Friday, April 27, 2007

Salt and Pepper Cory - Corydoras habrosus

Common name: Salt and pepper catfish/cory
Scientific name: Corydoras habrosus
Geographic location: South America
Size: Up to 2cm (3/4 of an inch)
Temperament: Peaceful
Conditions: 75F-85F, pH 6.0-7.5
Skill level: Intermediate
Minimum tank size: 10-15 gallons
Plant Compatibility: Won't eat any live plants

This tiny catfish comes from warm waters in South America and is mainly a bottom dweller. Since they are so small, they are quite shy and shouldn't be kept with aggressive tank mates. Live bearers, other smaller corydoras, or tetras are ideal. If comfortable, they often just lounge out on the substrate motionless except for their little eyes. They should be kept in schools of at least 3 as they are schooling and social fish. Unfortunately, they are extremely delicate fish, and I had 2 of my 4 die on me in transit from the pet store or shortly after being released into the aquarium (habrosus means soft or delicate). This was either from trauma during transport or being caught or just stress from the whole endeavor. They also need to be fed smaller foods, especially if they are competing for food with other bottom feeders. They will eat almost anything, but sinking wafers are probably best since they dissolve into small pieces and the catfish won't have to live off the pickings that sink to the bottom from regular fish food. These are the reasons I've rated these as Intermediate for a skill level.

My Corydoras habrosus were sold to me as a pygmy corydoras, but when I actually researched them further I found that they were in fact Corydoras habrosus. They differ from the pygmy corydoras in the fact that they are speckled with black spots and have a blotchy line running from head to tail, whereas the pygmy corydoras have a single solid black stripe running from head to tail. Otherwise, they are very similar in size and behavior. Just be aware that they may be sold as pygmy corydoras, a name which has been used to sell a number of different corydoras species.


  1. Corydoras are fun fish. We have four. They are always so busy and moving about.

    We don't have the salt and pepper kind though.


  2. Their markings are super. I'm going to keep an eye out for those, although I doubt I'll stumble accross any at my local fish store.

  3. That's a beautiful photo, did you take that?

    I just picked up 3 of these guys for my tank at work. They're so little! My oto dwarfs them in size, but I think they will grow a bit.

    Great article, thanks!

  4. Great article, and I hate to question, but are you sure that they get 2cm?!
    Thar condradicts other sites and that seems sooo tiny... I read that they get 1.5-2 inches.

    1. I've been trying to find small corys. These guys really only get to be 1 inch max from the research i've done. There was one site that said the could get to 1.4inches, but all other sites said 1 inch or less. Most other corys do get to be about 2 inches, but not these guys.


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