Sterbai Corydoras Care: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More!

If you’re looking for a small, easy-to-care-for fish to add to your aquarium, the Sterbai Corydoras may be just what you need. These fish are native to South America and can live for up to 5 years with proper care. They have a distinctive appearance, with black and white spots on their body and fins.

The Sterbai Corydoras is a popular aquarium fish due to its unique appearance and peaceful temperament. They require a tank of at least 20 gallons with a temperature range of 72-79°F, pH range of 6.0-7.5, and a varied diet of commercial flakes, pellets, and live or frozen foods. They are generally peaceful but may become territorial towards their own species.

When setting up a tank for Sterbai Corydoras, it’s important to consider their needs. They require a tank of at least 20 gallons with good filtration and aeration, as well as a heater to maintain a temperature between 72-78°F. A sand substrate and plenty of hiding spots and plants will help them feel comfortable and secure. It’s also important to maintain good water quality with regular water changes and a pH between 6.5-7.5.

Feeding Sterbai Corydoras is easy, as they will eat a variety of foods including flakes, pellets, and frozen or live foods. They should be fed once or twice a day, with any uneaten food removed from the tank. These fish are generally peaceful and can be kept with other small, non-aggressive fish. With proper care, Sterbai Corydoras can make a great addition to any aquarium.

Sterbai Corydoras Care 3

Sterbai Corydoras Care: Species Summary

Sterbai Corydoras (Corydoras sterbai) is a freshwater fish species native to South America.

These small, peaceful fish are a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts due to their distinctive appearance and ease of care.

In this section, we will cover the essential information you need to know about Sterbai Corydoras care.


Sterbai Corydoras are native to the upper Paraguay River basin in Brazil. They can also be found in parts of Argentina and Bolivia.

These fish prefer slow-moving, shallow waters with sandy or muddy substrate.


The average lifespan of Sterbai Corydoras is around 5 years, but they can live up to 8 years in optimal conditions.


Sterbai Corydoras have a distinctive appearance with their bronze body covered in black spots.

They also have two rows of bony plates on their sides, which provide protection against predators. These fish have a short, rounded snout and a pair of barbels on their mouth.

Size and Growth Rate

Sterbai Corydoras typically grow to be around 2.5 inches in length.

They have a slow growth rate and can take up to 2 years to reach their full size.

Behavior & Temperament

Sterbai Corydoras are peaceful and social fish that do best when kept in groups of at least 6 individuals.

They are active during the day and spend most of their time scavenging for food on the bottom of the tank.

These fish are not aggressive and can be kept with other peaceful community fish.

Male vs Female

It can be challenging to tell male and female Sterbai Corydoras apart.

However, females tend to be larger and rounder than males, especially when they are carrying eggs.

Tank Setup

Tank Size

When it comes to tank size for Sterbai Corydoras, bigger is always better. These fish are active swimmers and need plenty of space to move around.

A minimum tank size of 20 gallons is recommended for a small group of 4-6 fish.

However, if you have the space and resources, a larger tank of 40 gallons or more will provide even more room for these active fish to explore.


Sterbai Corydoras do not have any specific lighting requirements.

However, it is important to provide a consistent day/night cycle to promote healthy behavior and natural rhythms.

A timer can be used to ensure a consistent lighting schedule.

Filtration & Aeration

A high-quality filter is essential for maintaining water quality in a Sterbai Corydoras tank.

A canister filter or hang-on-back filter is recommended, with a turnover rate of at least 5-6 times the tank volume per hour.

In addition to filtration, aeration is also important to provide oxygenation and prevent stagnant areas in the tank.


Sterbai Corydoras are tropical fish and require a consistent water temperature of 75-80°F.

A submersible heater can be used to maintain a stable temperature in the tank.


A fine-grained substrate, such as sand or small gravel, is recommended for Sterbai Corydoras.

This will allow them to sift through the substrate in search of food without injuring their sensitive barbels.


