Bandit Cory (Corydoras Metae)
The Bandit Cory, also known by its other common names, including Masked Corydoras and Metae Corydoras, is a popular species known for its silver body and distinctive black "mask" over its eyes, which gives it a bandit-like appearance. Additionally, it has one thick black bar stretching horizontally from the base of its dorsal fin to its tail fin. The rest of its body is usually silver or light gray, with randomly placed black specs, which beautifully contrasts with the dark mask. The Bandit Cory can reach an adult size of up to 2.5 inches.
Affectionately known as Cory Cats, Corydoras are small, peaceful, bottom-dwelling scavengers who are beloved by aquarists for their active personalities and helpful housekeeping skills. Their social nature and playful antics make them a joy to watch. Corydoras get along well with a variety of tank mates and are generally non-aggressive, making them a great addition to community tanks with other peaceful fish. Corydoras are known for their schooling behavior and are best kept in groups of 5-6 individuals of the same species.
Ideal tankmates for Corydoras include small to medium-sized, peaceful fish occupying the tank's middle and upper levels. These could include fish like tetras, rasboras, guppies, mollies, swordtails, angelfish, hatchetfish, and peaceful barbs. Non-aggressive bottom dwellers such as loaches and otocinclus can also be good companions, provided the tank is large enough to give all bottom dwellers their own space. Avoid housing Corydoras with aggressive, territorial, or larger fish that might see them as food or compete with them for food at the bottom of the tank, such as cichlids.
What do Corydoras catfish eat? They are omnivorous, primarily foraging for food along the bottom of their habitat, and can occasionally swim up to the water's surface when hungry. Providing them with a varied diet consisting of high-quality foods is recommended for optimal nutrition. Alternate their daily meals between sinking shrimp pellets, catfish pellets, algae wafers, and bloodworm sticks. As a special twice-a-week treat, offer up frozen bloodworms or daphnia.
In terms of habitat, Corydoras thrive in well-oxygenated water with moderate flow. They prefer tanks that mimic their natural habitat, which includes riverbeds with a soft sandy substrate where they can forage for food. The tank should be furnished with plenty of hiding spots using driftwood, rocks, caves, and live plants that provide relief from the light. Choose sturdy plants, as Corydoras are known to dig and may uproot delicate plants. Corydoras catfish can be paired with sturdy aquatic plants such as Java Fern, Anubias, and Amazon Sword to create a natural and visually appealing aquarium environment. These hardy plants provide cover and hiding spots for the fish while adding a lush and vibrant backdrop to the tank.
If you're considering stocking a 30-gallon aquarium, one idea is to have a school of 5 cory catfish occupying the bottom area, a school of 6 small tetras swims in the middle layer, and a pair of Honey Gouramis as the centerpiece fish.
Regarding their water parameters, taking care of Corydoras is easy because they are quite adaptable and hardy. The minimum recommended aquarium size is 20 gallons for a school of 5 cory catfish. A community aquarium should be at least 30 gallons plus 1 gallon for every extra 1 inch of fish. The ideal pH range is between 5.5-7.5, and the hardness should be within 2-12 dGH. The temperature should be maintained between 72-79°F (22-26°C).
As with all tropical fish, Corydoras need consistent water parameters. Sudden or inconsistent swings in pH, temperature, and dGH readings can result in stress and health issues.
To learn more about this fish, be sure to check out the Additional Information tab.