Julii Cory

Leopard Catfish, Armored Catfish

Family: Callichthyidae Picture of some Julii CoryCorydoras julii
Latest Reader Comment - See More
If you dont like the catfish that stick to a window all day and dont move, then the CORYDORAS species, and especially this one is for you. Its very peaceful, and a... (more)  Iv

The Julii Cory is probably the most popular and often sold Cory. It is active and very attractive sporting bold central horizontal stripes, a spotted body, and six spotted bands on it's tail!

Julii Corys are a beautiful fish with an interestingly patterned body. Their appearance, along with their peaceful disposition and lively character make them a favorite among aquarists. The most common names of this fish are Julii Cory, Leopard Corydoras or Leopard Catfish, and Armored Catfish. Of course 'Armored' is also used to refer to some fish in the Loricariidae (plecos), Callichthyidae, of which Corydoras are one genus, Callichthys, and Doradidae (thorny catfish) families. The Jullii Cory is a rather small fish which does not grow very large; it reaches only 2.0 inches (5 cm) in length. This makes it suitable for smaller aquariums and first time fish keepers. Like all of the Corydoras species, they are quite hardy, very peaceful, and they help keep the bottom of the aquarium clean by eating up leftover foods!

For Information on keeping freshwater fish, see:
Freshwater Aquarium Guide: Aquarium Setup and Care

Geographic Distribution
Corydoras julii
Data provided by FishBase.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Siluriformes
  • Family: Callichthyidae
  • Genus: Corydoras
  • Species: julii
Julii Cories

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Leopard Cories (Corydoras julii)

What lively and curious catfish!

Julii Cory - Quick Aquarium Care
  • Size of fish - inches: 2.0 inches (5.08 cm)
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gal (38 L)
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately hardy
  • Temperature: 73.0 to 79.0° F (22.8 to 26.1° C)
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner
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Habitat: Distribution / Background

The Julii Cory was first described by Steindachner in 1906. They are found in South America within the Lower Amazon River and the coastal rivers in northeastern Brazil. They are demersal and feed on worms, crustaceans, insects and plant matter

  • Scientific Name: Corydoras julii
  • Social Grouping: Groups - Best in a school of 6 or more fish.
  • IUCN Red List: NE - Not Evaluated or not listed


Julii Corys are a beautiful fish with an interestingly patterned body. Their appearance, along with their disposition and lively character make them a favorite among aquarists. The body is a cream white or gray color with small, black spots all over and a stripe running horizontally from the back of their gills to the base of the tail. This large horizontal stripe along with a dark black spot on their top fin makes them easily identifiable from other striped corys. They are a smaller member of the Corydoras family and grow to about 2 inches.

  • Size of fish - inches: 2.0 inches (5.08 cm)

Fish Keeping Difficulty

The Julii Cory is not a difficult fish to care for and are considered suitable for beginner fish keepers. They do best in clean water that is high in oxygen and a good supply of food on the bottom of the tank. Newly setup aquariums with no source of algae may need sinking algae wafers added to the tank for food.

  • Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately hardy
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner

Foods and Feeding

Since they are omnivorous, the Julli Cory will generally eat all kinds of live, fresh, and flake foods. To keep a good balance give them a high quality sinking pellet or flake food every day. Feed brine shrimp (either live or frozen) or blood worms as a treat.

  • Diet Type: Omnivore
  • Flake Food: Yes
  • Tablet Pellet: Yes - Although this fish will scour the bottom for leftover food, the aquarist should ensure a complete diet by offering a sinking tablet or pellet.
  • Live foods (fishes, shrimps, worms): Some of Diet
  • Vegetable Food: Some of Diet
  • Meaty Food: Some of Diet
  • Feeding Frequency: Several feedings per day

Aquarium Care

A weekly or bi-weekly water change of 10% to 20% is recommended. Using a vacuum hose to siphon the substrate is a good way to keep the gravel free of decomposing animal and plant matter. Corys spend most of their time on the bottom so the vacuum siphon is important.

  • Water Changes: Bi-weekly

Aquarium Setup

A minimum 10 gallon aquarium is recommended. Normal lighting works well but higher light levels are fine if plenty of shade is provided. These little fish enjoy well planted tanks with twisted roots to hide in. Caves and drift wood make great hiding spots as well. Because these fish have sensitive barbels it is important to use a fine gravel to keep their barbels in good condition. Larger gravel will actually cut the barbels down till that are completely gone. These barbels are prone to infection from poorly kept substrate.

Provide these fish with filtration system that keeps the water well oxygenated either with aeration or plenty of surface water movement. These fish do a great job keeping the bottom cleaned of food and debris, making them little living vacuums.

  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gal (38 L)
  • Substrate Type: Any
  • Lighting Needs: Moderate - normal lighting
  • Temperature: 73.0 to 79.0° F (22.8 to 26.1° C)
  • Range ph: 6.0-8.0
  • Hardness Range: 2 - 25 dGH
  • Brackish: No
  • Water Movement: Moderate
  • Water Region: Bottom

Social Behaviors

Julli Corys are generally a good community fish. They swim in schools and can be kept with almost every other community type fish.