Sterbai Corydoras appreciate plenty of hiding places and cover in their tank. Driftwood, rocks, and caves can all be used to create hiding spots for these fish.

However, it is important to avoid sharp or jagged decorations that could injure the fish.


Live plants can provide additional cover and hiding places for Sterbai Corydoras, as well as helping to maintain water quality.

Hardy, low-light plants such as Java Fern and Anubias are good choices for a Sterbai Corydoras tank.

Overall, a well-planned and maintained tank setup is essential for the health and happiness of your Sterbai Corydoras.

By providing plenty of space, hiding places, and clean water, you can create an ideal environment for these fascinating fish to thrive.

Sterbai Corydoras Care

Personally, I have found that adding a few small pieces of driftwood to my Sterbai Corydoras tank has made a big difference in their behavior. They love to explore the nooks and crannies of the wood, and it has provided some great photo opportunities!

Water Quality

Water Temperature

Maintaining the right water temperature is crucial for the health and well-being of your Sterbai Corydoras.

These fish are native to the Amazon basin, where the water temperature is typically around 75-80°F.

Therefore, it is recommended to keep the water temperature in your tank between 75-80°F. Use a reliable aquarium heater to maintain the temperature within this range.

Avoid sudden temperature changes, as this can cause stress and even death in your fish.

Water pH

Sterbai Corydoras prefer slightly acidic water with a pH range of 6.0-7.5. It is important to monitor the pH level regularly using a reliable aquarium test kit.

If the pH level is too high or too low, it can cause stress and harm to your fish. You can adjust the pH level by adding pH-lowering or pH-raising products to your tank.

However, it is important to do this gradually and not make sudden changes that can shock your fish.

Water Hardness

These fish prefer soft to moderately hard water with a hardness level of 2-12 dGH. You can test the hardness level using a reliable aquarium test kit.

If the water is too hard, you can add peat moss or driftwood to the tank to soften it. If the water is too soft, you can add aquarium salt or minerals to increase the hardness level.

Water Changes

Regular water changes are important for maintaining good water quality in your tank. It is recommended to change 25% of the water in your tank every two weeks.

This will help remove any accumulated waste and toxins from the water. Use a gravel vacuum to remove any debris from the substrate during water changes.

Make sure to treat the new water with a water conditioner before adding it to the tank. I have found that maintaining good water quality is essential for the health and well-being of my Sterbai Corydoras.

By keeping the water temperature, pH, and hardness levels within the recommended range, and performing regular water changes, I have been able to keep my fish healthy and happy.

Tank Maintenance

Keeping your sterbai corydoras healthy and happy requires proper tank maintenance. This means regular cleaning and monitoring of water quality.

I personally recommend doing a partial water change of 20-30% every week to keep the water clean and fresh. This helps to remove any excess waste and debris that can build up in the tank over time.

It’s also important to regularly test the water for pH, hardness, and temperature. Sterbai corydoras prefer a pH of 6.5-7.5 and a water temperature between 72-78°F.

If you notice any significant changes in these levels, it’s important to take action to correct them as soon as possible to avoid stress or illness in your fish.

In addition to monitoring water quality, it’s important to keep the tank itself clean. This means regularly cleaning the substrate and any decorations or plants in the tank.

I recommend using a gravel vacuum to clean the substrate and a soft-bristled brush to clean any decorations or plants.

Lastly, it’s important to regularly check the filter and replace any filter media as needed. This helps to ensure that the water is being properly filtered and that any harmful toxins or waste are being removed from the tank.

By following these simple tank maintenance tips, you can help ensure that your sterbai corydoras are happy and healthy for years to come.

Tank Mates

Compatible Fish Species

Sterbai Corydoras are generally peaceful fish and can be kept with a variety of other community fish. They are social creatures and should be kept in groups of at least 6 individuals.

Some good tank mates for Sterbai Corydoras include:

  • Tetras
  • Guppies
  • Platies
  • Mollies
  • Angelfish

It is important to avoid keeping aggressive or fin-nipping fish with Sterbai Corydoras as they can be easily stressed.

