Panda Cory Catfish: Care, Breeding, Diet & Behavior

There are many beautiful aquarium fish in the water, but some of them manage to attract our attention in different ways. Let me now present one of these – the Panda Cory catfish, which is a member of the Corydoras family and is frequently referred to as “Panda Cory.” Corydoras panda, on the other hand, is the scientific name.

Panda Cory catfish are native to Peru, where they were discovered and captured by marine researcher and veterinarian Randolph Richards in the Rio Ucayali River System. More specifically, this fish species is abundant in the fast-moving waterways of South and Central America. They do well in well-managed aquatic environments.

Panda Cory Catfish Overview

Panda Cory Catfish Overview

Family: Callichthyidae
Origin: Peru; Ucayali river system
Temperament: Peaceful
Size: 2 inches
Minimum Tank Size: 10 Gallons
Diet: Omnivore
Care: Intermediate
pH: 6.0 – 7.0
Alkalinity Levels: 2 – 12 dGH
Temperature: 68°F – 77°F


At adulthood, a Panda Cory catfish measures roughly 5cm in length. The fish, on the other hand, are typically little, measuring less than 5cm in length. In reality, while acquiring a Panda Cory from a pet store, it must not surpass a size of 2.5cm on average.


Within the aquarium, the Panda Cory catfish may survive for up to 3–5 years. Their lifespan may be extended if you provide them with the best possible care and ensure that the proper tank conditions are maintained on a regular basis.


It’s not difficult for a novice to pass off conjecture about the appearance of this Corydoras mate — the “Panda” isn’t there for no purpose. Aside from the frills, the Panda Cory has an off-white colour with black patches around specific portions of its body, such as the head, dorsal fin, and tail base, giving it a black-and-white appearance similar to the Panda bear. Panda Corys may, however, have a pale or faded pink coloring.

In terms of body form, the fish has a slightly fat body that flattens out to the side, and the head curls inward sharply. A close look at the body structure can help you tell the difference between a male and a female Panda Cory. The female physique is typically rounder [in comparison to the male’s].

Two rows of bony plates, which are one of the distinguishing traits of corydoras, may also be found on the Panda Cory. These bony plates are employed as a defense mechanism. In addition, they feature three pairs of barbels that act as sensory organs.


While it comes to behavior, the first thing you’ll notice when observing Panda corydoras attentively is that they enjoy swimming in groups. As a lone organism, this species does not fare well. They are, however, mostly calm, preferring to live at the bottom of their watery home. However, if a Panda Cory is threatened or assaulted, it can use its spines to try to get itself out of harm’s way. In conclusion, the Panda Cory catfish is a kind and easygoing fish.

During the day, Panda Cories swim around the fish tank busily, however they may exhibit nocturnal inclinations on occasion.

Tank set up and care

Isn’t it true that you want to keep your adorable Panda Cory with you for as long as possible? As a result, you need take special care to ensure that they receive the best possible care; first and foremost, by attempting to reproduce the circumstances found in their native environment in the home aquarium. Let’s take a look at how you can do this — just so you know, Panda Cory catfish are quite easy to care for.

Water parameters

  • Temperature: Because Panda Cory catfish like chilly water, a temperature range of 20–26C is advised for their care.
  • pH level: The Panda Cory prefers a somewhat acidic water environment, although it can also live in a neutral pH environment. As a result, the pH level in its tank should be kept between 6 and 7.0.
  • Water hardness: You may consider this magnificent Corydoras pet to be a tough kind because it can endure both mild and very hard water, with a hardness range of 2 – 12 dGH. However, they spend the most of their time in the wild living and swimming in soft water.

Tank set up

Despite the fact that the species is a thoroughbred, the aquarium setup is a key component of care for Panda Cory, just as it is for any other aquatic pet. A tank with a carrying capacity of roughly 40 liters and an effective filtration system should be sufficient to meet the demands of a school of 5–6 Panda cories.

