Caring for Panda Cory (Corydoras panda), Breeding, Diet & Forum
This page is dedicated to keeping Panda Corys and we try to answer all questions asked by keepers no matter whether they're "newbie questions" or those asked by skilled aquarists. If you can't find an answer on this page, you're welcome to submit one or more questions via form which can be found at the bottom. You're also welcome to visit the following page: Panda cory - Corydoras panda profile which also links to similar fish. Also try this search page just in case you're interested in looking at other Corydoras in our database!
Basic requirements, tank setup and ideal conditions for Panda cory
These small and inoffensive Corydoras coming from Rio Pachitea in Peru love planted tanks with fine substrate. They’re best kept in a biotope aquarium with temperature of 22 - 28 °C (71.6 - 82.4 °F), general water hardness (dGH) of 4 - 18 °N, and pH of 5.8 - 7.8 which must not vary as these Cory’s are very sensitive to inappropriate conditions or sudden changes of water chemistry, and are prone to diseases if kept in poor conditions. As they are very peaceful and social fish that reach only 3 – 4 cm (1.2 – 1.6 inch) in length, their requirements in regards to tank size are minimal, a group of 10 Panda cory’s can be easily kept in a 10 gallon (37 liters, 8.3 Imperial gallon) tank. These fish must not be kept alone, always purchase a group of 6, preferably 10 or even 15 specimens, as they can’t withstand loneliness without being stressed.
As they consume food from the lowest levels of a fish tank, sandy substrate or fine gravel is a must for these Corydoras because their barbells may get hurt if they run into a rock or other objects with sharp edges. Thus grow lots of small plants which they love to hide in, and make sure there is a reasonable number of caves in your aquarium as Panda's often swim and spend time there - in shady places where they feel comfortable. As mentioned already, sand or fine gravel with diameter of maximally 3-4 mm (0.11 – 0.15 inch) should be used in a Panda cory tank.
A tank for Corydoras pands must be well aerated, otherwise they’ll swim to the top in order to breathe atmospheric air. This behaviour is a perfect indicator of aeration level.
Suitable plants for a tank with Panda cory’s are as follows: Echinodorus angustifolius, Echinodorus amazonicus, Cabomba furcata, Echinodorus bleheri, Mayaca fluviatilis, Anubias nana, Anubias sp., Ludwigia inclinata.
Proper diet for Corydoras panda
A good quality food is crucial, these Cory’s love brine shrimp, tubifex worms, black and white mosquito larvae, tablet food, pellets, granules, microworms and can even eat flakes if they fall down to the substrate. Panda cory’s will eat leftover food as these little cleaners that are known for their cleaning abilities spend the whole day and night digging in the substrate, but they do not eat fish feces and other waste like some people believe. They will never eat any plants so they are perfect for planted tanks. If they are breeding the best food is relish frozen bloodworm and white worm.
Panda's can become fat almost overnight, so feed them amounts that can be eaten in 1-2 minutes twice a day in order to prevent them from getting ill. A group of 10 Panda Cory's won't cost you more than a couple of dollars/euros a month. These fish are more active if fed smaller amounts twice a day as they’ll keep searching for food in the substrate.
Corydoras are at their most active in the evening hours so this may be the best time to add food to the aquarium for these fish.
Body and sexing
The body is sandy colored with black spots/patches. Corydoras panda have black over their eyes (like panda bears) and have a black band on the tail along with black back fin, the rest of the fins are clear. The Panda females are more rounded and fuller than males, this makes females and males easy to distinguish – females that haven’t laid eggs for a couple of months may look like about to explode. Males tend to chase and follow females everywhere they move.
Breeding your Panda cory’s
As they breed just like any other Corydoras, the process isn’t very difficult and often goes unspotted because they lay around 10-15 eggs on glass or under large leaves of aquatic plants. Good triggers of the breeding process are as follows:
- Feed your Panda’s worms, preferably live worms and larvae cut to small pieces
- Perform regular water changes every other day, this simulates rainy seasons
- Lower the temperature to 22°C (71°F) after keeping it at 26°C (78°F) for 2-3 weeks
- Don’t keep other fish with your Panda’s as they may eat their eggs and eventually newborns too
- Add driftwood into the breeding tank
- Don’t move your Codydoras panda from one tank to another (rather move their tank mates) as they’re sensitive to relocation and move could kill their willingness to breed
- Idea ratio is 1 male to 1 female, but raising this ratio to 2:1 (male : female) is perfectly OK
The eggs are usually laid early in the morning, however they’re often eaten either by parents or other fish, therefore use a razor blade or a credit card to remove eggs from tank once they’re found. It’s also possible to move eggs to a plastic container which can be placed in the same tank as you won’t risky any changes in water chemistry. In case the eggs are laid on plant, cut the leaf and keep it away from hungry parents.
Once eggs hatch, newborns don’t have to be fed as they’re still consuming egg sac at this stage. The egg sac will be consumed in approximately 2-3 days, sometimes it can be as long as 4-5 days. Microworms, daphnia and newly hatched brine shrimp are ideal foods for newborns. Small Panda’s won’t swim in groups, they’re individualists just like their parents. Newborns can reach 1 cm (0.39 inch) in length in approximately 1 month. As they become 3 weeks old, their diet can be replaced with main diet for parents. Panda cory’s will eat algae that grows on rocks, substrate and glass.
Tank mates for these Cory’s
Good community tank mates for Pandas would be inoffensive tetras such as Neon’s and other small fish, and if you would like to keep other catfish in the same tank, then Ancistrus types will make good partners and of course other Corydoras or Aspidoras species are superb company for your Panda’s too.
Panda cory’s do well too with Angelfish, Discus, Blue rams, even Bettas, Dwarf gourami, peaceful Pleco’s, most Loaches. Feel free to ask us as the bottom of this page if you’re not sure about compatibility of your fish with these little Cory’s.