Ultimate Guide to Sterbai Cory Catfish Care and Maintenance

If you’re considering adding a Sterbai Cory Catfish to your home aquarium, it’s essential to understand the specific care and maintenance requirements for this unique fish.

The Sterbai Cory Catfish, also known as Corydoras Sterbai, is popular among freshwater aquarium enthusiasts due to its peaceful nature and striking appearance.

In this definitive blog post, we will cover everything you need to know about caring for and maintaining a healthy environment for your Sterbai Cory Catfish.

Cory catfish breeding

From setting up the ideal tank environment to understanding their dietary needs, we will provide comprehensive information to help ensure the well-being of your Sterbai Cory Catfish. Additionally, we will discuss compatible tank mates, breeding habits, and potential health issues to watch out for.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced aquarist, this beginner’s guide provides valuable tips to help you create a thriving habitat for your Sterbai Cory Catfish. So, let’s dive in and learn how to give the best care and maintenance for this captivating fish species. 

Corydoras Sterbai Scientific Name

The scientific name for the Sterba’s Corydoras is Corydoras Sterbai. It is a member of the genus Corydoras, which includes over 200 species of freshwater catfish native to South America. 

Corydoras Sterbai is named after Dr. Günther Sterba, an Austrian ichthyologist who collected and identified the species in the 1960s. It is one of the most popular species of Corydoras kept in aquariums due to its attractive markings and peaceful temperament.

How Often to Feed Cory Catfish

Sterbai Corydoras catfish is a relatively small fish, reaching a maximum length of about 2.75 inches (7 cm). It has a black body with white spots on its head, back, and pectoral fins. The underbelly is white or cream-colored.

Sterba’s Corydoras is a social fish that does best in groups of five or more. It is a peaceful species that can be kept with other small, delicate fish. Corydoras sterbai is an excellent scavenger to help keep your home aquarium clean by eating algae and detritus.

Note: sterbai has recently become available in an albino

What is the habitat of the Corydora Sterbai?

The Corydoras sterbai is a popular freshwater aquarium fish native to South America. Specifically, these catfish are found in the upper Rio Guaporé in Bolivia and Brazil. They inhabit slow-moving waters, particularly in shallow streams, tributaries, and flooded areas with dense vegetation.

In aquariums, it’s essential to replicate their natural habitat conditions. This includes providing a substrate with smooth sand or fine gravel and incorporating hiding places such as caves, plants, and driftwood.

Additionally, maintaining good water quality with a slightly acidic to neutral pH and a temperature range of 72–79°F (22–26°C) is essential for the well-being of Corydoras sterbai. Its natural habitat consists of:

  • Small tributaries, creeks, and pools: These areas provide slow-moving or still water, allowing the Sterba’s Cory to forage for food on the bottom.
  • Flooded forest areas: During periods of high water, the surrounding forests can become flooded, creating temporary pools that serve as additional habitat for the Corydoras Sterbai.
  • Soft, slightly acidic water: This is the preferred water quality for this species, often found in areas with decaying vegetation or leaf litter.
  • Swift-flowing water with few plants: While some sources mention this habitat type, it’s less common than the slower-moving waters discussed above.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the habitat characteristics:

  • Water temperature: 22-31°C (71-88°F)
  • pH: 5.8-7.0
  • Hardness: 20-30 ppm
  • Substrate: Sand or fine gravel is ideal for their delicate barbels.

It’s important to note that wild caught specimens of Sterba’s Cory are becoming increasingly difficult due to habitat loss and overfishing. Most of the fish available in the aquarium trade are captive-bred.

Sterbai Cory Catfish dietary needs

The Sterbai Cory Catfish has a specific dietary need to thrive in an aquarium setting. These small catfish are predominantly omnivores, meaning they will eat a mixture of plant and animal matter.

They often feed on worms, small crustaceans, and insect larvae in their natural habitat. In an aquarium environment, it is essential to provide them with a varied diet that includes high-quality sinking pellets, live or frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia, as well as some vegetable matter like blanched zucchini or cucumber.

A diverse diet will mimic their natural feeding habits and ensure they receive all the nutrients to stay healthy and vibrant.

