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Skunk Cory Catfish

(Corydoras arcuatus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 2"
• Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons   • Water Conditions: 71-79° F, KH 2-25, pH 6.0-7.5
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Amazon, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Northern Brazil   • Family: Callichthyidae
• Species: Cory Catfish   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

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

Skunk Cory (Corydoras arcuatus) are native to the upper Amazon basin where they are found in many small streams and floodplains during the rainy season. Their popularity within the aquarium hobby has caused them to be bred commercially in fish farms in the southern United States and in southeast Asia. Most Skunk Cory specimens found in the aquarium hobby currently originate from fish farms, which reduces strains on native populations. Captive bred fish also tend to adapt to aquarium life much more easily than wild caught specimens.

The Skunk Cory is a peaceful community fish that should really be kept in groups of individuals as they live this way in nature. It is recommended that they Cory social groups be made up of 6 or more individuals of either all Skunk Cory or mixed with other Cory Cat species. They are ideally suited for peaceful tropical community aquariums, planted aquariums and of course Amazon biotope aquariums.

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 Skunk Cory Catfish in the home aquarium.

Skunk 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.

Some important aquarium design elements when keeping Skunk Corys is a sand or fine grain gravel substrate, plenty of internal water flow, areas of plants and wood root along with open swimming areas and locations in the aquarium where the fish can escape the bright aquarium lights. While Skunk Cory Cats 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. While conditions that closely resemble their native habitat is also desirable, Skunk Cory Cats are tolerant of a fairly wide range of aquarium conditions.

Feeding & Nutrition

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

Skunk Cory feed by scavenging the aquarium substrate for both meaty and vegetable based foods. They will receive a portion of their diet scavenging foods fed to other fish in the aquarium, but that end up on the bottom of the aquarium. However, in most aquariums scavenging should not make up 100% of their diet. They should be fed sinking pellet foods designed for omnivores. Hobbyists can also feed Cory Cats flake and freeze-dried foods as long as they make it to the aquarium substrate.

Skunk Corys will also enjoy live or frozen blood worms, brine shrimp or other similar food items as either a treat or supplement to their diet. In larger aquariums that are heavily fed for a large fish populations, Cory Cats can be target fed just once a day as they will make up the remainder of their diet via scavenging. In smaller aquariums with lighter fish loads and feedings, it is best to feed sinking foods twice per day. Monitor the overall girth and health of all bottom feeders and adjust feedings accordingly.

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