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Pygmy catfish

Pygmy catfish
(Corydoras pygmaeus)

It is the smallest Corydoras, and more generally one of the smallest catfish encountered in the aquarium! However, it may be more fearful than its cousins and especially if it finds itself without many congeners. Discover in this sheet this charming species and its needs!

Scientific name

Corydoras pygmaeus

Common name

Pygmy catfish
Pygmy Corydoras

Origin

what are its countries of origin?

Origin: Brazil
Biotope: Amazonian

Dimorphism

what are the physical differences between males and females?

The male is slenderer and smaller than the female

Group

Group

Callichthyidae

Volume

what is the minimum volume for this species?

54 L / 12 Imp gal / 14 US gal

Water parameters

what are the water parameters for the maintenance of this fish?

T°: 22 to 27°C or 72 to 81°F
pH: 6 to 7
Hardness: 1 to 8°dGH

Difficulty

Difficulty

Easy

Size

what is the maximum size of this fish?

2 to 2.5 cm (0.8 to 1")

Life expectancy

what is the average life expectancy of this fish?

2 to 3 years

Living zone

in which area of the aquarium does this fish live?

Middle and depth

Individuals

sociability of the species

10 or more

Food

How to feed the Pygmy catfish?

Food

How to feed the Pygmy catfish?

Like all Corydoras, this species is omnivorous and accepts a wide variety of food even if one observes a clear preference for live or frozen prey (tubifex, worms, microworms, nematodes...).

Be careful of the size of its mouth, you have to offer food adapted to its size.

Behavior

What kind of behavior does the Pygmy catfish have?

Behavior

What kind of behavior does the Pygmy catfish have?

It’s not a Corydoras for nothing! Indeed, it is very gregarious and must live in a shoal. Its small size makes it easy to maintain at least 10 individuals. The group will form a real shoal for all their activities: eat, sleep, swim... Of a rather shy nature, the more the Pygmy Corydoras will be numerous the more they will feel safe.

Regarding this point, it is estimated that:
group of 6 to 8 individuals: strict minimum
group of 9 to 13 individuals: correct viability
group of more than 14 individuals: behavior similar to natural.

Here is a small video of what gives the behavior of Pygmy Corydoras important shoal:

Do not deprive yourself of this show and opt for an important shoal!

It will be more active at night than during the day, during water changes or during the distribution of food.

Cohabitation

Who can live with the Pygmy catfish?

Cohabitation

Who can live with the Pygmy catfish?

Pygmy Corydoras can live in a community aquarium with some restrictions. Because of its small size, avoid predation of large fish and prefer to add small fish.

Otherwise, like all Corydoras, it’s a peaceful fish that will never show aggression towards anyone.

Breeding

How to breed the Pygmy catfish?

Breeding

How to breed the Pygmy catfish?

Its breeding is quite difficult because of the tiny size of the fry.

If you want to increase the number of surviving fry, plan a small aquarium dedicated to breeding (50 to 100 L or 13 to 26 gallons). Set the temperature of this tank to 24°C or 75°F and the pH to 6.5 / 7. Introduce 2/3 male and 1 female conditioned (fed live or frozen prey) and make a water change with slightly cooler water. Spawning should not be a problem. The eggs have a milky gray appearance, measure 1.2 mm and are adhesive. Then remove the parents. A spawn consists of about 100 eggs and their incubation will last 6 days.

The fry look like small translucent larvae. There is a better success rate by lowering the water level to 1 cm or 0.4 inches. After 10 days, raise the water level slowly. Fry must grow quickly.

Fry food: plankton, infusoria and small artemia nauplii.

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Pygmy catfish?

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Pygmy catfish?

Because of its small size, this species can live in a nano-aquarium (without falling below 54 L or 14 gallons) even if a larger aquarium is better! Its ideal habitat will include many hiding places but also spaces of free swimming.

Pygmy Corydoras poorly supports nitrates, which requires good filtration, regular water changes and a fairly mature aquarium.

This shy species does not like too intense lighting. So you can sift your aquarium with floating plants that will reassure your fish.

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