Pygmy Corydora

(6 customer reviews)


2-3 cm
  • Common Name: Pygmy CorydoraLatin name: Corydoras pygmaeus

    Synonyms: None

    Tank Bred: Yes, Pygmy Corydoras are commonly bred in captivity for the aquarium trade due to their popularity.

    Distribution: Pygmy Corydoras are native to the upper Amazon River basin in Peru, specifically the Nanay River.

    Max size: Pygmy Corydoras typically grow to a maximum length of 1 inch (2.5 cm).

    Lifespan: With proper care, Pygmy Corydoras can live up to 5 years.

    Temperature range: Pygmy Corydoras prefer a temperature range between 72°F and 78°F (22°C to 26°C).

    pH range: The pH range for Pygmy Corydoras should be between 6.0 and 7.5.

    KH range: Pygmy Corydoras prefer a KH range between 2 and 10 dKH.

    Care level: Pygmy Corydoras are relatively easy to care for, but they are delicate and require stable water conditions.

    Lighting preference: Pygmy Corydoras do not have specific lighting requirements and can thrive under standard aquarium lighting.

    Suitable for planted tanks: Yes, Pygmy Corydoras are suitable for planted tanks as they are peaceful and do not disturb plants.

    Preferred food: Pygmy Corydoras are omnivores and prefer a varied diet of high-quality sinking pellets, frozen or live foods such as bloodworms and brine shrimp, and vegetable matter.

    Behaviour: Pygmy Corydoras are social and should be kept in groups of at least 6 individuals. They are peaceful and should be kept with other small, non-aggressive fish.

    Discoverer: Pygmy Corydoras was first described by the ichthyologist H. Nijssen and M. M. de Beaufort in 1975.

    Interesting Facts: Pygmy Corydoras are a popular choice for nano tanks due to their small size and peaceful nature. They are also known for their unique coloration, which includes a black and white striped pattern along their body.

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LIVESTOCK = Fish, Critters and Corals

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The Pygmy Corydoras is a tiny fish, measuring just 1-1.5 inches (2.5-3.8 cm) in length at maturity. They have an elongated and slender body shape with a slightly arched back. Their head is flattened, and they have two pairs of barbels located near their mouth, which they use to detect food in the substrate.

Their body is mainly silver in color, with a distinctive black line running horizontally along their flanks. This line is typically broken up into several smaller spots, giving the fish a speckled appearance. The fins of the Pygmy Cory are clear and transparent, with a yellowish or orange tint.

Natural Habitat

Pygmy Corydoras inhabit the slow-moving tributaries of the Rio Madeira basin in Brazil. They prefer shallow waters with sandy or muddy substrates and are often found among dense vegetation and leaf litter. Pygmy Corydoras are known to inhabit blackwater streams with low pH and low mineral content. They have adapted to these conditions by developing a specialized intestine that allows them to digest plant material more efficiently.

In the wild, Pygmy Corydoras are a shoaling species and are often found in groups of up to 100 individuals. They are a peaceful and social species and prefer the company of their own kind. Pygmy Corydoras have a unique defense mechanism that allows them to produce a toxin from their skin to deter potential predators.

The natural habitat of Pygmy Corydoras is an essential consideration when creating an aquarium environment for them. It is essential to replicate their natural habitat as closely as possible to ensure their health and well-being. A soft sandy substrate and plenty of hiding places, such as plants and driftwood, are essential for Pygmy Corydoras. The addition of dried leaves and botanicals, such as Indian Almond Leaves, can also help mimic their natural blackwater environment.

Keeping Pygmy Corydoras healthy

Pygmy Corydoras are relatively easy to care for and are a good choice for beginner aquarists. They prefer soft, slightly acidic water with a pH range of 6.0-7.0 and a temperature range of 72-78°F (22-26°C). They are sensitive to water quality, so it’s essential to maintain good filtration and perform regular water changes to keep the water clean and stabPygmys are a  bit on the delicate side, so it’s best to avoid keeping them with larger, more aggressive fish that may intimidate or harm them.

Special requirements and feeding

Pygmy Corydoras are omnivorous and will eat a variety of foods, including small live and frozen foods, sinking pellets, and flakes. They are bottom-feeders, so it’s best to provide sinking pellets or tablets to ensure they get enough food. They also appreciate a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places and a soft substrate like sand or fine gravel, which won’t damage their delicate barbels.

How many should I keep?

Pygmy Corydoras are social fish and should be kept in groups of at least six individuals to thrive. They are peaceful and do well in community aquariums with other small, non-aggressive fish that share similar water parameters.

Lighting preference

Pygmy Corydoras are not particularly sensitive to lighting, but it’s best to provide them with a natural day/night cycle to ensure they maintain a healthy circadian rhythm. A moderate level of lighting is sufficient, and it’s best to avoid bright, direct light that may cause algae blooms or stress the fish.

