- Scientific name: Corydoras panda
- Common name: Panda coridoras
- Aquarium size: 60 liters
- Temperament: Calm
- Temperature: Between 22º and 25º
- pH: Between 6 and 7.4
- Diet: Omnivores
- Length: 5 cms
The panda corydoras are fish of the family of the callíctidos , commonly called catfish.
Like all fish in the corydora family, they have the ability to breathe air if necessary , for which they have a modified intestine to help them breathe.
Although their usual place is at the bottom of the aquarium, we may see them rise to the surface to take breaths of air. This behavior is not a cause for concern.
One of the most striking aspects of the panda corydoras is the combination of dark and light spots, which is somewhat similar to panda bears , hence the name “panda corydoras”.
These fish can measure about 5 centimeters , although it is possible that in the aquarium they do not reach even that size, which makes them suitable for a small aquarium.
Its body has a cross-section in the shape of a triangle, with the flat belly and the dorsal part somewhat convex. The females are slightly longer and more rounded than the males.
As in all fish of this species, they do not have scales. Instead they have bone plates, which run through their entire anatomy.
Another distinctive fact are the beards or barbels that they have on each side of the mouth.
The color is white-gold or silver-white, with black spots on the sides.
Distribution and habitat
Panda corydoras are native to the upper Amazon, in Peru.
In the wild, they can be found in rivers with clear and transparent water, in many cases with water temperatures above 19ºC, because they are streams that receive water from the mountains and melts.
The size of the aquarium should be 45 to 60 liters , in which we will have to imitate its natural Amazonian state.
A substrate of river sand, twisted roots, and some floating woods are all we need. It is not necessary to add vegetation, which is not present in its natural habitat, although if we include it in a community aquarium, in which the vegetation is necessary, it will not have any problem.
The water temperature must be kept between 22º and 25ºC, with a pH between 6 and 7.4.
They are omnivorous fish. We must use bottom pads, where they usually move.
It can be fed with Artemia, mosquito larvae, daphnia, they will also accept dry food in the form of flakes or granules.
If we see that there are fish that compete for their food and do not let it reach the bottom, a good idea is to feed them at night.
A good idea is to keep small groups of panda corydoras. In a group they are much more active and sociable.
They are extremely calm, ideal for a community aquarium, as long as you are looking for the right companions.
Fish compatible with Corydoras Panda
It is perfectly found sharing space, with fish that are not too large, of the family of characins , cyprinids , cichlids and other peaceful catfish.
To reproduce panda corydoras in the aquarium , we must follow the usual guidelines for these fish:
- Ideally, we will set up a breeding aquarium.
- There should be several males for each female, ideally two or three.
- The bottom of the aquarium can be sand or fine gravel.
- Temperature 24ºC and pH 6.5. Filtered water through the peat.
- The diet should be varied, with live, frozen and dry foods.
- When we observe that the female is full of eggs, we will proceed to change 50% to 70% of the water in the aquarium, with colder water and the oxygenation of the aquarium will be increased. We will repeat the operation daily until spawning.
- The female lays 25 eggs in each laying, but does not lay them all at once, she releases in small groups of 1 to 4 eggs, distributed throughout the aquarium, usually on the glass of the aquarium.
- When spawning begins, there is an increase in activity in the group. The males begin to chase the female.
- A receptive female will allow the male to stroke her chins, before the pair adopts the typical corydora “T” position, in which the male grabs the female chins between his pectoral fin and his body.
It then releases a bit of sperm that is believed to pass through the female’s mouth and gills, and makes its way to the pelvic fins.
The pelvic fins are like a kind of basket, where 1 to 4 eggs are laid and fertilized.
- They take about 4 or 5 days to hatch after laying.
- The fry feed on phytoplankton and zooplankton, until they are able to feed on microworms and brine shrimp larvae.
It is common for panda corydoras and other species of catfish to be sold as «bottom cleaners» , since they are supposed to feed on what is deposited at the bottom of the aquarium, but this premise is false.
It is true that all the food that reaches the bottom they will eat, but in no case do they feed on waste, and they will not keep the bottom of the aquarium clean.
Nor can we expect them to feed on what is left over from the food of other fish, we must provide them with food that reaches the bottom , so that they receive the amount of food that corresponds to them.
If the aquarium is not in condition and there is too much dirt in the bottom, they can develop infections in their whiskers.
We should not think that there are «clean bottoms» fish, it is a myth that does not correspond to reality.