The Black Venezuela Cory Catfish (corydoras schultzei): A Comprehensive Care Guide

Black Venezuela Cory Catfish (corydoras schultzei)

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The Black Venezuela Cory Catfish (corydoras schultzei): A Comprehensive Care Guide

The Black Venezuela Cory Catfish (corydoras schultzei) stands out as a beloved member of the Corydoras family, a group of small, peaceful catfish renowned for their endearing behavior and striking appearance.

The Black Venezuela Cory Catfish, scientifically known as Corydoras schultzei, is a species that has won the hearts of aquarists worldwide. These charismatic catfish, often simply referred to as cory catfish, are a popular choice for both novice and experienced fishkeepers. Their enchanting ebony hue, which extends from snout to tail, sets them apart as an eye-catching addition to any aquarium.

Bottom feeders and efficient algae eaters, they play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of the aquarium ecosystem. These schooling fish like the company of their own kind, exhibiting a tendency to gather in groups, creating a spectacle for onlookers.

In this comprehensive guide, we will dive deeper into the fascinating world of the Black Venezuela Cory Catfish, exploring their origins, behavior, care requirements, and much more. Whether you’re a seasoned aquarist or just beginning your journey into the realm of freshwater fishkeeping, join us as we unravel the secrets of these remarkable aquarium fish.

Here’s a table summarizing the most important facts about the Black Venezuela Cory Catfish (Corydoras schultzei):

Common NamesBlack Venezuela Cory Catfish
Scientific NameCorydoras schultzei
ClassActinopterygii (Ray-finned fish)
OrderSiluriformes (Catfish)
SizeApproximately 2.5 to 3 inches (6 to 7.5 cm)
Difficulty ScoreBeginner to Intermediate
Minimum Tank Size20 gallons (or larger) for a small group
Best Compatible Tank MatesTetras, Guppies, Gouramis, Danios, Other Corydoras species
TemperamentPeaceful and Sociable
LifespanUp to 5-7 years (or longer with proper care)
Natural HabitatFreshwater rivers and streams in Venezuela, South America
DietOmnivorous, accepts sinking pellets, live/frozen foods, and algae wafers
Tank SetupSoft sand or fine gravel substrate, moderate to low-intensity lighting, hiding spots, plants, driftwood, and caves
Water ParametersTemperature: 72-78°F (22-26°C), pH: 6.0-7.5, Hardness: 2-15 dGH
BreedingSeparate breeding tank with soft substrate, conditioning, spawning, egg collection, hatching, and fry care
Common DiseasesSusceptible to Ich (White Spot Disease) and Fin Rot; maintain good water quality to prevent illnesses
Social BehaviorSchooling fish, prefers to be kept in groups of its own kind or with other peaceful species
Special FeaturesStriking black coloration, bottom-dweller, excellent algae eater, sociable, active, and charming behavior
Source: Scot Cat

Why They Are a Popular Fish

The Black Venezuela Cory Catfish, scientifically known as Corydoras aeneus, is a highly sought-after freshwater fish in the aquarium hobby. Its popularity can be attributed to its striking appearance, peaceful temperament, and ease of care.

Black Venezuela Cory Catfish Appearance and Physical Characteristics, Temperament, and Behavior

 Black Venezuela Cory Catfish (corydoras schultzei)


The Black Venezuela Cory Catfish boasts a captivating appearance. It features a sleek, elongated body with an exquisite black coloration. This striking black hue extends from its snout to its tail, making it a true eye-catcher in any aquarium. Their dorsal fins display a subtle iridescent sheen, adding to their charm.

Temperament and Behavior

Known for their docile nature, Black Venezuela Cory Catfish are an excellent choice for community aquariums. They are peaceful and sociable, often seen in groups of their own kind or with other fish. These fish are bottom-dwellers, constantly exploring the substrate in search of food, making them a delightful addition to any tank.

Black Venezuela Cory Catfish Origin

These captivating fish originate from the freshwater rivers and streams of Venezuela in South America. In the wild, they inhabit slow-moving waters with sandy or gravelly substrates. Their natural habitat provides valuable insights into their tank requirements.

Black Venezuela Cory Catfish Lifespan

The Black Venezuela Cory Catfish has a relatively long lifespan when well-cared for. In a properly maintained aquarium, they can live for up to 5-7 years, or even longer in some cases. Providing them with the right conditions is key to ensuring they thrive and enjoy a full life.

Black Venezuela Cory Catfish Size

These catfish have a modest size, making them suitable for a wide range of tank sizes. On average, they grow to about 2.5 to 3 inches (6 to 7.5 cm) in length. Their compact size makes them an excellent choice for aquarists with limited space.

How to Set Up a Black Venezuela Cory Catfish Tank: Tank Size and Requirements

When creating a suitable habitat for your Black Venezuela Cory Catfish, consider the following tank size and requirements:

Tank Size

A minimum tank size of 20 gallons is recommended for a small group of these catfish. A larger tank is even better, as it provides ample space for them to explore and swim. Keep in mind that these fish are social creatures and prefer the company of their own kind.


As bottom-dwellers, they thrive in tanks with soft sand or fine gravel substrates. The substrate should be well-maintained and free from sharp objects that could harm their delicate barbels.

Filtration and Water Quality

A good filtration system is essential to maintain excellent water quality. These catfish are sensitive to poor water conditions, so regular water changes and proper filtration are crucial.

Black Venezuela Cory Catfish Water Parameters

To ensure the health and well-being of your Black Venezuela Cory Catfish, maintain the following water parameters:

  • Temperature: 72-78°F (22-26°C)
  • pH Level: 6.0-7.5
  • Hardness: 2-15 dGH

Adhering to these parameters mimics their natural habitat and helps prevent stress-related issues.