Incompatible Fish Species

Avoid keeping Sterbai Corydoras with aggressive or territorial fish such as cichlids or larger predatory fish.

Also, avoid keeping them with fish that have a tendency to nip at fins such as barbs or some species of tetras.

How Many Sterbai Corydoras Can Be Kept Together?

Sterbai Corydoras are social fish and should be kept in groups of at least 6 individuals. However, the number of Sterbai Corydoras that can be kept together depends on the size of the tank.

As a general rule, you should have at least 20 gallons of water for every 6 Sterbai Corydoras. This will ensure that they have enough space to swim and explore without feeling cramped.

I personally keep my Sterbai Corydoras with a group of neon tetras and they all get along great. It’s fun to watch them swim and play together in the tank.

Just remember to keep the tank clean and well-maintained to ensure the health and happiness of your fish.


Corydoras Sterbai are omnivores, which means they require both plant-based and meat-based foods to maintain a healthy diet.

In the wild, they feed on insect larvae, small crustaceans, and plant matter.

In captivity, they can be fed a variety of foods to ensure they get all the necessary nutrients.

What To Feed

I feed my Sterbai Corydoras a combination of high-quality pellets, frozen or live foods, and fresh vegetables.

Pellets should make up the bulk of their diet, with frozen or live foods given as a treat a few times a week.

Some popular frozen or live foods for Corydoras include bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia. Vegetables like zucchini, cucumber, and spinach can also be offered.


I feed my Sterbai Corydoras twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

It’s important not to overfeed them, as this can lead to health problems and poor water quality in the tank.

Only give them as much food as they can eat in a few minutes, and remove any uneaten food after feeding.


One important tip for feeding Sterbai Corydoras is to make sure the food sinks to the bottom of the tank. They are bottom-dwellers and won’t eat food that’s floating on the surface.

You can also try feeding them at night when the lights are off, as they are more active and likely to eat at this time. Finally, make sure to vary their diet to ensure they get all the necessary nutrients.

Common Diseases


Sterbai Corydoras are generally hardy fish and are not prone to many diseases. However, like all fish, they can still fall ill if their tank conditions are not optimal.

The most common diseases that affect Sterbai Corydoras are bacterial infections, fungal infections, and parasitic infections.


Symptoms of bacterial infections in Sterbai Corydoras include fin rot, bloating, and lethargy.

Fungal infections can cause white patches on the skin, fins, and eyes.

Parasitic infections can cause the fish to scratch against objects in the tank, have difficulty breathing, and lose their appetite.


If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to take action quickly. Quarantine the affected fish and treat them with medication.

Antibiotics can be used to treat bacterial infections, while antifungal medication can be used to treat fungal infections.

Parasitic infections can be treated with medication such as copper sulfate or formalin.


The best way to prevent diseases in Sterbai Corydoras is to maintain good water quality in the tank.

Regular water changes, proper filtration, and a clean substrate can go a long way in preventing diseases.

It is also important to avoid introducing new fish to the tank without quarantining them first. This can prevent the spread of diseases to your existing fish.

I once had a Sterbai Corydoras in my tank that began to show signs of bloating and lethargy. I quickly quarantined the fish and treated it with antibiotics.

Thankfully, the fish made a full recovery and was back to its active and playful self in no time.

It is important to keep a close eye on your fish and take action quickly if you notice any signs of illness.

Signs of Healthy Sterbai Corydoras

As a fish owner, it is important to be able to identify the signs of a healthy fish. Here are some indicators that your Sterbai Corydoras is healthy:

  1. Active and alert behavior: A healthy Sterbai Corydoras will be constantly on the move, exploring their environment and interacting with other fish in the tank.
  2. Clear eyes: The eyes of a healthy Sterbai Corydoras should be clear and free of cloudiness or discoloration.
  3. Smooth and shiny scales: A healthy Sterbai Corydoras will have smooth and shiny scales that are tightly attached to their body.
  4. Normal breathing: A healthy Sterbai Corydoras will have normal breathing patterns, taking regular breaths without any obvious signs of distress.
  5. Good appetite: A healthy Sterbai Corydoras will have a good appetite and eagerly eat the food provided.

