Corydoras Hastatus 101: Tail Spot Pygmy Cory Ultimate Guide

Corydoras Hastatus, also known as the Tail Spot Pygmy Cory, is a small and fascinating species of aquarium trade fish that hails from the tributaries of the Amazon River in South America. 

These tiny bottom-dwellers are popular among hobbyists for their peaceful nature, striking appearance, and ease of care. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into everything you need to know about keeping and caring for Cory Hastatus in your aquarium.

From their natural habitat and behavior to the ideal tank setup and compatible tankmates, this guide will provide a complete overview of the Tail Spot Pygmy Cory.

We will explore their dietary requirements, breeding habits, and common health issues, as well as offer tips for creating a thriving environment for these charming little fish.

Whether you are a seasoned aquarist looking to add a new species to your collection or a beginner interested in learning more about the fascinating world of aquarium fish, this guide will provide all the information you need to care for Corydoras Hastatus successfully. 

Scientific Classification of the Tail Spot Pygmy Corydoras (Corydoras Hastatus)

The Tail Spot Pygmy Corydoras, also known as the Dwarf Catfish, Micro Catfish, Pygmy Cory, or Tail Spot Pigmy Catfish, belonging to the subfamily Corydoradinae of the family Callichthyidae:

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Subphylum: Vertebrata Superclass: Gnathostomata Class: Actinopterygii Order: Siluriformes Family: Callichthyidae Genus: Corydoras Species: Corydoras hastatus

The specific epithet “hastatus” means “with a spear,” in reference to the spearhead-like spot on the tail root of this tropical freshwater fish

Here is a table summarizing the scientific classification of the Tail Spot Pygmy Corydoras:

RankTaxonCommon Name
SuperclassGnathostomataJawed Vertebrates
ClassActinopterygiiRay-finned Fishes
FamilyCallichthyidaeArmored Catfishes
GenusCorydorasCorydoras Catfishes
SpeciesCorydoras hastatusTail Spot Pygmy Corydoras

Corydoras Hastatus vs Corydoras Pygmaeus

Both Corydoras Hastatus (Tail Spot Cory) and Corydoras Pygmaeus (Pygmy Cory) are popular choices for aquariums due to their small size, peaceful nature, and interesting behavior. However, there are some critical differences between the two species that you may want to consider before making a decision.


  • Corydoras Hastatus: The Corydoras Hastatus has a silvery body with a large, black spot at the base of the tail that is flanked by small, white dots. It has a slightly more slender body than the Corydoras Pygmaeus. 
  • Corydoras Pygmaeus: The Corydoras Pygmaeus has a silvery body with a thin, horizontal black stripe. It has a more rounded body than the Corydoras Hastatus. 


  • Corydoras Hastatus: The Corydoras Hastatus is slightly larger than the Corydoras Pygmaeus, reaching a maximum length of about 2.4 inches.
  • Corydoras Pygmaeus: The Corydoras Pygmaeus is the smallest of the two species, reaching a maximum length of about 1.2 inches.


  • Corydoras Hastatus: The Corydoras Hastatus is a more active and outgoing fish than the Corydoras Pygmaeus. It is often seen swimming to a suitable water column.
  • Corydoras Pygmaeus: The Corydoras Pygmaeus is a more shy and reclusive fish than the Corydoras Hastatus. It is often seen hiding in the bottom of the tank.

Water Parameters:

  • Corydoras Hastatus: The Corydoras Hastatus prefers a pH of 6.0-7.5 and a temperature of 72-82°F.
  • Corydoras Pygmaeus: The Corydoras Pygmaeus prefers a pH of 6.0-7.0 and a temperature of 75-86°F.


  • Corydoras Hastatus: The Corydoras Hastatus is an omnivore and will eat a variety of foods, including sinking pellets, freezed dry fish food, flake food, and live foods.
  • Corydoras Pygmaeus: The Corydoras Pygmaeus is also an omnivore and will eat a variety of foods, but it may prefer smaller dried foods than the Corydoras Hastatus.


  • Corydoras Hastatus: The Corydora Hastatus is a peaceful tropical fish and is compatible with most other delicate fish.
  • Corydoras Pygmaeus: The Corydoras Pygmaeus is also a peaceful fish and is compatible with most other peaceful fish.

Which one is right for you?

The best Corydoras for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. If you are looking for a more active and outgoing fish, then the Corydoras Hastatus may be a good choice. If you are looking for a more shy and reclusive fish, then the Corydoras Pygmaeus may be a better option.

Here is a table summarizing the key differences between the two species:

FeatureCorydoras HastatusCorydoras Pygmaeus
AppearanceSilvery body with a large, black spot at the base of the tail flanked by small, white dotsSilvery body with a thin, horizontal black stripe
Size2.4 inches1.2 inches
BehaviorActive and outgoingShy and reclusive

What are Corydora Hastatus prices?

Corydoras Hastatus for Sale Prices varies depending on factors such as size, age, and availability. On average, you can find Corydoras Hastatus priced between $5 to $15 per fish.

