Corydoras Robineae (flagtail cory): A Guide to Caring for Robineau’s Corydoras

Corydoras robineae Robineau's Corydoras, banner-tail corydoras, corydoras robineae

Table of Contents

Corydoras Robineae (flagtail cory): A Guide to Caring for Robineau’s Corydoras

Corydoras robineae, commonly known as Robineau’s Corydoras, is a fascinating member of the catfish family Callichthyidae. This charming tropical freshwater fish has become increasingly popular among aquarium enthusiasts for its unique appearance and behavior. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the origin, appearance, and care requirements of Corydoras robineae, also known as. Whether you’re a seasoned aquarium hobbyist or a beginner, this article will provide you with essential information to ensure the well-being of these captivating armored catfish in your aquarium.

Common NamesRobineau’s Corydoras, banner-tail corydoras, corydoras robineae
Scientific NameCorydoras robineae
ClassActinopterygii (Ray-finned fish)
OrderSiluriformes (Catfish)
FamilyCallichthyidae (Armored catfish)
Size of the FishApproximately 1.2 to 1.6 inches (3-4 cm)
Difficulty ScoreEasy to Moderate
Minimum Tank Size10 gallons (larger recommended)
Best Compatible Tank MatesSmall peaceful fish such as tetras, rasboras, and other non-aggressive freshwater species
Natural HabitatAmazon River basin, slow-moving and shallow waters
DietOmnivorous; high-quality sinking pellets, live/frozen foods, and vegetables
Water Temperature72-78°F (22-26°C)
pH Level6.0-7.5
Water Hardness2-12 dKH (soft to moderately hard)
BehaviorPeaceful and social, thrives in groups
ReproductionEgg scatterers; breeding in separate tank with soft substrate
LifespanApproximately 5-7 years
source: Planet Catfish

Origin of Corydoras Robineae

Robineau’s Corydoras, scientifically known as Corydoras robineae, is native to the Amazon River basin in South America. Specifically, you can find these fish in the upper Rio Guapore drainage in Brazil and Bolivia. This region is characterized by its lush tropical rainforests, which contribute to the unique habitat of Corydoras robineae. In the wild, they inhabit slow-moving and shallow waters, often concealed among aquatic vegetation and submerged debris.

Appearance of Corydoras Robineae

Robineau's Corydoras, banner-tail corydoras, corydoras robineae Corydoras robineae

Robineau’s Corydoras is known for its petite size and distinctive appearance, making it a sought-after addition to freshwater aquariums. Let’s take a closer look at its appearance:

Size and Body Structure

  • Size: Corydoras robineae is a among Corydoras, with an adult size typically ranging from 1.2 to 1.6 inches (3 to 4 centimeters). Their small size makes them ideal for nano and small aquarium setups.
  • Body Shape: These catfish have a streamlined, elongated body with a slightly flattened ventral side. Their bodies are armored with bony plates, giving them the nickname “armored catfish.”


  • Base Color: Corydoras robineae typically exhibits a silver-gray or light beige base coloration on their body.
  • Markings: They are adorned with intricate dark patterns on their bodies. A prominent, contrasting black stripe runs along their lateral line, from the eye to the caudal fin. Additionally, they have smaller, scattered spots and speckles on their head and body.


  • Dorsal Fin: The dorsal fin of Robineau’s Corydoras is marked with a characteristic black stripe, continuing from the body’s pattern.
  • Pectoral Fins: These fins are adapted into modified “arms” with a serrated appearance, which they use for digging and searching for food on the substrate.

Care Guide for Corydoras Robineae

To provide the best care for your Corydoras robineae, it is essential to replicate their natural habitat as closely as possible. Here’s a comprehensive care guide for these captivating bottom-dwelling armored catfish:

Tank Setup chart

Tank Size10 gallons or larger
SubstrateFine sand or smooth gravel
DecorationDriftwood, live plants, and hiding spots
FiltrationGentle flow, sponge or HOB filters
Temperature72-78°F (22-26°C)
pH Level6.0-7.5
Water Hardness2-12 dKH (soft to moderately hard)
LightingLow to moderate intensity

Tank Setup for Corydoras Robineae

Creating the ideal tank setup for Corydoras robineae is crucial to ensure their well-being and happiness. These armored catfish have specific habitat preferences that should be replicated as closely as possible in your aquarium. Let’s dive deeper into each aspect of the tank setup to provide the best environment for your Robineau’s Corydoras.

Tank Size

The size of the aquarium is a crucial consideration when keeping Corydoras robineae. Although they are small fish, it’s important to provide them with enough space to move and thrive. A tank with a capacity of at least 10 gallons is recommended for a small group of these catfish. Larger tanks, such as 20 or 30 gallons, are even better, as they offer more stability and space for your fish.


Choosing the right substrate is essential for Corydoras robineae due to their natural behavior of rooting around the substrate in search of food. Opt for a fine sand or smooth gravel substrate. Avoid sharp or rough substrates, as they can damage the sensitive barbels (whisker-like appendages) that Corydoras use to locate food.

The sand or gravel should be at least 2 inches deep to allow these bottom-dwelling fish to sift through it comfortably. A darker-colored substrate can help accentuate the vibrant coloration of your Robineau’s Corydoras and reduce stress, as they often display better colors against a darker background.


