Do Pygmy Corys Need Sand

Pygmy Corys are a hardy species of fish. They are peaceful and shy; therefore, they often love the presence of plants and other substrates in their tank.

Do Pygmy Corys Need Sand? Pygmy Corys need sand in their tank because it is softer than most other substrates. Sands protect Pygmy Corys when they are searching for food in the tank. It prevents them from damaging their barbels.

Do Pygmy Corys Need Sand

Pygmy Corys can damage their barbels when they hit it against hard substrates or surfaces. These barbels are very sensitive, and they might cause the fish many discomforts when damaged.

Habitat and Tank Condition for Pygmy Corys

The natural habitat of Pygmy Corys is small to large rivers in South America. Their natural habitats include the Nany River in Peru, the Aguarico River in Ecuador, and the Madeira River in Brazil.

They have live plants and plenty of light access in their natural habitat. These rivers are also slow-moving water with near-neutral pH. Therefore, simulating these natural habitats is the best way to keep Pygmy Corys in the tank.

Pygmy Corys love to have substrates like sand in their tank. Soft sands prevent this species from damaging their sensitive barbel when swimming around the tank, searching for food.

This species of aquarium fish are shy, and they love to keep to themselves. Therefore, they love to have plenty of hiding spots in their tank.

The mixture of decorations, living plants, and substrates like rocks and bogwood provide them with these hiding spots. They love swimming through and hiding under plants.

Pygmy Corys thrive best in a temperature between 72 to 79°F; thus, you might need to include a heater in their tank to maintain this temperature.

The best pH for Pygmy Corys is near neutral. They will live comfortably in the water with a pH within the range of 6-8.

If you intend to make the tank more comfortable for this species, you can consider accessories like a water filter and optimized aquarium lightning.

With appropriate tank set up and good water quality, Pygmy Corys will live long, active, and healthy. You should also keep your Pygmy Corys away from aggressive tank mates.

Best Tank Size for Pygmy Corys

Pygmy Corys have relatively small bodies. They can only grow to about ¾ to 1 inch. Therefore, they can fit into small aquariums.

This species will live comfortably in small aquariums. 5 to 8 Pygmy Corys will fit conveniently into a 10-gallon tank. Individual Pygmy Corys will only require just about 2 gallons of water to live comfortably.


Pygmy Corys are one of the easiest aquarium fish to keep in your tank. They live healthy and active as long as the tank condition and water quality are favorable. The inclusion of substrates, live plants, and other decorations in their tank will make life more comfortable for them.

The inclusion of sands in their tank will provide a soft surface that will prevent them from damaging their fins while searching for food. Live plants and other decorations will provide a hiding place for them at the bottom of the tank.