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How to set up a fish tank for Bronze and Albino Corydoras

If you are looking for a bottom feeder for freshwater aquariums, one of the best species that is commonly available is the Corydoras Aeneus.

This guide at Aquarium Blueprints will help you build a fish tank specifically for this type of fish.

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Common Names for Corydoras Aeneus

The Corydoras Aeneus is commonly referred to as the Bronze Corydoras. This species may also be named Bronze Catfish, Green Corydoras, Lightspot Corydoras or Wavy Catfish.

There are also a few variants of the Corydoras Aeneus. The most common of which is the Albino Corydoras, which we keep in our fish tank. Instead of bronze skin with black eyes, the albino version has white skin with red eyes.

You can also get long fin variants of both the Bronze and Albino Corydoras.

Natural Habitat

The Corydoras Aeneus is found in shallow waters that have a soft substrate in the wild. Although they live mostly in an environment with very little current, they can also survive in running waters.

Water Parameters

In nature, the Bronze and Albino Cory Cats prefer warmer temperatures between 77 °F to 82 °F (or 25 °C to 28 °C). This fish species can also tolerate a wide variety when it comes to pH (anywhere from 6.0 to 8.0) and hardness (from 5 DGH to 19 DGH).

Adult Size

The adult size for male Corydoras Aeneus is around 6.5 cm (or a little above 2.5 inches). The females are slightly bigger at approximately 7 cm (or 2.75 inches).

Life Span

The Corydoras Aeneus can live up to 10 years in the optimal aquarium environment. The Albino and Long Fin variants tend to have shorter life spans as they are genetically weaker due to excess inbreeding in order to achieve the desired traits.

How many Bronze and Albino Corydoras should you get?

In the wilds, the Bronze and Albino Corydoras like to hang out in groups of 20 to 30 individuals. If you want to get this type of fish to act as naturally as possible, then you should get at least 20.

With that said, they will also do well in a group of at least 5 if you have a smaller fish tank and/or don’t want to keep that many.

Tank Size

Since the minimum amount of Corydoras Aeneus we recommend getting is 5, the smallest tank you should put them in is a 20 gallon long. Because the fish are bottom dwellers, they need as much space to roam around as possible at the base. Thus, a 20 gallon high fish tank is not the most optimal environment for them to live in.

Of course, you can also get a bigger tank if you want more of this species of Cory Catfish. If you are getting 20 to 30 of them, then you should get a 55 gallon tank at minimum. In general, the bigger the tank you have, the more stabilized your water parameters will be to combat against ammonia, nitrite and nitrate spikes.

Substrate

As we stated above, the Corydoras Aeneus naturally prefer a soft substrate. While you can keep them in hard substrate with rough edges, there is a chance that they could damage their barbels, fins and/or bodies. This could lead to infections and possibly death if left untreated. So you are better off providing a smooth bottom for your pets to safely explore.

The best substrate for the Bronze and Albino Cory Cat Fish is super fine sand. The sand particles are soft enough so that your fish won’t harm themselves sifting through.

Our pets also enjoy digging their heads into the substrate in search of food. You won’t be able to see this type of amusing behavior if you are using substrates that have bigger grain size.

If you are looking for a sand substrate that is perfect for the Corydoras Aeneus, then we recommend the CaribSea Sunset Gold, which you can find on Amazon.

Rocks

Although Bronze and Albino Cory Cat Fish spend most of their time down in the substrate, you can actually get them to explore the higher levels of your fish tank. You can do so by stacking smooth rocks where they can investigate and rest. To accomplish this, we recommend taking a look at the large aquarium-safe stones collection from Natural Slate, which you can check out with this link.

Filter

We don’t recommend using a canister or power (also known as hang-on-back) filters for Corydoras. This is because the fish will constantly stir up the sand, which will end up in the water column and may be suck into the canister or power filter. The sand could get into the moving parts of these filters and cause some damage.

Instead, we suggest getting a sponge filter that is powered by a simple air pump. With this type of filtration, you only need to worry about the sponge getting clogged with sand, fish poop and fish food. Even then, you can simply rinse off the waste with the old, outgoing tank water during a water change.

Another advantage of having a big sponge in the aquarium is that the Corydoras will occasionally help you clean any excess food that get trapped.
If you are interested in a sponge filter, then you should get the Aquaneat Aquarium Bio Sponge Filter, which is fitted for aquariums of up to 60 gallons. If you have a bigger fish tank, then you can simply add another sponge filter and put it at the opposite end of the tank. You can purchase the product (as well as the Tetra Whisper Air Pump and Penn Plax Airline Tubing if you don’t already have an air pump and/or airline tubing) from Amazon with the following links:

Heater

As we mentioned above, the Bronze and Albino Cory Cats prefer a temperature range of 77 °F to 82 °F. So there is a good chance that you need a heater in the tank. One of the best aquarium heaters on the market is the Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater, which you can find on Amazon. When buying make sure, you get the correct wattage version based on your tank size. We provided a reference list specifically for the Corydoras Aeneus fish tanks below:

  • 75 Watts = up to 26 gallons
  • 125 Watts = up to 53 gallons
  • 150 Watts = up to 79 gallons
  • 200 Watts = up to 105 gallons
  • 250 Watts = up to 158 gallons
  • 300 Watts = up to 264 gallons

Plants

Because we are using an inert substrate in this tank build, we recommend getting live plants that take nutrients directly from the water column in your aquarium. Some common, easy to care for plants are Anubias, Hornworth, Java Fern, Java Moss and Marimo Moss.

