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Bronze Corydoras Overview, Care Guide & Breeding Tips

Do you like peaceful fish more than the bigger and aggressive ones in your fish tank? Or are you a beginner and looking for a fish that is easy to care for? Well, then bronze corydoras will be an ideal choice for you.

Bronze corydoras are easily found in the river and stream water of South America. The best tank setup is to have slightly acidic water and a smooth substrate, along with many hiding places. Also, these fish are very easy to care for with time-to-time water changes.

Species Overview

Level of CareVery easy
AppearanceYellow or pink body, white belly, and blue-grey shade near the head
Life Expectancy10 years
Size3-inches or 7.5 cm
Tank Size20 gallons
Tank EnvironmentSlightly acidic or neutral water with caves, stones, and live plants
Tank MatesVery peaceful

Bronze corydoras or bronze cories are small, tropical catfish, which are one of the most popular aquariums fish. These are usually found in South America, especially in Argentina and other southern areas.

These are usually inhabitants of slow-moving rivers and streams. Thus, they prefer a bit of shallow and muddy water.

But these fish are so versatile that they can be easily found in fast-flowing rivers, stagnant ponds, and marshes. Nevertheless, only very few of them can survive in stagnant water.

They are pretty popular with their ability to breathe from the surface area of the water. Also, in your aquarium, you can see these catfish darting near the surface area of the tank water for inhaling quick air, and once done, they will again dive back to the bottom.


Bronze corydoras are usually not so big. Instead, they are pretty small as catfish. These fish grow up to only 7.5 cm or 3-inches. And do you know what is the most interesting fact here?

Unlike the majority of species, females are slightly larger than their male counterparts. The females usually reach up to 7.5 cm in length. But the males are only about 6.5 cm in length.


Well, bronze corydoras are not too short-lived, which makes them perfect for keeping in a tank.  These catfish usually live up to 10 years.

Also, with proper care and diet, they can last up to more than 10 years, which will be simply great for your tank.

Behavior & Temperament

Usually, bronze corydoras are very peaceful and calm. These fish are not at all aggressive and better kept with any friendly fish species.

They are schooling fish. So, it is better to keep them in a group of five. Due to their friendly and peaceful nature, they are an excellent option for beginners.

But these should not be kept with any aggressive fish like Oscars and cichlids as they can easily hurt your cute little cories.

School of bronze corydoras

Tank Requirements

This species of corydoras is relatively easy to care for. Since these catfish are too small in size, they do not need a much larger tank. You can easily start with a small 10-gallon tank for petting the fish.

However, while picking a tank, make sure it is wide enough compared to its height.

Also, while choosing a filter for your bronze corydoras, it is crucial to remember that their filtration rate requirement is low. Also, the current in the water needs to be minimum. So, you can also use a hang-on-the-back filter for your fish tank. But make sure the tank is not over-filtered.

The substrate of the tank needs to be a suitable one for them so that they can stay happily. Do not offer these fish a hard or sharp substrate that can hurt these tiny fish.

These fish are so tiny that, exclusively for them, the tank water’s pH level must be at a minimum. Also, the water temperature needs to be moderate to ensure proper care.

Tank Setup

Now, the tank setup for bronze corydoras is quite easy. But it needs to be very effective to offer the proper amount of care to these little aqua creatures. So, here is what the tank setup must look like.

  • Though you can start caring for bronze corydoras in a 10-gallon tank, it is recommended to use a 20-gallon tank to offer them adequate space for hovering around.
  • Add a filtration unit with a minimal water current setting. A hang-on-the-back filter will be quite suitable for these tiny fish.
  • Maintain the water temperature within 72-84 ℉ or 22-29℃.
  • Ensure that the tank water has a medium to normal pH level, i.e., between 5.5 and 7.5.
  • You may pick a sand substrate for your tank. Also, you can consider high-quality gravel coated with epoxy.
  • Add wood or rock formations in the tank, along with living plants, to offer proper places for hiding and playing.
  • These tiny fish prefer subdued lighting. Thus, floating plants will be the best for them.
  • Lastly, ensure that 25% of water is changed every week.

Tank Mates

Well, bronze corydoras come with a calm and non-aggressive temperament. So, finding tank mates for these fish will undoubtedly be an easy job for you.

Usually, these are schooling fish. Thus, it is recommended to keep them in a group of five members.