  • Venomous: No - Corydoras species have spines that can cause a stinging sensation if they penetrate the skin.
  • Temperament: Peaceful - This gregarious fish appreciates the company of its own kind.
  • Compatible with:
    • Same species - conspecifics: Yes
    • Peaceful fish (): Safe
    • Semi-Aggressive (): Monitor
    • Aggressive (): Threat
    • Shrimps, Crabs, Snails: Safe - not aggressive
    • Plants: Safe

Sex: Sexual differences

   Males are usually smaller and skinnier. The female belly is often rounder than the males so their mouth may sit up off off the substrate when resting. These are only indications and not foolproof. Sexing is difficult, and breeding is best accomplished by natural pairing.

Breeding / Reproduction

   The Corys have a very interesting breeding routine. After bumping the male on the vent, the female will receive the male's sperm into her mouth. She then discharges a few eggs which she catches and clasps with her ventral fins. The female will then swim around and deposit a bit of sperm and just a few eggs at a time in select spots, such as a strong plant, the heater tube or ever the aquarium glass. When she runs out of sperm, she will go back to the male and repeat the process until the spawn is complete. See the section on Corys in Breeding Freshwater Fish.

  • Ease of Breeding: Difficult

Fish Diseases

   Julii Cory are extremely hardy and disease is not usually a problem in a well maintained aquarium. That being said there is no guarantee that you won't have to deal with health problems or disease. Animal World is a great source for information on disease and treatments. It is recommended to read up on the common tank diseases. Knowing the signs and catching and treating them early makes a huge difference. Cory catfish are very resiliant.

High nitrate levels can cause Julii Cory catfish to develop infected barbels; this makes it difficult for them to navigate and eat normally. Maintain nitrate levels below 20 ppm.

Julii Cories are known for their resilience, in that an outbreak of disease can often be limited to just one or a few fishes if you deal with it at an early stage. When keeping more sensitive types of fish, it is common for all fishes to be infected even before the first warning signs can be noticed. The best way to proactively prevent disease is to give your Julii Cory the proper environment and a well balanced diet. The closer to their natural habitat the less stress the fish will have, making them healthy and happy. A stressed fish, either through improper water conditions or bullying, is more likely to acquire disease.

Remember anything you add to your tank can introduce disease. Not only other fish but plants, substrate, and decorations can harbor bacteria. Take great care and make sure to properly clean or quarantine everything you add to an established tank.

Because they are a scaleless fish, catfish can be treated with pimafix or melafix but should not be treated with potassium permanganate or copper based medications. Malachite green or formalin can be used at one half to one fourth the recommended dosage. All medications should be used with caution.


   The Julli Cory or Leopard Catfish is readily available and ranges from very inexpensive to moderately expensive ($2.00 - $7.00 2013)


Animal-World References
Freshwater Fish and Plants Tropical Fish ~ Freshwater Fish ~ Aquatic Plants

Author: David Brough. CFS., Jeremy Roche
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Lastest Animal Stories on Julii Cory

Iv - 2003-08-27
If you dont like the catfish that stick to a window all day and dont move, then the CORYDORAS species, and especially this one is for you. Its very peaceful, and a good gravel cleaner. Just make sure that the gravel its not rough (no stones or anything) because that can cut and injure their stomachs because they swim very close to the bottom. If you want rocks and stuff, buy rocks that are POLISHED, so they wont injure your Cory Catfish. This species is very active and they go around your tank all day like a little submarine looking for food. Buy them in pair because they get lonely, and besides, they like to swim 2-4 in pcks, and its very fun and entertaining for the person thats looking at them! Irecommend this fish!

Jennifer Lafon - 2013-01-15
I recently purchased 4 more julii Cory catfish to my community aquarium. I first purchased 2 & had to have more they add a lot of fun to the gang.I was wondering if anyone knows how long it takes for then to get to be full size adults?

  • Jennifer Lafon - 2013-03-07
    After I added my 4 new lil julii corys, 1 died in a few days, he must have been sick because all of my others are doing fine. The problem now is, I have a moderatley to heavy planted tank. I count my fish daily yet my julii's are aalways hiding. They live w/ 6brilliant rasnora, 6 harlequin rasbora 6, long fin cherry barbs and a few oto catfish. Could one of my other fish be bothering them or do you think they are just hiding from the higher light during times of heavy lighting which I have for plant growth? When I turn my led blue light on in the evening they do come out to feed. & play??? Maybe too many plants or could it be something else ??? I'm concerned. Should I remove some of my plants? Idk. Anyadvise is
  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-03-07
    They may come out more when lights are off.  What other fish are in the tank?   Plants should not be an issue>
Brandon T - 2009-05-25
Julli Corys are great! I used to have one but since they get along with my 4 Zebra Danios and 4 Neon Tetras, I'm going to get another one in a couple of days.

Brenda - 2008-08-14
Are they high matinence and are they freshwater or saltwater? Don't want any surprises when I get them.

  • Emily - 2010-08-18
    Low maintenance. Freshwater. They need docile tank-mates though - nobody that will nip at their fins, as cories are not very adept at protecting themselves.
  • BMN - 2011-01-14
    They are low maintenance. They are freshwater. They are gregarious. Buy at least two. I have six in a 30 gal. community tank with other fish.