Corydoras xinguensis (Xingu corydoras): A Comprehensive Guide to Care, Husbandry, and More…

Xingu corydoras, Corydoras xinguensis

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Corydoras xinguensis (Xingu corydoras): A Comprehensive Guide to Care, Husbandry, and More…

Corydoras xinguensis, also known as the Xingu corydoras, is a captivating tropical freshwater fish that hails from the upper Xingu River basin in Brazil. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into every aspect of keeping and caring for these freshwater fish, from their origins and appearance to detailed care instructions and compatibility with other aquatic species.

Origin of Corydoras xinguensis

Corydoras xinguensis (Xingu corydoras) is native to the pristine inland waters of South America, specifically the upper Xingu River basin in Brazil. This beautiful fish takes its name from the very river where it was first discovered. In the world of fish taxonomy, it had been assigned various “C-Numbers,” including C55, C105, C106, C107, and C108, until its proper identification.

Appearance and Behavior

Xingu corydoras, Corydoras xinguensis
© aquaportail


Corydoras xinguensis is a small-sized fish, typically reaching a maximum length of approximately 1.5 inches (3.7 centimeters). These fish boast a sleek and streamlined body, featuring a distinctive pattern of pale spots against a dark background on their flanks. Their graceful, elongated dorsal and pectoral fins add to their charm, making them a favorite among aquarium enthusiasts.


When it comes to behavior, Corydoras xinguensis are known for their peaceful and social nature. They thrive in groups, so it’s advisable to keep them in shoals of at least six individuals to ensure their well-being. These fish are bottom-dwellers, spending much of their time scouring the substrate for food. They are also known for their endearing habit of periodically darting up to the water’s surface to gulp in air, a behavior that allows them to extract oxygen from the atmosphere.

Tank Setup and Water Parameters

Setting up a suitable tank for Corydoras xinguensis is a critical step in ensuring their well-being and enhancing their natural beauty. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the specifics of creating the perfect habitat for these charming fish.

Tank Size and Requirements

The first consideration when setting up a Corydoras xinguensis tank is the tank size. While these fish are relatively small, a minimum tank size of 20 gallons is recommended for a small group of Corydoras xinguensis. A larger tank provides more stability in terms of water parameters and allows ample space for these social creatures to thrive.


Selecting the right substrate is crucial, as Corydoras xinguensis have sensitive barbels that can be easily damaged by rough substrates. The best substrate options for them include fine-grained sand or smooth gravel. Some popular choices include CaribSea Super Naturals Aquarium Sand or Seachem Flourite Black Sand. These substrates not only protect the fish but also create a natural-looking environment reminiscent of their native habitat.


A proper filtration system is essential to maintain water quality and clarity in your Corydoras xinguensis tank. Given their preference for slow-moving waters, a gentle filter with low water flow is ideal. Consider using sponge filters or hang-on-back (HOB) filters with adjustable flow settings. Brands like Fluval and AquaClear offer reliable HOB filter options that can be adjusted to suit the needs of your tank.

Plants and Decor

Corydoras xinguensis thrive in a well-structured environment with plenty of hiding spots. Live plants not only provide natural aesthetics but also contribute to the overall health of the aquarium. Some of the best plant options for their tank include Java fern (Microsorum pteropus), Anubias species, and Amazon sword (Echinodorus species). These plants are hardy and can tolerate the conditions preferred by Corydoras xinguensis.

In addition to live plants, you can include driftwood, smooth rocks, and caves as part of the decor. These features mimic their natural habitat and provide hiding places for these shy fish.


Maintaining a stable temperature within the recommended range of 72–79 °F (22–26 °C) is vital for the comfort and health of Corydoras xinguensis. A reliable aquarium heater is necessary to achieve this. Brands like Eheim, Fluval, and Aqueon offer heaters with adjustable settings and built-in thermostats to ensure your tank stays within the desired temperature range.

When setting up a Corydoras xinguensis tank, prioritize a tank size of at least 20 gallons to provide ample space for a group of these social fish. Choose a fine-grained sand or smooth gravel substrate to protect their sensitive barbels, and opt for gentle filtration systems such as sponge filters or adjustable HOB filters from trusted brands.

Incorporate live plants like Java fern, Anubias, and Amazon sword, along with appropriate decor items, to create a natural and enriching environment. Finally, ensure the temperature remains within the range of 72–79 °F (22–26 °C) using a reliable heater from reputable brands. By adhering to these guidelines, you can create an ideal habitat for your Corydoras xinguensis, allowing them to flourish in your aquarium.

Water Parameters

Maintaining the right water conditions is crucial for the well-being of Corydoras xinguensis. Here are the optimal water parameters:

  • pH Level: Maintain a pH range between 6.0 and 8.0 to ensure their comfort.
  • Water Hardness: Keep the water hardness in the range of 2–25 dGH.
  • Temperature: Maintain a stable temperature between 72–79 °F (22–26 °C) to mimic their native tropical climate.

