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Bandit Cory Catfish

(Corydoras metae)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 2"
• Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-78° F, KH 2-15, pH 6.0-7.5
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Colombia, South America   • Family: Callichthyidae
• Species: Cory Catfish   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

Bandit Cory Catfish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Bandit Cory Cats are endemic to the streams and tributaries of Colombia and portions of northern South America, where they can be found living along river banks and river beds. They spend the vast majority of their time dwelling about the river bottom looking for both meaty of plant foods that have made their way to the river bottom. The Bandit Cory has a silver body with a black stripe running vertically over its eye and another running horizontally from the dorsal fin to the tail. The Bandit Cory Cats coloration and pattern help it blend into the substrate, which helps the cory cat avoid larger predators.

Bandit Cory Cats live in large social groups in the wild and prefer to live in groups within the aquarium environment as well. It is recommended to keep at least a small group of 4 or more cory cats in the aquarium to satisfy their social requirements. Overall a very peaceful species that will be right at home in a peaceful community aquarium with other smaller peaceful fish species.

As is the case with all species in the genus, Cory Cats will regularly swim quickly to the surface for a gulp of air. The fish swallows the air, which blood vessels in the hind gut extract oxygen from; it is then expelled through the vent the next time the fish breaks the surface for another gulp of air. This adaptation is believed to have evolved so that the fish can survive in poorly-oxygenated water such as stagnant pools during the dry season. It is however essential to the fish's well-being that it regularly swallows air.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Bandit Cory Catfish in the home aquarium.

Bandit Cory Cats native habitat contains lots of tree root, a sandy substrate with a cover of fallen leaves. The jungle canopy that presides over their natural habitat creates many areas of diffused lighting and cooler mid 70s water temperatures. It is important to provide plenty areas within the aquarium that are shaded from the bright aquarium lights. They will absolutely appreciate the presence of driftwood, rocky caves and some vegetation, which will provide them a tank that resembles their native habitat.

Like all cory cat species, the Bandit Cory Cat will do much better when kept in social groups of at least 4 individuals of their own species or mixed with other cory cat species. While the Bandit Cory Cat will gladly scavenge the aquarium substrate for leftover foodstuffs and decaying plant material, they should also be provided sinking foods designed for bottom dwelling fish species. Bandit Cory Cats are less tolerant of poor water conditions than many cory cat species, thus they should be housed in water with low nutrient levels and plenty of dissolved oxygen.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Bandit Cory Catfish and provide a healthy diet.

Bandit Cory Cats are scavengers that need to eat a wide variety of foods that include both plant and meaty foods. In the wild they typically feed on small worms, benthic crustaceans, insects and decaying animal and plant matter that has settled on the river bed. In the aquarium environment the Bandit Cory Cat will readily accept a variety of meaty and vegetable matter foodstuffs including: flake, freeze-dried, frozen, live foods and pellets.

This species is an excellent scavenger that will work to keep the aquarium substrate clean of excess foodstuffs and some decaying plant matter. While this species is an excellent scavenger, supplemental foods such as bloodworms, tubifex, flake food, or sinking carnivore pellets should be offered to ensure proper nutrition.

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