Corydoras Panda 101: Unlock the Secrets of Cory Panda Fish!

Have you ever seen a cute little fish with black spots resembling a panda? Chances are, you were looking at a Corydoras Panda fish! These adorable creatures are famous for aquarium enthusiasts due to their unique appearance and peaceful nature.

But there’s so much more to these fascinating fish than meets the eye. In this article, we will delve into the world of Corydoras Panda fish and uncover the secrets of caring for and understanding these charming creatures.

From their natural habitat and behavior to proper tank setup and diet, we will provide you with all the essential information you need to know to ensure the health and happiness of your Cory Pandas.

H.R. Richards first collected this species in 1968, but it wasn’t until three years later that Nijssen and Isbrücker bestowed the name Corydoras panda.

panda corydoras

Whether you’re a seasoned aquarist or a beginner looking to add these delightful fish to your collection, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and expertise to truly appreciate and enjoy the beauty of Corydoras Panda fish.

So, let’s dive in and unlock the secrets of these adorable aquatic companions! 

Corydoras panda appearance And natural habitat

Corydoras panda, a captivating catfish species within the Corydoras genus, is a proud member of the South American riverine fauna, representing the diverse biodiversity of the Callichthyidae family.

These adorable fish are easily recognized by their striking black patches on a white or light beige body, resembling the markings of a giant panda, hence their name. 

Like all members of the Callichthyidae family, panda corys possess a body surface adorned with bony plates called scutes instead of scales.

The initial marking commences at the head’s summit, akin to the surroundings of a giant panda’s eye. The second black accent graces the dorsal fin, while the third, located on the caudal peduncle’s base, varies in size, spawning distinct big-spot and small-spot morphs, named accordingly.

Their small size, reaching only about 1.5 to 2 inches in length, makes them a popular choice for community aquariums. They have smooth, rounded bodies and short barbels around their mouths, which they use to sift through the substrate for food. 

As a common bottom dweller, this Corydoras features a downturned mouth and three pairs of sensory barbels, enabling it to detect food on the substrate. Like all Cory species, sharp spines adorn its dorsal and pectoral fins.

In their natural habitat, Corydoras pandas inhabit slow-moving, shallow waters with plenty of vegetation and soft, sandy, or muddy bottoms to forage for small invertebrates and organic debris. They are often found in groups, as they are social fish and prefer areas with low lighting and hiding spots.

Providing a similar environment in captivity, with plenty of plants and peaceful tankmates, is critical to keeping these beautiful fish happy and healthy in the aquarium. 

Panda corys boast a distinctive array of three paired barbels and sharp defenses, including eye, dorsal, and adipose fin barbs. Typically reaching two inches, these specimens often maintain a smaller size, especially in their native Peru Ucayali river system.

Setting up a panda Corydoras Fish aquarium

Panda corys are popular freshwater aquarium fish known for their peaceful and active nature. They are also relatively easy to care for, making them a good choice for beginner aquarists.

Aquarium Setup

  • Tank size: Panda corys are small fish, so a 10-gallon tank is the minimum size required for a group of 5-6 fish.
  • Substrate: Corydoras are bottom-dwelling fish, so they need a smooth substrate that will not irritate their barbels. Sand or fine gravel is a good choice.
  • Water: Panda corys prefer soft, acidic water with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. The temperature should be between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Filtration: A good filter keeps the water clean and oxygenated. A sponge or undergravel filter is a good choice for panda corydoras.
  • Plants: Panda corys are not very demanding when it comes to plants, but they do appreciate having some cover. Java moss, hornwort, and Amazon swords are all good choices.
  • Decorations: Panda corys are not very active swimmers, so they only need a little decoration. However, they do like to have some places to hide, such as driftwood or caves.

Cory Panda Fish Aquarium maintenance

Panda Corydoras are known for their peaceful and active nature, making them a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts of all levels. Their charming appearance and low-maintenance requirements make them a great addition to any freshwater tank.

Proper aquarium maintenance is essential to ensure the health and well-being of your panda Corydoras. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to maintain a thriving Cory panda fish aquarium:

corys panda fish Water Quality

Clean, well-oxygenated water is crucial for the health of your panda catfish. Regular water changes are essential to maintain healthy water parameters and prevent the accumulation of harmful toxins. Aim for a 25% water change every week or two.