Keep in mind that rare color variations or specific breeding lines may be priced higher. It’s always advisable to check with reputable aquarium stores or online sellers for the most accurate and current pricing information. 

Dwarf Corydoras Care

The Dwarf Corydoras, also known as Dwarf Catfish or Pygmy Cory, is one of three species of dwarf corydoras, including C. habrosus and C. pygmaeus. Corydoras hastatus reaches around an inch in size and thrives in small schools within a 10-gallon or larger aquarium.

Dwarf Corydoras are fascinating and peaceful fish that make excellent additions to community aquariums. However, their small size and specific needs require careful consideration. Here’s a comprehensive guide to caring for your Dwarf Corydoras:


  • Diet: Dwarf Corydoras are omnivores and require a varied diet. Offer a mix of High-quality sinking pellets: Choose pellets formulated explicitly for bottom feeders.
  • Frozen or live foods: Bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, and tubifex worms are excellent choices.
  • Blanched vegetables: Offer sliced zucchini, cucumber, or spinach.
  • Algae wafers: Supplement their diet with algae wafers to help them graze on the tank walls.
  • Feeding frequency: Feed them 2-3 small meals per day. Avoid overfeeding, as this can pollute the water.

Water Changes:

  • Perform regular water changes of 10-15% weekly to maintain good water quality.
  • Use a siphon to remove debris and uneaten food from the bottom of the tank.
  • Condition the tap water before adding it back to the tank to remove chlorine and chloramines.


  • Regularly clean the filter media and replace it as needed.
  • Trim any overgrown plants to maintain good water flow and prevent areas of stagnation.
  • Monitor the water parameters regularly and adjust them as needed.

General Care:

  • Dwarf Corydoras are peaceful community fish and do well with other temperate fish species. Avoid keeping them with aggressive or large fish.
  • They are schooling fish and should be kept in groups of at least 6-8 individuals. This allows them to feel secure and exhibit natural behaviors.
  • Observe your Dwarf Corydoras regularly for any signs of illness or stress, such as loss of appetite, lethargy, or clamped pelvic fins.
  • Quarantine any new fish before adding them to your main tank to prevent the introduction of diseases.

Setting up your Corydoras Hastatus aquarium

Setting up a Cory Hastatus aquarium requires careful consideration of the tank size, water parameters, and substrate. A 10-gallon tank is the minimum recommended size for a small group of these active and social fish.

The aquarium should be filled with soft, slightly acidic water and equipped with a filter to maintain good water quality. Corydoras Hastatus prefers a sandy substrate to allow for natural behaviors like sifting through the sand for food.

Decorate the tank with driftwood, live plants, and smooth rocks to mimic their natural habitat and provide hiding spots. Since these fish are relatively shy, it’s essential to create a peaceful environment with minimal stressors.

Adding a group of 6-8 Corydoras Hastatus to the tank will ensure their social needs are met. Once the aquarium is established, maintain regular water changes and a well-balanced diet to keep the fish healthy and happy in their new environment. 

Hastatus Corydoras Reproduction protocol

Breeding Hastatus Corydoras can be pretty challenging, and success requires careful planning and execution. Here’s a general protocol to guide you:


  • Tank: Set up a separate breeding tank of at least 10 gallons with a bare bottom or fine sand substrate. Ensure good water quality with a stable temperature of around 75-77°F (24-25°C) and a slightly acidic pH (6.0-6.5).
  • Water: Use aged water or treat tap water with a dechlorinator. Consider adding Indian almond leaves or peat moss to soften the water and lower the pH.
  • Filtration: A gentle sponge filter is suitable for providing adequate filtration without disturbing the eggs.
  • Hiding places: Provide plenty of hiding places for the fish, such as caves, plants, or driftwood. This is crucial for the females to lay eggs and for the fry to feel secure.

Conditioning the Fish:

  • Diet: Feed the fish a high-quality diet rich in protein and live foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. This will encourage breeding behavior.
  • Water changes: Perform regular water changes of 10-15% every few days to keep the water clean and stimulate spawning.
  • Sexing: Mature male Hastatus Corydoras have a more slender body and a sharper snout compared to females. The female holding eggs is rounder with a fuller abdomen when carrying eggs.

Inducing Spawning:

  • Water changes: Increase the frequency of water changes to 20-25% daily using cooler water (around 70-72°F, 21-22°C). This simulates the rainy season in their natural habitat and can trigger spawning.
  • Diet: Continue offering high-quality food and supplement with live foods.
  • Water movement: Increase water flow through a sponge filter or airstone to mimic the current of a flowing river.

Spawning and Egg Care:

  • Observe the fish closely. Spawning usually occurs in the early morning. The male will chase the female around the tank and then T-position himself beside her. The male fertilizes the eggs as she lays them, typically on the underside of leaves or other flat surfaces.
  • Once spawning is complete, remove the adult fish from the spawning tank. They may eat their eggs.
  • Eggs hatch within 3-5 days. During this time, maintain stable water parameters and avoid disturbing the tank.
  • Once the fry is free-swimming, offer them infusoria, microworms, or finely crushed flake food.

