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Pygmy Corydora

Pygmy Corydora

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Corydoras pygmaeus

Note: Due
to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image




Rio Madeira, Brazil

Sexual Dimorphism

Females grow slightly larger and appear wider
when viewed from above.

Maximum Size

3cm (1.2?)

Water Parameters

Soft & slightly acidic conditions are best
long-term. pH: 6.0-7.2, dH: up to 15 degrees.


22-26 deg C (72-79 deg F)


Specialist community of tiny fish only, or
species-only aquaria.





The Pygmy Cory is a peaceful little species, ideally suited
to smaller softwater aquaria. Due to its diminutive adult size, it is not
suitable for the general community aquarium as it may be intimidated by or
preyed upon by larger tankmates. Mature, densely planted nano tanks would be
perfect for this pretty, shoaling catfish. There should be a sandy substrate in
order to protect the delicate sensory barbels, and some shady hiding spots
amongst driftwood and broad leaved plants. Floating plants can also be useful
in helping to diffuse bright lighting. Peat filtration will help to keep the
water soft and acidic, and the tannins released will result in the fish showing
their best colours. Unusually for a Corydoras catfish, this delightful species
spends a good deal of time hovering in midwater. Pygmy Cories should always be
maintained in large sized groups of at least 10 specimens; this will not only
give them more confidence, but will result in a more effective, natural-looking
shoal. Other tankmates could include tiny sized characins such as Ember Tetras,
micro Rasboras (Boraras spp.), or small ornamental shrimps such as Red Crystals
or Cherries. Frequent partial water changes are a must, as these fish can be
very sensitive to elevated nitrate levels. 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. This species may sometimes
be confused with C. hastatus, but the two can be told apart fairly easily as C.
pygmaeus has a dark stripe that runs along the entire length of the lateral
line from the tip of the snout and onto the caudal fin (this is lacking in C.



Offer a variety of appropriately sized foods, such as small
sinking catfish pellets, micro granules, crushed flake, mini-bloodworm, white
mosquito larvae, daphnia, vitamin-enriched brineshrimp, and baby brineshrimp.



This species is said to be a little more difficult to breed
than other members of the genus, as it can be difficult to raise the miniscule
fry. It may be easier to attempt reproduction of this species in a dedicated
breeding tank, set up with parameters matching the main tank but instead
filtered by a small air driven sponge filter which should prevent any fry from
being drawn in. A cooler water change may trigger your fish into spawning in
the classic Corydoras ?T-position?. Soft, acidic water seems to be essential
(peat filtration suggested) and a ratio of 2 males to every female tends to
work best. The 1mm eggs (numbering up to 100 per female) are individually
deposited, usually on the glass or amongst fine-leaved plants. Once spawning is
over, the adults should be acclimatised back to the main aquarium, and the eggs
can then be raised in the safety of the breeding tank, away from any predators.
Many aquarists find that the addition of a small amount of methylene blue or an
alder cone helps to prevent the eggs from fungussing, but any that do still
fungus should be immediately removed to prevent it spreading to healthy eggs. A
sand substrate actually seems to work better than a bare bottomed tank in
preventing disease in this species. All being well, the eggs should hatch
within 3 to 5 days, depending on water temperature. The fry will initially feed
from their yolk sacs and can then be offered microscopic foodstuffs such as
infusoria for the first few days, moving on to baby brineshrimp (Artemia
nauplii) and microworms as they grow.