Acquired: Fish / pet store
Jerrabomberra, New South Wales, Australia
Posted Mar 04, 2013
This species is one of the so-called pygmy cory catfish. Corys, a shortened form of their scientific name corydoras, are one of the most popular aquarium fish. If you see your typical "catfish" at the bottom of a fish tank it is likely that it is a cory species.
At least three species of cory are suitable for the nano tank (5 gallons or less) and these are dubbed the pygmy corys. The Pygmy Cory (corydoras pygmaeus) is the most common of these. At first glance the only thing it has in common with other cory cats is the presence of barbels ("whiskers") around the mouth and the fact that it will forage on the bottom of the tank. The body and especially head shape are very different to more common, larger species.
Despite seeming shy at first the pygmy cory will warm to the aquarium as it learns where the hiding places are. If you really want to see your pygmy corys at their most active you will need to keep them in a shoal as large as you can fit. Six is the bare minimum to discourage shy behaviour but 20 or more would be ideal as in the wild they congregate in groups of thousands of members!
Once settled they make wonderful pets, as not only are they cute but they are very useful in cleaning up uneaten food off the gravel that would otherwise rot and spoil the tank water. Being so small they can reach much of the detritus that other bottom-dwellers cannot.
Pygmy Corys are a must-have for any complete nano-tank setup and a worthy addition to peaceful community tanks where their small size won't leave them open for bullying. Try to keep them only where you are able to fit a group of five or more to get the most out of your catfish.