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Panda Corydoras Care Guide – Diet, Tankmates, Breeding

The Panda Corydoras catfish is an amazingly cute little fish that can be kept as a pet in your home aquarium. If you are looking for a fish that is suitable for your home aquarium, the cute Panda Corydoras serves just that purpose.

But before we domesticate this little catfish, we need to be aware of its characteristics, its natural habitat as well as its feeding, basically its nature, so we can provide the best environment for it live in.

This way, we do not end up killing it. This article will serve as your panda corydoras care guide. This article will help you understand most of all you need to know about the Panda Cory catfish by answering a series of questions on the fish.

Where Is The Panda Corydoras Originally From?

The Panda Corydoras is a South American fish popularly known to live in the river Ucayali basin, located in Peru and Brazil (this is the upper region of the Amazon River). It can thrive both in muddy and clean waters of tributaries and streams.

And sometimes, it swims close to the sandy bottom. In this particular region, you have meltwater that flows from the snowy Andes downward. This is the reason why the Panda Corydoras is used to low water temperature (around 190C) and a water flow that is fast. So when you keep them, you should ensure you that you put them in an environment that is similar to their natural habitat.

The Panda Corydoras belongs to the Corydoras genera. These genera consist of a known180 species of fish. Their sizes range from 1 to 5 inches long. Though they are often referred to as catfish, they are not truly catfish.

They are perhaps called by the name because of the whiskers (barbels) around their mouth. This feature is not a reason that is strong enough for them to be given that name. This name is often used because it is quite easy to remember.

What Do They Look Like?

The Panda Corydoras is a small sized fish. They have an attractive pattern on their body. The combination of the light and dark stripes on their body looks like the giant panda colouration (Ailuropoda melanoleuca).

This is what actually gave the name of the fish, 'Panda' Corydoras. The Panda Corydoras body colour ranges from white to pink. They also have three obvious dark spots on their body.

The first black covers the upper part of their head and their eyes, just like the black spot you will see around the eyes of a real panda. You will see the second one on the dorsal fin of the fish.

The third one is located where their tail begins. Seeing that they belong to the Corydoras family, they have along their body two rows of horny scales.

They also have barbells, three pairs. You will notice that the Panda Corydoras has a bilobular dorsal fin. The adult size of your Panda Corydoras can be up to five centimetres.

But most of the time, they are usually smaller than this, so you shouldn’t panic if your fish is not as big as this. The name Corydoras is gotten from the combination of Greek words, 'Cory’ – helmet & 'Doras’ – skin, according to meethepet.

What Are Their Best Tankmates?

The Panda Corydoras is a peaceful fish and as such, it can cohabit with most other fish. They are omnivorous bottom feeders. So you can be sure that they won’t eat the other fish you keep with them in the tank.

They live peaceably with Neon and other small fishes. Ancistrus types are also wonderful tank mate. You can actually keep any Corydoras or Aspidoras species of fish together with them.

These are their best companion. It is also important that you pay attention to their sizes, as much as possible put them together with the same sized fishes.

When you want to separate them from their tank mates, it is advised that you move their tank mates and not move them.

This is because they are quite sensitive to you relocating them, and such activity could affect your fish’s willingness and ability to breed.

When they also lay eggs, it is important that you move the eggs or keep it in a plastic container that you can still keep in the tank to avoid a change in water chemistry. If you don’t keep the eggs like this their other tank mates may eat them, or even the hungry parent, according to aqua-fish.

What Is The Best Tank Size For Panda Corydoras?

The Panda Corydoras is a relatively small fish and as such, they don’t require a very big tank. They can be kept in a 37 litres (10 gallons, 8.3 imperial gallons) tank size. It is advised that you don’t keep your Panda Corydoras fish alone in the tank.

They love companionship. So you should buy a group of 10 or even 15 specimens and keep them in your tank. Loneliness can stress your Panda Corydoras.

You need to ensure that your tank is well aerated. When you notice your Panda Corydoras swimming to the top so as to gulp air, then it’s an indication that you should check your tank aeration.

These plants are good for your Panda Corydoras tank; Echinodorus angustifolius, Cabomba furcate, Anubias nana, Ludwigia inclinata, Echinodorus amazonicus, Mayaca fluviatilis, Anubias sp., and Echinodorus bleheri.

The Panda Corydoras consumes food at the lowest level of the tank, so you need to pay attention to the tank substrate you are using. A sandy to fine gravel (the diameter should not be more than 4mm) substrate is appropriate for them.

If the substrate is not according to the recommendation, your Panda Corydoras may injure its barbells if they run into the big or sharp rocks.

What Are The Water Requirements?

Unlike some other fishes, the Panda Corydoras water requirement is not too hard to meet. They require a biotope environment. The temperature should range between 22 and 28 0C (71.6 – 82.40F).

The water hardness should also be between (dGH) 4 and 18 0N. A pH of 5.8 to 7.8 is appropriate. The cory’s are quite sensitive to a sudden change in the water chemistry. This can lead to diseases on your Panda Corydoras and eventually mortality.

