Introduction to Panda Corydoras

Panda corydoras is a very beautiful and cute silurid catfish which is also referred to as Panda cat, Panda cory, Panda catfish etc. It is found in the Ucayali river system of Peru. It inhabits both clear and blackwater streams, their tributaries and over soft sandy substrates. It prefers to dwell at the bottom of rivers, lakes, streams and creeks etc.

Panda Cory’s Overview

Panda corydoras has short and stocky body with terminal inferior mouth. The mouth is surrounded by three pairs of barbels, of which one pair is maxillary and other two pair is rictal barbels.  Body is off white to pinkish orange in color with three prominent deep black markings. The first marking is seen at the top of the head and around the eyes, the second black marking is located on the dorsal fin and the third one is situated at the caudal peduncle. The Panda Corydoras is omnivorous fish and in wild, it mainly feeds on insect larvae, small crustaceans and worms. In captive condition it accepts most prepared sinking food such as pellets and tablets, flake foods, algae wafers, Cory pellets, shrimp pellets, insects, benthic crustaceans, most types of worms including diced earthworms, and most plant and vegetable matter. It grows up to 5 cm in length and can live up to 10 years or more.

Quick Specs

Scientific Name: Corydoras panda

Common Name: Panda Catfish, Panda Cory,

Origin: Peru; Ucayali river system

Adult Size: 5 cm in length

Behavior: Peaceful

Tank Level: Bottom

Minimum Tank Size:  10 gallons

Diet: Omnivore

Breeding: Egg layer

Care level: Intermediate

Water pH: 6.0-7.0

Water Hardness:  2-12 dGH

Water Temperature: 68-77 0F

Lighting:  Moderate – normal lighting

Lifespan:  10 years or more

Background of Panda corydoras

Panda corydoras was first collected by Randolph H. Richards in 1968 and it was named Corydoras panda by Nijssen and Isbrücker in 1971. It is called Panda due to their black marking over its eyes. The name “Panda corydoras” was given in honor of the Giant Panda of China. This fish belongs to the Family Callichthyidae under order Siluriformes of Class Actinopterygii.

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Feeding Panda corydoras

The Panda Corydoras is omnivorous fish and in wild, it mainly feeds on insect larvae, small crustaceans and worms. In captive condition, it accepts most prepared sinking food such as pellets and tablets, flake foods, algae wafers, Cory pellets, shrimp pellets, insects, benthic crustaceans, most types of worms including diced earthworms, and most plant and vegetable matter.

Housing Panda corydoras

The Panda corydoras is a great looking and popular community catfish. It requires at least 10 gallon aquarium but larger is recommended. The tank should be well planted with driftwood. They do well at normal temperature that ranges from 68-77 0F with slightly acidic to slightly alkaline pH (6.5 -7.5) and soft to moderately hardness (2-12 dGH). Substrate with sharp or jagged edges should be avoided because that can irritate and damage their undersides and barbells. In this case fine or sandy substrates are best. The water should be filtered through peat and 50 % of the tank water needs to replace at least once a month. The lighting should not be too bright. They are extremely peaceful fish that is suitable for community tank. It should always be kept in groups of half dozen or more individuals. Suitable tank mates include small to medium sized Tetras, Danios, Rasboras, Angelfish, Discus small, Gouramis, Rainbowfish, Guppies, Platies, Mollies, Swordtails, Plecos characins, cyprinids, anabantoids, dwarf cichlids and other peaceful catfish. It should not be kept with very large or aggressive fish.

Breeding Panda corydoras

The Panda cory is an egg layers and the breeding tank should be decorated with Java moss. Before spawning, the breeders should be conditioned with live foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp or Daphnia. During the breeding period a water temperature and pH should be maintained between 75-77 0F and 6.5-7.5 respectively. Regular water changes every other day should be done which triggers the spawning. The female lays up to 100 eggs in a spawning cycle. The eggs are usually laid early in the morning. Eggs are adhesive and light yellow in color. After spawning, eggs should be removed from the tank to prevent eating the eggs. The eggs hatch after 4-5 days with good water condition. Fry should be fed with infusoria and brine shrimp.  Small Panda do not swim in groups, they love to move individuals just like their parents. Newborns can reach 1 cm in length in approximately 1 month. As they become 3 weeks old, their diet should be replaced with main diet for adults.

Sexing Panda corydoras

The female Panda Cory is larger and has a more rounded underbelly and is much wider than the male when it is viewed from above. The male has more streamlined body.

Panda Corydoras for sale and where to buy

The Corydoras Catfish is an excellent addition to most aquarium hobbyist due to their peaceful nature. It is widely available in the aquarium trade and online shop. See below online vendor and you may order it to buy from this online shop that I would recommend from.