Home / Fish / Pygmy Cory (Pygmy Corydoras)

Pygmy Cory (Pygmy Corydoras)

By | Last Updated: 27th October 2020

Pygmy Cory or pygmy corydoras is a freshwater fish of the Callichthyidae family indigenous to South America’s water bodies. The first scientific description of this species was in 1966 in the magazine Aquarien und Terrarien-Zeitschrift by Joachim Knaack, a German physician, and biologist.  It has often been mistaken for another species of the Corydoras family, Dwarf corydoras ( Corydoras hastatus), since they have a striking similarity. “Pygmaeus,” as used in their scientific name, means dwarf in Latin, absolutely justifying their small size.

Pygmy Cory

Quick Information

Scientific NameCorydoras pygmaeus
Other NamesPygmy catfish, pygmy corydoras
OriginThroughout South America, particularly along the Nanay River in Peru, Aguarico River in Ecuador, and Madeira River in western Brazil
TypeFreshwater fish
Conservation StatusNot recorded
Behavioral CharacteristicsPeaceful, cooperative, adjustable
School Size5 – 6
Physical TraitsSmall in size with unbroken lines running throughout its body
ColorsSilver with back horizontal lines running across its body
SizeMales: 1.9 cm (0.79 inch)
Females: 2.5 cm (1 inch)
Lifespan2 – 3 years
Sexual DimorphismPresent; females are larger and heavier than males
Probable DiseasesRed blotch disease, itch
Approximate Price$2 – 5
Pygmy Corydoras Catfish
Full Grown Pygmy Cory Catfish

Tank Setup & Care Sheet Details

Care LevelBeginners
Tank Size10 gallons (38 liters) for 5 to 6 fish

Water Parameters

pH Level6.0 – 8.0
Temperature72 – 79 °F (22 -26°C)
Hardness2 – 25 dGH
Aquarium Water FlowSlow

Tank Ambience

Substrate TypeSand, gravel, small pebbles, dried leaves
Tank MatesCompatible with: Neon tetra, dwarf gourami, zebra danios, cherry barbs, marbled hatchetfish, cherry barb, mollies, guppies, Chinese algae eater, kuhli loach, Otocinclus species, and other pygmy cories One can also keep them with shrimp species

Incompatible with: Big fish species, especially those with large mouths and even the aggressive ones
Suitable Position in the TankMiddle, and bottom


DietFrozen or live brine shrimp and bloodworms; pellets, flakes, algae wafers
Frequency2 – 3 times a day
Pygmy Cory Catfish
Pygmy Corydoras

Important Things to Know For Fish Keepers

  • Some keepers have mentioned their pygmy cory swimming upside down and even developing red marks near their fins. Stress due to inappropriate living conditions or bacterial infection are a few of the probable reasons. Under such circumstances, consult a fish vet to get an insight into the problem.
  • There are myths about this species eating algae. If you have kept them in your tank to clean off the algae growing on the aquarium walls, you are for sure to get disappointed.
Pygmy Catfish
Pygmy Cory Fish


Q. What is the difference between a pygmy cory and dwarf cory?

Though one is often mistaken for the other due to their striking similarities, as mentioned above, yet both have notable visible differences. The pygmy corydoras appears silver and black while the dwarf cory has a white to olive translucent body with thin dark stripes on its sides. The latter even has a more elongated body than the former.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

÷ 1 = 8