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Corydoras panda  Nijssen & Isbrücker, 1971  

t has been a few months ( October 2001) since my last Corydoras factsheet and I did not need a second reminder when I was sent a factsheet request to include this delightful little Cory in the factsheets archive.

Corydoras panda

This Corydoras is actually a recent addition, in aquarium terms anyway, to the catfish hobby and was collected by Foersch and Hanrieder in a mountain brook at the side of the Rio Lullapichis (Ucayali/Peru) in 1969. It was not until 1971 that it was named in honour of the Giant Panda of China ( Ailuropoda melanoleuca), which its markings resemble, by Nijssen & Isbrücker. The water conditions in this black water river was a pH of 7.7 and 3.1dGH. The temperature of the water ranged from 23.5°C (74.3°F) during the day and dropping down to 22.5°C (72°F) in the evening.

The panda cory created a great disturbance in the late 70's early 80's when it started to get a foothold in the hobby due to a breeding project carried out in Germany accumulating with this species arriving in the U.K. around about 1982. My abiding memory was of seeing this Corydoras at the British Aquarist Festival in Manchester of that year, with them priced on a stall at £40 each, needless to say I did not purchase any, I only admired them from afar!.

Of course nowadays this is a relatively inexpensive Corydoras to purchase as it has been bred often and proven to be hardy and not too hard to breed in the aquarium.

Corydoras panda

There is a clue in the collection data of this species in that it likes the water to be on the cooler side as it was first collected in the foothills of the Andes Mountains and as such the lower temperatures suits this Corydoras ideally, but in saying that the species in your tank has probably been far removed from the wild generation and would be used to temperatures in the high seventies, but I would be inclined to stick to the middle range of between 21°C-24°C (69°F-75°F.) A good pH range would be around the neutral mark (7) as they do not like the water to be too acidic.

This is a small inoffensive little Cory which will do better in a shoal, so buy at least six or more individuals. It would also be advisable not to keep rombustous species in with them such as Tiger Barbs and other fin nipping species as they would worry them to death with their constant harassment and would also deprive them of food as they would be inclined not to venture out for feeding, large Cichlids would also be a bad choice. A good community tank for them would house inoffensive tetras such as Neon's and other smaller characins, and if you would like other catfish any of the Ancistrus types would make good partners and of course other Corydoras or Aspidoras species. If you would like to breed Corydoras panda a species tank is the only way to go with a tank size of 18"x 12" x 12" being ideal for a group of six.

Short and stocky body shape. Three pairs of barbels - one pair of maxillary barbels and two pairs of rictal barbels.

Body sandy coloured with black spot/patch on caudal peduncle and dorsal. Black band bridges head and covers both eyes. Gold shimmer to gill covers. Rest of fins hyaline (clear).

This is akin to most of this genus, very peaceful, and would be best housed with small to medium tankmates such as Tetras, Rasboras and Danios or in a species tank for breeding purposes.

Not too difficult, will breed as per any Corydoras species giving a good diet and water conditions, and water changes of a lower temperature to induce spawning. Two males to one female or one pair. Setup could be a 18"x12"x12" tank with sand or bare bottom with Java moss, Java fern and a sponge filter, adding if you like a power filter for extra aeration and circulation of the water all leading to a hopefully successful spawning. See the breeding section of the ScotCat articles page to read many successful spawning reports of the Corydoras genera.

Like all Corydoras they like a good quality flake food which will have all the goodness and vitamins that they need and also tablet food. For a breeding project they relish frozen bloodworm, grindal and whiteworm.

Corydoras: Cory = helmeted; doras = leathery skin,(helmeted Doras) cuirass.
: 'Panda' alludes to the colour pattern of this Corydoras which resembles the Giant Panda of China.

Nieuwenhuizen, Arend van den; Focus on Catfish, Corydoras (part1) (Suitable for beginners) Aquarist & Pondkeeper Nov.1987.

Factsheet Request
Miquel Fens

Photo Credits
Top picture:       Sandy Milne
Bottom Picture: Danny Blundell
Factsheet 074

Common Name:
Panda Cory
Peru Peru: Est. Huanuco, Aquas Amarillas, tributary of Rio Pachitea, Ucayali river system
5cm (2ins)
21-24°C (69-75°F)
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                                                                                                                                         Factsheet 74= updated April 14, 2005 © ScotCat 1997-2018  Go to Top