particularly when they are bearing eggs. Their body is silver with a continuous black line running horizontally from the nose to the tail section. A secondary, narrower black line runs all along the body’s bottom half.

Whenever the fry hatches, they possess vertical lines on their flanks, then after a month, they fade and are substituted by horizontal lines. The dark marks identify them from Corydoras hastatus, which has black dots on its tails but not the Pygmy Cory.

Types of Cory

Pygmaeus (pygmy cory)

This little fish has a continuous dark line along the lengths of one side of its body. The area above the black line is normally a deeper greyish, whereas the underside is primarily white or cream.


These Corydoras reach around 1.5 inches and have a longer profile than that of other Corydoras. Their entire body is a pale silver with olive undertones, with a distinct bright horizontal line running all along sides which does not part ways the silver coloration in either manner. The fish’s 2nd most popular name comes from a black patch on its tail encircled by a whitish semi-circle.


The salt and pepper cory develops to around 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in size and has a dark line running the length of its body, with deeper grey on the front and a whitish underside, similar to Pygmaeus. The key distinction would be that this line is shattered and shattered. This fish also has a couple of black patches on its spine and ventral and tail fin, which is a big giveaway.

Lifespan of Pygmy Cory

The typical lifespan of a Pygmy Cory is up to 3 years. After that, they have a very low life expectancy.

Pygmy Cory Size

The typical Pygmy Cory typically grows up to 1 inch. The fish are as small as their title suggests! A Pygmy Cory Catfish is about one inch long on average.

They can require a capacity of 1.3 inches on the larger side of the spectrum. However, such occurrences are uncommon.

Natural Habitat and Origin

The Pygmy Cory is usually located in Brazil’s Madeira River basin, but colonies can be discovered all over South America.

Initially, just one species of small Corydoras was considered to exist (Corydoras hastatus). However, the Pygmy Cory genus was reported in the early 1900s after discovering that several varieties had been misinterpreted.

The Pygmy Cory can be located in South America’s smallest streams of major rivers. The Madeira River in Brazil, the Nanay River in Peru, and the Aguarico River in Ecuador are just a few examples.

Although all of these streams have a warm climate, the ph. might vary. For example, the waters might slowly move, and there’d be plenty of sunlight.

Pygmy Cory Care & Tank Set-Up

Pygmy Cory Tank Size and Specifications

Pygmy Cory Tank Size and Specifications

Optimum Tank Size for Pygmy Cory

The recommended tank size for Pygmy Cory is 10 gallons.

The greatest part of having Pygmy Cory’s is, that, unlike other fish, they don’t require a large aquarium! In aquariums as tiny as 10 gallons, they thrive. For a tiny gathering, this should work.

Choose a tank that is taller than it is high when shopping. This is because these freshwater fish are quite energetic, and they prefer to seek more side movement areas.


Sandy substrate

How many Pygmy Cory in a 5-gallon tank?

You can accommodate 6 Pygmy Cory’s in a 5-gallon tank.

Water Parameters for Pygmy Cory

Water Temperature

The ideal water temperature for 72-to-79-degrees Fahrenheit.

pH Level

The perfect water pH level for Pygmy Cory is 6.5 to 7.5.

Water Hardness

6-10 dKH

Pygmy Cory Tank Landscape

Pygmy Cory catfish, like every other fish, thrive in native surroundings that mimic their natural habitat. Therefore, these fishes prefer ornately decorated tanks with plenty of hiding spots and excitement points. They live in the bottom section of the river along with other fellow cory species. They are found in the South African Continent.

Pygmy Cory Tank Landscape

Best Plants for Pygmy Cory Tanks

Fine sand, floating plants, small foreground plants aids in giving ideal conditions to this fish species. Floating plants help in scattering the access light and providing the fish with the required dim light. Also, mosses are suitable for Pygmy Cory.

Worst Plants for Pygmy Cory Tanks

Gravel stones, weeds, tubes in the aquarium are harmful to Pygmy Cory. In addition, decaying plant matters should be removed from the tank.

Decorations for Pygmy Cory Tanks

Sand and shrimp flats and artificial bushes should be a part of the tank. Additionally, dim lighting is preferable.

Lighting for Pygmy Cory Tanks

Dim- medium lighting is preferable.

Feeding Pygmy Cory

Best Diet for Pygmy Cory

This species, like many in the Corydora genus, has been well for eating algae. However, they have a strong hunger for veggies and will eat anything they can get their hands on!

Pygmy Cory’s, contrary to popular thought, cannot thrive solely on algae. They also demand protein-rich food supply regularly. Providing a well-balanced meal with a complete nutritional content is essential for optimal wellness.

Their immune systems will remain healthy and prepared to attack illnesses if they eat nutrient-dense foods.

These fish are true omnivores, and they thrive on regular pellets or flake feeds. Lengthy algae wafers, shellfish, bloodworms, and larvae are also options.

How often should you feed Pygmy Cory?

Pygmy Cory should typically be fed once every day. All you have to do is serve your Cory’s the amount of food you can consume in 5 minutes. It’s fine to give them once-twice a day at most. While other fishes can’t, they’ll spend the balance of their time foraging and obtaining food for themselves.

