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Pretty cory - Corydoras pulcher

Pretty cory - Corydoras pulcher

Scientific name: Corydoras pulcher

Common name: Pretty cory

Family: Callichthyidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 4 - 5 cm (1.57 - 1.97 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6 - 8

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 4 - 18°N (71.43 - 321.43ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 24 - 28 °C (75.2 - 82.4°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: South America

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels


Corydoras pulcher originate from South America where they are mainly found in the Amazonian waterways of Brazil.

Short description

Corydoras pulcher rightly earns its common name of Pretty Cory as it displays a wonderful colouration that is broken with a single black line that runs along the length of its entire body. They are like all other Corydoras, an extremely peaceful species that can easily be intimidated by aggressive tankmates. They possess two rows of armoured plates that can be found on their flanks but they are not completely armoured and can be susceptible to predators if placed in that situation. Caring for these fish is not too difficult as long as they are given the correct conditions in the aquarium, this particular species of Corydoras may be harder to locate compared to the more popular species but they are well worth tracking down.


If cared for correctly the average lifespan for the Pretty cory is 3-5 years.

General care

It is a common misconception that all Corydoras species are extremely hardy and can tolerate the poorest of water conditions, they are often added to new aquarium set ups that are not fully cycled but this does place them under stress and can lead to long term health problems. It is far better to add them to a fully cycled aquarium, either sand or gravel can be used for the substrate but you must make sure that the gravel is well rounded and has no sharp edges as this can easily damage their delicate barbels. Corydoras are a shoaling species and as such should be kept in small groups of at least 6 specimens, they are also mainly bottom dwellers so should only be housed with other peaceful bottom dwellers. They can tolerate a reasonably wide range of ph levels, the accepted values are between 6.0-8.0 so keeping this midway of the range is ideal. They do prefer slightly higher water temperatures compared to some of the other species of Corydoras, the accepted range is between 24 - 28 °C (75.2 - 82.4°F). Rocks or wood should be added to create hiding places and keep the lighting at moderate levels to make these fish feel at ease.They do like planted aquarium but they are also very active once settled into the aquarium so leave open swimming spaces at the front of the tank, you will find that they are more active in the evenings and may tend to hide more during the daylight hours.


Another common mistake is to believe that Corydoras will just scavenge around the substrate cleaning up whatever food is left by the fish that occupy the higher levels in the aquarium. They are best fed in the evenings when they are most active. Their diet should consist of a good quality flake food, sinking pellets and algae wafers. Sinking foods will give them more of a chance to get their proper fill before the other tank mates get in first.


Corydoras are best sexed by viewing them from above. The females will have a stockier body shape and mature females tend to grow slightly larger than the males.


As of yet there are no reported cases of the Pretty cory breeding in the aquarium but it is known that they are egg scatterers with no parental care. They tend to deposit their eggs on the leaves of vegetation by means of a sticky coating but many fry are vulnerable to predation in the early stages. If you wish to breed Corydoras there are other species that are easier to breed than the Pretty Cory and usually provide good results.

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