However, in the tank, you can easily include community tank species, as they are pretty friendly. But make sure you are placing your tiny cory with other small, peaceful, and friendly fish. Never keep them with highly territorial large fish.

So, here are a few suitable tank mates:

Bronze cory spawning eggs

Food & Diet

If you want your bronze corydoras to grow well, then offering them a proper diet is of utmost importance. But when you offer food to your cories and other fish, mostly the latter will eat up all the food too quickly, leaving behind nothing for your them. So, what to do in such a situation?

Well, change the feeding schedule of your cories. The best time to feed them is in the nighttime when the light goes off. They tend to become more enlivening in these hours. Thus, while feeding, make sure that they are getting a sufficient amount of food. But are you wondering, what do bronze corydoras eat?

As these are usually omnivorous, you can easily feed them with any food. It is better to offer these tiny catfish good quality sinking pellets for their staple diet.

Besides, algae wafers are equally good and healthy for these tiny fish. They also eat spirulina flakes occasionally for a change in their diet.

For a protein-rich diet, you can offer them blood worms, brine shrimps, or daphnia twice a week. However, make sure you are not overfeeding as they are very prone to digestive problems.

Bronze Corydoras Care

Bronze Cories usually prefer a calm water flow. But they are easy to adapt to and survive in a wide variety of water conditions.

Usually, they prefer a bit acidic or neutral tank water pH. But make sure it is not alkaline, as such water conditions can pose a high risk to your fish’s health. Slightly hard water will be best for their care.

So, are you thinking of adding salt to the tank water? Wait! Do not ever do that. Bronze corydoras are not at all tolerant of salt. If your community tank requires the addition of salt for the well-being of other fish, make sure to move them to a separate tank.

They love to dig into the substrate in search of food. So, offer a comfortable and soft substrate to protect their barbels.

Besides, these tiny fish are shy enough. So, make sure you are providing them with enough places to hide in the aquarium. Hence, wood and stones are mostly recommended. To keep them happy and maintain their proper growth, it is essential to let them feel safe.

They usually prefer a shallow, low water level. Thus, pick a wider tank with a low water level to offer them better space to play and live.

Breeding Guidelines

Do you know bronze corydoras are one of the simplest ones to breed? So, if you want to get them bred, make sure to get at least one breeding pair.

During the breeding season, the females will be slightly larger. When they have a stockier kind of body shape, they will start developing eggs. During this time, the fish get a bit mature and are easily fed with live and frozen foods while spawning.

Ensure that the water is slightly acidic during this time. You can also add some java moss, which will serve to be their spawning site. During this period, make sure the filtration is very light. An air-driven sponge filter is going to be ideal.

During spawning, the males will start chasing the female. But at this time, the females will be looking for their chosen site. Then, the females will chase the males. And soon after that, the pair will come together in the T position, signifying mating.

Fry Care

To offer proper care to your bronze cories from the very beginning, it is better to encourage the breeding process in a separate nursery tank.

As soon as they complete their spawning, you need to remove the parent fish from the nursery tank. After that, the eggs will hatch within 4-5 days.

There is no need to offer food to the fries right after they are born. The fry will consume yolk sac for the initial 2-3 days before they become ready to eat external food.

After that, you need to offer them their first meal. You can feed the babies fry food or infusoria. After two weeks, the fries will become large enough to accept proper meals.

So, now you can offer them newly hatched tiny brine shrimps. Also, you can feed them micro worms to make them well-habituated to every diet form.

However, always remember to perform regular water changes to ensure that the water quality is high enough for fries. Poor quality water can risk the lives of your baby corydoras.

Where to Buy?

Being one of the most popular aquarium fish, bronze corydoras are relatively easy to find in any aquarist shop. And they are readily available at a fair rate of price.

Moreover, you can also get it from the shop of any hobbyist near you as they have a more extensive collection of aquarium fish. Besides, many online stores sell high-quality bronze corydoras, from where you can buy a group.

Final Thoughts

So, are you excited about adding some more new friends to your tank? Then this is the best time to host bronze corydoras in your tank as they are vibrant, playful, and effortless to care for.

Also, these catfish are going to live with you for long years so that you can enjoy their company for a longer time. So, if you are thinking of adding some small fish to your tank, then these will be the ideal one for you.

However, make sure you are offering them a high-quality diet only. Also, the water condition needs to be clean and suitable enough to let them show their bright colors as they grow and mature.