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Freshwater   Fishes

Bronze catfish
(Corydoras aeneus)

corydoras aeneus
Verified by the experts

Thanks to Kyllian. As stated by Horlack's scientific article
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Alternative species (click on the thumbnail to see the card)


Scientific name
Corydoras aeneus
Hoplosoma aeneum
Callichthys aeneus
Corydoras macrosteus/microps
Corydoras venezuelanus
Corydoras schultzei

Common name
Bronze catfish
Bronze corydoras
Green corydoras
Lightspot corydoras
Wavy catfish


what are its countries of origin?

Origin: Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, Peru, Paraguay, Ecuador
Biotope: Amazonian


what are the physical differences between males and females?

The male is slenderer and much smaller than the female





what is the minimum volume for this species?

80 L / 18 imp gal / 21 US gal


what is the minimum volume for this species?

T°: 20 to 27°C or 68 to 81°F
pH: 6 to 7.5
Hardness: 6 to 15°dGH





what is the maximum size of this fish?

5 to 7 cm (2 to 2.7")


what is the average Longevity of this fish?

4 to 6 years

Living zone

in which area of the aquarium does this fish live?

Middle and depth


sociability of the species



How to feed this Corydoras?


How to feed this Corydoras?

You can offer a wide variety of food to the Corydoras Aeneus, they are not difficult. They must of course have access to their food, which is to say that it flows to the bottom of the aquarium. Bottom pellets sold commercially are therefore a good choice.

Note that like all members of its species, they are particularly fond of mudsworms, live or frozen. You can supplement their diet with vegetable supplements (poached salad and spinach, zucchini or cucumber slices...). Its diet will be complete, since it is an omnivorous fish, and its colour will be all the more brilliant!

If possible, prefer to distribute your daily ration in 2 times (morning and evening).

Corydoras must be fed specifically. Indeed, they will not survive to eat the few crumbs of other fish tank. If your Corydoras are struggling to eat because other fish in the aquarium are faster, distribute their meal when the lights go out and watch if your Corydoras eat well.


What kind of behavior does this Corydoras have?


What kind of behavior does this Corydoras have?

Corydoras aeneus

Like all Corydoras, it is a fish living mainly at the bottom of the aquarium. However, it enjoys spending time swimming against the current in the middle zone of the aquarium.

Its calm but quite lively temperament makes it a very sociable fish, with very good intraspecific and interspecific relationships.

To make it feel good, it has to satisfy its gregarious instinct. Indeed, it will imperatively evolve in a group of 8 individuals minimum. Of course, the more there is, the better! So do not hesitate to put the maximum of Corydoras in your aquarium, according to your aquarium's volume. 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

It will spend a lot of its time looking for food, stirring the ground tirelessly or resting.

If your Corydoras are completely inactive during the day, this may be due to a problem of cohabitation (other species intimidated), too few individuals, an unsuitable aquarium or a current too weak. Check these points and you will see your Corydoras activate even during the day!

Even if the corydoras are very fearful, you can, with gentleness and patience, accustom them to your presence. For this, you must always make very slow and very calm gestures. When your corydoras do not flee you, it denotes a level of fulfilment, security and confidence well above normal!


Who can live with this Corydoras?


Who can live with this Corydoras?

The Corydoras Aeneus is a very good candidate for community aquariums (it does not care much about other tank occupants).

Avoid associating with other species of Corydoras. Indeed, even if it happens sometimes that two species of Corydoras "merge" to form a group, it remains relatively rare (a Corydoras Aeneus and a Corydoras Panda will not form a group, for example). Therefore, avoid combining with other gregarious bottom fish. Of course, if you have a large enough aquarium, you can have two species of Corydoras coexist, each of which will form their own group.

In general, to avoid imposing too much food competition, avoid associating them with other bottom species like Loaches and Plecos.

Choose very quiet roommates because Corydoras are easily intimidated by species that are too bright or too big. For example, Ember Tetra will make perfect roommates


How to breed this Corydoras?