To ensure optimal breeding, condition breeders with live foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp, or daphnia. Induce spawning by conducting a partial water change with cooler water, mimicking natural breeding conditions during the rainy season.

  • Testing and Adjusting: Regularly test your tank’s water parameters, including pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Use a reliable water testing kit to ensure these parameters are within the ideal range for panda Corydoras. Adjust the water parameters if necessary using appropriate water conditioner solutions.
  • Cleaning: Properly clean the filter media regularly to maintain its efficiency in removing debris and contaminants from the water. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning your specific filter type.
  • Siphoning: Use a gravel siphon to remove uneaten food, waste, and debris from the substrate. Gently suction the substrate without disturbing the sand or gravel too much.

Pand Corys Nutrition

Panda corys are omnivores, meaning they require a diet of both plant and animal matter. Provide a variety of sinking pellets, flakes, and live or frozen foods to ensure they receive a balanced diet.

  • Variety is Key: Offer a mix of sinking foods, such as sinking pellets and wafers, to provide your panda corys with a constant food source. Supplement their diet with live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia for additional nutrients and variety.
  • Adequate Quantities: Feed your panda corys twice daily, ensuring all food is consumed within a few minutes. Overfeeding can lead to water quality issues.
  • Sinking Foods: Choose sinking foods designed explicitly for bottom-dwelling fish like panda corys. These foods will fall to the substrate, where your panda corys can easily find them.

Substrate and Décor

Panda corys are bottom-dwelling fish, so they appreciate a smooth substrate that is comfortable for them to navigate. A fine gravel or sand substrate is ideal.

  • Smooth Surface: Avoid sharp or jagged substrates, which can damage their delicate barbels.
  • Adequate Cover: Panda corys appreciate having some hiding places to feel secure. Provide a variety of decorations, such as caves, driftwood, or plant roots, for them to retreat to.
  • Plants: While not essential, live plants can add beauty and cover your panda corys. Choose hardy plants that are tolerant of low-light conditions, such as Java moss, Anubias, and Amazon swords.

Algae Control

Panda corys are known for their appetite for algae and can help control algae growth in your aquarium. However, if you have a heavily planted tank, you may need to supplement their algae-eating with snails or shrimp.

  • Algae Eaters: If algae become excessive, consider adding a few algae-eating snails or shrimp to help control the population.
  • Moderation: Avoid overfeeding, as excess food can contribute to algae growth.
  • Regular Water Changes: High-quality water changes can help prevent algae growth by removing nutrients that algae require.

Recommended Tankmates for panda Corydoras 

Panda corys are peaceful, social catfish that add significantly to community aquariums. They are relatively small, growing to only about 2 inches long, and they are very active, spending their time scavenging for food on the bottom of the tank.

Panda cories are also very hardy fish species and might tolerate a wide range of water conditions. Here are some recommended tankmates for panda corys:

  • Small tetras: Small tetras, such as neon tetras, ember tetras, and cardinal tetras, are a good choice of tankmate for panda corys. They are peaceful fish that swim in the middle and top of the tank, leaving the bottom open for the corys to explore. 
  • Danios: Danios are another excellent choice of tankmate for panda corys. They are active fish that swim in all tank levels and are not aggressive towards other fish. Some popular danios include zebrafish, celestial pearl danios, and margaritatus danios. 
  • Rasboras: Rasboras are small, colorful fish that are peaceful and active. They are a good choice of tankmate for panda corys because they swim in the middle and top of the tank and are not aggressive towards other fish. Some popular rasboras include chili rasboras, harlequin rasboras, and espei rasboras. 
  • Other catfish: Panda corys can also be kept with other catfish species, such as other corydoras species, bristlenose plecos, and kuhli loaches. 
  • Shrimp: Panda corys can also be kept with shrimp, such as cherry and amano shrimp. Shrimp are peaceful scavengers that will help to keep the aquarium clean. 

When choosing tankmates for panda corys, it is important to choose fish that are peaceful and compatible with the corys’ water requirements. Stocking the aquarium with the correct number of fish is also essential. Panda Corydoras are schooling fish, so they should be hold in groups of at least six individuals.

