Salt & Pepper corydoras

Corydoras paleatus is a common variety of the Corydoras genus of catfish. Its common name is peppered cat, pepper cory or salt & pepper cory.

Salt & Pepper corys are a very good choice for the community aquarium, as they are hardy, good looking, and peaceful fish. Females grow to around (7.5 cm) and males to (6.5 cm) and they are easily bred at home. They originate in Northern Argentina and South America, and were discovered by Charles Darwin.

In the aquarium

Most importantly: These fish have sensitive barbels and require the proper substrate. To keep their barbels (whiskers) in the best condition their tank needs to include gravel that looks like coarse salt. Gravel with sharp edges will cut their barbels (until they are gone). They need their barbels to help them find food and stay healthy.

These fish prefer a planted tank and like to nibble on the algae that grows on floating plants. The lighting must not be too bright and you need to set up hiding places for them as they like to hide from the light during certain parts of the day.

They can be successfully kept with other small, peaceful aquarium fish like live bearers, danios and tetras.


The males initiate the courtship ritual, which entails them chasing the females around the tank. The female darts away and the males search for her and find her a few moments later. The male shivers all over the female and may lie down on top of her. When she is ready to spawn she turns to the male next to her and pounds furiously below his ventral fin. The male releases his seed and the female catches it in her mouth.

The female cups her ventral fins and lays a few eggs (normally about) 4 in them. She now starts cleaning a spot on the glass to lays her eggs on. Corydoras are egg scatterers and lay their eggs all over the aquarium ““ near the heater, filter tubes, the glass, and also on plants.

After depositing a group of eggs closely together, the female rests for a few moments. The males regroup and start chasing each other and then resume chasing the female. The males are so relentless in their pursuit that they try to mate with the female even while she is busy laying her eggs.

The spawning lasts more than an hour and many eggs are laid (usually between 50 and 200).