Because the skunk cory is shy and easily frightened when kept as a single specimen, Corydoras arcuatus should be kept in small groups (i.e., six or more individuals) with other community tank fish, such as small characins, livebearers and rasboras. Avoid large, aggressive fish like cichlids and large barbs. Keeping it in a group will also give the aquarist the opportunity to observe its comical behaviors.
This fish should be housed in a tank with a substrate of dark-colored fine gravel or coarse sand. A shallow tank is preferred because it will occasionally come to the surface for a gulp of air. The tank should be heavily planted with bunch plants, such as Elodea and Cabomba, as well as root plants, such as swordplants and Vallisneria, which will also act as hiding places. These can be either live plants or artificial. Decorate with driftwood and smooth rocks, leaving plenty of room in the center for swimming.
This cory will accept a wide variety of live, frozen and freeze-dried meaty foods. Live foods, such as Tubifex worms, earthworms, bloodworms, glass worms and brine shrimp are especially preferred. Supplement its diet with vegetable-based flake and pelleted foods.
Although it is possible to differentiate between the sexes, to ensure spawning success it is best to purchase a group. Condition on small feedings of a high-protein diet consisting of small live foods several times per day. Spawning is preceded by a long courtship ritual consisting of chasing bouts interrupted by cleaning of potential spawning sites. This fish often uses the sides of the aquarium or the plastic filter box or sponge media, if an inside filter or sponge filter is present on which to deposit clusters of eggs.
Once courtship is finished, the cories lock together in the "T" position — the female with her head nudged into the side of the male near his vent, the male clasping her barbels to his sides with his pectoral spines. Once the eggs are fertilized, they unclasp and the female deposits one to 30 eggs. The bouts are repeated over and over until the female is depleted of eggs. The eggs hatch in anywhere from two to 10 days.