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Freshwater   Fishes

Skunk Cory Cat
(Corydoras arcuatus)

Corydoras arcuatus
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 arcuatus

Common name
Skunk Cory Cat
Skunk cory's
Skunk Corydoras Catfish


what are its countries of origin?

Origin: Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador
Biotope: Amazonian


what are the physical differences between males and females?

The male is smaller than the female and has sharp dorsal and pelvic fins





what is the minimum volume for this species?

100 L / 22 imp gal / 26 US gal


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

T°: 22 à 26°C or 72 to 79°F
pH: 6 to 7
Hardness: 2 to 15°dGH





what is the maximum size of this fish?

5 cm (2")


what is the average Longevity of this fish?

10 years

Living zone

in which area of the aquarium does this fish live?

Middle and depth


sociability of the species

6 or more


How to feed the Skunk Cory Cat?


How to feed the Skunk Cory Cat?

You can offer a wide variety of food to the Corydoras Arcuatus provided they have access to it: at the bottom of the aquarium! Bottom lozenges sold commercially are therefore a good choice.

It should be noted that, like all members of its species, it is particularly fond of live or frozen bloodworms. You can supplement its diet with regular vegetal inputs (slices of cucumber, zucchini, salad and spinach poached ...). Remove uneaten food in the evening.

If possible, distribute the daily ration twice: morning and evening.

Corydoras need to be specifically nurtured. Indeed, they will not survive for a long time if the only food they have are the remains of the other fish in the 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 the Skunk Cory Cat have?


What kind of behavior does the Skunk Cory Cat have?

These fish live at the bottom most of the time, but they like to swim against the current halfway up the aquarium or along the windows. Peaceful and quiet, its intraspecific and interspecific relations are very good.

Did you know that Corydoras form shoals of thousands of individuals in their natural environment? In aquarium, it is therefore necessary to reproduce on a smaller scale this exceptional sociability. The bare minimum will be 6 individuals, but the more there are, and the more they will be happy (according to volume of your aquarium of course)! Only then can you see your Corydoras flourish and feel at home in your aquarium. 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.

They will spend most of their time looking for food by stirring the floor frantically or resting.

If your Corydoras are completely inactive during the day, this may be due to a problem of cohabitation (maybe they are intimidated by other species), 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 fulfillment, security and confidence well above normal!


Who can live with the Skunk Cory Cat?


Who can live with the Skunk Cory Cat?

The Corydoras arcuatus will be able to live in a community aquarium, provided the lighting is dimmed. Otherwise, it poses no problem of particular cohabitation.

Although it sometimes happens that two species of Corydoras "merge" to form a large group, this is still relatively rare. As a general rule, a Corydoras arcuatus and a Corydoras panda will not form a shoal (this is an example but this principle is the same for all species of Corydoras). Therefore, avoid combining with other gregarious bottom fish, unless you want to form two shoals in a large aquarium.

Cohabitation with a common Pleco (30 cm or 12 inches!) is also to be avoided because it shares the same area of ​​life and it can accidentally hurt a small Corydoras. Finally, avoid significant food competition by not introducing other bottom species with Corydoras (loaches...).

Prefer to add very calm species because the Corydoras are easily intimidated by species too lively or too big. For example, Tetra Almonds will make perfect roommates.


How to breed the Skunk Cory Cat?


How to breed the Skunk Cory Cat?

The breeding of this species is quite difficult and rarely successful. Indeed, it is known that the composition and temperature of the water, the season, the atmospheric pressure and the food play an important role in triggering the spawning, without having identified these parameters precisely.

It should be noted that the more the species is adapted to a specific environment, the more difficult the breeding conditions are in captivity. It is to be hoped that this rather delicate species will end up having less stringent requirements as time goes by.

The 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 breed your corydoras, you understand the importance of installing them from the start in a suitable and well maintained aquarium, in order to take them as far as possible in age, for a regular and successful breeding in quantity and in quality!

You can try the breeding in a tray provided for this purpose (50/100 L or 11/22 Imp Gal or 13/26 US Gal). Water temperature at 23/24°C or 73/75°F, and pH at 6/7. You can put some plants that will be used as supports for the female to lay the eggs (as long as it does not find a suitable place, it will refuse the mating).

Also install a small filter or air diffuser to provide power and good oxygenation of the water.

Introduce the parents (more males than females) previously conditioned (frozen or live food). Make a good change of water with cooler water so that the water in the aquarium drops a few degrees. The spawning will take place the next day if all is well. If this is not the case, repeat the operation the next day.

Another alternative is to gently harvest the eggs after laying to place in an aquarium specific to rearing fry. This is not mandatory but you can treat eggs with methylene blue for safety.

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

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Skunk Cory Cat?

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Skunk Cory Cat?

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

First of all the soil: it is imperative to use very fine gravel or sand (sand beach, for example). 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, going as far as 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 they enjoy sport! So, orient 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.

Aquarium à Corydoras

As for the decor, if you want to better recreate the natural environment of Corydoras Arcuatus and promote its well-being, create a decor with driftwood roots that will form beautiful hiding places and plant quite little. You can add alder fruits and dried leaves to the aquarium, which will have a beautiful natural effect (you will have to renew them before they rot). You can have a proportion of 50 to 80% of sand beach, 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 with Corydoras, opt for plants that do not require this type of feed.

Whatever your choices in terms of layout, still keep enough sand beach so that your Corydoras can search the substrate.

Finally, 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 type.

Corydoras are often referred to as "cleaners". It's true 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 well-being. But you will understand, the Corydoras are nice fish that deserve all your attention!

Corydoras arcuatus has no scales, making it particularly sensitive to salt, chemicals, fertilizers and drugs. It also requires maintenance in clean water and stabilized parameters (do not introduce Corydoras in immature aquariums). IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED TO PUT FERTILIZER in an aquarium 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.

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

Corydoras are able to kill a human under exceptional conditions. Pay close attention to their dorsal or pectoral spines! Depending on the species, they have hemotoxic toxins, hepatotoxic toxins, neurotoxic, etc. Did you know that they do not have a predator in nature? 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:
aiguillon corydoras
As you can see, in the case of a sting, it is impossible to remove, because 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 scared, so it is rare that a situation of deadly contact happens. Most of the time, they will flee so that such a situation does not happen. But be careful when you put your hands in the water!

Use a large mesh net to prevent it from getting stuck in it.

It’s called Arcuatus because of the shape of its black line in an arc form.

In the wild, Corydoras narcissus often accompanies it.

This species is quite rare in stores. If you wish to purchase it, contact the specialized clubs.

Yours photos!

Image utilisateur

By Encyclo-Caro


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