Creating a natural and enriching environment is essential for the well-being of your Corydoras robineae. Consider the following when decorating their aquarium:

  • Driftwood: Adding driftwood provides not only aesthetic appeal but also a natural hiding place and surfaces for algae growth. Corydoras enjoy grazing on algae, and driftwood can serve as a supplementary food source.
  • Live Plants: Live aquatic plants, such as Java moss, Amazon sword, and Vallisneria, can create a lush and oxygen-rich environment. These plants also offer hiding spots and contribute to water quality by absorbing nitrates.
  • Hiding Spots: Use caves, PVC pipes, or coconut shells to create hiding spots for your catfish. These sheltered areas mimic their natural habitat, where they seek refuge and rest.
  • Smooth Rocks: Incorporating smooth rocks or river stones can add visual interest and mimic the substrate of their native habitat.


Proper filtration is essential to maintain water quality, which is paramount for the health of Corydoras robineae. Consider the following filtration options:

  • Sponge Filter: Sponge filters provide gentle and efficient filtration suitable for Corydoras. The slow flow rate prevents strong currents that may stress or exhaust them.
  • Hang-On-Back (HOB) Filter: HOB filters with adjustable flow settings can also be used, but it’s crucial to minimize water turbulence.

Maintain your filter to ensure it functions optimally and regularly clean the sponge or filter media to prevent the accumulation of debris and waste.

Temperature and Water Parameters

Maintaining stable water parameters is crucial for the well-being of Corydoras robineae. Here are the recommended temperature and water parameter ranges:

  • Temperature: Keep the water temperature within the range of 72-78°F (22-26°C). Using a reliable heater with a thermostat is essential to prevent temperature fluctuations.
  • pH Level: Maintain a pH level in the range of 6.0-7.5. Corydoras are sensitive to extreme pH swings, so avoid sudden changes.
  • Water Hardness: Aim for a water hardness (dKH) between 2-12, which falls within the soft to moderately hard range. Soft water is preferable, but these catfish can adapt to moderately hard water with proper acclimation.


Corydoras robineae are not particularly sensitive to lighting, and their tank can be kept under low to moderate-intensity lighting. Avoid intense or direct lighting, as it can cause stress and reduce their activity levels. A natural day-night cycle of 8-12 hours of light per day is suitable.

In summary, creating the perfect tank setup for Corydoras robineae involves careful consideration of their natural habitat, substrate preferences, and water conditions. By providing a comfortable and enriched environment, you can ensure that these captivating armored catfish thrive and display their unique behaviors in your aquarium. Remember to monitor water quality, maintain stable parameters, and offer a variety of hiding spots and natural decor to keep your Robineau’s Corydoras healthy and content.

Water Quality

Maintaining pristine water quality is crucial for the well-being of Corydoras robineae. Regular water testing and maintenance are essential:

  • Perform partial water changes of about 25% every two weeks.
  • Use a high-quality water conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramines.
  • Keep ammonia and nitrite levels at zero, and maintain low nitrate levels.
  • Maintain a stable pH and hardness within the recommended range.


Robineau’s Corydoras are omnivorous bottom feeders. Their diet should consist of a variety of foods, including:

  • High-quality sinking pellets: These should make up the staple diet and provide essential nutrients.
  • Live and frozen foods: Offer occasional treats such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia.
  • Algae wafers: These help satisfy their herbivorous tendencies.
  • Vegetables: Blanched vegetables like zucchini and cucumber are excellent options.

Behavior and Tankmates

Corydoras robineae are peaceful and social fish that thrive in a group. Keeping them in groups of at least six individuals is advisable, as it reduces stress and encourages natural behavior. When well-acclimated, these catfish will exhibit fascinating shoaling behavior, often swimming together in a coordinated manner.

When selecting tankmates, opt for peaceful species that share similar water parameter requirements. Suitable tankmates include small tetras, rasboras, and other non-aggressive freshwater fish. Avoid aggressive or fin-nipping species that may stress the Corydoras.


Breeding Corydoras robineae in captivity can be a rewarding experience. To encourage breeding, follow these steps:

  • Provide a separate breeding tank with fine substrate and dim lighting.
  • Maintain a temperature at the higher end of their preferred range (78°F or 26°C).
  • Condition the adults with a varied diet, including live and frozen foods.
  • Perform frequent water changes to mimic the rainy season, triggering breeding behavior.
  • The female will deposit eggs on various surfaces, while the male fertilizes them.
  • After about 4-6 days, the eggs will hatch into fry, and you can start feeding them with specialized fry food.


Corydoras robineae, or Robineau’s Corydoras, is a captivating addition to any tropical freshwater aquarium. Their small size, unique appearance, and peaceful nature make them an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced aquarists. By replicating their natural habitat, providing proper care, and maintaining water quality, you can enjoy the delightful company of these charming armored catfish in your aquarium. Remember to keep them in a group, offer a varied diet, and create suitable breeding conditions if you wish to witness their fascinating reproductive behavior. With the right care, your Corydoras robineae will thrive and become a captivating centerpiece in your aquatic world.

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Lee Johnson

Lee Johnson

Aquarium Enthusiast

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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