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Freshwater   Fishes

Three stripe corydoras
(Corydoras trilineatus)

Three stripe corydoras
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 Trilineatus

Common name
Three stripe corydoras
Threestripe corydoras
Three line catfish
False julii corydoras


what are its countries of origin?

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


what are the physical differences between males and females?

The male is smaller and slenderer than the female.





what is the minimum volume for this species?

120 L / 26 imp gal / 32 US gal


what is the minimum volume for this species?

T°: 22 to 26°C or 72 to 79°F
pH: 5.8 to 7.2
Hardness: 1 to 10°dGH





what is the maximum size of this fish?

5 to 6 cm (1.9 to 2.4")


what is the average Longevity of this fish?

5 years

Living zone

in which area of the aquarium does this fish live?

Middle and depth


sociability of the species

8 to 10


How to feed this Corydoras?


How to feed this Corydoras?

Corydoras trilineatus is not difficult to feed. It will quickly accommodate to bottom pellets specifically designed for Corydoras.

However, for a perfect health, vary this basic diet with contributions in plants but also with tubifex, daphnia or artemia. Finally, note its clear preference for the vase worms, its favorite treat!

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?

Like its cousin Corydoras julii, this fish is quite fearful. To overcome this behavior, plan a large group of three-band Corydoras (see «Cohabitation»). Indeed, the strong presence of its congeners reassures him.

corydoras trilineatus qui se cahce

It spends its day alternating rest phases (usually in groups, or even piled on top of each other!) with its favorite activity: digging the soil in search of its meal.

Finally, do not worry if you see your Corydoras trying to get back on the water, swim in the wrong way to finally get carried away: they play!

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

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

The more they will be, the more their behavior will be similar to the one they develop in nature, where the Corydoras form shoals of several hundred fish!

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?

Corydoras trilineatus is a very good fish for community aquarium. Indeed, it is extremely peaceful and never disturbs the other occupants.

You can easily maintain it with all the species of small and peaceful fish. In the same way, your shrimps are safe with this Corydoras, and even the youngest ones!

However, there are some exceptions to this perfect sociability, due to the timid nature of Corydoras trilineatus. For example, avoid the presence of fish that are too big or too aggressive. Similarly, cohabitation with other bottom species such as Loches is not recommended for reasons of food competition, often to the detriment of Corydoras. Finally, the association with a Pleco is to be avoided imperatively. Indeed, this giant of nearly 30 cm or 12 inches to adult size could at any time accidentally hurt them.

Ember tetra is an example of a roommate perfectly adapted to most Corydoras.

The cohabitation that will really matter for the well-being of your Corydoras will of course be the presence of its fellow creatures, and the more there are, the better! (They sometimes live in shoals of several hundred individuals in the wild). Indeed, they are very gregarious, and a group of 8 individuals is the bare minimum to have. This community life will make your fish less fearful, more visible and more active.

Note that Corydoras of different species will not form a social group, it takes 8 individuals of the same species.


How to breed this Corydoras?


How to breed this Corydoras?

Corydoras trilineatus may be more difficult to breed than Corydoras aeneus or panda for example. Indeed, the parameters triggering spawning remain partly unknown. In addition, the fragility of fry can be an additional difficulty. In conclusion, the breeding of Corydoras trilineatus is rather rare, but remains possible with a little experience.

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 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 begin, plan a special tank dedicated to the breeding of about 50 liter / 11 Imp gal/ 13 Us gal. Install a small filter and some large leafy plants. The water parameters will be: temperature at 23°C or 73°F, pH at 6/7 and hardness at 8°dGH.

Once the breeding tank is prowled, introduce the breeding fish (1 large female and several male). Motivate spawning by feeding them with varied live prey and making water changes. The new water should be on the same parameters except for the temperature, slightly cooler. Continue this way daily until spawning starts. Once the spawning is complete, remove the parents from the tray.

Another method: spawning occurs in the main aquarium. You will then recover the eggs to put in a breeding aquarium identical to that recommended above.

The incubation lasts from 3 to 4 days according to the temperature.

Fry food: infusoria, rotifers, Artemia nauplii.

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 trilineatus 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, it does not eat their excrement or that 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 trilineatus 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.

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.

Corydoras wink, which is fun to see!

This Corydoras is rather robust and will make a good choice for beginners (except its price).

This Corydoras is often confused with Corydoras julii. Indeed, its motives can be variable, which sometimes makes it difficult to distinguish. An effective way of differentiating them is that the Corydoras trilineatus have three black lines on the flanks (hence its name), composed of very tight points, reminiscent of zebra. For Corydoras julii, we will observe rather a uniform distribution of points.

  • Corydoras trilineatus groupe
  • Corydoras trilineatus mange

Yours photos!


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