Corydoras Melini 101: False Bandit Cory Comprehensive Guide

Corydoras Melini, also known as the False Bandit Cory, is a widespread species of aquarium fish that both beginner and experienced fish keepers love.

With its striking appearance and peaceful nature, the False Bandit Corydoras is a favorite among many aquarists. However, despite its popularity, there are still many things that most people do not know about this fascinating species.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of Corydoras Melini, exploring everything from their natural habitat and behavior to their care requirements in a home aquarium.

Whether you are considering adding False Bandit Cory to your aquarium or already have them in your tank, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to ensure the health and happiness of these beautiful freshwater aquarium fish.

From their unique characteristics and ideal tank conditions to their dietary needs and breeding habits, this guide will cover it all. So, join us as we uncover the secrets of Corydora Melini and learn how to care for these incredible creatures properly. 

False Bandit Cory Melini – Fish Species Profiles

The False Bandit Cory (Corydoras Melini) is a small, peaceful fish that hails from the clear waters of South America.

These tropical freshwater fish are known for their distinctive black and white bandit-like markings on their heads and eyes, giving them a unique and attractive appearance in the home aquarium.

False Bandit Corys are a hardy species that can thrive in a variety of water conditions, making them an ideal choice for beginner and experienced fishkeepers alike. They are omnivores and will readily accept a diet of high-quality sinking pellets, flake food, and frozen or live foods.

These peaceful bottom-dwelling fish are best kept in groups of six or more and should be provided with plenty of hiding spaces and soft, sandy substrate to mimic their natural habitat. Overall, the False Bandit catfish is a charming and easy-to-care-for species that brings both beauty and activity to the aquarium. 

Corydoras Metae vs Melini

Both Corydoras Metae and Cory Melini are beautiful fish belonging to the family Callichthyidae. They are often confused with each other due to their similar appearance, but there are distinct differences between the two.

Here’s a table summarizing their key characteristics:

FeatureCorydoras MetaeCorydoras Melini
Common nameBandit CoryFalse Bandit Cory
Body stripeBlack band broken in two over the back, leaving mid-body flanks uncoloredUnbroken black stripe from dorsal to caudal fin
Caudal finBlackLight brown to transparent
Dorsal fin edgeBlackNo black edging
Overall sizeSlightly largerSlightly smaller
DistributionColombia and VenezuelaColombia and Panama

Here are some additional points to differentiate between the two:

  • Heads: Metae has a broader black band across the head, covering the eyes. they has a thinner black band across the head and eyes.
  • Body colors. Metae has a light brown to tan background color. Melini has a slightly more yellowish background color.

Fin coloration

  • C. Metae has a black edge on the dorsal fin, along with some black markings towards the base of the fin.
  • C. Melini has no black edging on the dorsal fin.

Corydoras Melini Habitats

Corydoras Melini, also known as Melini’s Cory, is one of the biggest genera of Neotropical (from South or Central America) fishes that is native to the negro and meta river basins in Rio negro South America. They are typically found in slow-moving waters with a lot of vegetation, such as small streams and tributaries.

These fish prefer habitats with a sandy or muddy substrate, as they like to forage for food by sifting through the bottom. The waters they inhabit are generally warm and slightly acidic, and they are often shaded by overhanging vegetation.

Corydoras Melini is a peaceful and social species, often found in large groups, and they are known to be quite active and playful.

In a home aquarium, it is essential to replicate their natural habitat by providing plenty of hiding spots and soft substrate. Additionally, maintaining a stable water temperature and quality is crucial for the health and well-being of Cory Melini fish. 

Aquarium Size for Melini Corydoras

The ideal aquarium size for Melini Corydoras depends on a few factors, including:

The number of fish: As a schooling fish, Melini Corydoras thrives in groups of at least 5-6 individuals. This provides them with a sense of security and encourages natural behavior. Each Cory needs a minimum of 5 gallons of water, so for a group of 6, the minimum tank size would be 30 gallons.

Activity level: Melini Corydoras are relatively active fish that love to swim and explore the bottom of the tank. They also need space to forage for food. A larger tank will provide them with more swimming space and more opportunities to find food.

Tankmates: If you plan on keeping other fish in the tank, you will need to factor their size and activity level into the equation. A larger tank will provide more space for everyone and reduce the risk of aggression.

Filtration: A larger tank will require a more powerful filter to keep the water clean. This is especially important for Corydoras, as they are sensitive to poor water quality.

Aquascaping: If you plan on heavily aquascaping the tank, you will need to leave enough open space for the Corydoras to swim. A larger tank will give you more flexibility in terms of Aqua scaping.