It is important to monitor your Sterbai Corydoras on a regular basis to ensure that they remain healthy.

If you notice any changes in behavior or physical appearance, it may be a sign of illness or disease.

In such cases, it is important to take action quickly to prevent the spread of disease and to provide appropriate treatment.

Sterbai Corydoras Care 2

Personally, I always keep a close eye on my Sterbai Corydoras and make sure to observe their behavior and appearance on a regular basis. This helps me to quickly identify any potential issues and take action to keep my fish healthy and happy.

Signs of Sick Sterbai Corydoras

When it comes to keeping Sterbai Corydoras healthy, it’s important to be aware of any signs that they may be unwell. Here are some common symptoms to look out for:

  1. Loss of appetite: If your Sterbai Corydoras is not eating, it could be a sign of illness. Observe your fish closely and look for other symptoms.
  2. Lethargy: If your fish is spending more time resting on the bottom of the tank than usual, it could be a sign of illness. Healthy Sterbai Corydoras are active and love to swim around.
  3. Erratic swimming: If your fish is swimming erratically or struggling to maintain its balance, it could be a sign of a swim bladder issue or other health problem.
  4. Breathing difficulties: If your Sterbai Corydoras is gasping at the surface of the water or breathing heavily, it could be a sign of poor water quality or a respiratory infection.
  5. Physical symptoms: Look out for any visible signs of illness, such as white patches, red spots, or torn fins. These could be signs of a bacterial or fungal infection.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to take action quickly to prevent the spread of illness to other fish in your tank.

Consult with a veterinarian or experienced fish keeper to determine the best course of treatment for your Sterbai Corydoras.

Personally, I have had to deal with sick fish in the past and it can be a stressful and emotional experience. However, being aware of the signs of illness and taking prompt action can help to ensure the health and happiness of your fish.


Breeding Setup

Breeding Sterbai Corydoras can be a fun and rewarding experience. To get started, you’ll need a breeding setup.

A breeding setup can be as simple as a 10-gallon tank with a sponge filter and a heater. Add some smooth rocks or spawning mops for the fish to lay their eggs on.

Keep the water temperature around 78°F and the pH between 6.5 and 7.0. Make sure the water is clean and well-aerated.

How To Breed

To breed Sterbai Corydoras, you’ll need a male and a female. The male will chase the female around the tank, and when he’s ready to spawn, he’ll wrap his body around hers and fertilize her eggs as she lays them.

The female will lay her eggs on a smooth surface, such as a rock or spawning mop.

After the eggs are laid, remove the adults from the breeding tank to prevent them from eating the eggs.


After the eggs are laid, they will hatch in about 3-5 days. The fry will be very small and will need to be fed small amounts of food several times a day.

Baby brine shrimp or crushed flake food are good options. Keep the water clean and well-aerated, and make sure the temperature stays around 78°F.

As the fry grow, you can gradually increase the amount of food you feed them. Breeding Sterbai Corydoras can be a fun and rewarding experience.

It’s important to have a breeding setup that provides the right conditions for the fish to spawn, and to take good care of the eggs and fry once they hatch.

With a little patience and care, you can successfully breed these beautiful fish and watch them grow. I remember the first time I successfully bred Sterbai Corydoras.

It was such a thrill to watch the male wrap his body around the female and fertilize her eggs. Seeing the tiny fry hatch and grow was also very exciting.

Breeding fish is a great way to learn more about their behavior and biology, and it’s a lot of fun too!