What to Put in a Black Venezuela Cory Catfish Tank

Creating an ideal environment goes beyond substrate and water quality. Consider adding the following elements to their tank:

Plants and Decor

Live or artificial plants provide hiding spots and add natural aesthetics to the aquarium. Use driftwood, rocks, and caves to create additional hiding places for your catfish.


Cory Catfish are not particularly sensitive to lighting, so moderate to low-intensity lighting is sufficient. Avoid intense light, as it may stress them.

Black Venezuela Cory Catfish Common Possible Diseases

While these catfish are hardy, they can still be susceptible to common aquarium diseases such as Ich (White Spot Disease) and Fin Rot. Ensure proper tank hygiene, a balanced diet, and stress-free living conditions to minimize the risk of diseases.

Black Venezuela Cory Catfish Food & Diet

Feeding the Black Venezuela Cory Catfish, scientifically known as Corydoras schultzei, is a crucial aspect of their care, and understanding their dietary needs is essential for keeping them healthy and vibrant in your aquarium. These cory catfish are omnivorous by nature, which means they have a diverse diet. Here’s a detailed look at how to provide them with the best nutrition:

  1. High-Quality Sinking Pellets or Granules: A staple of their diet should be high-quality sinking pellets or granules designed specifically for bottom-dwelling fish. Look for products labeled as “Corydoras pellets” or “bottom feeder pellets.” These sinking foods ensure that the catfish have ample time to find and consume their meals.
  2. Frozen or Live Foods: To provide variety and meet their protein requirements, incorporate occasional treats such as frozen or live foods. Black Venezuela Cory Catfish relish live or frozen offerings like bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia. These protein-rich options can be given as an occasional supplement to their regular diet.
  3. Algae Wafers: Being excellent algae eaters, these catfish enjoy grazing on algae that naturally forms in the aquarium. Algae wafers are readily accepted and help supplement their diet while mimicking their natural behavior.
  4. Vegetable Matter: To provide a balanced diet, introduce some vegetable matter into their meals. Blanched and chopped vegetables like zucchini, cucumber, and spinach are nutritious options. Ensure they are properly prepared and sink to the bottom for easy access.
  5. Feeding Schedule: Feed your Black Venezuela Cory Catfish once or twice a day, offering an amount they can consume within a few minutes. Overfeeding can lead to water quality issues, so monitor their eating habits closely.
  6. Variety is Key: Rotate their diet regularly to ensure they receive a broad spectrum of nutrients. This not only keeps them healthy but also keeps their interest in food, preventing boredom.
  7. Observation: While feeding, observe their behavior. Ensure all fish get a chance to eat, as they can be shy and may not compete with more aggressive tank mates for food.
  8. Consideration for Tank Mates: If you have other fish in the tank, choose foods that cater to the dietary needs of all your inhabitants. Compatibility in terms of diet is essential for maintaining a harmonious aquarium environment.
  9. Supplementary Vitamins: Periodically, consider adding liquid vitamin supplements to their diet. This can help ensure they receive all the essential vitamins and minerals necessary for their well-being.

Remember that water quality is closely tied to their health. Overfeeding can lead to excess waste and deteriorating water conditions. Regular maintenance, including water changes and substrate cleaning, is essential to maintain optimal water quality for your Black Venezuela Cory Catfish.

In conclusion, providing a well-balanced diet for your Black Venezuela Cory Catfish is crucial for their overall health and longevity. By offering a diverse range of foods that cater to their omnivorous nature, you’ll ensure these charming bottom feeders thrive in your aquarium, delighting you with their active and social behavior.

Black Venezuela Cory Catfish Tank Mates

Choosing compatible tank mates is essential for the well-being of your Black Venezuela Cory Catfish. Opt for peaceful, non-aggressive species such as:

Avoid keeping them with aggressive or predatory fish that might harass or harm them.

Black Venezuela Cory Catfish Pregnant

Determining the gender of Black Venezuela Cory Catfish can be challenging, but females tend to be larger and rounder when they are pregnant. Expectant females will also display a more pronounced belly and may exhibit a more reclusive behavior. Provide them with a comfortable environment and ample hiding places when you suspect pregnancy.

Black Venezuela Cory Catfish Male vs. Female

Distinguishing between male and female Black Venezuela Cory Catfish can be tricky, as there are no external differences. To determine gender, you may observe their behavior during breeding, as males tend to chase females during courtship.

Black Venezuela Cory Catfish Breeding

Breeding Black Venezuela Cory Catfish in captivity is possible with the right conditions. Here’s a brief overview of the process:

  1. Separation: Create a separate breeding tank with soft, sandy substrate and maintain the ideal water parameters.
  2. Conditioning: Feed the potential breeding pair a high-quality diet to prepare them for spawning.
  3. Spawning: Males will chase females, and fertilization occurs as the female lays eggs. The male fertilizes them by releasing sperm.
  4. Egg Collection: After spawning, remove the adults to prevent them from consuming the eggs. Eggs are adhesive and typically attach to surfaces.
  5. Hatching and Care: Cory Catfish eggs hatch in about 3-5 days. Once hatched, feed the fry with specialized fry food or infusoria until they are large enough to accept regular food.

In conclusion, the Black Venezuela Cory Catfish is a captivating and sought-after species in the aquarium hobby. Its striking appearance, peaceful temperament, and manageable care requirements make it a fantastic choice for both beginner and experienced aquarists. By providing them with the right environment and attention to their needs, you can enjoy the company of these wonderful fish for many years to come.

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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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