How to Take Care of Bronze Corydoras (Beginner’s Guide with Infograph)

Bronze Corydoras (Corydoras aeneus) are one of the most popular catfish in the aquarium trade. Originating from the rivers and streams of South America and Central America, there are over 150 different species of Corydora catfish.

Bronze Corydoras are bottom dwelling fish that will scavenge and clean your aquarium. They are easy and hardy fish to care for because they can tolerate a wide range of water parameters. Bronze Corydoras are also peaceful and social, making them excellent fish for beginners looking to add bottom-dweller fish in their community tank. They tend to be nocturnal so don’t be surprised if they go into hiding during the day since they have been actively cleaning your tank all night.


NameBronze Corydoras
Scientific NameCorydoras aeneus
OriginSouth America
Size2.75 inches (7cm)
Minimum Tank Size10 Gallons
Ease of CareEasy
PHPH 6.0-7.0
Water Temperature64-79F(18-26C).
Water Hardness LevelSoft to Hard (50-150mg/l)

What are Other Names for Bronze Corydoras

Bronze Corydoras are also called Bronze Cory Cats and Bronze Catfish.

Other Types of Bronze Corydoras

Aside from Bronze corydoras, there other natural color varieties within the species Corydoras aeneus. These color variations are Albino Corydoras, Gold Shoulder Green Corydoras, Belem Corydoras, Peru Gold Shoulder Red Corydoras, Peru Green Stripe Corydoras, Aenues Black Corydoras and Peru Gold Stripe Corydoras.

Check out our guide on How to Take Care of Albino Corydoras

How Big Do Bronze Corydoras Get?

Bronze Corydoras can grow to 2.75 inches (7cm).

What to Feed Bronze Corydoras?

Bronze Corydoras are omnivores. Bronze Corydoras are bottom dweller fish that will feed on uneaten food. Even though they are scavengers, you still need to feed Bronze Corydoras their own food. It’s not enough to rely on food collected from scavenging as their only food source. You should supplement their diet with sinking pellets that are formulated for bottom-dwelling fish. 

How to Set Up an Aquarium for Bronze Corydoras?

Bronze Corydoras will thrive in a well planted aquarium with open swim areas. Bronze Corydoras spend their day digging and will use their mouth to dig the substrate. Use fine substrate like sand instead of gravel in your aquarium to make it easier for Bronze Corydoras to dig and to prevent damaging their whisker-like barbels.

What are the Best Water Parameters for Bronze Corydoras?

Bronze Corydoras are tolerant of a wide range of water parameters but should not be in excessively acidic water conditions.

What is the Ideal Water Temperature for Bronze Corydoras?

Bronze Corydoras should be kept in a tank with a water temperature of 64-79F(18-26C).

How to Set-Up Your Tank for Breeding Bronze Corydoras?

Set up a breeding tank with 1 male and 2 female Bronze Corydoras. Make sure the breeding tank is well-planted so Bronze Corydoras can lay their eggs on the plant leaves (Java Moss). You can also use spawning mops. Set up the breeding tank with fine substrate like sand or keep the tank bare without any substrate. Add one or two pots or big shells, so your Bronze Corydoras can hide and feel safe during spawning. For optimal breeding conditions, it’s important to keep your Bronze Corydoras well fed. 

How to Breed Bronze Corydoras?

Bronze Corydoras are egg layers. Breeding occurs with the female Bronze Corydoras swallowing male sperm and then releasing the sperm from her gut to her cupped pelvic fins along with some eggs. She will lay these eggs in small batches on plant leaves, on aquarium glass and rocks.

The eggs will hatch 5-6 days later. After hatching, the young Corydoras will stay near the substrate and consume their yolk sac until they become free swimming. Once they are free swimming, feed the young Corydoras with fish food specifically for fry or baby brine shrimp. Bronze Corydoras are one of the easiest Corydoras to breed. Compared to other Corydoras, Bronze Corydoras are prolific breeders. 

How to Get Bronze Corydoras to Start Spawning?

Here are 3 things you can do to get Bronze Corydoras to start spawning. You do this by simulating the environment to trigger spawning.

1.) Do a partial cold water change. Add colder water into the tank. This will bring aquarium water temperature down a few degrees which will simulate the water temperature after a heavy rainstorm.

2.) Feed your Bronze Corydoras high protein, high nutrient food. Keeping them well-fed will condition your Bronze Corydoras for spawning.

3.) Increase airflow in your aquarium. The increased airflow will simulate the strong river currents after a rainstorm. This will trigger spawning. Under the right conditions, your Bronze Corydoras will start spawning.

Will Adult Bronze Corydoras Eat Their Eggs?

Bronze Corydoras will eat their own eggs. You will need to separate the adults from the eggs. The best way to do this is to move the eggs to a fry tank. You can also move the eggs to a breeding box.

If the eggs are on plant leaves, remove the entire plant and transfer it to the fry tank. If you are using a breeding box, you can gently remove the eggs one by one with your fingers and transfer them to the breeding box. If the eggs are on the aquarium glass, gently scrape off the eggs with your finger and transfer them to the fry tank. You can also use a credit card to scrape eggs off the aquarium glass.

Bronze Corydoras will lay eggs in many different places in the aquarium so you should check the entire aquarium for eggs- behind filters, on plant leaves, aquarium glass, shells, etc.

Make sure the water parameters and water temperature of the fry tank are similar to the breeding tank. Add a few drops of methylene blue to the fry tank to prevent egg fungus. Once the eggs hatch, remove the methylene blue because it will be harmful to the fry. Use a sponge filter in the fry tank. Sponge filters are gentler and will not suck up the Bronze Corydoras fry. 

Are Bronze Corydoras Peaceful or Aggressive Fish?

Bronze Corydoras are hardy, peaceful fish. Don’t be surprised if you don’t see a lot of activity during the day since they tend to be nocturnal. 

How Many Bronze Corydoras in a Tank?

Bronze Corydoras are not solitary fish. They are social fish that should be kept in groups of the same species. If space permits and without overstocking your tank, keep at least 3-5 Bronze Corydoras in your tank (the more the better).

Use our How Many Fish in a 10 Gallon Tank Calculator to find out how many Bronze Corydoras you can keep in a 10 gallon tank. For 20 gallon tanks, use our How Many Fish in a 20 Gallon Tank Calculator to find out how many Bronze Corydoras you can keep in a 20 gallon tank.

What Fish are Compatible with Bronze Corydoras?

Bronze Corydoras are compatible with most peaceful topwater and midwater fish that share similar water parameter requirements. There are a lot of fish that are compatible with Bronze Corydoras such as livebearers like guppies, swordtails and platies. Topwater fish like hatchetfish. Midwater fish like Zebra danios, Rasboras and Tetras (Neon tetras, Cardinal Tetras) are also compatible with Cory catfish. 

Do I Still Need to Clean the Aquarium Since Bronze Corydoras are Tank Cleaners?

Even though your Bronze Corydoras are tank cleaners, you still need to clean the aquarium. Perform partial water changes at least once every 3 weeks. This will keep nitrate levels low and help maintain optimal water quality. Use a gravel cleaner to remove dirt buildup on the substrate during partial water changes. Dirt buildup on the aquarium substrate can damage your Bronze Corydoras whisker-like barbels.

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