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Sterba’s corydoras - Corydoras sterbai

Sterba’s corydoras - Corydoras sterbai

Scientific name: Corydoras sterbai

Common name: Sterba’s corydoras

Family: Callichthyidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 5 - 7 cm (1.97 - 2.76 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6.2 - 7.8

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 4 - 12°N (71.43 - 214.29ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 23 - 26 °C (73.4 - 78.8°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


The Sterbai Corydoras originate from South America where they are widely found in shallow waters and tributaries around Brazil and Bolivia.


Usually 3 -4 years if given the correct conditions.

General care

Most specimens for sale nowadays are tank bred and as such can accept a wider range of water parameters compared to their wild cousins. Mature specimens stay relatively small compared to other species of fish, they should only reach a maximum size of approximately 2.5 inches. They prefer a planted aquarium but make sure that if you use gravel for the substrate it is not sharp as they can soon damage their barbels while rooting around looking for food. Some species of corydoras prefer cooler water temperatures, this is not the case with the Sterbai corydoras, they prefer slightly higher temperatures and they do demand a high water quality, regular water changes must be performed and a good filtration system used.

Food and feeding

Inexperienced keepers may give general feeds to their fish and as the Sterbai corydoras are bottom feeders, use these to keep the substrate clean. This can cause problems as fish that inhabit the higher levels of the aquarium will get ample feeds while the bottom feeders may be deprived. The Corydoras are more active in the evening as their tank mates are slowing down so this is the ideal time to give them a feed. Provide them with vegetable matter in the form of sinking pellets or even spirulina pellets, they will also readily accept meaty foods such as blood worms or brine shrimp.


The easiest way to sex Corydoras is to view them from above, the females will have a plumper body shape compared to the males especially when swollen with eggs. The females should be generally slightly larger than the males overall as well.


Breeding should be easy. pH should be approximately 6.8-7.0 and make sure that KH (Carbonate Hardness) is 4 at least; Otherwise conditions won’t be suitable for newborns and thus more won’t survive the first days. These fish (like other Cories) love planted tanks and the more plants in the tank, the higher chance that they spawn and that the fry survives. Eggs are transparent, and fry hatch 3-4 days after eggs are laid.

Just make sure that snails don’t eat eggs, or eventually other fish don’t do the same thing. Once eggs disappear (meant as newborns are swimming and alive), they should find some food in general. Their food is algae for instance.

Try to not using a filter during breeding because newborns tend to get into the filter where they usually die.


Thanks a lot to Aaron Gatt Floridia for allowing us to use the pictures. Others were bought from

Corydoras sterbai Corydoras sterbai Corydoras sterbai Corydoras sterbai Corydoras sterbai Corydoras sterbai Corydoras sterbai Corydoras sterbai Corydoras sterbai Corydoras sterbai picture 10 Corydoras sterbai picture 11 Corydoras sterbai picture 12 Corydoras sterbai picture 13 Corydoras sterbai picture 14 Corydoras sterbai picture 15 Corydoras sterbai picture 16

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