Feeding Pygmy Corydoras – What To Know - "Corydoras pygmaeus" by Joel Carnat is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Feeding Pygmy Corydoras – What To Know - "Corydoras pygmaeus" by Joel Carnat is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Feeding Pygmy Corydoras, a small and captivating species of catfish, is an essential aspect of their care in an aquarium setting. These diminutive fish, known scientifically as Corydoras pygmaeus, require a well-balanced diet to thrive and exhibit their natural behaviors. From selecting appropriate food options to considering their feeding habits, understanding the intricacies of feeding pygmy corydoras is crucial for their overall health and vitality.

About Pygmy Corydoras

Pygmy Corydoras (Corydoras pygmaeus) is a small and peaceful species of catfish that is popular among aquarium enthusiasts. Here’s some information about Pygmy Corydoras:


Pygmy Corydoras have a slender and elongated body shape with an arched back. They have a light silver or pale gold coloration with a dark horizontal stripe running from the snout to the base of the tail. Their eyes are large, and they have a pair of barbels (whisker-like sensory organs) around their mouth.


These fish are among the smallest species of Corydoras, typically reaching around 1 inch (2.5 cm) in length when fully grown. Their small size makes them well-suited for nano and small community aquariums.


Pygmy Corydoras are peaceful and sociable fish that do best when kept in small groups of at least six individuals. They are bottom-dwellers and spend much of their time foraging on the substrate. They have a shoaling nature and feel more secure and comfortable when kept in the company of their own kind.

Habitat and Distribution

Pygmy Corydoras are native to the upper Rio Madeira basin in Brazil. They inhabit slow-moving streams, tributaries, and flooded areas. In the wild, they can be found in areas with dense vegetation and leaf litter, where they sift through the substrate in search of food.

Tank Requirements

Pygmy Corys can be housed in aquariums as small as 10 gallons (40 liter), but larger tanks are preferred to provide ample swimming space. Dense vegetation, caves, and hiding places should be provided to mimic their natural habitat.


Pygmy Corydoras are peaceful and can be housed with other small, non-aggressive fish species. They are excellent community fish and do well with peaceful tetras, rasboras, guppies, and other small catfish. Avoid keeping them with large or aggressive species that may intimidate or prey on them.

Pygmy Corydoras are popular for their small size, peaceful nature, and attractive appearance. They can add movement and activity to the bottom regions of the aquarium while being relatively easy to care for, making them a favorite choice for many fishkeepers.

Feeding Pygmy Corydoras – What To Know - "Corydoras pygmaeus" by Joel Carnat is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Feeding Pygmy Corydoras – What To Know – “Corydoras pygmaeus” by Joel Carnat is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Considerations When Feeding Pygmy Corydoras

When feeding Pygmy Corydoras (Corydoras pygmaeus), it’s important to consider their dietary requirements and feeding habits. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Proper diet: Pygmy Corydoras are omnivorous bottom-dwellers. They have a diverse diet in the wild, consuming small invertebrates, insect larvae, plant matter, and organic debris. To replicate their natural diet, provide a balanced diet that includes a variety of high-quality foods.
  2. Commercial fish food: Use a high-quality sinking pellet or granule specifically formulated for bottom-dwelling catfish. Look for products that contain a mix of animal and plant-based ingredients to provide the necessary nutrients. You can find specialized catfish or bottom-feeder pellets at pet stores or online.
  3. Protein-rich foods: Pygmy Corydoras require a good amount of protein in their diet. Offer them frozen or live foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, or blackworms. These protein sources mimic their natural diet and can be given as occasional treats.
  4. Vegetable matter: Include vegetable-based foods to provide fiber and essential nutrients. Sinking algae wafers or pellets, blanched vegetables like zucchini or spinach, and spirulina-based foods are good options. Ensure the vegetable matter sinks to the bottom for the corydoras to easily access.
  5. Feeding frequency: Feed small amounts multiple times a day rather than one large meal. Pygmy Corydoras have small stomachs and are accustomed to grazing throughout the day. This approach also helps prevent overfeeding and maintains good water quality in the aquarium.
  6. Observation and adjustment: Monitor your fish’s behavior and body condition to assess if they are being adequately fed. Adjust the quantity and frequency of feeding based on their appetite and response. Avoid overfeeding, as excess food can pollute the water and lead to health issues.
  7. Supplementary feeding: Pygmy Corydoras also benefit from scavenging on the bottom for food. Allow them to find microorganisms and organic debris by keeping the substrate clean but not overly sterile. This natural foraging behavior contributes to their overall well-being.

Remember to consider the specific needs and requirements of your fish, as individual preferences can vary slightly. Providing a varied and balanced diet is key to promoting their health and longevity.


In conclusion, providing a proper diet when feeding Pygmy Corydoras, is vital for their well-being and longevity in the aquarium. By offering a variety of high-quality sinking pellets, live or frozen foods, and vegetable matter, you can replicate their natural feeding habits and ensure they receive the necessary nutrients. Observing their behavior and adjusting the feeding routine accordingly will help maintain a healthy and balanced diet. By catering to their dietary needs, you can enjoy the active and delightful presence of Pygmy Corydoras in your aquarium for years to come.