Suitable tank mates

Pygmy Corydoras are peaceful and do well with other small, non-aggressive fish that share similar water parameters. Good tank mates include other small Corydoras species, small tetras, rasboras, and guppies. It’s best to avoid keeping them with larger, more aggressive fish that may intimidate or harm them.

Breeding Pygmy Corydoras

Breeding Pygmy Corydoras can be challenging, but with the right conditions and approach, it can be a rewarding experience. Here are some details on breeding Pygmy Corydoras:

  1. Condition the breeding pair: To encourage spawning, you need to condition the breeding pair with a varied diet of live and frozen foods, such as bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp.
  2. Provide a suitable breeding tank: Pygmy Corydoras are shoaling fish, so you need to provide a suitable breeding tank with plenty of hiding places, plants, and substrate. The tank should have a pH between 6.0-7.5 and a temperature between 75-79°F (24-26°C).
  3. Monitor water quality: Ensure that the water quality is stable, with low levels of ammonia and nitrite. Regular water changes of 25-30% each week can help maintain good water quality.
  4. Observe courtship behaviour: Pygmy Corydoras will typically swim in pairs during courtship, with the male chasing the female around the tank. You may also notice the male quivering and touching the female’s abdomen with his snout.
  5. Spawning: Once the pair has selected a suitable spawning site, the male will embrace the female in a ‘T’ shape, with the female depositing a single egg. The process will repeat until the female has laid around 30-50 eggs.
  6. Remove adult fish: After spawning, remove the adult fish from the breeding tank to prevent them from eating the eggs or fry.
  7. Incubation period: The eggs will hatch within 3-4 days, and the fry will become free-swimming after another 2-3 days.
  8. Feeding fry: Feed the fry with small live or frozen foods, such as baby brine shrimp, microworms, or finely crushed flakes.
  9. Grow-out tank: Once the fry are large enough, transfer them to a grow-out tank with similar conditions to the breeding tank.

Breeding Pygmy Corydoras can be a challenging process, but the reward of seeing the tiny fry grow into healthy adults is worth it.


Pygmy Corydoras have a lifespan of around 3-5 years with proper care. However, they can live shorter or longer depending on the conditions in which they are kept.


Pygmy Corydoras are native to South America, specifically the Amazon River basin and its tributaries. They can also be found in parts of Colombia, Peru, and Brazil. In the aquarium trade, pygmy Corydoras are often captive-bred rather than wild-caught to reduce stress on wild populations.


In summary, pygmy Corydoras are a delightful and popular fish species in the aquarium hobby. With their small size, peaceful demeanour, and playful personalities, they make a great addition to any community aquarium. They require a well-maintained aquarium with plenty of hiding places, proper lighting, and a balanced diet to thrive. With the right care, pygmy Corydoras can live for several years and provide endless hours of enjoyment for their owners.

To view our other corydoras please click here.

6 reviews for Pygmy Corydora

  1. Ron Jones (verified owner)

    A magic tiny Cory. I love these little fish.

  2. Ashleigh Bevan (verified owner)

    Very tiny but active little guy settled well

  3. Raymond Ward (verified owner)

    Beautiful little fish, the packaging was excellent. The 6 I received are doing fine, they look very healthy and have settled in well.

  4. Alan Jones (verified owner)

    Fantastic, 1st class delivery and service from the Abyss team, I cannot fault this company, once my 12 Pygmy Cory had acclimatised , they set about the Algae wafers which had been fed to my Oto’s , and started to shoal with my other Tetra’s… you can’t ask for anymore

  5. Jess (verified owner)

    The tiniest and wiggliest catfish, I love these little guys. I had an existing group that had unfortunately diminished from 6 to 3 over time, and my 3 were not happy. Ordered a big group from Abyss which all arrived in good health and very quickly my three were integrated with the new flock. I think they’re much happier now. They also look gigantic compared to these youngsters.
    Thanks Abyss for great communication and care all the way through.

  6. Dr Mitchell Mckenzie

    Adore these little guys. All 8 arrived in fab condition. I’m going to try to breed them in time so hopefully I’ll end up with a nice big shoal of them

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Dry Goods Delivery.

The store has provided information regarding their order dispatch and estimated delivery times. Here are the key details:

  1. Dispatch Timeframe: Orders placed before 2pm will be dispatched on the same day. Orders placed after 2pm will be dispatched on the next working day.
  2. Delivery Date and Time Guarantee: While the store aims to dispatch orders promptly, they cannot guarantee a specific delivery date and time. As the delivery process relies on couriers, there may be factors beyond their control that could affect the delivery timeframe.
  3. 1st Class Mail: For orders sent via 1st Class mail, the aim is to have them delivered on the next working day after dispatch.
  4. 2nd Class Mail: Orders sent via 2nd Class mail typically take approximately 2-3 working days for delivery after dispatch.
  5. APC Next Day Delivery: APC Next Day delivery is available for UK mainland postcodes. It is usually delivered on the next working day after dispatch. However, please note that items being delivered to more remote areas may require additional time for delivery.

