The Fish Guru

Discovering Panda Cory: Care Tank Mates and Breeding Tips

Introduction to Panda Cory

Panda Cory, also known as Corydoras panda, is a fascinating species of catfish that originates from South America. This species is quite popular among aquarium enthusiasts due to its unique appearance and peaceful temperament.

While keeping Panda Cory as a pet can be rewarding, it’s essential to understand their care requirements to keep them healthy. In this article, we’ll go over the basic information you need to know about this species, such as their size, color, diet, and tank setup.

We’ll also discuss the species’ susceptibility to diseases and why it’s crucial to take precautions to keep them healthy.

Caution for Disease Susceptibility

When it comes to keeping aquarium fish, it’s essential to be mindful of disease susceptibility. Panda Cory, like many other species, are prone to illnesses that can be challenging to treat once contracted.

It’s vital to keep their water clean, ensure proper filtration, and avoid overcrowding the tank to reduce their risk of disease. Additionally, you should avoid introducing new fish to the tank without quarantining them first.

All new fish should undergo a quarantine period for at least two weeks, during which they’re monitored for any signs of illness. While it may seem like a lot of work, taking precautions will significantly reduce the risk of your fish getting sick and eventually dying.

Panda Cory Stats

Size: Panda Cory typically grows up to 2 inches in length, making them perfect for small to medium-sized aquariums. Color: As the name suggests, Panda Cory has a black and white coloration that mimics the panda bear.

The white patches usually cover the body’s upper part, while the bottom portion is black. Diet: Panda Cory is an omnivorous species, which means they eat both plant and animal matter.

In the wild, they feed on insects, crustaceans, and worms. In captivity, we recommend a balanced diet that includes pellet and flake foods, as well as live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia.

Tank Setup: Panda Cory likes to have a minimum of 10 gallons of water per fish, and they need a well-filtered tank to maintain good water quality. It’s also essential to provide plenty of hiding spaces, such as caves, plants, or driftwood, as they’re notoriously shy fishes.

Additionally, Panda Cory prefers a substrate of sand or fine gravel as it mimics their natural habitat.

Panda Catfish Origin and Distribution

Habitat of the Species

Panda Cory is a freshwater catfish that originates from the upper Amazon river basin in Peru and Ecuador. They’re particularly endemic to the tributaries of the Andes mountain range, which are part of their natural habitat.

In the wild, they can be found in slow-moving streams, blackwater rivers, and swamps. These waters are typically warm, have a low pH, and are rich in organic matter due to the presence of decaying leaves and other plant debris.

Native Waters and Breeding Season

During their breeding season, which typically takes place between October and February, Panda Cory migrates to shallow waters where the water oxygen content is higher. In their native waters, they breed during the rainy season when the water level rises, and the temperature is warmer.

History and Discovery of the Species

Panda Cory was first discovered by H.R. Richards, an American fish collector, in 1968. The fish was then named Corydoras panda by Nijssen and Isbrcker, two Dutch ichthyologists, in 1971.

Since then, the fish has become an increasingly popular species in the aquarium trade due to its unique coloration and peaceful demeanor.


If you’re looking for a peaceful and beautiful addition to your aquarium, Panda Cory is a great choice. However, keeping them requires some care and attention to ensure they remain healthy.

As we’ve discussed in this article, taking precautions to prevent disease and creating a suitable environment are crucial for their well-being. With proper care, they can make entertaining and fascinating pets that will bring a lot of joy to your home.

Corydoras Panda Physical Characteristics

The physical appearance of Panda Cory makes them a fascinating addition to many aquariums. They have a unique coloration and markings that set them apart from other species.

In this section, we’ll go over some of the specific physical characteristics of Panda Cory.

Size and Gender Differences

Panda Cory is a small species, typically growing up to 2 inches in length. While males and females look similar in appearance, mature females tend to be more robust than males.

They may also appear to have a fuller belly, indicating that they’re carrying eggs.

Distinctive Appearance and Markings

One of the most noticeable physical features of Panda Cory is their distinct black and white coloration. The white patches usually cover the body’s upper part, while the bottom portion is black.

