Sterbai Cory – Care, Feeding, Tank Mates & Details!

Sterbai Cory fish are very active, playful, and interesting to watch, and they are also excellent bottom cleaners. This species received its name in honor of the aquarist and naturalist Dr. Gunther Sterbai. They are significantly distinguished by their color.

Quick Stats

Scientific Name: Corydoras Sterbai
Common Names: Sterbai Corydoras, Sterbai Cory
Care Level: Easy
Size: Up to 2.7 inches (6.8 cm)
Water Parameters : pH 6 – 8 | Temperature : 70°F – 77°F (21°C – 25°C) |
Water Hardness: 2° to 25° DH
Lifespan : 3 to 4 years
Habitat: South America: central Brazil and Bolivia
Temperament: Peaceful small schooling catfish
Aquarium Size: 20 gallons (75 liters), keep them in schools
Tank Mates: Similar sized fish, peaceful species.

Sterbai Cory Appearance

Sterbai Cory is a small armored fish that belongs to the catfish family. It lives in freshwater reservoirs and South America is considered its homeland. The catfish has a rather unusual color.

The main color is dark brown with white and milky spots, which have different shapes, but they are about the same size. In the area of ​​the head and back, these spots are randomly located, but on the body – linearly.

The fins of the fish are translucent with a barely noticeable dotted pattern, and only on the abdomen, they have a bright orange color. The body of this species is rounded, it narrows to the caudal fin, and the trail consists of two blades.

There are a pair of bulging eyes on the head, and a series of antennae is located under them which is used as an antenna for orientation purposes by Sterbai Cory.

Sterbai Corydoras are not very large in size because, in their natural habitat, adult individuals reach only 8 cm in length, and in aquariums, they grow to a maximum of 5 cm.

Aquarium Conditions

The Sterbai Cory in their natural habitat swim in groups in which there are several tens, and sometimes even hundreds of fish. Therefore, it is best to keep catfish in small flocks of 5-10 each, then they will feel more comfortable and more confident.

For a small flock of up to 8 corydoras, an aquarium volume of 70 liters will be sufficient. The main thing is that they should have enough free space at the bottom since this species is a bottom dweller.

Keeping Sterbai Corydoras does not cause difficulties even for beginner aquarists, because they are completely unpretentious. And if you know the basic rules of care, then the fish will delight the owner for a long time with their interesting appearance.

Sterbai Corydoras prefer warm water with a temperature of at least 25 degrees, and it should also have good aeration and it is advisable to install a cleaning filter.

Partial water changes should be carried out once a week. For this species, it is advised to select a low aquarium but it should be wide and elongated.

Sterbai Cory Tank Decoration

Sterbai Cory fish loves dense vegetation, and even different moves and labyrinths, so if possible you need to install shelters from snags, coconut shells, broken clay jugs, or purchased castles.

The vegetation should be selected with strong roots since they like to dig up the soil. As the soil, you can use sand, gravel, or pebbles. For reliability, You can fix the plants with large stones.

Sterbai Cory usually begins to dig up the soil if they are short of food. In this case, they raise the accumulated dirt from the bottom, as a result of which the water in the aquarium becomes cloudy. You can avoid this situation by ensuring that the fish have enough food.

These freshwater inhabitants breathe atmospheric oxygen, so it is important for them to leave a small space between the cover and the surface of the water, and there should be diffused light in the aquarium.

Floating plants can also be used, but there should not be too many of them so that the fish have free access to the surface.

Sterbai Cory Tank Mates

Naturally, Sterbai Cory’s are calm and peace-loving fishes and they can live with other small to mid-size peace-loving fishes without any issues. The best tank mates for Sterbai Corydoras are Tetras, Swordtail, Cory Fishes, Gourami, Minnow Fish, Guppies, etc…

Sterbai Cory Feeding

In nature, Sterbai Corydoras eat worms, plants, and small crustaceans. In the aquarium, they most often eat from the bottom, but sometimes they rise to the surface of the water for food, especially if it is not enough.

Therefore, if, in addition to this species, there are other fish in the aquarium, it is necessary to ensure that a sufficient amount of food falls to the bottom, or additionally, you can feed this catfish with the lights off.

The most favorite delicacy of this type is the tubule. Sterbai Cory can eat it constantly and in large quantities, but they also do not refuse other food. In general, these fish are considered omnivorous, but it is best to give them the following types of food:

  • special tablets for bottom fish;
  • live food ( daphnia, coretra );
  • flakes for catfish;
  • dry mixes for fish;
  • algal waffles;
  • frozen feed.

In order to prevent part of the live food from creeping out into the ground, it is best to place a small saucer in one part of the aquarium and lower the food into it.

Sterbai Cory Breeding

Sterbai Cory fish is easy to breed at home. To do this, first of all, you need to prepare a small spawning ground. For spawning, you can put a small flock of nine fish, and if the size does not allow, then you should take one female and two males.

It is easy to distinguish a female from a male since the latter is much smaller and more elegant. But the females, on the contrary, are larger, thicker, and have a rounded belly.

In spawning, it is advisable to install a filter with a sponge and place at least one large plant. As the soil, you can use fine gravel, as well as sand, or just do without it.

To stimulate spawning, you must perform the following steps:

  • daily change most of the water in the aquarium;
  • in large quantities give live food to catfish;
  • lower the water temperature by several degrees.

A female ready for spawning quickly grows fat from caviar, just during this period, it needs to be placed together with males.

Spawning usually begins the very next day. The female lays up to four eggs at a time on the leaves or walls of the aquarium. The eggs themselves are white and they are quite large (up to 2 mm).

Sterbai Cory Fry

For one spawning, a large individual can lay up to 200 eggs. Usually, this whole process lasts all day. After that, all the fish should be removed from the spawning, as they can quickly eat all the eggs, and the water temperature must be raised to 26 degrees.

About a week later, fry appears from the eggs. At first, they practically do not move, and after 2-3 days they begin to swim. The first days of fry can be fed with infusoria or a portion of special micro food, and after a week, larvae of brine shrimp or a cut tubule are introduced into their diet.

To maintain cleanliness, several snails can be launched into the hider. They will pick up the remnants of food, dead larvae, and not allow water to change their initial parameters. Sterba catfish reach their puberty by about a year.

Under favorable conditions and proper maintenance, this species is able to live up to eight years. And thanks to its calm disposition, Catfish Corridoras Shterba can be kept in the same aquarium with all peaceful fish.

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