Care Guide for Cory Catfish – The Perfect Community Bottom Dweller
Looking for a peaceful beginner fish with tons of personality? Look no further! The cory catfish, or Corydoras catfish, is one of the most popular community fish because they’re so happy-go-lucky, easy to breed, and helpful as a clean-up crew. We answer the most common questions about this cute bottom dweller in this care guide.
What are Corydoras, you ask?
This genus of South American catfish includes more than 160 species, with several hundred more that are waiting to be classified. Ranging from 1 to 3 inches long in the aquarium hobby, they’re named after the bony plates of armor on their body. For protection against predators, these little catfish also have sharp spines in their fins that can sometimes produce a mild venom when stressed (in other words, don’t try to catch them with your bare hands).
Most cory catfish can live in temperatures between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on their species. For example, peppered Cory Catfish (Corydoras paleatus), and julii Cory Catfish (Corydoras. julii), are at the cooler end of this spectrum. However, sterbai Cory Catfish (Corydoras. sterbai) can be found at higher temperatures. They prefer pH levels between 6.5 and 7.8.
Corydoras can be seen in large groups of up to 20 species. They are most active during daylight hours, peak activity taking place at dawn and dusk. The most common varieties in the pet market are the albino and bronze cory corys, Corydoras corys aeneus, panda (Corydoras Panda), panda (Corydoras Panda), emerald-green corys and the pygmy Corydoras Pygmaeus.
Pygmy cory cats are one of the smallest corydora species and they love to swim in the middle, not at the bottom.
What Size Tank Do Cory Catfish Need?
For dwarf species, a 10-gallon aquarium may be suitable, but we recommend 20 gallons or more for most other varieties. A corydora is a group of 6 or more fish that are all the same species. This is because they are small and need safety. These peaceful bottom dwellers can be kept with pretty much any community fish that won’t eat or attack them. You should not keep corydoras in a tank with goldfish. These fish can grow quite large and will inhale everything that gets in their mouth.
If you’re looking for fish stocking ideas, a 20-gallon aquarium could house a school of cory catfish swimming at the bottom, a school of small tetras swimming in the middle layer, and a centerpiece fish like a honey gourami. Add some lush aquarium plants and you’ve got a miniature ecosystem in your living room!
Cory catfish love to shoal together, or swim loosely in groups of six, so make sure they have at least six of the exact species.
Cory Catfish need sand substrate
Corydoras have wispy barbels or whiskers to help them find food, so smooth sand or gravel is preferred. (That being said, our CEO Cory McElroy visited their natural habitat in the Amazon and found the substrate to be quite sharp, as seen in this video.) It is a good idea to feed large foods such as Repashy gel food and worms that can sit on top. This will prevent them from getting trapped between cracks.
In the wild, corydoras can be found on sharp substrate, so if their barbels start to erode, it may be caused by other factors like poor water quality.
What should I feed my Cory Catfish,
Corydoras do not have a strict diet. They will eat whatever is soft or small enough to fit into their mouths. They love worms of all types, so try live blackworms, frozen bloodworms, and Hikari Vibra Bites (tiny food sticks that look like bloodworms). Repashy gel foods and sinking wafers are also favorites.
You will need to feed them a specific diet to ensure they are getting enough nutrition. Cory catfish can get overwhelmed when they are surrounded by other aggressive fish, which can lead to them wasting away.
Corydoras don’t eat algae so they must be fed frequently to maintain a healthy and long life.
Can You Breed Cory Catfish in Aquariums?
Yes! Many fish keepers discover that corydoras reproduce randomly without much effort. Males have a thinner profile while females are more round and can hold all the eggs. Condition them (or prepare them for breeding) by feeding lots of nutritious foods, such as live blackworms and frozen bloodworms. To mimic the rainy season, you can induce spawning by making your water cooler than usual. Soon enough, you’ll find sticky round eggs all over your tank walls and decor.
If you wish to breed catfish in the same aquarium they live in, you will need to provide plenty of cover. If the eggs are given the chance, all fish will eat them. Even the parents. For a higher survival rate, you can remove the eggs (with your fingers or a credit card) into a separate aquarium to raise the fry. You can feed the baby catfish lots of baby brine shrimp and powdered food. Keep an eye on the water changes and you will enjoy a whole new generation.
We wish you the best for your new cory fish!