If you want to have a community of fish or other aquatic creatures in the aquarium, you may need to raise the size. Furthermore, by putting them in a large tank, you will give them plenty of room to explore when swimming in the aquarium.

The fast-moving nature of the waterbody where Panda Cory lives naturally explains the necessity for the filtering system. Additionally, the filtration system will assist to maintain a significant level of dissolved oxygen inside the aquarium while also removing contaminants such as those caused by ammonia.

It’s vital to notice Panda Cory’s high oxygen consumption, which may or may not be related to their bottom-dwelling habit. Regardless, the fish’s flexible digestive system may allow it to take in air oxygen once it reaches the surface. When this happens, you should be aware that the aquarium may be depleted of oxygen.

Make sure that the aquarium you’re placing them in is properly-vegetated as well. While some aquarists choose to fill their aquariums with other (decorative) objects than plants, it is important to recognize the importance of plants in the aquarium – they aren’t only for show. The reason for this is that higher and/or better oxygen levels are guaranteed as a result of the photosynthetic activity of the plants in the tank, which is beneficial to the health of your Panda Cory. As a result, adding live plants to the tank setup might be beneficial. This should not prevent you from adding some decor if you so choose.

The aquarium substrate should be chosen with care as well. A coarse or abrasive substrate can be extremely harmful to a species that spends the most of its time near the bottom. Sand is the ideal substrate for layering the floor of the tank housing Panda Cory in this regard. Fine-textured gravel, on the other hand, can be employed.

Water changes

Panda Corys may be quite sensitive to uncomfortable circumstances in the tank, and they may even become unwell as a result of poor water quality. This is why it’s suggested that you replace roughly 30% of the water volume in your tank once a week. These techniques will reduce the build-up of nitrate or ammonia, avoiding or minimizing water pollution. Your amazing pet’s health will be safeguarded as a result of this.


Panda Cories are omnivorous eaters and do not have a particular eating strategy. Bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp, and tubifex are examples of frozen or live meals that may be fed to them. They would also enjoy eating sinking pellets, flakes, and vegetables like cabbage, cucumber, and zucchini. Let me emphasize that high-protein diets are really beneficial to your pet’s health.

Panda Cory may also display their scavenging abilities on times, consuming decaying organic materials and algae near the tank’s bottom. As a point of emphasis, any meal you give your Panda Cory must reach them at the bottom. Sinking pellets are often regarded as the ideal meal for Panda corydoras because of this. Avoid dried foods, especially those that break easily, since they will most likely negate the objective of supplying sustenance.

On the subject of feeding frequency, you should feed them once or twice a day, giving them a measured (food) quantity that they can ingest in one sitting. This is required so that you do not wind up with a tank that is rapidly becoming polluted, hence increasing the toxin burden.

Panda Cory Catfish Tank Mates

As you may have guessed, Panda Cory is a “happy-go-lucky” critter with a serene demeanor. As a result, they can put up with any aquatic companion. You must not, however, put your Panda Cories in danger by keeping them alongside aggressive and predatory fish like Oscars, tiger barbs, jaguar cichlids, Jack Dempsey, and so forth. Fish bigger than Panda Cory, especially those of a predatory or bullying nature, are strictly prohibited.

I’ll give a handful of aquatic fish you may introduce as tank mates to your Panda Cory now that I’ve suggested at what not to pair:

  • Honey gourami
  • Betta
  • Guppy
  • Rasboras
  • Clown loaches
  • Rabbit snails
  • Ghost shrimp
  • Bamboo shrimp
  • Otocinclus


The Panda Cory catfish will be a welcome addition to any home aquarium — learn more about their looks, bottom-dwelling habits, and social behavior. More importantly, because they are simple to care for, they are an ideal pet for novices. That being said, it is critical that you provide them with the appropriate nutrients and place them in a healthy water habitat to prevent disease infestation.