The dark spots on their bodies may vary and overlap, creating a unique pattern. They also have two pairs of barbels, which are whisker-like appendages around their mouths.

These barbels help them locate food on the bottom of the tank. Another characteristic of Panda Cory is the presence of scutes, or bony plates that protect their bodies.

Behavior and Temperament of the Species

Panda Cory is an energetic and vivacious species. They’re benthic scavengers, meaning they look for food at the bottom of the tank.

They’re not very aggressive and get along well with other non-aggressive fish. Researchers also observe that Panda Cory are sociable, often forming schools of up to six individuals.

Panda Cory Breeding

Breeding Tank Setup and Tips

Before breeding, it’s essential to prepare a separate breeding tank for your Panda Cory. The breeding tank should be at least 10 gallons and have a filter that creates a gentle flow of water.

It’s also crucial to maintain good water quality by performing frequent water changes.

Spawning Behavior

Panda Cory breeds through egg deposit. The female will lay small adhesive eggs on various surfaces, such as the tank walls, filter, or plants.

The male will fertilize the eggs as they’re deposited. A typical Panda Cory female can lay up to 100 eggs during one session.

Breeding is more likely to occur when the temperature is maintained between 72 to 78F.

Fry Care and Rearing

Once the eggs are fertilized, it’s essential to remove the adults from the breeding tank. Panda Cory eggs hatch within three to five days, and the fry become free-swimming within a week.

During this time, fry will require a separate tank with infusoria or other prepared foods. The temperature should be maintained at around 80F to promote healthy development.

After a few weeks, you can introduce the fry to suitable foods, such as brine shrimp or crushed flakes. It’s also essential to maintain good water quality and perform frequent water changes to keep the fry healthy.


Panda Cory is a fascinating species that many aquarists enjoy keeping due to their unique physical characteristics and peaceful temperament. Their distinct coloration and sociable behavior make them a beautiful addition to many aquariums.

If you’re interested in breeding Panda Cory, it’s essential to create a separate breeding tank and take steps to maintain good water quality. With patience and the appropriate care, you can successfully breed Panda Cory and enjoy watching the fascinating process of egg deposit and fry rearing.

Panda Cory Tank Mates

As social critters, Panda Cory enjoys having companions in their aquariums. It’s essential to provide them with compatible tank mates to promote their overall well-being.

Here are some ideal tank mates for Panda Cory.

Social Needs of the Species

Panda Cory is a peaceful species that do well with other non-aggressive fish. As they’re usually found at the bottom of the tank, it’s ideal to have other species that thrive at the same level.

Additionally, they prefer species that are relatively active and won’t ignore them, as Panda Cory themselves are energetic and vivacious.

Compatible Tank mates

Larger species of non-aggressive fish can make excellent companions for Panda Cory. Popular options include larger tetra species such as neon tetras, black tetras, and cichlids.

Other bottom-dwelling species, including dwarf cichlids and loaches, can also be compatible with Panda Cory in an aquarium. Bottom-dwelling species can provide extra activity related to their scavenging and behavior, fostering a more stimulating environment.

However, it is essential to note that aggressive fish may harm or outcompete Panda Cory for resources.

Panda Cory Care

Diet and Feeding Routine

Panda Cory is omnivorous fish, meaning they rely on a diet that consists of both plant matter and meaty foods. In the wild, they often feed on insect larvae, worms, crustaceans, and plant debris.

It’s best to provide a well-rounded diet that includes high-quality pellet or flake food, supplemented with live or frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia. A feeding routine consisting of 2 to 3 small portions spread out through the day can help ensure optimal nutrition.

Water Parameters and Temperature Requirements

Panda Cory is a hardy species, but it’s important to maintain their aquarium water parameters within proper ranges. They prefer a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5, although they can tolerate slightly acidic water.

Water hardness should be between 4 and 8 dGH. The ideal temperature range is between 72 to 78F, which is typical of the lower Amazon waters where they are found.

It’s vital to use a reliable water test kit to monitor water parameters and perform frequent water changes to maintain good water quality.

Maintenance and Equipment

Maintaining the proper equipment and performing regular maintenance tasks is essential to create a healthy environment for your Panda Cory. A suitable filtration system with a gentle flow is essential to maintain good water quality.