Just like the air around us needs not to be polluted, so is the case with fishes. You need to pay close attention to the quality of the water that you are putting them in. So it is important that you change at least 30% of their water every week.

This will enable you to keep their water free from contamination. If you are familiar with water chemistry, you will realize that nitrates and ammonia accumulate close to the bottom region of the tank.

Therefore, fishes that are bottom dweller are always the first to suffer from this contamination. The Panda Corydoras is a very strong fish, but you shouldn’t test its limit by ignoring your tank water condition.

What Is Their Best Diet?

There are indeed different species of catfish. One thing to note which characterizes a particular species is their diet. Belonging to the large Kingdom Animalia and Phylum Chordata, Corydoras Panda is a special species of catfish. It has its major habitat in the riverine areas of South America.

From scientific research, data and analysis, it has been proven that the diet requirement by this species has to be provided in an aquarium that has protection to a certain degree from excess light penetration.

In addition, the understanding of the feeding patterns and mechanisms of the Corydoras Panda helps to classify their diet. Generally, these catfishes are known to basically feed on all food matters that find their way into the floor of their habitat.

As such, the diet of the Corydoras Panda consists of particles of displaced algae matter. Owing to the fact that they are also carnivorous in nature, they also feed on organisms such as shrimps and worms.

In some cases, it has been reported that some species of these catfishes in the riverine areas of Ecuador feed massively on vegetable food matter, dead and decaying fishes and other micro substrates.

How Can You Tell The Difference Between The Male And Female Sex?

Generally speaking, animals, irrespective of their complexity, can still be broadly classified based on their sexes. Apart from the unique cases of some lower organisms that may be difficult to classify, Pandas Corydoras can be easily divided into the male and the female sex.

What then becomes important is how to identify the male and how to distinguish it from the female sex. However, the basic feature required for any Pandas Corydoras species irrespective of its sex is the presence of a cream body lined with dark patches in the regions of their eyes.

In more detailed terms, there are some very conspicuous body features that make it possible to identify the female Pandas Corydoras. For example, the female can be exclusively distinguished by their perfectly rounded stomach region structure.

As such, this makes the male to appear slightly smaller in structure than the female. As a matter of scientific investigation, it has been confirmed that the reason for this morphological difference is hinged on the fact that eggs are carried by the females, unlike the males.

For this reason, an aquarium where these catfishes are contained usually have a higher population of males than the females.

Are The Panda Corydoras Easy To Breed?

Yes, you can easily breed Pandas Corydoras catfish. However, before you can think of which species of organisms to breed, what should first come to your mind is how to provide the habitat required.

For example, a species that requires a swampy habitat for growth and survival will not thrive in a habitat of alarming heat. Similarly, to successfully breed Panda Corydoras, the habitat requirement is one of the most important factors to consider.

In view of the above-stated factor, the best-fit habitat that makes breeding these catfishes so easy for breeding is a riverine area of flowing streams that has particles such as substrates.

Also, another underlying factor that makes the breeding of these species easy is what is called the weather and temperature condition. In essence, Panda Corydoras, especially in the regions of South America, have thrived well as a result of an average temperature ranging from 15 – 19 Celcius degree.

From previous conversations and chats with individuals with these pet catfishes, many of them have claimed that they only had difficulty in breeding these fishes when they did not perfectly understand their environmental requirements.

What Is The Best Way To Breed Them?

There are different methods through which breeding can be done depending on the species of organisms. However, the general scientific study and practice of animal breeding involve some basic concepts.

Some of these are genetics, bioengineering, biostatistics, and genomics. Therefore, these processes are likewise applied to the breeding of panda corydoras.

In their case, one thing to understand is that the general corydoras species can undergo a similar breeding process.

The best way to breed this catfish is still through the use of the breeding tank. In this technique, there is a particular dimension for this tank. This usually has the length, breadth and height dimension of the 18’’ by 12’’ by 12’’.

In addition, the material that is used for coating the floor of this tank usually is sand or gravel matter. To add to this tank specification, you need to ensure the use of properly ventilated media such as the air-powered sponge. This helps to achieve a temperature of about 20 Celcius degree.

What Size Are They?

Body size is one of the very important determining factors used to estimate the growth of animals. Usually, with fishes, the expression and estimation of their sizes are best described by certain morphological features.

One key morphological factor considered is the body length. As with the case of general catfishes, their body size is usually in the range of a maximum length of about 12cm.

In fact, there are in existence the smallest species of some catfishes which at maturity do not grow longer in size than just a centimetre, which is just about 0.39 inches. However, in the case of the panda corydoras species, these ones can have a body length of about 1.5 inches.

A critical point of view about the body size of these catfishes is the factors that determine their growth and conditions that could either hasten or slow down their growth process.

In essence, the nutritional composition is given to panda corydoras still remains the underlying factor for their growth rate. Therefore, if you want to achieve this maximum body size, you need to consider their nutritional composition. This involves how regularly they are fed with substrates like algae.

