Bronze Cory (Corydoras aeneus)

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Bronze Cory

Corydoras aeneus.jpg
Common Brown Cory

Corydoras aeneus


56.781 liters
56,781.177 mL
56.8 Litres (15 US G.)

2.756 in 3-7 cm (1.2-2.8")




5.8 - 7.5

295.15 K
71.6 °F
531.27 °R
299.15 K
78.8 °F
538.47 °R
22 -26 °C (71.6-78.8°F)

20-30 °d

1:1 M:F


5-15 years

This animal is available captive bred


Additional names

Aeneus Cat, Bronze Cory, Brown Cory, Albino Cory

Additional scientific names

Callichthys aeneus, Corydoras macrosteus, Corydoras microps, Corydoras venezuelanus, Hoplosoma aeneum


Type locality is ‘Trinidad Island, West Indies’, and it still occurs in some river systems of central and southern parts of the island.

Its wider distribution appears in serious question, however, as does its taxonomy (see below for additional data).

Currently it’s accepted to occur throughout much of South America from Colombia and Trinidad in the north as far south as the Río de la Plata drainage at the border of Uruguay and Argentina.

Records thus exist from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela, but this gigantic range seems more akin to that of a complex of similar-looking, distinct taxa rather than a single species.

Fish traded as C. aeneus have been ubiquitous in the aquarium hobby for decades, with the vast majority of these farmed in commercial facilities around the world.

However, given the taxonomic confusion surrounding the species it’s difficult to escape suspicions that they might not represent C. aeneus sensu stricto, or that over the years more than a single species has been mixed into the bloodline at some point(s).

Additional Data: Given it’s the only member of the genus occurring on the island, fish from Trinidad do presumably represent C. aeneus, but the classification of those from other localities appears far from certain.

Currently it’s accepted to occur throughout much of South America, and indeed similarly-patterned fish do occur across a large portion of the continent.

Some of these, such as the green (CW009) and gold (CW010) ‘laser corys’ are already assigned C or CW numbers and well-known to aquarists, while others are not.

The chances that a single Corydoras species occurs across such a vast geographical area is unlikely for a number of reasons, and there already exist the following nominal taxa, all of which are currently considered synonyms of C. aeneus:

   Corydoras microps Eigenmann & Kennedy, 1903. Type locality: from a small lagoon, half dry, near the Rio Branco (Mato Grosso, Brazil).
   Corydoras venezuelanus Ihering, 1911: Type locality: Río Cabriales, Valencia, Est. Carabobo, Venezuela.
   Corydoras macrosteus Regan, 1912a: Type locality: Rio Piracicaba, San Paulo, Brazil.
   Corydoras schultzei Holly, 1940: Type locality: aquarium specimen (said to be from very small water-courses of the Amazon).

Information adapted courtesy of Seriously Fish website, Corydoras Aeneus page found at


Usually when properly conditioned, the difference between the male and female Corydora becomes quite evident. Females have a larger underbelly, when viewed from the top will look a lot wider than a male. Males are smaller in length than females also.

Tank compatibility

Very peaceful community fish. Will not intentionally bother tank inhabitants, however their bumbling about the tank may bother more delicate fish or other bottom dwellers. Are best kept in groups of 3-4 or more.


As with most Corydoras, these fish will eat most food which sinks to the bottom of the tank. Sinking algae pellets should be supplemented with flake food or other sinking foods like catfish pellets.
Be aware these fish do have a carnivorous side to them and love foods such as Bloodworm and Brine Shrimp. Vegetable-based foods offer little nutrition to them. They will also eat any dead, dying, or even injured fish, that sit on the substrate too long. They're very opportunistic!

Feeding regime

These fish are most active at night, so feeding once before lights out is typically enough. Though they can easily be persuaded to feed during the day. Since they are slower eaters they should be allowed at least 30 minutes to consume their food.

Environment Specifics

Requires a sand or small gravel substrate and prefers a planted tank. Keeping a cory on sharp or large gravel can lead to damage to their barbels, which when infected will make it hard for the cory to find food.
Corys are sensitive to salt, as with other scaleless fish, adding salt to the tank will cause them harm.



The flanks of this fish are shimmering brown colour with a typical ribbed pattern along its sides and green iridescence on the gills and head. Aeneus is Latin for brazen of copper. An albino variation is also common. Albino and the regular Bronze variety will breed and shoal together.

Special notes

The Poison of the Corydoras

Many species of Corydoras have a poisonous self-defence mechanism against being eaten by much larger fish. All Corys have very sharp fin spines and some seem to give off a low level toxic chemical into the water when frightened or highly stressed.[1] This toxin is believed to be only mildly irritating to people and only if the person is stressing and handling the Cory with their bare hands and is stung.[2] [3]


A rare but recorded event is that at least some some species of Corys appear to be capable of releasing a poisonous mucus from its gills when alarmed which causes itself and other fish in confined volumes of water to rapidly die. Species believed to show this trait are C. adolfoi, C. arcuatus, C. melini, C. metae, C. panda, C. robineae', C. rabauti, C. atropersonatus, C. sterbai and C. trilineatus. This ability is poorly researched and other Corydoras species may be affected. [4][5]



Feeding in a community tank: 1 month old albino fry:
Bronzes Feeding: Albinos Feeding:

External links

References to poisonous barbs

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