Corydoras davidsandsi: The Rio Negro Treasure

Corydoras davidsandsi

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Corydoras davidsandsi: The Rio Negro Treasure

Corydoras davidsandsi, affectionately known as the Sands Corydoras, is a captivating and active species of cory catfish originating from the picturesque Rio Negro watershed in Brazil. With its unique features and behaviors, this fish is a prized addition to any freshwater aquarium. In this article, we will explore the intriguing characteristics and care requirements of Corydoras davidsandsi.

Common NamesSands Corydoras
Scientific NameCorydoras davidsandsi
Size of the FishApproximately 2.5 to 3 inches
Difficulty ScoreModerate
Minimum Tank Size20 gallons (for a small group)
Best Compatible Tank MatesSmall tetras, rasboras, peaceful dwarf cichlids
Natural HabitatRio Orinoco basin, Venezuela
DietOmnivorous (flakes, sinking pellets, live foods)
Breeding BehaviorTriggered by simulated rainstorm (water change)
Tank SubstrateFine sand recommended
Water Temperature72°F to 78°F (22°C to 26°C)
Unique FeaturesDistinctive black stripe along the body, sensory barbels
Tank BehaviorPlayful and social, may display territorial behavior
AvailabilityCaptive-raised and wild-caught (Rio Negro Fishery)
source: Wikipedia

Distinctive Appearance

Corydoras davidsandsi
Source: Project Piaba

Bold Black Stripe

One of the distinguishing features of Corydoras davidsandsi is its bold black stripe that runs the entire length of its body. This striking feature is a reliable identifier, setting them apart from similar-looking cory catfish species. Notably, the black stripe extends onto the caudal fin, creating a captivating visual effect. When viewed from above, the stripe splits just before the caudal fin, adding to its unique charm.

Breeding Behavior

Breeding Corydoras davidsandsi in an aquarium setting is an exciting prospect. They respond positively to a specific stimulus – mimicking a rainstorm. To encourage breeding, aquarists can perform a substantial water change and replace it with slightly cooler water, replicating the conditions of the rainy season in their natural habitat.

Care Guidelines

Group Dynamics

Sands Corydoras thrive in the company of their kind. It is advisable to keep them in groups of at least six individuals or more. In a social setting, they display more natural behaviors and tend to be less stressed.

Dietary Diversity

Maintaining a balanced diet is essential for the well-being of Corydoras davidsandsi. Their diet should include a mix of food types, such as:

  • Dried Foods: Incorporate high-quality dried foods like flakes and sinking pellets designed for bottom-dwelling fish.
  • Live Foods: Treat them with occasional live foods like blackworms to enhance their diet’s diversity.

Regular feeding, once or twice daily, ensures their nutritional needs are met. Remove any uneaten food promptly to maintain water quality.

Setting Up Your Sands Corydoras Aquarium: Tank Size and Requirements

Creating a suitable habitat for your Sands Corydoras (Corydoras davidsandsi) is essential to ensure their health and well-being in captivity. To set up an ideal tank for these captivating catfish, follow these guidelines.

Tank Size: For a small group of Sands Corydoras, a minimum tank size of 20 gallons is recommended. However, if you plan to keep larger groups or other fish species as tank mates, consider larger tanks to provide ample swimming space and accommodate their social nature.

Substrate: Sands Corydoras have a preference for sandy substrates that mimic their natural habitat. Opt for fine sand as your substrate choice, such as CaribSea Super Naturals Aquarium Sand or Seachem Flourite Black Sand. The fine sand allows them to sift through it comfortably while foraging for food without causing injury to their sensitive barbels.

Filtration: Efficient filtration is crucial to maintain water quality, as Sands Corydoras are sensitive to ammonia and nitrite levels. Consider a reliable filter system such as the Fluval FX6 Canister Filter or the Eheim Classic External Canister Filter. These filters provide effective mechanical and biological filtration, ensuring a clean and healthy environment.

Plants: Live plants not only enhance the aesthetics of your aquarium but also contribute to water quality and the well-being of your Sands Corydoras. Opt for low-light plants like Java Fern, Anubias, and Cryptocoryne species. These plants are easy to maintain and create natural hiding spots for your catfish. Brands like Seachem and Tropica offer a wide variety of aquatic plants suitable for freshwater setups.

Heater: Sands Corydoras thrive in tropical water temperatures ranging from 72°F to 78°F (22°C to 26°C). To maintain a stable temperature, consider a reliable aquarium heater like the Eheim Jager TruTemp Submersible Heater or Fluval E Electronic Heater. These heaters are known for their accuracy and durability, ensuring your catfish remain comfortable.

Lighting: Sands Corydoras prefer subdued lighting, which replicates their natural habitat. Utilize low-intensity LED lighting systems like the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED Light or the Fluval Plant Spectrum LED. These lights allow you to adjust the intensity to create a peaceful and visually appealing environment.

Decor: Incorporate driftwood and smooth rocks to mimic the natural landscape of their native waters. These elements not only serve as attractive decorations but also provide additional hiding spots for your catfish.

By carefully selecting the right tank size, substrate, filtration, plants, heater, and lighting, you can create an ideal aquarium for your Sands Corydoras. Remember to maintain water quality through regular water changes, monitor water parameters, and provide a balanced diet to ensure the health and happiness of your cherished catfish. With proper setup and care, your Sands Corydoras will thrive and become a captivating centerpiece in your freshwater aquarium.

Handle with Care

It’s important to note that Corydoras davidsandsi is an armored species with sharp pectoral spines. Handling or transporting them in plastic bags requires caution to avoid injury.

Tank mates for corydoras davidsandsi

The Rio Negro Fishery

Did you know that the Rio Negro Fishery in Brazil is a treasure trove of hundreds of unique aquarium fish species, including Corydoras davidsandsi? This region has garnered attention not only for its rich biodiversity but also for sustainable and socially responsible collection practices. Studying and fostering the Rio Negro Aquarium Fishery has yielded environmental and social benefits, emphasizing the importance of ethical and environmentally conscious practices in the aquarium trade.


Corydoras davidsandsi, the Sands Corydoras, is a captivating addition to any aquarium. With its distinctive appearance, social nature, and relatively manageable care requirements, it appeals to both novice and experienced aquarists. By providing them with an appropriate tank environment, companionship, and a diverse diet, you can witness the lively antics of these fascinating catfish in your own aquatic haven. Additionally, the Rio Negro Fishery reminds us of the incredible diversity of aquarium fish found in nature and the importance of sustainable practices in the hobby.

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Lee Johnson

Lee Johnson

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I love sharing my knowledge about all things aquarium related. I have been keeping aquariums for over 20 years and cannot imagine a life without an aquarium. 

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