Pygmy Cory Behavior and Temperament

These fish are extremely well-behaved. They are solitary and can simply be incorporated into a community setting. They spend significant amounts of time in the reduced ranks but swim in shoals further up the aquarium. To avoid overcrowding the mid-levels, bear that in mind when loading the aquarium. Aquarium maintenance is an important factor for keeping pygmy corys.

Pygmy Corys on Plant

You may well be able to see pygmy corys right on the surface. This is because they can obtain oxygen from the atmosphere through their intestine. Since this is inefficient, companies just do it when the water quality is poor.

Pygmy Cory’s prefer to spend a considerable amount of their time in the middle of the surrounding water, despite spending a lot of time near the vessel’s bottom. They’ll also come closer to the surface, where you’ll see some unusual behavior.

Is Pygmy Cory Lone or Societal In Nature?

Pygmy Cories are very friendly fishes who like to stay in groups and do not cause rivalries. Even with other fishes apart from Cory’s, they are very friendly and love playing and moving around.

They are preferable to be kept in tanks with fishes smaller than them or of a similar size as if the fishes bigger in size than Cory’s are kept in tanks with it, and they will most likely become prey to those bigger aquatic animals.

Pygmy Cory Tank Mates

Ideal Pygmy Cory Tank Mates

Pygmy Cory’s are peace-loving creatures who don’t mind sharing their space with others. However, they are frequently mistaken for prey by bigger, more aggressive fish, which can be a concern.

Group of Different Types of Pygmy Cory's in Tank

If you want these fish to feel like they’re part of that community, keep stuff calm and tiny. Choose varieties that are less than an inch in size and are comparable in size. Snails and shrimp are also options.

Here are some good Pygmy Cory tank mates to think about:

Bad Tank Mates for Pygmy Cory

Fishes like Betta Fish are not recommended with Pygmy Cory.

Breeding Pygmy Cory

Pygmy Cory mating is rather simple and occurs more frequently in well-kept tanks. On average, whenever these fishes are in a massive crowd, they are more likely to have kids.

You can induce spawning by feeding a nutrient diet and gradually lowering the temperature of the water. These mimic the seasonal climate changes that occur throughout the breeding season.

Females will keep a few eggs in their possession at a time while waiting for the male to fertilize them. Then, she’ll place them on a level surface after she’s finished. Typically, they’ll adhere them to the aquarium’s glass panels.

This procedure will be continued by the female, who will finally lay about a hundred eggs.

Pygmy Cory Breeding Level

  • Easy

Pygmy Cory Sexual Dimorphism?

To distinguish between male and female Pygmy Cory fish species, there are no specific ways. The only difference observed is that females tend to look rounder and wider when viewed from above, while males look smaller and leaner.

Pygmy Cory Common Diseases and their Treatment

Pygmy catfish are vulnerable to all of the common freshwater illnesses. In addition, they are susceptible to the same diseases and infections as other animals.

The Pygmy Cory Catfish, on the other hand, is reported to be more susceptible to an illness known as red blotch disease. Red, bleeding sores form all over the body as a result of this health problem.

Stress is a common cause of this condition. When water conditions become unstable, Pygmy Corydoras might become stressed. They may also be infected with Ich, a highly contagious and sometimes fatal disease.

To keep things safe and decrease the risk of diseases, check the water conditions regularly and do weekly water changes.

Is Pygmy Cory Right for You?

Care for cory catfish Corydoras is nothing to be terrified of. Even though these species need more care than a typical “low-maintenance” variety, the procedure is still fairly simple.

Beautiful Pygmy Cory at Bottom of the tank

In exchange, corydoras species will supply you with a great deal of enjoyment and satisfaction. It’s impossible to grow tired of looking after these adorable young catfish.

Facts about Pygmy Cory

  • The Cory catfish is also called the Corydoras catfish
  • Color, scent, nerve signals, and movement are the most prevalent ways corydoras pygmaeus communicate. Cory cats use appropriate communication ways of communicating with their aquarium buddies.
  • Pygmy Cory catfish are incredibly quick tiny fish that love to leap out from the water when kept in aquariums or tanks, despite their calm demeanor. As a result, it is critical to cover the aquariums or small tanks harboring these types of fish.
  • Fry refers to the young of all types of fish.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do Pygmy Cories feed on?

Frozen foods (frozen bloodworms, mosquito larvae, insect larvae, baby brine shrimp, cherry shrimp), tiny foods, catfish granules, flakes foods, and the odd algal pellet can be given to pygmy cories. However, make sure the meal is compact enough to carry into their little mouth, or they will be unable to consume it.

What is the maximum size of a Pygmy Cory?

The type’ greatest size is about 3.2 centimeters (1.3 in), but normal mature sizes for males are 1.9 centimeters (0.75 in) and females are 2.5 centimeters (1.0 in). Females are rounder and wider than males, particularly when they produce eggs, unlike being longer.

Is it true that pygmy Corydoras go to school?

Pygmies are among the most enjoyable fish ever maintained. Exceptionally sturdy and very tranquil (100 percent shrimp safe). They take up the entire tank, not just the base, as other cories do. They are obviously from school, not just shoal.


Even the tiniest tanks can accommodate these small fish. They blend in very well with other fish species, making them ideal for tranquil social tanks. Pygmy Cory exhibits certain unusual habits that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s unusual to see so many pygmy cory catfish swimming together like this up in the tank. Everyone can enjoy this little shoaling species. They’re simple to produce, nurture, and look after. Novice and experienced enjoy them because of this.



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