Panda Cory Habitat and Caring Tips

Panda cories prefer to live in soft, slightly acidic water with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. They also like water temperatures between 72 – 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Panda cories are bottom-dwelling fish, so they need a soft and smooth substrate, such as sand or fine gravel. They also appreciate plenty of hiding places, such as rocks, driftwood, and plants.

Panda cories are relatively simple to care for. They are not picky and will consume various foods, including flakes, pellets, and frozen or live food. Panda cories are also not very demanding when it comes to water quality. However, they need to be kept in a tank with many hiding places so they feel secure.

Tips for Keeping Panda Cory Happy and Healthy

  • Provide a tank with plenty of hiding places.
  • Keep the water temperature between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep the pH between 6.0 and 7.5.
  • Feed a variety of foods.
  • Keep the tank clean.
  • Monitor the water quality.
  • Add panda cories to a community tank with peaceful fish.

More Pet Fish Species and Further Research

As the popularity of pet fish continues to grow, there is an increasing demand for a wider variety of fish species to choose from. This has led to further research into less common and more exotic fish species suitable for aquariums.

Scientists and fish enthusiasts are constantly exploring new species and researching to understand their behavior, habitat requirements, and optimal care needs.

This ongoing research is expanding the options for fish enthusiasts and providing valuable information for the conservation and preservation of these Cory species in the wild.

Additionally, as new species are discovered and researched, opportunities are opened for fish breeders to introduce new and unique breeds into the pet trade.

Overall, the exploration and research into more pet fish species contribute to the aquarium hobby’s diversity and sustainability.

What is the lifespan of a panda corydora?

The lifespan of a panda corydora is typically between 10 and 15 years when properly cared for in a well-maintained aquarium.

Do panda corys stay small?

Yes, panda corys are a small species of catfish that typically only reach about 2 inches in length. They are popular for freshwater aquariums because of their peaceful nature and small size.

Do panda corys lay eggs?

Yes, panda corys lay eggs. They are scatter spawners, meaning they scatter their eggs randomly throughout the aquarium. The eggs are tiny, sticky, and translucent. Panda catfish typically lay between 50 and 100 eggs at a time. 

Do panda Corydoras eat shrimp?

Panda Corydoras are omnivores and may eat small shrimp, especially shrimplets. However, they generally prefer plant-based foods and are not a significant threat to adult shrimp populations.

What does Panda Corydoras eat?

Panda catfish are omnivores and eat various foods, including sinking pellets, worms, algae wafers, frozen bloodworms, and live brine shrimp. They are not picky eaters and will readily consume most foods that are small enough for them to eat. 

Are panda corys hardy?

Yes, panda corys are relatively hardy fish and can adapt to various water conditions. They are a good choice for beginner hobbyists, as they are less delicate than other fish species.

Will dwarf Cory eat shrimp?

Dwarf Corydoras are generally peaceful scavengers and will not actively hunt shrimp. However, they may eat very small shrimp, especially shrimplets. If you are concerned about your shrimp, you can keep them in a separate tank from your dwarf Corydoras.

Can you have shrimp and fish in the same tank?

You can have shrimp and fish in the same tank, but choosing fish that is compatible with shrimp is essential. Some fish, such as bettas and cichlids, are aggressive and will eat shrimp. Other fish, such as tetras and guppies, are peaceful and will not harm shrimp.

Where do panda corys lay eggs?

Panda corys are scatter spawners, meaning they scatter their eggs randomly throughout the aquarium. They typically lay their eggs on the undersides of broadleaf plants, aquarium glass, or spawning mops.

How can you tell if a panda Cory is pregnant?

To determine if a panda Cory is pregnant, observe changes in behavior such as increased appetite, restlessness, and a slightly rounded belly. Consult a vet for confirmation through palpation.


In conclusion, the charming and captivating panda Corydoras, also known as the Cory Panda fish, is undoubtedly a delightful addition to any aquarium. With their distinct black and white patterns, these adorable creatures bring a touch of elegance to your aquatic landscape. Not only are they visually stunning, but they also contribute to the overall health of your tank by keeping it clean and well-maintained. So, whether you’re a seasoned fish enthusiast or just starting your aquatic journey, enjoy the joy of owning these remarkable Corydoras panda. Dive into the world of this unique species and witness the magic yourself!

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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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