It’s important to keep in mind that while the store strives to provide efficient delivery services, unforeseen circumstances or external factors could potentially impact delivery times. For further details or specific inquiries about delivery, customers should refer to the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.

Livestock Delivery.

The store maintains specific policies regarding the delivery of livestock. Here are the key points:

  1. Licensed Livestock Courier: The store exclusively uses a licensed livestock courier for shipping fish and coral. This approach is chosen to ensure responsible and ethical transportation of the livestock.
  2. Livestock Shipping Fee: The livestock shipping fee charged to customers of £19.99 does not cover the true cost, and therefore, there is a minimum spend requirement of £30.00 before the option for livestock shipping becomes available.
  3. Pre-Arranged Delivery: The store never ships livestock without first arranging a suitable delivery day. Before dispatching the livestock, the store must confirm the agreed-upon delivery day with the customer.
  4. Saturday Delivery Confirmation: Customers who choose Saturday delivery must have their availability confirmed for the upcoming Saturday before the store sends out the livestock. This confirmation ensures that the livestock can be received promptly.
  5. Failure to wait for livestock: Not waiting for livestock, even if there is a reasonable delay, or cancelling an order after it has been dispatched will lead to you incurring charges for an emergency return to the base. Additionally, any losses of livestock will also be charged to you. Please be aware that the items you are ordering are living creatures – livestock. We kindly ask that you refrain from ordering livestock if you are unable to accommodate the possibility of a delayed delivery.

    These terms and conditions are a fundamental aspect of our policy. Our primary goal is to dissuade individuals who could react negatively to a delayed delivery and subsequently request order cancellations. It is of utmost importance to underscore that your order pertains to living creatures, not mere inanimate objects. In the event of an occasional delay, it is crucial that you respond in a rational and responsible manner, taking into account the welfare of the livestock. We kindly request that you refrain from placing an order for livestock if you tend to react strongly to such situations. By proceeding with the order of livestock, you indicate your acceptance and agreement to abide by these specified terms and conditions.

  6. Signature Requirement: Livestock deliveries require a signature upon receipt and cannot be left in a safe location. This precaution ensures proper handling and the well-being of the livestock.
  7. Geographic Restrictions: The courier has strict geographic restrictions for livestock deliveries. Unfortunately, deliveries to Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly, Channel Islands, and certain Scottish offshore postcodes may not be possible. Customers are encouraged to contact the store via email to confirm if livestock delivery is available in their area.
  8. Minimum Order Value and Order Cancellations: The store has a minimum order value of £30 for livestock shipping. Additionally, the store reserves the right to cancel orders that are deemed high-risk or involve a high number of single tropical freshwater fish species.

It is essential for customers to familiarize themselves with these policies before making a purchase. For more detailed information or specific inquiries, customers should consult the store’s terms and conditions or reach out to the store directly for clarification.

Livestock Geographical Exemptions.

The store has specific geographical exemptions for livestock deliveries. Here is a list of the areas and postcodes where livestock delivery is not available:

  1. Islands: Livestock cannot be delivered to the Shetlands, Channel Islands, and Isle of Man.
  2. Postcodes: Livestock delivery is not available to the following postcodes:
  • AB30 to AB39, AB41 to AB45, AB51 to AB56
  • DD8 to DD10
  • BT all
  • DG3 to DG9, DG12 to DG14
  • KA18 to KA19, KA26, KA29 to KA30
  • HS all
  • IM all
  • JE all
  • ZE all
  • KW15 to KW17
  • TD9
  • FK17 to FK21
  • GY all
  • KA26, to KA28
  • PA20 to PA38, PA41 to PA49, PA60 to PA61, PA76 to PA78
  • TR21, to TR25
  • PH3 to PH26, PH30 to PH44
  • IV all

Customers residing in these areas should be aware that livestock delivery is not available to their location.

We can ship livestock to the Isle of Wight, this area is subject to a surcharge.

For further information or specific inquiries about livestock delivery to a particular area, customers are advised to contact the store directly for clarification.


According to the store’s policy, customers have the right to cancel an order within 14 working days of receiving the goods. To initiate the cancellation, the goods must be returned to the store in new and unused condition, adhering to their Returns Policy.

Important points regarding the return process are as follows:

  1. Return Condition: The goods must be returned in new and unused condition, as originally received. It is important to ensure that the goods are in the same condition as when they were sent out.
  2. Return Timeframe: The goods must be received by the store within 21 days of notifying them about the cancellation. During this time, customers are responsible for any loss or damage that may occur during the return shipping process.
  3. Refund Process: Once the store receives the goods in new and unused condition, they will initiate the refund process. The purchase price will be refunded to the customer.
  4. Return Condition Inspection: If the returned goods arrive in a condition that is less than what they were sent out in, the store reserves the right to return the goods to the customer, and no refund will be processed.

