The Banded Cory Catfish (Scleromystax barbatus), also known as the Bearded Cory Catfish, is a very distinct and exceptional member of the Corydoras catfish family. Its intricate markings, elongated body shape, and exceptional size of up to 4 inches (10 cm) are all traits that set it apart from its many relatives. It is a very animated, distinctively marked schooling fish that is perfect for the nano, community, and planted aquarium. It is a subtropical species, so care must be taken to provide it with the proper temperature and tankmates.
The Banded Cory Catfish is a very peaceful schooling fish that is compatible with most nano aquarium animals that thrive in similar temperatures. It will likely prey on small shrimp, but is safe with large shrimp and most other peaceful ornamental invertebrates. It is a classic scavenger and will inhabit and feed at the aquarium floor, which should be comprised of sand or smooth gravel. Very coarse substrate can damage its delicate barbels and underbelly, so it should be kept in an aquarium with sand or very smooth gravel substrate. This fish is otherwise undemanding as it will accept most dry, frozen, and live foods. It is adaptable to most subtropical freshwater conditions as long as standard regular maintenance is performed and sudden changes are avoided.