Pygmy Cory Care Guide – Size, Breeding & More

Pygmy Cory in a grass e1591443013215

The Pygmy Cory is a beautiful catfish that is ideal for those who don’t have much experience with keeping fish. 

It doesn’t require any special care, which is always nice. This fish has a very colorful personality that will be sure to make your aquarium a more interesting place.

Pygmy Cory Appearance

Female Pygmy Cory fish tend to be around 0.75 inches long when they are fully matured. They have a wider body than their male counterparts, which becomes even larger when they become pregnant. These fish have a silver coloration with a slim black horizontal stripe that runs down the sides of their body. There is also a significant area of green near the eyes.


The calm and docile nature of the Pygmy Cory makes it a popular choice among beginners won’t don’t have much experience keeping fish. They tend to swim along the middle and bottom areas of the tank. 

They do, however, go to the top occasionally for a breath of fresh air. This is something that serves these fish well when they are in less-than-ideal water conditions. The outgoing personality of these fish makes them quite entertaining to watch.

Natural Habitat

You can naturally find these wish in South America, specifically tributaries as well as flooded regions. They are mostly found in the Rio Madeira basin, which is located in Brazil. The overall water conditions of this region vary quite a bit in terms of turbidity, temperature, and flow.

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group of Pygmy Cory e1591443046777

Pygmy Cory Fish Care Guide

1. Tank Setup

If you are going to keep anywhere from four to eight of these fish, you will need a minimum 10 gallon tank. Make sure that you plant a good amount of vegetation at the bottom, as it is where they will spend much of their time. These fish love to hide, so you should put in a couple of caves and rocks as well.

It is a good idea to use sand for the substrate in your tank. This material is soft and won’t damage the fish’s barbels, which are fairly delicate. If this part of the fish is injured, they could have a difficult time locating their food.

2. Water Conditions

The water in your Pygmy Cory’s tank should be kept between 72 to 79 degrees. It should also have a pH level of 6 to 8. These fish aren’t particularly sensitive to water hardness, so this isn’t an important factor. Just make sure that you put in a really good filter and adequate moderate lighting.

3. Pygmy Cory Tank Mates

You will have a lot of different fish to choose from when it comes to tank mates. You should avoid putting in any larger or aggressive fish. Some of the best tank mates for this fish include Cherry Barbs, Guppies, and Neon Tetras. It is important that you only keep them with other peaceful fish that are of a similar size.

4. Pygmy Cory Food

While you can give these fish dry food like flakes or pellets, you will also need to provide them with live foods like bloodworms and brine shrimp. They will also gladly gobble up insect larvae, and it provides them with lots of protein. A balanced diet is key factor in maintaining your fish’s overall health.

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Keep a close eye on your fish when you feed it, especially if there are other species in the tank. You want to make certain that their food is not being taken by other fish. They will likely eat all of their food within just a couple of minutes, but they do scavenge for leftovers at the bottom.

Pygmy Cory in an aquarium

Common Health Problems

These fish are prone to developing a condition called Red Blotch Disease. It presents as blood-filled sores on the belly, and it can be quite serious. The primary cause of this disease is stress, which can usually be avoided by providing your fish with a suitable environment. This means changing out the water regularly, and keeping them in a good size tank.

Ich can also be an issue with these fish. It is an infection that can be contracted from other fish in the tank, or even unsanitary equipment. If you notice any signs of this condition, you’ll want to take out any new fish and keep them in their own tank until the issue is under control.

Pygmy Cory Breeding

Breeding these fish doesn’t take much effort, but there are a few things that you’ll need to be aware of. These fish are often eager to mate, but you will have to focus on caring for their offspring so they remain healthy.

It is extremely important to provide the fish you want to mate with a balanced diet and ideal water conditions. Females can lay up to one hundred eggs within a period of just an hour. The male is responsible for fertilizing the eggs, which is the case with many fish.

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Once the eggs have been laid, you will need to take the parents out of the tank immediately. If you leave them in, there is a good chance that they will eat the eggs.


  • These fish can grow up to nearly an inch, though females have wider bodies than the males.
  • They have a silver coloration with a black horizontal stripe that runs the length of their body from head to tail.
  • This is a very peaceful fish species that you won’t have to worry about causing any trouble.
  • If you are going to keep 4 to 8 of these fish, you will need at least a 10 gallon tank.
  • The water temperature in the tank should be kept between 72 and 79 degrees.
  • Avoid putting your Pygmy Cory fish in with any larger and/or aggressive fish.
  • Some of the best tank mates for these fish include guppies and the neon tetra.
  • While you can give these fish dry food, you should supplement their diet with brine shrimp, bloodworms, and other live food.
  • Red blotch disease can be an issue with these fish, and it is primarily caused by stress.
  • If you are going to breed these fish, make sure to take the parents out right after the eggs are laid so they don’t get eaten.
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