It is essential for customers to carefully review the store’s Returns Policy and follow the specified procedures to ensure a smooth and successful return and refund process. For more detailed information or specific inquiries, customers should consult the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.


According to the store’s return policy, the following guidelines should be followed for returning goods:

  1. Use Returns Form: Customers need to use the store’s provided returns form to initiate the return process. This form helps the store acknowledge that the goods are being sent back.
  2. Return for Testing: If the goods are being returned for testing, the customer is responsible for covering the return shipping expenses.
  3. Refund of Postage Fees: The store will only refund postage fees if the order arrives damaged or becomes faulty within the first 4 weeks of purchase. Proof of posting is important, and customers should ensure the goods are well-packed and obtain proof of posting as the goods remain their responsibility until received by the store.
  4. Refund of Postage Costs for Replacement: If goods are being returned within 7 days of purchase under the Replacement Policy, the store can refund postage costs. However, the customer needs to agree on a delivery service with the store in advance, and only standard or tracked shipping fees will be refunded. The store cannot refund the cost of any special delivery service.
  5. Non-Refundable Postage: Postage costs for goods returned for any other reason than those mentioned above are non-refundable. The store reserves the right to deduct the original postage cost from any applicable refund.
  6. Mistaken Purchases: If a customer has made a mistake in their purchase, they need to return the goods to the store. The customer is responsible for the return shipping costs in such cases.

It is important for customers to carefully follow the store’s return procedures and terms and conditions. For further details or specific inquiries, customers should refer to the store’s website or contact the store directly.


If customers receive faulty goods, the following guidelines apply according to the store’s policy:

  1. Notification of Faulty Goods: Customers must notify the store within 7 working days if they receive faulty goods. This notification should be made as soon as possible.
  2. Replacement Parts: If possible, the store will dispatch replacement parts for the faulty goods.
  3. Return of Goods: If replacement parts are not possible, the store may request customers to return the faulty goods in accordance with their Returns Policy. The specific return procedures and conditions should be followed.
  4. Verification of Damage: Once the store receives the returned goods, they will verify the damage. If the damage is confirmed, the store will supply the required replacements.
  5. Return Postage Costs: If the goods returned to the store are found to be in good working order, the store is not able to refund the return postage costs. Additionally, the store reserves the right to deduct their original postage cost from any applicable refund.
  6. Consequential Loss or Damage: The store cannot take responsibility for any consequential loss or damage that arises directly or indirectly from the goods supplied.

Customers should carefully review and adhere to the store’s Returns Policy and procedures for returning faulty goods. For further clarification or specific inquiries, customers should consult the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.

Manufacturer’s Guarantees

The store works in collaboration with manufacturers to ensure that their guarantees are honored, and they make their best efforts to resolve issues within the warranty period. The following guidelines apply to refunds and replacements:

  1. Postage Costs under Manufacturer’s Guarantee: Postage costs can only be refunded if the goods are returned to the store within 7 days of the original purchase, as per the manufacturer’s guarantee.
  2. Refund of Postage Costs for Faulty Goods: The store will refund postage costs for guarantee/warranty returns only if the product becomes faulty within the first 4 weeks of receipt.
  3. Replacements with Manufacturer Authorization: Replacements, whether parts or goods, can only be offered when authorized by the manufacturer. Customers should contact the store for further guidance in such cases.
  4. Prior Approval for Returns: Goods should not be returned to the store without prior approval. Customers need to contact the store and obtain approval before returning any items.
  5. Replacement of Glass or Ceramic Items: Glass or ceramic items can only be replaced if the store is notified within 48 hours of receiving the delivery.
  6. Replacement of Glass Bulbs/Tubes: Glass bulbs or tubes can only be replaced if they become faulty within 14 days.

Customers should note and adhere to these guidelines to ensure a smooth and efficient resolution of any issues with their purchased items. For specific inquiries or further information, customers are advised to refer to the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.


According to the store’s policy, customers have the following responsibilities regarding breakages:

  1. Checking Goods on Arrival: It is the customer’s responsibility to thoroughly check the goods upon arrival for any damage. This should be done before signing for the parcel. If the parcel appears damaged, it is advised not to sign for it.
  2. Reporting Breakages: Any breakages or damages must be reported to the store within 48 hours of receiving the goods. It is important to promptly notify the store to initiate the resolution process.

By carefully inspecting the goods upon arrival and reporting any breakages within the specified timeframe, customers can ensure that appropriate actions are taken to address the issue. For specific instructions on reporting breakages or further information, customers should refer to the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.