What should you put in the tank to keep them happy?

The panda Corydoras catfish are a friendly species of fish that are very more active when they with other fishes in a group of six and seven. The panda Cory catfish are bottom dwellers; they like to swim near the bottom.

The bottom of the tank should be filled with smooth sand. Sharp or coarse sand can cause damage to the fish. Corydoras natural habitat is filled with vegetations and lots of places to hide.

You create a better environment for your catfish by putting in more plants in your home aquarium. For your tank size, get a tank size of 20 gallons for a set of 6, so there can be enough swimming space for your fish.

Your panda corydoras will be more active when the water temperature in your aquarium is close to that of its natural habitat. The water.

How Big Do Panda Corydoras Get?

The panda Cory catfish are a very small species of fish, the adult size grows up to 2 inches (5cm). They are very peaceful fish; they are more active when in the tank in the group of 6.

The size of the catfish limits the number of fishes that can be placed as a thank mate. The catfish cannot be placed with a bigger tank mate, you may come by to find out that you panda Cory catfish has been eaten up by it tank mate.

They cannot be kept with aggressive fishes; their small size puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to defending themselves. However, their small also serve as an advantage to us as it makes it easy to house them. When imported as a juvenile, it is usually very small, but can grow up to 1 cm in the first month.

The panda Cory are bottom dwellers they look very beautiful when they swim together in groups. Their small sizes give them an adorable look which makes them pleasant to watch. Proper feeding of your panda Cory catfish, allow is to maintain its size and pleasant body structure.

Are Panda Corydoras Known To Get The Red Blotch Disease?

The panda Cory catfish are a very healthy and active fish when placed under proper feeding and proper water condition. However the Red Blotch is a disease that is common in the Corydoras family which also affect other bottom-dwelling fish.

The Red Blotch diseases are sores with blood on the skin of the catfish, especially along the belly of the fish. The infection does not spread easily. The catfish can be infected with the disease for weeks or a month before they die. The bacteria that cause the Red Blotch disease haven’t been discovered yet but the causing factors have already been identified.

Stress caused by the environment the fish lives in is one of the key factors that cause this disease. Another factor that causes this disease is sharp sand at the bottom of the aquarium. Sharp sand causes abrasions to the whiskers and the belly of the catfish which makes them more vulnerable to this disease.

How Long Do They Usually Live For?

The panda Cory catfish is an amazing little catfish. It is a friendly fish, it is easy to care for and it poses little challenges if properly taken care of. The panda Cory catfish lives for about 4-5 years. If well taken care of and placed under proper water and an environment that bears semblance to its natural habitat, it can live up to 10 years. The panda Cory catfish are delicate species of fish. They should not be placed in a condition that is stressful. When the panda Cory catfish is exposed to stress, it is also exposed to a disease.

Stress can make the panda Cory catfish die and in most times, it reduces their lifespan. For us to ensure that our catfish lives for a longer period of time, we should keep them safe from dirt which can cause disease. A proper water filtration is key to ensuring a clean environment for them. The proper feed also helps your catfish to be in good health and more active, which tend to enable them to live for a longer period. Live foods sometimes carry disease, so we should be careful of what we feed our fish.

The temperature of your tank should be between 70 and 78 degrees. Ensure to feed your fish regularly at least once a day. The panda corydoras do not feed much. Also, ensure to maintain a good environment as sometimes, the panda corydoras swim to the top of the tank to get more oxygen. Paying more attention to your pet fish helps to properly take of them.

Are The Panda Corydoras Easy To Look After?

The panda Cory catfish are a type catfish that are easy to care for. It is a very active and it is not difficult to feed. It eats all types of food; you can feed them worms, pellets etc.

The fish is one of the best choices for a beginner aquarist. It does not require a big tank but instead, t requires a minimum of 10 gallons, a tank size you can easily afford. It is not expensive to take care of; you can feed your panda Cory catfish once in a day. You can feed them in the morning before going to work and you do not need to worry about your catfish getting hungry before you get back.

For the cleaning, minimum of 30% of the water in the aquarium needs to be changed per week, which you can schedule to anytime you are free. As long as you maintain a proper water filtration, condition, temperature, and a proper diet, you do not worry about your catfish getting infected with a disease. Another thing that can make them sick is food poisoning.


The Panda Corydoras is a fish that can be kept and raised by anyone, even a beginner aquarist. You can start out with it. The feeding and other requirements of the fish are not too hard to fulfil.

A lot of people have always asked what fish they can keep as a beginner aquarist. The Panda Corydoras is the answer. I would like to know if you enjoyed this article. Did you find it resourceful? Were you enlightened? Feel free to drop a comment in the comment section below or share the post on your social media platforms and let us all spread the message. Also, check out my next freshwater fish article about the ​Yoyo Loach Fish.


Hey, thanks for passing by, welcome to the blog for Pet Fish fans. This is me, Wayne, and my son Theo. I started this journey after we bought him hist first Fish Tank of fish. Follow my site for my research and info on Pet Fish.