It is also essential to avoid overfeeding, as these catfish have small stomachs and can quickly become overweight if given too much dry food. By providing a well-balanced diet, Sterbai Cory Catfish will thrive and display their natural behaviors and colors. 

compatible tank mates for sterbai corydoras catfish

Sterbai corydoras catfish are peaceful fish that make excellent additions to community tanks. Here are some compatible tank mates for them:

Peaceful fish:

  • Tetras: Cardinal tetras, neon tetras, black neon tetras, glowlight tetras, and other small tetras are all peaceful and compatible with Sterbai corys.
  • Rasboras: Harlequin rasboras, chili rasboras, and other rasboras are peaceful, colorful fish that do well with Sterbai corys.
  • Danios: Zebra danios and other danios are energetic little fish that can be kept with Sterbai corys.
  • Angelfish: Angelfish are large, peaceful fish that can be kept with Sterbai corys if the tank is large enough.
  • Dwarf cichlids: Apistogramma cacatuoides, ram cichlids, and other dwarf cichlids are peaceful and colorful fish that can be kept with Sterbai corys.
  • Livebearers: Guppies, platies, and other livebearers are peaceful and prolific fish that can be kept with Sterbai corys.

Other bottom dwellers:

  • Bristlenose pleco: Bristlenose plecos are peaceful catfish that help to keep the tank clean. They are a good choice for tanks with Sterbai corys.
  • Otocinclus catfish: Otocinclus catfish are peaceful algae eaters that can be kept with Sterbai corys.
  • Amano shrimp: Amano shrimp are peaceful shrimp that help to keep the tank clean. They are a good choice for tanks with Sterbai corys.

Things to keep in mind when choosing tank mates:

  • Temperament: Choose a peaceful fish that will not bully the Sterbai corys.
  • Size: Choose fish that are similar to the sterbai Cory size.
  • Water requirements: Choose fish with similar water requirements to the Sterbai corys.
  • Stocking level: Do not overcrowd the tank.

Sterbai Cory fish price

The sterbai Cory for sale can vary depending on many other factors such as the size, age, and seller. Typically, these fish can range from $5 to $15 per fish.

Prices may also fluctuate based on the market’s availability and demand for the species. Additionally, the cost can be influenced by the seller’s or breeder’s location and reputation.

Factors such as shipping and handling fees may also contribute to the overall price of Sterba’s corydoras for sale. Potential buyers must research and compare prices from different sellers to ensure they get a fair deal. 

Ultimately, the price of Sterbai Cory fish can be influenced by many factors, so it is crucial to consider all of these aspects before purchasing. 

Here are some online retailers that sell Sterbai Corys:

  • Aqua Huna: \$4.50 per fish 
  • Dan’s fish: \$19.99 per fish 
  • Wet Spot Tropical Fish: \$6.99 per fish 
  • Aqua Imports: \$7.99 per fish 
  • AzGardens: \$12.99 per fish 

When purchasing Sterbai Corys, you must buy from a reputable retailer. You should also ask about the fish’s health and ensure it is disease-free.

setting up Cory catfish Sterbai tank

 Setting up a Cory catfish Sterbai tank is an exciting process that involves creating a suitable environment for these beautiful and friendly tropical freshwater fish.

Start by selecting a spacious tank with a minimum of 20 gallons to provide ample space for the Cory catfish to swim and explore. Next, add a fine sand or smooth gravel substrate to mimic their natural riverbed habitat.

Utilize a gentle filter system to maintain good water quality and a heater to keep the temperature between 72-78°F. Incorporate live plants and driftwood to provide hiding spots and mimic their natural environment. Consider adding tank mates, such as peaceful community fish that won’t outcompete or bother the Cory catfish.

Once the tank is set up, introduce the Cory catfish slowly, allowing them to acclimate to their new home before enjoying watching these delightful fish thrive in their beautifully designed habitat. 

How To Care For Sterbai Cory Catfish Species?

The Sterbai Cory Catfish are known for their striking appearance, beautiful orange and black markings, and white dots.

Providing a suitable environment is essential to care for Sterbai Cory Catfish. This means creating a well-maintained tank with plenty of hiding spots and smooth substrate, as they have sensitive barbels around their mouths that can easily get damaged on rough substrates.

They also prefer warm, soft, slightly acidic water conditions, and they thrive in a group, so it is best to keep them in small schools.

As omnivores, they require a varied diet that includes high-quality sinking pellets, frozen or live foods, and algae wafers. It is crucial to regularly monitor the water quality and perform routine water changes to keep them healthy. 

With proper care and attention, Sterbai Cory Catfish can live for many years and provide enjoyment for their owners with their social behavior and entertaining antics. 

Corydoras Sterba Aquarium Maintenance

Corydoras Sterba is famous for aquarium enthusiasts due to its peaceful nature and eye-catching appearance. Like any other fish species, maintaining a healthy environment for Corydoras Sterba is essential for its well-being.

