Blacktop corydoras Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: October 21, 2022

The blacktop corydoras is a freshwater fish that is native to South America. It is a peaceful and hardy fish that is a great addition to any community aquarium.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about blacktop corydoras care. You’ll learn about their diet, size, lifespan, and more!

Species overview

The blacktop corydoras (scientific name: Corydoras melini) is a species of freshwater fish that is native to Brazil.

They are found in a wide variety of habitats, but prefer slow-moving waters with a sandy or muddy bottom. This is something to keep in mind when setting up their tank.

Blacktop corydoras are omnivores, which means they will eat both plants and small animals. In the wild, their diet consists mostly of insects and other small invertebrates.

These fish are very popular in the aquarium scene due to their small size and peaceful nature. They are also very easy to care for, which makes them a great choice for beginners.


Blacktop corydoras

The Blacktop Corydoras is a small but stocky freshwater fish that has a unique coloration. As their name suggests, the vast majority of their body is black.

The only other color on this fish is a small white stripe that runs along their lateral line (from head to tail). This line is relatively thin but still quite noticeable.

The Blacktop Corydoras has a triangular head with a slightly flattened appearance. They have 2 small barbels on their chin that they use to help find food.

These fish have a short but thick body that tapers off a bit at the tail. Their fins are all relatively small with the dorsal fin being the longest.

The Blacktop Corydoras has a wide caudal peduncle and a slightly forked tail fin. They also have small pectoral fins that are almost hidden behind their head.


Blacktop corydoras usually have a lifespan between 3 and 5 years. As with most fish, though, there are a number of factors that can impact their life expectancy.

One of the biggest things that will affect their lifespan is the quality of the water they’re in. These fish are very sensitive to water conditions and need to be in near-perfect water to thrive.

If the water quality in their tank is poor, they will likely not live as long as they would in ideal conditions.


The Blacktop Corydoras typically only reaches a length of about 2.5 inches when fully grown.


Tank Size

10 gallons

Corydoras are a schooling fish, so you should keep them in groups of at least 6. This means you need a minimum of a 60-gallon tank if you want to keep a school of 6 blacktop Corydoras.

Corydoras are bottom-dwelling fish, so they won’t need a lot of height in the tank. In fact, a taller tank is better because it will give them more swimming space horizontally.

Water Parameters

As with any fish, meeting the blacktop cory’s basic water parameters is essential to its health and happiness.

Fortunately, these little guys are pretty easy to please. They come from slow-moving rivers and streams with plenty of hiding places and soft, sandy substrates.

While they prefer slightly warmer water, they can do well in a wide range of temperatures. The key is to make sure any changes happen slowly and steadily. Sudden or drastic changes can be stressful and even fatal to these fish.

Here are a few basic water parameters to help create a healthy environment for your blacktop cory.

  • Water Temperature: 72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH Levels: 6.5 to 7.5
  • Water Hardness: 2 to 12 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 4-8 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

When it comes to setting up the inside of an aquarium for Blacktop Corydoras there are a few things that you need to take into account.

First and foremost, these fish come from fast-moving waters. This means that you need to provide them with a tank that has a lot of water movement.

We recommend using a powerhead or canister filter to help with this. You might even need to use more than one depending on the size of your tank.

The second thing you need to take into account is that these fish like to hide. This means that you need to provide them with plenty of places to hide. Rocks, driftwood, and caves are all great options.

You also need to make sure that the substrate in their tank is soft. This is because they like to dig and forage for food. A hard substrate can damage their delicate barbels.

Last but not least, you need to make sure that the water in their tank is clean. These fish are very sensitive to water quality and even the slightest change can stress them out. We recommend doing weekly water changes of 20% or more.

Common Diseases

These little guys are quite hardy and don’t often get sick. However, there are still a few potential diseases that you should be aware of.

The most common one is ich. This is a parasites that can affect any freshwater fish, and it will show itself as white spots on the body of your cory.

If you see this, it’s important to take action immediately. Ich can quickly spread and kill off your entire tank if it’s left untreated.

Other potential diseases include hole-in-the-head disease and fin rot. Both of these are fairly common in freshwater fish, and they can both be prevented with good water quality.

As long as you keep an eye on your corydoras and take action if you see anything out of the ordinary, they should be just fine. These fish are quite hardy and can withstand a lot of abuse.

Behavior & Temperament

The blacktop corydoras is a peaceful fish that gets along with most everyone. It’s a schooling fish, so it does best when it’s kept with at least six of its own kind.

These fish are relatively shy, so they prefer to stay hidden among plants and other decorations in the tank. They’re most active at night, when they come out to scavenge for food.

During the day, they like to rest in groups near the bottom of the tank.

While they’re not overly active, blacktop corydoras are interesting to watch. They have a unique way of swimming that is different from most other fish. Instead of using their tails to propel themselves forward, they use their pectoral fins. This gives them a “walking” motion that is fun to watch.

Tank Mates

The blacktop corydoras is a peaceful, easygoing fish. As a result, they can get along with a wide range of tank mates.

These fish do best in groups of 6 or more. So, when stocking your tank, make sure to add at least 6 of these guys. This will help them feel more comfortable and less stressed in their environment.

Blacktop corydoras are also bottom dwellers. This means that they tend to stay near the bottom of the tank and don’t venture up to the top very often.

Because of this, you can easily add fish that occupy different areas of the water column. This gives you more flexibility when stocking your tank.

Some good tank mates for blacktop corydoras include:

  • Guppies
  • Mollies
  • Platies
  • Swordtails
  • Tetras
  • Danios
  • Rainbowfish


Blacktop corydoras are fairly easy to breed in captivity. These catfish are known as “egg scatterers.” That means that the female will release her eggs and the male will fertilize them. The eggs will then sink to the bottom of the tank and attach themselves to the substrate.

To increase the chances of breeding, you should keep a group of at least six corydoras together. The more, the better. That way, you’ll have a higher chance of getting a male and female.

You don’t need to do anything special to the water. Just make sure that it’s clean and has the right temperature and pH.

When the fish are ready to spawn, you’ll see the female chasing the male. She’ll also start to swell with eggs. At that point, you should remove any other fish from the tank. You don’t want them to eat the eggs!

Once the female has released her eggs, the male will fertilize them. Then, they’ll both start to clean the area. The eggs will hatch in about four days.

You can start feeding the fry brine shrimp or other small live foods. Be sure to crush the food up into very small pieces. The fry are very small and can’t eat much.

As they grow, you can transition them to flake food or pellets.


The Blacktop Corydoras is a great addition to any freshwater aquarium. They’re peaceful, easy to care for, and make a great addition to any community tank.

We hope this guide has helped you learn everything you need to know about Blacktop Corydoras care. If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out to us on social media or through our website. We’re always happy to help!