How to breed this Corydoras?

he optimum age for breeding your corydoras is around 3/4 years old. Note that the older a female is, the higher the thickness of the eggs. They are thus more resistant and have a better chance of success, considerably increasing the number of fry. Before this age, you can get some fry all the same. If you want to make your corydoras breed, you understand the importance of installing them from the beginning in a suitable and well maintained aquarium, in order for them to live as long as possible, for a regular and successful breeding in quantity and in quality!

To know how many males to associate with your female, it will be necessary to take into account the age of this one. Indeed, a male can fertilize up to 80 oocytes. A young female at the beginning of sexual maturity (between 8 and 14 months) can produce up to 80 oocytes. But the older (and bigger) it is, the more it produces oocytes. For example, beyond 3/4 years, the female can produce up to 650 oocytes! So initially the ratio of 1 male to 1 female is sufficient, but it will increase as and when. For a female of more than 3/4 years, it will take 8 males to fertilize everything (650 oocytes / 80 per male = 8 males)!

As with all Corydoras, you can breed this species if you know the key: water changes with cooler water!

However, it is quite difficult to predict the timing of spawning because it may depend on a drop in atmospheric pressure, followed by rainfall and a drop in water temperature of 5°C or 40°F. Food also seems to play a role. Breeding will therefore best simulate these conditions in the aquarium.

If you want to optimize the number of fry, you can provide an aquarium specifically designed for breeding (50/100 L). Water temperature at 20/24°C or 68/75°F, pH at 6/7 and filtered light (with floating plants for example). You can put some plants that will support the female to lay the eggs (as long as it does not find a suitable place, it will refuse spawning). Also install a small filter or air diffuser to power and oxygenate the water.

Introduce 2 or 3 males and 1 female previously conditioned (living or frozen food). Make a good change of water with cooler and softer water so that the temperature drops by several degrees. Spawning will normally occur the next day. If this is not the case, repeat the operation the next day. You will immediately notice the spawning because the Corydoras adopt a particular position, called "T". The female and the male are then perpendicular to each other.

Another alternative is to gently harvest the eggs after laying in the aquarium set for placement in a breeding tank. You can treat the eggs with methylene blue for safety, but this is not mandatory.

bredding of the corydoras aeneus

On average, 80 to 250 eggs (sometimes fertilized by several males) are hatched and incubated for 5 days. Lower the water level to 10 cm or 4 inches. Renew water regularly (weekly or every 15 days) that promotes fry growth. Let the water age 24 hours before introduction into the tank.

Fry food: infusoria, Artemia nauplii, dry flakes finely crumbled.

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for this Corydoras?

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for this Corydoras?

In general, two parameters are essential for the Corydoras aquarium: a non-cutting substrate and good filtration generating current.

Firstly the soil: it is imperative to use very fine gravel or sand (like beach sand). Indeed, it was discovered in early 2018 that sand played a key role in the oral hygiene of Corydoras. In addition, by swallowing this sand at full speed and spitting it by their gills in order to look for food, the Corydoras get rid of any parasites that could be fatal to them. It is imperative to avoid sharp ground like quartz, which damages the barbels of your fish, and is going to mutilate them completely.

Then the current: more than the length of the facade, it is especially the current that is important in an aquarium for Corydoras. Indeed, they are excellent swimmers and are... athletes! So, steer a strong current on the "middle" area of the aquarium, leave the bottom and the surface with a little less current. You will see your Corydoras feast on going swimming against the current in this area (if no other species intimidates them)! For everyone to rest, lower the intensity of the current during the night or stop it.

Corydoras's aquarium

As for decoration, if you want to recreate the natural environment of the Corydoras Adolfoi and promote its well-being, create a decoration with driftwood roots that will form beautiful hiding places and do not plant too much. You can add alder fruits and dried leaves to the aquarium, which will have a nice natural effect (you will have to renew them before they rot). You can leave on a proportion of 50 to 80% of sand beaches essential for the search, 30 to 40% of wood and 10 to 20% of plants. If your fish are comfortable in your aquarium, they will not hesitate to move. A Corydoras that does not swim is a fish uncomfortable in its environment.

For plants, choose sturdy plants with slow growth and broad leaves. As fertilizer is strongly discouraged in an aquarium in Corydoras, opt for plants that do not require this type of feed.