It’s also recommended to have an aquarium vacuum to perform routine cleaning of the substrate. Frequent water changes are necessary to remove waste, leftover food, and other pollutants that can negatively affect water quality.


Panda Cory is a unique and popular species among aquarium enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned aquarist or new to the hobby, it’s essential to provide excellent care for your Panda Cory.

By providing them with compatible tankmates, quality nutrition, monitoring and maintaining appropriate water parameters, and performing regular maintenance tasks, you can create the ideal environment for your Panda Cory. Upon following common sense suggestions, you can promote their overall health and ensure they thrive in your aquarium.

Health Risks and Diseases

As with any aquarium fish, Panda Cory is vulnerable to various diseases. Understanding the common ailments that affect this species can help you take preventative measures or seek appropriate treatment before the symptoms worsen.

Vulnerability to diseases

Panda Cory is a sensitive fish species, and when they’re not kept in an ideal environment, they’re susceptible to several diseases. Poor water quality, overcrowding, and stress can increase their risk of disease.

Long-term exposure to unsuitable substrate, such as rough substrates and large-pebble gravels, can also lead to barbel loss that may increase the chance of disease complications.

Common diseases and treatments

White Spot Disease (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis), Gill Flukes (Dactylogyrus spp.), and Skin Flukes (Gyrodactylus spp.) are common ailments that Panda Cory can suffer. The first signs of White Spot Disease are small white spots on the Panda Cory’s fins and body.

Gill Flukes and Skin Flukes manifest through abnormal breathing and rubbing against on hard surfaces. Treatments may include salt baths, antibiotics, and copper-based or ich medicine.

Remember to always read and follow instructions carefully while administering treatment or contact a veterinarian for specialized consultancy.

Panda Cory Tank Setup

Creating a suitable tank setup is essential for the health and well-being of your Panda Cory. In this section, we’ll go over the recommended tank size, substrate, plants, and decorations.

Ideal tank size and substrate

The ideal tank size for Panda Cory depends on how many fish you want to keep. Generally, a minimum of 10 gallons per fish is recommended.

An aquarium that’s too small can cause adverse effects on your Panda Cory’s health and well-being. Sand or fine pea gravel make suitable substrates for Panda Cory.

The substrate should mimic the blackwater conditions found in their natural habitat.

Plants and decorations

Panda Cory likes to have plenty of hiding spots and play areas, so decorating their tank with suitable plants and decorations is a must. They enjoy the shade provided by floating plants such as Amazon frogbit or Indian fern.

Adding driftwood, rocks, or other structures like caves can provide additional hiding and play areas for your Panda Cory. Make sure to choose non-toxic items and avoid sharp edges or small spaces where your Panda Cory may get stuck.

Lighting and availability

Lighting should be moderate for your Panda Cory aquarium, with a maximum of eight hours daily. Bright lighting can cause stress and negatively affect their health.

Panda Cory are easily accessible and readily available in the aquarium trade. Always consider adopting tank-bred or tank-raised specimens, as they have adjusted to captive environments and are often healthier than wild-caught ones.


Panda Cory is an excellent choice for beginners or experienced aquarists looking for a unique and beautiful species. It’s important to provide appropriate care in terms of health, tank size, substrate, plants, and decoration.

The guide mentioned above regarding health risks and disease factors should help you remain vigilant to ensure good health. Ensuring good water quality remains an absolute necessity.

We hope this thorough expansion provided valuable insight into creating and maintaining a perfect aquarium environment for your Panda Cory. In this article, we’ve covered the essential aspects of keeping Panda Cory in your aquarium.

We’ve learned about their physical characteristics, ideal tank setup, feeding requirements, and susceptibility to common diseases. We’ve also discussed their social needs, suitable tank mates, breeding process, and the necessary care for the fry.

As with any aquarium fish, providing the best care possible is crucial for the health and well-being of your Panda Cory. Ensuring good water quality, choosing suitable tank mates, using appropriate equipment, and maintaining a balanced diet are paramount.

By following these guidelines, you can provide your Panda Cory with a healthy and stimulating environment in which to thrive and enjoy.

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