Panda Cory (Corydoras Panda, Panda Catfish): Species profile, care guide, origin, feeding and more.

Corydoras panda, Panda Cory Panda Catfish, Panda Corydoras

Table of Contents

Panda Cory (Corydoras Panda, Panda Catfish): Species profile, care guide, origin, feeding and more.

Corydoras panda, commonly known as the Panda Cory or Panda Catfish, is a freshwater fish and tropical fish that has gained popularity among aquarium enthusiasts. This small, peaceful fish and bottom feeder catfish is loved for its striking appearance, a hardy fish and schooling fish behavior. In this article, we will delve into the world of Corydoras panda, exploring its characteristics, care requirements, and the joys of keeping these catfish in your aquarium.

Common NamesPanda Cory, Panda Catfish
Scientific NameCorydoras panda
Size of the Fish1.5 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5 centimeters)
Difficulty ScoreBeginner to Intermediate
Minimum Tank Size20 gallons for a small group
Best Compatible Tank MatesNon-aggressive tropical fish such as guppies, tetra, Rasboras, and other Cory catfish
TemperamentPeaceful and sociable
DietOmnivorous, scavenger, algae eater
Natural HabitatSouth America, Rio Ucayali, Rio Napo basins
Lifespan5 to 7 years (with proper care)
Water ParametersTemperature: 72-78°F (22-26°C), pH: 6.0-7.5, GH: 2-15 dGH
BreedingSeparate males and females, mimic rainy season, remove adults after egg deposition
Common Health ConsiderationsStress, White Spot Disease (Ich), Bacterial Infections, Feeding Problems
Source: wikipedia

Corydoras Panda orgin

Corydoras panda, also referred to simply as “Panda Cory,” belongs to the Corydoras genus, which is well-known for its diverse and attractive catfish species. The Panda Corydoras, scientifically known as Corydoras panda, is native to the South American continent, specifically the upper Rio Marañón and Ucayali river basins in Peru. These regions are part of the vast Amazon River system, which is renowned for its incredible biodiversity. Within this lush and diverse ecosystem, the Panda Corydoras has adapted to thrive in its unique environment.

Panda Cory Appearance

Corydoras panda, Panda Cory Panda Catfish, Panda Corydoras
Source: Malta National Aquarium

One of the most distinctive features of the Panda Corydoras is its charming appearance, which is what earned it the “Panda” moniker. These small catfish typically grow to about 1.5 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5 centimeters) in length, making them ideal for smaller aquarium setups. Their striking black and white markings is reminiscent of a panda bear, with bold contrasting patches on their bodies that resemble the iconic panda’s markings.

The upper part of their body is predominantly black, while the lower part is white, creating a captivating contrast that draws the eye. This distinctive coloration extends to their fins, making them even more visually appealing. As Panda Corydoras mature, their colors become more vibrant, making them a beautiful addition to any aquarium.

Panda Catfish Size

Panda Cory catfish are relatively small, growing to an average size of about 1.5 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5 centimeters). Their petite size makes them suitable for aquariums of various sizes.


These catfish are renowned for their peaceful and sociable nature. They are schooling fish, which means they thrive in groups of at least six individuals or more. Keeping them in a school not only enhances their well-being but also allows you to observe their engaging group dynamics.


Panda Corys are excellent scavengers and bottom feeders. They have a voracious appetite for leftover food, detritus, and algae in your aquarium. While they do a great job of cleaning up, it’s essential to supplement their diet with sinking pellets or wafers to ensure they receive the necessary nutrients.


One of the reasons why Panda Corys are so popular is their compatibility with a wide range of fish species. They are known for their peaceful demeanor and rarely exhibit aggressive behavior. Therefore, they can be raised with other non-aggressive tropical fish like tetras or guppies.

These Cory catfish also do well with other cory cats like:

Panda Cory Care Guide

To provide the best care for your Corydoras panda, it’s essential to create a suitable habitat that mimics their natural environment. Here are the key aspects to consider when setting up their aquarium:

Tank Size

Panda Corydoras are a schooling fish, which means they thrive when kept in groups of at least five or more individuals. A 10 to 20-gallon aquarium is suitable for a small school of Panda Corydoras. It’s crucial to provide them with plenty of hiding places and plants, as they appreciate a well-decorated environment. They tend to spend most of their time near the bottom of the tank, so create a substrate of fine sand or smooth gravel to protect their sensitive barbels.