Whatever your choices in terms of layout, still keep enough sandy beach to Corydoras so they can search the substrate.

Corydoras are quite sensitive to water pollution. Make water changes of 10 to 20% of the volume per week.

Good To know

Find all additional information!

Good To know

Find all additional information!

There are over 200 species of Corydoras! Moreover, it should be noted a risk of hybridization between Corydoras of the same line.

Corydoras are often considered "cleaners". It is true that they are scavengers but they will never replace the work of the aquarist! For example, they do not eat their excrement or those of other fish. Thus, these fish are often bought for "practical" purposes (which remains questionable) to the detriment of their welfare. But you will understand, the Corydoras are nice fish that deserve all your attention!

Corydoras Aeneus has no scales, which makes it particularly sensitive to salt, chemicals and drugs. This also requires maintenance, clean water and stabilized parameters (do not introduce Corydoras in immature aquariums). IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED TO PUT FERTILIZER in a container containing Corydoras. If you notice signs of stress, such as fast breathing and then lethargy (stay still, sometimes near the surface), immediately change 50% of the water (provide a good water conditioner). Be careful, the new water must have the same parameters as the tank, including the temperature. If you isolate your sick fish, it may wilt even faster. Try to stick the hospital tray to the main aquarium so that the sick Corydoras can see its congeners.

Like all Corydoras, this species is able to swallow an air bubble on the surface. Indeed, it is a kind of "intestinal" breathing that allows the fish to supplement its oxygen supply when necessary.
coryodras aeuneus bubble on the surface

Its barbels are used to search the ground for food. It is because of these «whiskers» that Corydoras are called «catfish».

Corydoras are capable of killing a human in exceptional conditions. Pay close attention to their backbones or pectorals! Depending on the species, they have hemotoxic toxins, hepatotoxic toxins, neurotoxic, etc. Did you know that they do not have a natural predator? It is thanks to this weapon with which they are able to kill their assailant in a very virulent way. Even the piranhas refuse to attack the corydoras! Here is a small zoom on their dorsal or pectoral spines:
corydoras spines
As you can see, in the case of a sting, it is impossible to remove the real sting, it’s like a real harpoon. In addition, the corydoras injects at this time a maximum dose of toxins. Rest assured, the corydoras are very much scared, so it is rare that a situation of deadly contact happens. Most of the time, they will flee for such a situation to happen. But be careful when you put your hands in the water!

Use a large mesh net to prevent stuck in it.

Did you know that Aeneus corydoras release a toxin when stressed? Specifically a hemotoxin that blocks blood exchange at the cellular level. This toxin can kill other fish in the aquarium (they start to suffocate). You will also need to be cautious personally because this toxin can have repercussions on the blood test of fragile people (child, elderly, immunocompromised ...). A sting of corydoras can potentially be dangerous for this kind of person, even in small doses. The symptoms to watch for are: the sudden rise in body temperature and suffocation. To avoid this, install your corydoras in a suitable and very calm aquarium. We must avoid any stress.

It is one of the most common species of Corydoras in aquariums. And that's normal! This fish is very tolerant with the parameters of its water, it is very robust and it will adapt to many configurations. It will be a good choice for a first experience with Corydoras.

Its basic colour varies from green to bronze. There are, however, many varieties. The variety "Corydoras venezuela" or "Corydoras venezuelanus" is in fact a subspecies of Corydoras aeneus

  • Corydoras albinos
    corydoras aeneus albinos

  • Corydoras gold
    corydoras aeneus albinos

  • Corydoras red laser
    corydoras aeneus albinos

  • Corydoras "veil" with large fins
    corydoras aeneus voile

  • Black Venezuela or Venezuelanus Black
    corydoras aeneus venezuella

Beware of «albino» species that are more fragile. Indeed, their skin is much more sensitive than their colored cousins. They are therefore particularly vulnerable to certain drug molecules and therefore difficult to treat (if not impossible). Note that they are also very sensitive to fertilizers. In addition, unsuitable lighting (too much on the infrared or ultraviolet), which green could be good for plants, is a torture for your albino fish. It can cause redness, burns, tumors...

Yours photos!

Image utilisateur

By Encyclo-Caro


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