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Swartz's Cory Catfish

(Corydoras schwartzi)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 2"
• Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-79° F, KH 2-12, pH 5.8-7.0
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: South America   • Family: Callichthyidae
• Species: Cory Catfish   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

Swartz's Cory Catfish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Swartz's Cory Cats are native to the streams and tributaries of 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 detritus, leftover meaty foods and decaying plant matter that have made their way to the river bottom. The Swartz's Cory is an attractive species that has a silver body and two distinct black horizontal stripes that run from just behind the gill plate to the tail. The eyes are also covered with a black stripe and the head area is tan in color.

The Swartz's Cory Cats coloration and pattern help it blend into the substrate, which helps the cory cat avoid larger predators. Swartz's 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.

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 Swartz's Cory Catfish in the home aquarium.

Aquariums housing Swartz's Cory Cats should contain plenty of vegetation, areas of diffused lighting and a sandy or smooth gravel substrate. It is important to provide plenty of areas within the aquarium that are shaded from the bright aquarium lights. They will absolutely appreciate the presence of lush vegetation, driftwood and rocky caves in order to provide them a tank that resembles their native habitat.

Like all cory cat species, the Swartz's 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 Swartz's 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.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Swartz's Cory Catfish and provide a healthy diet.

Swartz's 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 Swartz's 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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