Panda Corydoras

How to Take Care of Panda Corydoras (Beginner’s Guide and Infograph)

Panda Corydoras (Corydoras panda) are characterized by the panda-like black markings on its body and eyes. Panda Corydoras have a black spot on the eyes, another black spot on the dorsal fin and another black spot near the front of the caudal fin. These black markings will remind you of the black and white spots of a panda making them popular Corydoras.

Originating from the rivers and streams of South America and Central America, there are over 150 different species of Corydora catfish. Panda 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. Panda Corydoras are also peaceful and social, making them excellent fish for beginners looking to add bottom-dweller fish in their community tank. 


NamePanda Corydoras
Scientific NameCorydoras panda
OriginSouth America
Size1.75 inches (4cm)
Minimum Tank Size10 Gallons
Ease of CareEasy
PHPH 6.0-7.0
Water Temperature68-77F (20-25C)
Water Hardness LevelSoft to Hard (50-150mg/l)

What are Other Names for Panda Corydoras

Panda Corydoras are also called Panda Cory Cats.

How Big Do Panda Corydoras Get?

Panda Corydoras can grow to 1.75 inches (4cm). They are one of the smaller Corydoras.

What to Feed Panda Corydoras?

Panda Corydoras are omnivores. Panda Corydoras are bottom dweller fish that will feed on uneaten food. Even though they are scavengers, you still need to feed Panda Corydoras their own food. It’s not enough to rely on food collected from scavening 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 Panda Corydoras?

Panda Corydoras will thrive in a well planted aquarium with open swim areas. Panda 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 Panda Corydoras to dig and to prevent damaging their whisker-like barbels.

What are the Best Water Parameters for Panda Corydoras?

Panda 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 Panda Corydoras?

Panda Corydoras should be kept in a tank with a water temperature of 68-77F (20-25C).

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

Set up a breeding tank with 1 male and 2 female Cory catfish. Make sure the breeding tank is well-planted so Panda 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 Panda Corydoras can hide and feel safe during spawning. For optimal breeding conditions, it’s important to keep your Panda Corydoras well fed with high protein food. 

How to Breed Panda Corydoras?

Panda Corydoras are egg layers. Breeding occurs with the female Panda 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 or on the aquarium surface.

The eggs will hatch 5-6 days later. After hatching, the young Corydoras will stay on 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 freshly hatched brine shrimp.

How to Get Panda Corydoras to Start Spawning?

Here are 3 things you can do 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 Panda Corydoras high protein, high nutrient food. Keeping them well-fed will condition your Panda Corydoras for spawning. 3.) Increase airflow in your aquarium. The increased airflow will simulate the strong river currents after a rain storm. This will trigger spawning. Under the right conditions, your Panda Corydoras will start spawning.

Will Adult Panda Corydoras Eat Their Eggs?

Yes, Panda Corydoras will eat their own eggs. You will need to separate the adults from the eggs. Depending on where the eggs are, you can either move the adult Panda Corydoras or move the eggs.

You can move the eggs to a fry tank or 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.

Panda 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. Use a sponge filter in the fry tank. Sponge filters are gentler and will not suck up the Panda Corydoras fry.

To prevent egg fungus, add a few drops of methylene blue to the fry tank. You should also aerate the fry tank, this helps prevent egg fungus. Once the eggs hatch, remove the methylene blue because it will be harmful to the fry.  

Are Panda Corydoras Peaceful or Aggressive Fish?

Panda Corydoras are social and peaceful fish. They are active at night and can be shy during the day. Provide plenty of plants and rocks/shells for cover so they will feel protected and safe.

How Many Panda Corydoras in a Tank?

Panda 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 5 Panda Corydoras in your tank. A group of Panda Corydoras will look impressive- the more the better.

Find Out How Many Panda Corys in a Tank with our Calculator

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

What Fish are Compatible with Panda Corydoras?

Panda 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 Panda Corydoras such as tetras, barbs, rasboras, danios and livebearers like guppies, swordtails and platies. 

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

Even though your Panda 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 Panda Corydoras whisker-like barbels.

Check out our article on How to Clean Your Aquarium in 15 minutes

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