Product recommendations for sterbai corydoras:

  1. Hikari Sinking Wafers – These wafers are specially formulated for bottom-feeding fish like sterbai corydoras, and will provide them with the essential nutrients they need.
  2. TetraMin Plus Tropical Flakes – These flakes are a great option for feeding your sterbai corydoras, as they are high in protein and other important nutrients.
  3. API Stress Coat Water Conditioner – This water conditioner will help to reduce stress in your aquarium, which can be especially important for sensitive fish like sterbai corydoras.
  4. Seachem Flourish Excel – This liquid fertilizer is a great way to promote healthy plant growth in your aquarium, which can be beneficial for sterbai corydoras.
  5. AquaClear Power Filter – This power filter is a great way to keep your aquarium water clean and clear, which is important for the health of your sterbai corydoras.
  6. Penn Plax Aquarium Heater – A heater is essential for maintaining a consistent water temperature in your aquarium, which is important for the health of your sterbai corydoras.
  7. API Master Test Kit – This test kit is a great way to monitor the levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in your aquarium, which can help you keep your sterbai corydoras healthy.
  8. Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum – This substrate is a great option for planted aquariums, and can help to promote healthy plant growth, which can be beneficial for sterbai corydoras.
  9. Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump – A circulation pump can help to keep the water in your aquarium moving, which can be important for the health of your sterbai corydoras.


After researching and writing about sterbai corydoras care, I have come to appreciate these fish even more. They are hardy, peaceful, and easy to care for, making them a great choice for both beginner and experienced aquarists.

One thing that stands out about sterbai corydoras is their behavior. They are active and playful, constantly swimming around and exploring their environment.

They also have a unique way of swimming, with their long pectoral fins and whiskers giving them a graceful and almost whimsical appearance.

In terms of tank setup, it is important to provide a spacious tank with plenty of hiding spots and plants.

Sterbai corydoras thrive in a well-maintained tank with stable water parameters, so regular water changes and monitoring are key.

When it comes to diet, these fish are not picky eaters and will happily accept a variety of foods. However, it is important to provide a balanced diet that includes both protein-rich foods and vegetables.

Overall, sterbai corydoras are a great addition to any community tank. They are peaceful, easy to care for, and entertaining to watch.

With proper care and attention, these fish can live for many years and bring joy to any aquarist.


Here are some frequently asked questions about Sterbai Corydoras care:

Q: Can Sterbai Corydoras live with other fish?

A: Yes, they can. Sterbai Corydoras are generally peaceful and can live with other non-aggressive fish species. However, it is important to research and ensure that the other fish species have similar water parameter requirements and are not aggressive towards the Sterbai Corydoras.

Q: How often should I feed my Sterbai Corydoras?

A: Sterbai Corydoras are omnivorous and should be fed a varied diet consisting of high-quality pellets, flakes, frozen or live foods. They should be fed once or twice a day, with small amounts of food that they can consume within a few minutes.

Q: How often should I perform water changes?

A: It is recommended to perform weekly water changes of 25-30% to maintain good water quality. However, the frequency and amount of water changes may vary depending on the size of the tank, number of fish, and filtration system.

Q: Can Sterbai Corydoras breed in a home aquarium?

A: Yes, Sterbai Corydoras can breed in a home aquarium. However, it is important to provide them with the right breeding conditions, such as a breeding cone or flat surface, and a separate breeding tank. The water temperature should also be slightly higher than usual, and regular water changes should be performed to maintain good water quality.

Q: How can I tell if my Sterbai Corydoras is sick?

A: Signs of illness in Sterbai Corydoras may include lethargy, loss of appetite, abnormal swimming behavior, and visible signs of infection or disease. It is important to monitor their behavior and appearance regularly and take action if any signs of illness are noticed.

Q: Can Sterbai Corydoras live in a planted tank?

A: Yes, Sterbai Corydoras can live in a planted tank. However, it is important to choose the right plants that can tolerate the water parameters and won’t be damaged by the Corydoras digging and rooting for food.

I personally find Sterbai Corydoras to be a great addition to any aquarium. They are active, playful, and easy to care for. With the right setup and care, they can thrive and bring joy to any fishkeeper.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

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