Since Panda Corys are bottom dwellers, a soft substrate is crucial to prevent injury to their delicate barbels. Fine sand or smooth gravel works well as a substrate choice.

Water Parameters

Maintain a tropical freshwater environment with a temperature range of 72-78°F (22-26°C). The pH level should be around 6.0 to 7.5, and the water hardness (GH) should be between 2-15 dGH.


A good filtration system is essential for your Panda Corydoras. They are sensitive to poor water quality, so a reliable filter will help remove waste and maintain water clarity. Ensure that the filter’s flow rate is not too strong, as these gentle fish may struggle to swim in fast currents.


Adding driftwood, plants (live or artificial), and hiding spots with caves or PVC pipes can create a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing environment for your Panda Corys. Ensure that there are no sharp edges in the decor to prevent injury.


Panda Corys don’t have specific lighting requirements, but providing a natural day-night cycle with moderate lighting is advisable. This will also promote the growth of algae, which serves as a supplemental food source.

Feeding and Diet

Panda Corys are omnivorous bottom feeders, and their diet should reflect their natural feeding habits. Here’s what you need to know about their nutrition:

Algae Eater

These catfish are excellent algae eaters and will help keep your aquarium clean by grazing on algae growth. However, algae alone will not provide all the necessary nutrients, so supplement their diet accordingly.

Sinking Pellets and Wafers

To ensure a balanced diet, offer high-quality sinking pellets or wafers specially formulated for bottom-dwelling fish. Look for products rich in protein and fortified with essential vitamins and minerals.

Live and Frozen Foods

Occasionally, treat your Panda Corys to live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. These protein-rich options will contribute to their overall health and vitality.

Feeding Frequency

Feed your Corydoras panda once or twice a day, only providing an amount they can consume within a few minutes. Overfeeding can lead to water quality issues, so exercise restraint when offering food.

Breeding Corydoras Panda

Breeding Panda Corys can be a rewarding experience for experienced aquarium enthusiasts. Here’s what you need to know about breeding these charming catfish:


To encourage breeding, separate a group of males and females into a separate breeding tank. Ensure that the tank parameters match their usual habitat.

Inducing Spawning

To stimulate spawning, mimic the rainy season by performing a water change with slightly cooler water. This change in temperature and the introduction of fresh water often trigger breeding behavior.

Egg Depositing

Female Panda Corys lay their eggs on various surfaces, such as the glass walls of the aquarium, decorations, or the substrate. Once eggs are deposited, promptly remove the adults to prevent them from consuming their own eggs.

Raising Fry

The eggs will hatch in about 4-7 days, and the fry will need to be fed with specialized fry food or very fine powdered foods until they are large enough to accept regular food.

Common Health Considerations

Corydoras panda is generally a hardy fish, but like all aquarium inhabitants, they can be susceptible to certain health issues. Here are some common health considerations:


Stress can weaken the immune system of Panda Corys. Ensure they have proper hiding spots and maintain stable water conditions to minimize stress.

White Spot Disease (Ich)

Ich is a common parasitic infection that can affect many aquarium fish, including Panda Corys. Keep an eye out for white spots on their skin, rapid gill movement, and rubbing against objects. Quarantine and treat affected fish promptly.

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections can occur if water quality is not maintained. Symptoms include frayed fins, lesions, or unusual behavior. Maintain pristine water conditions to prevent these issues.

Feeding Problems

Overfeeding or providing an imbalanced diet can lead to digestive issues. Be mindful of their diet and ensure they receive a variety of foods to meet their nutritional needs.

In Conclusion

Corydoras panda, the adorable Panda Cory catfish, is an excellent choice for both novice and experienced aquarium hobbyists. These peaceful, hardy, and attractive bottom feeders add charm to any freshwater aquarium. By providing them with an environment that mimics their natural habitat and a well-balanced diet, you can enjoy the delightful antics of these small, social scavengers

Related Posts You May Like

Leave a Reply

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. 

Lee Johnson
My Personal Favorites