Pygmy Corydoras Food – Food, Diet, Behavior And More

Look no further if you’re looking for a schooling fish that is serene, entertaining to watch, and can survive in relatively tiny tanks. All of these criteria are met by pygmy Corydoras, also known as Corydoras pygmaeus, C. hastatus, and C. habrosus. The communal tank of your choosing would be ideal for these little fish! Pygmy Corydoras Food

What Is The Best Food To Feed Corydoras?

Speaking of diet, corydoras will consume anything that is tiny enough to fit in their mouths and soft enough to be digested. Try live blackworms, frozen bloodworms, and Hikari Vibra Bites since they enjoy many kinds of worms (tiny food sticks that look like bloodworms).

Origin Of The Name

The pygmy cory only has the scientific name Corydoras pygmaeus. However, the terms “pygmy cory” may be misused in the aquarium trade to also refer to Corydoras hastatus and Corydoras habrosus. These other species have their own common names, which we’ll go over later.

pygmy corydoras

Natural Habitat

The pygmy cory is native to South America’s freshwater streams and waterlogged regions. They originate mostly from the Rio Madeira basin in Brazil. When it comes to temperature, velocity, and turbidity, the water in these tropical regions may vary quite a bit (cloudiness of water). These little fish are typically seen in big numbers along with other cory and bottom-dwelling fish that are hidden behind vegetation and downed branches close to the riverbank.


The only difference between the true pygmy cory and the majority of other Corydoras catfish is that they don’t grow to be larger than 1 inch (2.5 cm). Although they are frequently misidentified as C. hastatus or C. habrosus at fish markets, it is understandable given how similar they all seem and how close in size they are.

In addition, the terms “dwarf Corydoras” and “pygmy cory” are often used synonymously, however C. hastatus is the sole species intended. Before going out and purchasing one for your tank, it is a good idea to conduct some research so that you are aware of what you’re searching for because aquarium businesses may not always take the time to identify the species difference.

Pygmy Cory Requirements

One of the few Corydoras species that may be kept in tiny aquariums is the pygmy cory. Since they are so active, a minimum tank size of 10 gallons (38 liters) is typically advised, with a longer tank being preferable over a higher one.

These fish should always be housed in bigger groups of at least 8 as is the case with all Corydoras species; in the wild, they frequently congregate in the hundreds or thousands. The fish will frequently grow nervous and frightened if the shoal is too small, making them less likely to be the center of attention in the tank. They might feel more at peace if there are many hiding places available, such as shrimp flats and aquarium plants.

For these fish, it’s crucial to utilize a sandy substrate in your tank rather than gravel. Cories’ barbels will wear out if they are left on gravel for an extended period of time, making it difficult for them to find food and stay healthy. Occasionally, and because it is so near to the fish’s face, this might even result in rot, which can be quite harmful. Additionally, cories maintained in the sand are just more entertaining to watch! When your fish are foraging, you’ll observe them burying their faces completely in the sand.

Pygmy cories are relatively little and quiet fish, so keep that in mind while selecting tank mates. They are unquestionably not a species that will thrive in an environment with big, aggressive fish. Shrimp, dwarf cichlids, and tiny tetras like neons make good tank mates.

Pygmy Cory Diet

Contrary to common perception, none of the Corydoras can survive only on plant-based meals and none of them are algae feeders. They are actually omnivores who require a lot of meaty things in their diet.

Bloodworms, mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, catfish pellets, flake food, and occasionally an algae pellet can all be fed to pygmy cories. However, if the meal is too large for their little mouth, they won’t be able to consume it.

Will Pygmy Corydoras Eat Shrimp?

Due to the fact that these fish are omnivores, there is a potential that they will try to consume everything meaty in your tank, even tiny shrimp. But keep in mind that these fish are tiny! Anything they would attempt to consume would thus need to be smaller than their mouth. Make sure they are a suitable size if you truly want to maintain little invertebrates in your tank to avoid them becoming a fast dinner.

It would also be reasonable to assume that these cories will consume any eggs that become available if you truly want to try your hand at producing fry or shrimp in your tank.

Will Pygmy Corydoras Eat Shrimp

Pygmy Cory Behavior

When given a big enough shoal and lots of hiding spots, pygmy cories exhibit highly intriguing behavior and are entertaining to see in a tank environment. They shoal quite well, with the exception of the odd surface lunge by the group to breathe.

In most fish species, hanging out at the surface and gulping is a concerning indicator, but in this case, it’s perfectly normal. Fascinatingly, cory catfish can breathe air! They absorb oxygen through their intestines, which is helpful in the wild if the water isn’t of the highest quality. If your pygmy cories seem to be at the surface more often than normal, though, keep a watch on your water values. This could indicate that the water’s oxygen content is too low or that the levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are excessive.

This species doesn’t spend its entire time feeding on the tank’s bottom, unlike the majority of Corydoras. When filling your aquarium, keep in mind that they spend a lot more time in the intermediate water layer. After all, having two species in the same water layer might result in territorial disputes and a messy-looking tank.

They are also known as the three dwarf cories’ more reserved species. Compared to its relatives, C. habrosus and C. hastatus like to cling to the bottom and are occasionally a little more outgoing.

Breeding Pygmy Cories

Although growing the fry can be somewhat tough due to their size, breeding is not thought to be particularly difficult. Water changes with slightly colder water might cause spawning to occur. The eggs will be laid on the glass of the tank’s side when the female is ready. After that, the parents must be taken out since they will try to devour the eggs. The eggs can also be taken out of the glass and raised somewhere else by gently transferring them with your finger.

After a few days, some eggs will probably start to grow fungus. So that the fungus doesn’t spread, get rid of these as soon as you can! It’s interesting to note that dwarf shrimp will immediately identify and devour any eggs with fungus while leaving the healthy ones alone, according to Seriously Fish.

Infusoria and/or broken flakes should be fed to the fry as soon as they hatch until they are large enough to absorb larger meals.

Breeding Pygmy Cories


How Often Should I Feed My Pygmy Corydoras?

You must feed your Pygmy Cories fry twice daily and do 50% water changes twice per week if you want them to grow quickly.

Do Pygmy Corydoras Eat Algae?

This species has a reputation for consuming algae, just like many others in the Corydora genus. They will, however, consume everything they can get their hands on and have a strong appetite for vegetables. Contrary to common belief, pygmy corys cannot survive only on algae. They frequently want food supplies that are high in protein.

How Many Pygmy Corydoras Should Be Kept Together?

We advise a group of at least eight when kept in captivity. To remain healthy, the Pygmy Cory needs a shoaling group. They become vulnerable to the harmful effects of stress when left alone. They’ll act sporadically and hide most of the time.

Will Pygmy Corys Eat Snails?

They enjoy eating snails and are often good bottom feeders. A gourami and pygmy corys should get along just well.


For a while, I had a bunch of C. pygmaeus myself, and they were wonderful tiny fish. They were first rather cautious, but as the tank’s plants developed and offered some shelter, I noticed them regularly sifting through the planted aquarium bottom and darting around. Pygmy Corydoras Food

They are undoubtedly a fish that I would suggest and repurchase.

Leave a comment below if you wish to discuss your personal experiences with pygmy cories or if you have any other inquiries regarding maintaining them. Happy keeping, corys!