Here are some general guidelines for the minimum aquarium size for Melini Corydoras:

  • Group of 5-6: 30 gallons
  • Group of 7-10: 40 gallons
  • Group of 10+: 55 gallons or larger

It is always better to err on the side of caution and choose a larger tank than you think you need. This will give your Corydoras plenty of space to thrive.

Corydoras Melini fish Water Parameters

Corydoras Melini fish, also known as the green gold Cory, originates from the upper Negro in Brazil and Colombia. When it comes to water parameters, these fish require a well-maintained and stable environment.

The ideal water temperature for Corydoras Melini is between 72°F to 79°F (22°C to 26°C). They prefer slightly acidic water with a pH level ranging from 6.5 to 7.5.

It is essential to provide them with clean and well-oxygenated water, as they are sensitive to poor water quality. A gentle water flow and regular water changes are crucial to keeping these tropical fish healthy and thriving. 

Additionally, maintaining a soft water hardness between 2 to 15 dGH is recommended. It is essential to mimic their natural habitat as closely as possible to ensure their well-being. By maintaining these specific water parameters, Corydoras Melini fish can live a long and healthy life in a home aquarium. 

Here are the ideal water parameters for Corydoras Melini:

Temperature: 72-79°F (22-26°C) pH: 6.0-7.5 Hardness: 2-12 dGH (4-21 dKH) Ammonia: 0 ppm Nitrite: 0 ppm Nitrate: Less than 30 ppm 

It is important to note that these are ideal parameters, and Corydoras Melini can tolerate a slightly wider range of conditions. However, for optimal health and longevity, it is best to keep their water parameters within these ranges.

Here are some additional tips for maintaining healthy water parameters for Corydoras Melini:

  • Perform regular water changes of 20-30% per week.
  • Use a good quality aquarium filter and keep it regularly.
  • Test your water parameters periodically and make adjustments as needed.
  • Use driftwood or peat to lower the pH of your water, if necessary.
  • Add crushed coral or aragonite to your substrate to increase the hardness of your water, if required.

Where to buy Melini Cory (Corydoras Melini)? – Group of 5 Fish

 If you are looking for Corydoras Melini for sale, an excellent place to start is by visiting your local fish store or aquarium shop. Many specialty fish stores will carry a variety of Corydoras species, including the Melini Cory. 

You can also check online retailers that specialize in selling exotic and rare fish species. Make sure to do proper research on the seller and read reviews to ensure the quality and health of the fish you are purchasing.

Another option is to reach out to local fish breeders or hobbyists who may have a group of Melini Cory for sale. 

By connecting with fellow fish enthusiasts, you may be able to find healthy and well-cared-for fish while also supporting the local fish-keeping community. 

Whether you choose to buy from a store, online retailer, or individual breeder, be sure to inquire about the care and requirements of the Melini Cory in order to provide them with a suitable and comfortable habitat in your aquarium. 

How do you care for Corydora Melini?

Keep your Corydora Melini fish in a soft sand substrate tank with plenty of hiding places. Feed them a varied diet, including flake food, frozen bloodworms, and sinking pellets.

What temperature does Corydoras Melini like?

Corydoras catfish Melini thrives in a temperature range of 71°F to 77°F (22°C to 25°C). These peaceful bottom dwellers come from the South American tropics and appreciate warm, stable water conditions. 

How many Corydoras should be kept together?

Corydoras catfish are sociable fish and thrive in groups! The recommended minimum is 6 of the same species to ensure they feel safe and comfortable. A larger group of 10+ is even better for their well-being.

How large do Corydoras Melini grow?

Corydoras Melini typically grows to a size of 1.5 to 2 inches (4.0 centimeters), making them suitable for smaller aquarium setups.

What tank mates are compatible with Corydoras Melini?

These peaceful fish thrive with other non-aggressive species like tetras, Rasboras, and dwarf cichlids.

How often should I feed False Bandit Cory?

Feed them small portions 2-3 times a day, ensuring they consume all food within a few minutes.

What is the ideal water temperature for Corydoras Melini?

Maintain a stable temperature between 72°F to 78°F (22°C to 26°C) for optimal well-being.

Does Corydoras Melini prefer a planted tank?

Yes, they appreciate a well-planted aquarium, providing hiding spots and mimicking their natural habitat.

How can I differentiate between male and female Corydoras Melini?

Females are usually larger and broader, especially when viewed from above, while males are slimmer with a more streamlined appearance.


In conclusion, the world of aquarium enthusiasts is constantly evolving, with new and fascinating species being discovered and cherished. Among them, the Cory Melini stands out as a captivating addition to any aquatic environment. Its vibrant colors, playful nature, and ease of care make it a popular choice among fishkeepers. Whether you’re a seasoned hobbyist or just starting your journey, the Corydoras Melini is a must-have for any aquarium enthusiast. So, dive into the world of these delightful creatures and experience the joy they 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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