Corydoras panda belongs to the Corydoradinae subfamily, Callichthyidae family, and Siluriformes order.
The species is native of South America (restricted to the Ucayali river in Peru). This habitat has few or no real aquatic plants, but floating and marginal plants are common. In general, Corydoras panda occurs in shallow, clean or muddy pools, in margins of ponds and streams covered with plants, stagnant waters with soft bottoms (sand) but also inhabits slightly running waters. The water has a high amount of tannin due to the decomposition of leaves and wood that makes the water tea-colored (an indication of soft and acidic habitat).
The species have a short and rounded snout with barbels around the mouth that are used as tactile organs to obtain physical information about objects, to find food and in courtship. The color of their body is pink to orange with black markings over its eyes, dorsal fin, and caudal peduncle.
Even though Corydoras breath with their gills, they also breathe air from the surface intestinally. The surface air gets stored by the corydoras in the thin walls of intestine’s posterior part. As a result of the modification and vascularization of the posterior intestine, makes the organ well suited for gas exchange.
The species have an average size of 1.5 inches (4 cm) with females being insignificantly bigger than males and with a larger abdominal region. The species have a lifespan of 5 years, but with the right conditions they may live up to 7 years or longer.
Corydoras panda is an excellent choice for beginners because of its hardiness, active but peaceful temperament. It’s advised to keep the species at least in a group of 5 corydoras and more due to their schooling behavior. Because of their peacefulness, corydoras are compatible in community tanks with other peaceful species.
Because of the natural habitat of Corydoras panda should be kept in soft acidic water. Although the species can survive in a wide range of water parameters (6-8 pH), a pH between 6.0-7.0, with a temperature between 20-25 Celsius, and a hardness between 50-150 mg/l, suits the species.
An aquarium with 51 liters of water(13,5 gallons) is suitable for a shoal of 5-6 peppered Corydoras. Although plants are not usually a characteristic of corydoras habitat, a planted aquarium has many advantages for the owner and the fishes. The substrate must be soft and the decoration without sharp points for the avoidance of injuries of the corydoras’ sensitive barbels.
Many beginners use the species to clean the bottom from the leftovers of other fish in the aquarium but like all animals need a proper diet. Some even think that corydoras are coprophagous which is a myth. Corydoras panda is omnivorous and can eat prepared food (sinking pellets) and small live-foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, etc. In nature, their diet consists of worms, crustaceans, and plant matter.
- David Alderton 2005, 2008, Encyclopedia of aquarium and pond fish, Published in the United States by DK Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7566-3678-4
- Immunohistochemical and ultrastructural evidence of functional organization along the Corydoras
paleatusintestine 2016. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/290221812_Immunohistochemical_and_ultrastructural_evidence_of_functional_organization_along_the_Corydoras_paleatus_intestine
- Corydoras panda. Retrieved from https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/corydoras-panda/
- Corydoras panda. Retrieved from https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=679849#null
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