World’s Tiniest Corydoras

Salt and Pepper Cory

(Corydoras habrosus)

Tail Spot Cory

(Corydoras hastatus)

Pygmy Cory

(Corydoras pygmaeus)


Pygmy Cory Cats (Corydoras sp.)

Origin: South America

pH: 6.5-7.6

Maximum Size: 1.3”

Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallons

Diet: Omnivorous and will accept a variety of sinking foods as well as frozen food such as tubifex and bloodworms. Corydoras should never be expected to survive on the uneaten food from other tank mates and are not cleaners of an aquarium by any means.

Each of these tiny cory cats is cuter than the last and all of them originate from South America. The tail spot (C. hastatus) and pygmy cory (C. pygmaeus) will likely max out at about one inch in length, while the salt and pepper cory (C. hasbrosus) will grow to be only three-quarters of an inch long.

Pygmy corydoras are peaceful and schooling and should be kept in groups of 3-6 individuals. The different Corydora species will likely school together as well. The majority of the species in the Corydoras genus are bottom dwellers, however these mini corydoras prefer to swim in the middle levels of the water as well as the lower levels.


Basic Requirements of Tiny Corydora

  • Must be kept in groups – Keep at least six, ideally nine or far more.
  • Need soft substrate – Their barbels (small whisker-like bits by their mouths) get worn down on large rocks. Stick to fine gravel or sand.
  • Need hiding spots – These fish all come from waters with lots of tree roots, rocks, etc. This needs to be recreated for them to fair well in a tank. ->Think Amazon River Biotope
  • Need stable water– Only add these corydora to established tanks. They will not tolerate salt, medications, or chemical spikes well.
  • Prefer subdued lighting – Having floating plants or many obstructions of the light will reduce their stress and encourage them to come out more frequently.
  • Need sinking food source – Switching their diet between bottomfeeder/agae pellets with the occasional addition of frozen brine shrimp, daphnia, or minced blood worms should keep them happy enough. Avoid letting uneaten food accumulate.
  • Need peaceful, small tankmates – Larger fish will try to eat these little Corydora. Keep them alone or with other similarly sized species.

Signs of Stress

All these species of cory will show signs of stress when they need your help to alter their environment, food source, etc. If you see any, and especially if you see multiple, of your corydora displaying signs of stress, test your water to see if you can identify a cause (such as a mild ammonia spike or temperature out of range) and perform a partial water change.

  • breathing heavily/rapidly – watch their gills on the sides of their face
  • inactivity/just sitting around – healthy corydora are quite active!
  • rolling or flicking their bodies
  • staying on their sides
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