Feeding Corydoras xinguensis (Xingu corydoras)

Feeding Corydoras xinguensis is a crucial aspect of their care, and providing a balanced diet ensures their health and vitality. These omnivorous fish have diverse dietary preferences, which can be replicated in your aquarium. Let’s explore the feeding requirements and some specific food options, including reputable brands and types available online.

Dietary Requirements

Corydoras xinguensis in the wild feed on a variety of food sources, including worms, benthic crustaceans, insects, and plant matter. To mimic their natural diet, it’s essential to offer a combination of live and frozen foods along with high-quality sinking pellets or flakes. Variety is key to providing them with essential nutrients and preventing dietary deficiencies.

Live and Frozen Foods

  1. Bloodworms (Live or Frozen): Bloodworms are a favorite treat for Corydoras xinguensis. They are high in protein and can be fed as a supplement to their regular diet. Brands like Hikari and San Francisco Bay offer high-quality frozen bloodworms that can be easily sourced online.
  2. Brine Shrimp (Live or Frozen): Brine shrimp provide another excellent source of protein. You can find both live and frozen brine shrimp from brands like Omega One and Ocean Nutrition. Rinse frozen brine shrimp before feeding to remove excess salt.
  3. Daphnia (Live or Frozen): Daphnia are tiny, nutritious crustaceans that can be part of their diet. Brands such as San Francisco Bay and Hikari offer frozen daphnia that you can feed to your Corydoras.

Sinking Pellets and Flakes

  1. Hikari Sinking Wafers: Hikari Sinking Wafers are specially formulated sinking pellets designed for bottom-dwelling fish like Corydoras. They are rich in essential nutrients and provide a balanced diet. Look for Hikari Sinking Wafers available in various sizes to suit the needs of your fish.
  2. New Life Spectrum Thera+A: New Life Spectrum Thera+A is a high-quality sinking pellet food that contains natural color-enhancing ingredients. It offers a balanced diet for Corydoras and helps maintain their vibrant colors. This brand is well-regarded among aquarium enthusiasts.
  3. Omega One Veggie Rounds: Omega One Veggie Rounds are sinking wafers enriched with spirulina and other plant-based ingredients. These can be an excellent addition to your Corydoras’ diet, providing essential fiber and nutrients.

Feeding Frequency

Corydoras xinguensis should be fed small, frequent meals throughout the day. Aim for two to three feedings daily, offering only what they can consume within a few minutes. Be cautious not to overfeed, as excess food can lead to water quality issues. It’s important to monitor their eating habits and adjust the amount of food accordingly.

Providing a varied and well-balanced diet is essential for the health and happiness of your Corydoras xinguensis. Incorporate a combination of live and frozen foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia, along with sinking pellets and flakes from reputable brands such as Hikari, New Life Spectrum, and Omega One. Feeding them multiple times a day in small portions ensures they receive the nutrients they need while maintaining excellent water quality in your aquarium. Remember to observe their behavior and adjust their diet as needed to keep them thriving.

Breeding Corydoras xinguensis

Breeding Corydoras xinguensis in captivity can be a rewarding experience. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Separate Breeding Tank: Set up a separate breeding tank with the same water parameters as the main tank.
  • Temperature and Lighting: Slightly raise the temperature and provide subdued lighting to simulate dawn and dusk.
  • Spawning Substrate: Add spawning substrate like smooth pebbles or marbles to the breeding tank.
  • Courtship and Egg Laying: Observe the courtship rituals, where males chase females, and once eggs are laid, carefully transfer them to a rearing tank.
  • Feeding Fry: Feed the fry with specialized fry food until they are large enough to consume regular food.

Common Diseases and Lifespan


While Corydoras xinguensis are relatively hardy, they can still be susceptible to common aquarium diseases. Keep an eye out for signs of illness, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or abnormal swimming behavior. Quarantine new fish before introducing them to your aquarium to prevent disease outbreaks.


With proper care, Corydoras xinguensis can live for several years in captivity. The average lifespan ranges from 3 to 5 years, but some individuals may live longer if provided with excellent care and a stress-free environment.

Compatibility and Tank Mates

Corydoras xinguensis are known for their peaceful temperament, making them excellent tank mates for various other tropical fish species. Some suitable tank mates include:

  • Small tetras like neon tetras or cardinal tetras.
  • Peaceful dwarf cichlids such as Apistogramma species.
  • Non-aggressive livebearers like guppies or endlers.
  • Peaceful rasboras like harlequin rasboras.

Avoid housing them with aggressive or larger fish that may intimidate or harm these gentle Corydoras.

In Conclusion

Corydoras xinguensis, with its captivating appearance and amiable nature, is a fantastic addition to any freshwater aquarium. By following the guidelines for their care, tank setup, and compatibility, you can provide a comfortable and thriving environment for these charming fish. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced aquarist, the Xingu corydoras is sure to capture your heart and enhance the beauty of your aquatic world. Happy fish-keeping!

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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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