Live plants will help reduce ammonia, nitrites and nitrates in your tank waters, which will keep your Corydoras healthy in the short and long terms.

Lighting

Since we are recommend low light plants, you don’t have to get a high-tech lighting fixture. Instead, we suggest taking a look at the affordable but effective NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light on Amazon.

Best Food for Corydoras Aeneus

In the wilds, the Corydoras Aeneus feed on a variety of crustaceans, insects, plant matter and worms. Although the fish will scavenge uneaten food, they also need to be fed directly or you risk starving them. So it is best to feed them a balanced assortment of sinking food.

In terms of vegetables, our Albino Corydoras love the Aquatic Foods Inc. Spirulina, Algae and Veggie Wafers. For animal-based food, we give them Aqueon Shrimp Pellets and Aquatic Foods Inc. 2 mm California Blackworm Sinking Pellets. Last but not least, we also feed Everyday Value Organic Green Peas to clear out their digestive systems once a week. To find how we prepare green peas to be consumed by fish, you can check out this guide.

You can find all the aforementioned food products on Amazon with the following links:

Tank Mates

The Bronze and Albino Corydoras are extremely docile and won’t harm any of your other community fish. With that said, you want to avoid housing them in the same tank with aggressive fish as well as fish that are big enough to eat a Corydora. The following common aquarium fish species should get along well as tank mates with Corydoras in addition to having similar water parameter requirements:

  • Bristlenose Plecos
  • Guppies
  • Harlequin Rasboras
  • Julii Corydoras
  • Kuhli Loaches
  • Mollies
  • Tetras
  • Otocinclus Catfishes
  • Panda Corydoras
  • Platies
  • Rasboras
  • Swordtails

Will Bronze and Albino Corydoras eat snails?

While Bronze and Albino Corydoras wouldn’t mind snacking on snails, the hard shells of healthy snails act as a deterrent. So, in the most part, you will be able to keep this fish species with Bladder Snails, Malaysian Trumpet Snails, Ramshorn Snails and other freshwater snails. The only exception is that the Corydoras may eat the snail eggs and/or baby snails.

If you want to reduce the snail population in your tank, as well as feed your Corydoras at the same time, we recommend crushing the snails and letting the corpse sinking all the way to the bottom of the tank. Your aquatic pets should then gobble up the flesh.

Will Bronze and Albino Corydoras eat shrimps?

When it comes to freshwater shrimps such as the Neocaridina, there is a chance that your Bronze and Albino Corydoras could eat the babies. The adults are usually too big to be snacked on. If you want to be extra safe, we recommend housing both your Cory Cats and shrimps in a heavily planted tank. You may also want to consider adding a pile of rocks with small cave openings for your shrimp to escape and hide in.

Breeding

You can trigger spawning between the males and females by doing a big water change that will cool down the temperature of your fish tank by several degrees. When putting new water in your tank, we also recommend adding it slowly and spreading it throughout all areas of the tank to simulate the effects of raindrops. With enough luck, your Cory Cats should begin to spawn shortly afterwards and you should notice the presence of a lot of eggs.

The survival rate of a fertilized egg in a community tank is low as the adult fish will not only eat the eggs, but also the newborn babies. To increase the survival rate, we recommend gathering the eggs from the glass or acrylic panels as well as other surfaces and put them in a separate tank. You can do so carefully by using your fingers, razor blade and/or credit card.

In the new tank, you should add Methylene Blue to prevent fungus growth on the eggs as they will otherwise be destroyed. If you don’t have the solution, you can purchase the Kordon Methylene Blue from Amazon.

As the eggs developed, you will notice that some of them are solid white. These are unfertilized eggs that we recommend removing from the new tank as they could cause fungus issues.

You have to do daily water changes, as well as add daily dosage of Methylene Blue, until the eggs hatch, which should take around 5 days. As a precaution, you should do a 100 percent water change and stop dosing Methylene Blue on the last day as the solution can end up being toxic to the newly born fry.

Once the eggs have been hatched, wait 2 to 3 days before feeding as the fry still have their yolk sac to take nutrients from. Afterwards, we feed them Northfin Fry Starter (which you can find on Amazon) 3 times a day until they grow big enough to accept the regular Cory Cat food we mentioned above. You can being to bring the fry back to the original tank once they grown big enough (which may take around a month) that they won’t be seen as a snack by the larger fish in your community.

Beginner Guides

If this is your first fish tank, we recommend checking out our beginner’s guides to ensure that your new fish will be able to live a long and healthy life. The topics you want to pay close attention to are tank cycling, acclimation, quarantine and water changes.

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