Corydoras haraldschultzi: (Mosaic Cory) origin, care guide tank setup

Corydoras haraldschultzi

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Corydoras haraldschultzi: (Mosaic Cory) origin, care guide tank setup

Corydoras haraldschultzi, often referred to simply as “Haraldschultzi,” is a popular choice among aquarists who appreciate the bottom cleaning catfish in their freshwater aquariums. This member of the Callichthyidae family is known for its distinctive appearance, peaceful temperament, and remarkable usefulness as a bottom feeder and algae eater. In this article, we will explore the origins, appearance, and essential care guides for Corydoras haraldschultzi, highlighting its status as a hardy and easy-to-care-for armored catfish.


It’s important to note the distinction between Corydoras haraldschultzi and Corydoras sterbai to avoid any confusion. These subtle differences in their coloration and patterns can help aquarists correctly identify each species:

  • Corydoras haraldschultzi: This species features a distinctive pattern of black dots on a gold background on its head. The black dots create a visually striking contrast against the golden base color of its head.
  • Corydoras sterbai: In contrast, Corydoras sterbai exhibits a pattern of gold dots on a black background on its head. The gold dots stand out against the deep black coloration of its head.

By paying attention to these subtle variations in coloration and pattern, aquarists can confidently distinguish between these two Corydoras species, ensuring they provide the appropriate care for their aquarium inhabitants.

Common NamesHaraldschultzi, Armored Catfish,
Scientific NameCorydoras haraldschultzi
Size of the FishApproximately 2.5 to 3 inches (6-8 cm)
Difficulty ScoreEasy to care for, suitable for beginners
Minimum Tank Size20 gallons (larger recommended for a school)
Best Compatible Tank MatesOther peaceful fish like tetras, rasboras, guppies, and other Corydoras species
Temperature Range72-78°F (22-26°C)
pH Range6.0-7.5
Substrate TypeFine sand substrate
DietOmnivorous; high-quality pellets, live/frozen foods, and vegetables
Natural HabitatSouth America, Orinoco River basin in Venezuela and Colombia
Schooling BehaviorYes, prefers to be kept in a group of at least five individuals
Life Expectancy5-8 years or longer with proper care
Source: Wikipedia


Corydoras haraldschultzi, a native of South America, hails from the tributaries in Brazil and Bolivia. This remarkable catfish species thrives in slow-moving, heavily vegetated waters, where it can be found in river tributaries, streams, and flooded areas during the wet season. Understanding the fish’s natural habitat provides crucial insights into its care requirements when kept in an aquarium.

Corydoras haraldschultzi Appearance

Corydoras haraldschultzi
©Mummymonkey at English Wikipedia,

Corydoras haraldschultzi boasts a striking appearance that makes it a sought-after addition to any tropical freshwater aquarium. Here are some key characteristics:

Size: These catfish typically reach a size of 2.5 to 3 inches (6-8 cm) in length, making them ideal for smaller aquarium setups.

Body Shape: Haraldschultzi features a streamlined body with a distinct armored appearance. Its body is covered with overlapping bony plates, resembling an intricate mosaic.

Coloration: The base color of Corydoras haraldschultzi ranges from olive green to brown, adorned with dark speckles and spots. A distinguishing feature is a bold black stripe that runs horizontally along its body, accentuating its appeal.

Adorned Fins: This species is adorned with elongated dorsal fins, especially in males, which enhance their visual appeal during courtship displays.

Barbels: Like all Corydoras, haraldschultzi possesses sensitive barbels around its mouth, which it uses to search for food in the substrate.

Care Guides Corydoras haraldschultzi

Aquarium Setup

Setting up a suitable habitat for Corydoras haraldschultzi in your aquarium is a crucial step to ensure their well-being and comfort. A well-designed tank not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your aquatic environment but also provides an environment that mimics their natural habitat. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to set up your tank for these peaceful and charming catfish.

Tank Size:
Choosing the right tank size is paramount when setting up an aquarium for Corydoras haraldschultzi. A minimum tank size of 20 gallons is recommended for a small school of these catfish. Larger tanks, such as 30 or 40 gallons, are even better, as they provide more space for the fish to explore and reduce territorial disputes. The larger water volume also helps maintain water stability, which is crucial for their well-being.

Selecting an appropriate substrate is essential to replicate their natural environment. Corydoras haraldschultzi thrive on fine, sandy substrates. The best option is a soft sand substrate, which prevents injury to their sensitive barbels. Avoid using coarse gravel, as it can damage these delicate sensory organs. Brands like CaribSea’s Eco-Complete African Cichlid Sand or Seachem Flourite Sand are excellent choices for creating a comfortable substrate.

