Nijssen & Isbrücker,
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
Cory = helmeted;
doras = leathery skin,(helmeted
'Panda' alludes to the colour pattern of this Corydoras
which resembles the Giant Panda of China.
van den; Focus on Catfish, Corydoras (part1) (Suitable
for beginners) Aquarist & Pondkeeper Nov.1987.
Top picture: Sandy
Bottom Picture: Danny Blundell