Raising the Fry:

  • Perform small water changes daily to maintain water quality.
  • Increase the frequency and amount of feedings as the fry grows.
  • Consider adding a small sponge filter to the tank once the fry is large enough to avoid getting sucked in.
  • As the fry grows, you can gradually transition them to a larger tank with other community fish.

Additional Tips:

  • Keep a close eye on the fry and remove any dead eggs or fry to prevent water quality issues.
  • Be patient! Successfully breeding Hastatus Corydoras requires dedication and consistent care.
  • Consider joining online forums or communities dedicated to Corydoras breeding for further advice and support.

Note: However, it is also believed that this Hastatus Corydoras species only lays a single egg

Ecology and natural habitat of the Corydoras hastatus

The Corydoras Hastatus, also known as the Dwarf Corydoras, is a small freshwater fish belonging to the Callichthyidae family. They are native to South America, specifically the Amazon River basin and its tributaries in Peru, Brazil, and Colombia.

These catfish typically inhabit slow-moving, shallow waters with dense vegetation. Their natural habitat includes:

  • Blackwater streams and rivers: The water in these environments is stained dark brown due to tannins and other organic matter released from decomposing leaves and wood.
  • Flooded forests: During the rainy season, water levels rise and inundate the forest floor, creating temporary pools and flooded areas that Corydoras Hastatus inhabit.
  • Sandy or muddy bottoms: They prefer soft substrates where they can easily sift through the sand for food.
  • Areas with dense vegetation: They seek shelter and shade amongst submerged plants, roots, and driftwood.


Corydoras Hastatus play an essential role in the ecology of their natural environment. They are:

  • Detritivores: They primarily feed on residue, which is organic matter that accumulates at the bottom of the water body. This includes decaying leaves, wood, and other organic debris. Consuming detritus helps break down this material and release nutrients back into the water column.
  • Prey species: They are a food source for larger fish, reptiles, and birds.
  • Scavengers: They scavenge for leftover food scraps and other edible items that fall to the bottom of the water body. This helps to keep the environment clean and free of waste.

How big are Hastatus Corydoras?

Hastatus Corydoras are small fish, reaching a maximum size of 1.4 inches (3.5 cm), with 1 inch (2.5 cm) being more typical. They are classified as “dwarf” Corydoras due to their size.

What is the difference between Corydoras Hastatus and Pygmaeus?

Corydoras Hastatus and Pygmaeus differ in size and markings. Hastatus is slightly larger with distinct spots, while Pygmaeus is smaller with a more intricate pattern. Both make charming aquarium additions.

What are the tank mates for Corydoras Hastatus?

Corydoras Hastatus thrives with peaceful, small tankmates such as Tetras, Rasboras, and Dwarf Cichlids. Avoid aggressive or large fish that might outcompete them for food or space.

What is the natural habitat of the Corydoras Hastatus?

The Hastatus Corydoras live in slow-moving, shallow waters of the Amazon and Paraguay River basins, including marginal channels, floodplain lakes, and swamps.

What is the smallest type of Cory catfish?

The smallest Cory catfish is the Pygmy Cory (Corydoras Pygmaeus Eigenmann), reaching just 1 inch (2.5 cm) in length. They’re perfect for Nano tanks!

What is the best Cory catfish for a small tank?

For small tanks, the Pygmy Cory (Corydoras pygmaeus) is the best choice. They only grow to 1 inch and thrive in groups, adding life and activity to your Nano aquarium.

Where does Corydora live?

Corydoras catfish are native to South America, specifically the east of the Andes mountains to the Atlantic coast, from Trinidad to northern Argentina. Their natural habitat includes smaller streams, rivers, marshes, ponds, and backwaters with slow-moving or still water and sandy or muddy bottoms.

What is the pygmy Corydoras natural habitat?

Pygmy Corydoras inhabit tropical freshwater tributaries and flooded areas of South America, particularly the Madeira River basin in Brazil, the Nanay River in Peru, and the Aguarico River in Ecuador. Their natural habitat features soft, acidic water with a pH of 6.0-8.0, water hardness of 2-25 dGH, and a temperature range of 22-26°C (72-79°F).

How much do Hastatus Corydoras cost?

Hastatus Cory for sale: Prices range from $5 to $15 per fish, depending on factors like size, age, and source. For accurate and current pricing, check with reputable aquarium suppliers. 


In conclusion, the world of aquarium enthusiasts is filled with fascinating creatures, and the Hastatus Corydoras is undoubtedly one of them. Its vibrant colors, playful nature, and ease of care make it a popular choice among hobbyists. Whether you’re a seasoned fish keeper or just starting, adding a few Dwarf Corydoras Hastatus to your tank will undoubtedly bring joy and beauty to your aquatic haven. So, dive into the world of these charming little catfish and discover the wonders they can bring to your underwater oasis.

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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