A high-quality filtration system is a must to maintain water quality and provide proper oxygenation for Corydoras haraldschultzi. Canister filters, such as the Fluval FX series or Eheim Classic canister filters, are effective choices. These filters provide mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration, ensuring that the water remains clear and free of harmful substances. Additionally, consider adding a sponge pre-filter to the intake to prevent the fish from getting trapped.

Plants and Decor:
Creating a natural and visually appealing environment with live or artificial plants and decor is essential. Live plants not only enhance the aesthetics but also provide hiding places and contribute to water quality. Suitable live plants include Amazon Sword, Anubias, and Java Fern. For artificial options, brands like Marina Naturals and Penn-Plax offer realistic and fish-safe decorations, such as caves and driftwood. Ensure that you provide ample hiding spots, as Corydoras haraldschultzi appreciates places to retreat when needed.

Maintaining a stable water temperature within the recommended range of 72-78°F (22-26°C) is crucial for these catfish. Choosing a reliable heater is essential. Brands like Eheim Jager, Fluval E Series, or Aqueon Pro Heaters are known for their accuracy and durability. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature regularly and adjust the heater as needed to keep the water conditions consistent.

While Corydoras haraldschultzi doesn’t have specific lighting requirements, providing a natural day-night cycle with a timer-controlled LED lighting system is beneficial for the overall health of your aquarium. Opt for a low to moderate intensity LED light to prevent excessive algae growth and to create a comfortable environment for your fish.

By following these guidelines for tank size, substrate, filtration, plant selection, and heating, you can create an optimal environment for Corydoras haraldschultzi. Remember that maintaining stable water parameters and a clean tank is crucial for the health and well-being of these charming and easy-to-care-for catfish.

Corydoras haraldschultzi Tank Mates

Corydoras haraldschultzi is known for its peaceful nature and compatibility with a variety of tank mates. However, choose companions carefully, keeping in mind their peaceful disposition and schooling behavior. When selecting tank mates for Corydoras haraldschultzi, it’s essential to consider their peaceful nature and schooling behavior. Corydoras catfish, in general, tend to thrive when surrounded by their own kind or other compatible freshwater species.

Some great tank mates include Corydoras aeneus, known for its bronze coloration, and Corydoras panda, admired for its distinctive black and white markings. Additionally, Corydoras paleatus, or the Peppered Cory, and Corydoras julii, with its intricate spotted patterns, can create a harmonious community alongside Haraldschultzi catfish. To add variety and color to your aquarium, consider other peaceful species like tetras, such as neon tetras and cardinal tetras, as well as rasboras and guppies. By choosing compatible tank mates, you can create a vibrant and thriving aquatic community where Corydoras haraldschultzi and their companions can coexist peacefully.

Corydoras haraldschultzi Diet

Being omnivorous, Corydoras haraldschultzi have a diverse diet. In the wild, they primarily feed on small invertebrates, insect larvae, and plant matter. In an aquarium setting, you can offer them a balanced diet that includes:

  • High-Quality Pellets: Specially formulated sinking pellets provide essential nutrients and should constitute the staple of their diet.
  • Live and Frozen Foods: Supplement their diet with live or frozen foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia to mimic their natural diet.
  • Vegetable Matter: Haraldschultzi also appreciate blanched vegetables like zucchini and spinach. These serve as an excellent source of fiber.

Behavior and Schooling

Corydoras haraldschultzi is a schooling fish, which means they thrive in the company of their own kind. It is advisable to keep them in a group of at least five individuals to ensure their well-being. When they feel safe and secure within their school, they become more active and display their natural behaviors, such as scavenging for food in the substrate.

Hardy and Easy to Care For

One of the standout qualities of Corydoras haraldschultzi is its hardiness and ease of care. Here’s why they are an excellent choice for beginners:

  • Resilience: Haraldschultzi is known for its ability to withstand fluctuations in water parameters, making it forgiving of novice mistakes.
  • Low Maintenance: Their bottom-feeding behavior aids in maintaining a cleaner substrate by consuming leftover food and detritus, reducing the need for extensive tank cleaning.
  • Peaceful Nature: Their peaceful disposition ensures compatibility with a wide range of tank mates, reducing the likelihood of aggressive interactions.
  • Longevity: With proper care, these catfish can live for 5-8 years or even longer, providing aquarists with years of enjoyment.


Corydoras haraldschultzi, the armored catfish from the Callichthyidae family, is a delightful addition to any freshwater aquarium. Its South American origin, unique appearance, peaceful temperament, and practical role as a bottom feeder and algae eater make it a favorite among aquarists, especially beginners. With its hardy nature and straightforward care requirements, Haraldschultzi catfish offer both aesthetic beauty and ease of maintenance to aquarium enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking to create a serene tropical freshwater environment or seeking a schooling fish with character, Corydoras haraldschultzi is a fantastic choice that will enhance the appeal of your aquatic oasis.

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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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