Regular water changes are crucial to keep the aquarium clean and remove accumulated waste or debris. It is recommended to clean the substrate and perform partial water changes of about 25% every two weeks.

A well-balanced diet and monitoring water parameters such as pH, ammonia, and nitrate levels are essential for aquarium maintenance.

Corydoras Sterba are bottom feeders, and it is vital to ensure that the breeding tank has suitable hiding places and soft, sandy substrate to mimic its natural habitat.

Keeping the aquarium well-maintained will benefit Corydoras Sterba’s health and contribute to a visually appealing and thriving aquatic ecosystem. Dedicated care and maintenance will ensure these beautiful, friendly fish can thrive in your aquarium for years.

Sterba’s Corydoras Water Conditions 

Sterba’s Corydoras (Corydoras sterba) thrive in specific water conditions that mimic their natural habitat. Here’s an overview of the ideal water parameters for these charming catfish:


  • Ideal range: 75°F – 82°F (24°C – 28°C)
  • Acceptable range: 73°F – 79°F (23°C – 26°C)
  • Sensitivity: They are relatively tolerant of a broader range (70°F – 86°F), but prolonged deviations can affect their health and breeding.


  • Ideal range: 6.0 – 7.6
  • Acceptable range: 5.8 – 8.0
  • Sensitivity: While adaptable, they prefer slightly acidic water and may struggle in significantly alkaline environments.


  • Ideal range: 1 – 15°dH (soft water)
  • Acceptable range: Up to 18°dH (moderately hard water)
  • Sensitivity: They are sensitive to tough water and thrive in soft, slightly acidic water.

Other Important Parameters:

  • Ammonia and Nitrite: 0 ppm
  • Nitrate: Less than 20 ppm
  • Carbonate Hardness (KH): Ideally low (0 – 4 dKH)
  • Water flow: Gentle to moderate
  • Substrate: Soft sand (essential for their barbels)

How big do Sterbai Corydoras get?

Sterbai Corydoras reach a maximum size of 2-2.6 inches (5.1-6.6 cm), making them ideal for smaller aquariums.

What do you feed Sterbai Cory?

Sterbai Corydoras are omnivorous and enjoy a varied diet of sinking pellets, flakes, live blackworms, frozen bloodworms, algae wafers, and blanched vegetables.

What temperature do Sterba’s Corydoras like?

Sterba’s Corydoras prefer slightly warmer water than most Corydoras species, thriving in temperatures between 73°F to 79°F (23°C and 26°C).

Are Sterbai Corydoras nocturnal?

Yes, Sterbai Corydoras are primarily nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. However, they can also be seen swimming around during the day, especially in dimly lit aquariums. Be sure to feed them before turning off the lights for optimal nutrition.

What temperature should a Sterbai Cory tank be?

Aim for a water temperature between 73°F and 79°F (23°C – 26°C) for your Sterbai Corydoras tank. This is slightly warmer than many other Corydoras species prefer, reflecting their native habitat in South America.

Can Corydoras live in 80 degree water?

Most Corydoras species can tolerate 80°F water for short periods, but long-term exposure is not ideal. This temperature is at the upper limit of their preferred range (72-82°F) and could shorten their lifespan.

What size tank does a Sterbai Corydora need?

A minimum of 10-gallon fish tank is recommended for a single Sterbai Corydora, but they thrive in groups and do best in 20-gallon or slightly larger tanks. This gives them enough space to swim freely, explore their environment, and establish territories.

What does Sterba’s Corydoras eat?

Sterba’s Corydoras enjoying both plant and animal matter. For optimal health, offer a varied diet of sinking catfish pellets, live blackworms, frozen bloodworms, algae wafers, and blanched vegetables.

How do Sterbai Corydoras breed?

Sterbai Corydoras breed through a process known as courtship, during which males entice females with dance-like movements. After successful courtship, females lay eggs on surfaces, and males fertilize them. The perfect breeding ratio that should be kept is two males per female.


In conclusion, the Sterbai Cory Catfish, also known as Sterba’s Corydoras, is a captivating and delightful addition to any aquarium. With its stunning black markings and peaceful demeanor, this species brings beauty and tranquility to aquatic environments. Whether you’re a seasoned fish enthusiast or a beginner, the Sterbai Cory Catfish is a fantastic choice for your tank. So, to enhance your aquarium with a mesmerizing and graceful fish, consider adding the Sterbai Cory Catfish to your collection.

You might also like

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.

Recent Posts

Stay Updated

Get outdoor trends, data, new products, and tips delivered to your inbox.

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top