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Corydoras aeneus  (Gill, 1858)

his Corydoras is usually the first one kept by aquarists and subsequently leads them into the fantastic world of catfishes. Many new exiting colour varieties are beginning to appear in the hobby mostly from Venezuela and Peru, these include the “Peru Green-Stripe”, the “Peru Gold-Stripe” and the “Peru Gold-Shoulder Red”, there is also a black variety, it may be in the future that these fish will be reclassified into a new species, only time will tell.


In the early days of the modern hobby this Cory along with Corydoras paleatus, the 'Peppered Cory' were the main diet of catfish enthusiasts as there was not much call for importing exotic species as keeping catfish was not as popular as it is today, and with the world opening up with faster trade routes and the growing popularity for catfish, and indeed other exotic species, we have today hobbyists themselves who go and collect these species and bring them back to their own tanks.

This Corydoras is abundant in the hobby mainly due to their breeding in fish farms in the Far East and I think that this has given us a poor representation of aenus in the aquatic shops today. You can still find good specimens but you will have to shop around and of course fish auctions can throw up a surprise or two. The albino variety is also very popular with first time hobbyists. This is probably why the serious Cory enthusiast tends to overlook this species which has been with us for so long.

If starting off with this species buy at least half-a-dozen as with most Cory's they are happier in their own company, and with the comparatively low price of aeneus ( apart from the new varieties) it would certainly not break the bank, and you could end up of course with at least a pair of these hardy Cory's.

Breeding is comparatively easy with cool water changes that lowers the temperature, triggering them off. Feed a good balanced diet making sure that they get their full quota of food if kept in a community tank. A good quality flake food provides all the essential vitamins that they need with extra feedings of frozen bloodworm, white worm ( sparingly) and tablet food. The new varieties mentioned earlier are not quite so easy to breed and need a little more work. In the two following pictures you can see male and female albino with the eggs laid high up on the glass front in the full flow of an internal filter. The second photo shows the fry against a one new pence (U.K.sterling).

Corydoras aeneus (albino) spawning
Corydoras aeneus 'albino' fry

Below is a gallery of a few of the new so-called aeneus varieties, just click on the thumbnail to get a larger image.

Normal Bronze
Normal bronze; Photo Credit: C.H.Bishop
Albino; Photo Credit: Kathy Marshall
Gold Form
Gold Form; Photo Credit: Adrian Payne
Green Laser
Green Laser; (CW009) Photo Credit: Adrian Payne
Black aeneus - schultzei; Photo Credit: Sandy Milne

Make sure that you keep them in rounded gravel or preferably on sand as sharp gravel can erode the barbels, making them virtually useless for breeding, especially on the females. Even if you do keep your Cory's on rounded gravel or sand, do keep the substrate clean as a build up of bacteria there can also harm their delicate barbels.


As there is so many so-called varieties of C. aeneus, it would be better to keep the them apart in case of hybridization.

Dorsal 1/7; Anal 1/6-7; 21-23 bony scutes in the upper lateral series, 19-21 in the lower.

Colouration uniform yellow-brown to delicate reddish-brown with a strong metalic glint on the sides of the head and body. Sometimes shining green, sometimes coppery or, in sunlight, golden. The colouration along the middle of the flanks is substantially darker.

Will do well in a community setup with smaller tankmates such as Rasboras and Tetra's. Do not house with aggressive species or large Cichlids.

Like to lay their eggs (300 or more) in the direct flow of a filter usually high up on the glass where the flow strikes. Eggs will hatch in 3 to 4 days and will use up their yolksac after 3 days. I did find that the C. aeneus 'albino' fry are a little more difficult to raise to adulthood, than some other Cory's, so keep the water changes up. (See image of spawning sequel with the eggs high on glass in the flow of internal filter and the fry in a small plastic holding tank.)

The fry after 3 days feed on infusoria then on to microworm, fry flake, then progress on to Brine Shrimp naupli. Adults can be fed the usual good quality flake food, frozen bloodworm, tablet foods, white and grindal worms.

Corydoras: Cory = helmeted; doras = leathery skin,(helmeted Doras) cuirass.
aeneus: Bronze.

Sterba's Freshwater fishes of the World Vol.1 1973

Photo Credits
Top:       Haraldo Bishop

Allan James @  ScotCat
Factsheet 002

Corydoras schultzei, C.macrosteus, C.venezuelanus, C.microps, Hoplosoma aeneum.
Common Name:
Bronze Cory
Brazil Brazil      
Surinam Surinam
Venezuela Venezuela
Colombia Colombia 
Peru Peru
Trinidad Trinidad      
Argentina Argentina,

Widely distributed in South America on the eastern side of the Andes, from Colombia and Trinidad to La Plata River basin. Type locality: Island of Trinidad, West Indies.
Male : 6.5cm, Female : 7.0cm
20-27°C (67-81°F)
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                                                                                                                                                   Factsheet 002= updated February 24, 2005 © ScotCat 1997-2018  Go to Top