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One of the most popular species of freshwater fish kept is the cory catfish, also known as corydoras, cory cats, and armored catfish.

They are liked by aquarists of all ability degrees for their light character, mild nature, and distinct qualities.

This complete overview breaks down whatever you require to understand about maintaining, reproducing, and looking after Cory Catfish.

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About Cory Catfish

  • Taxonomic Name: Corydoras
  • Personality: Peaceful
  • Treatment Level: Easy
  • Beginning: South America
  • Typical Names: Cory Catfish, Corydoras, Cory Cats, Armored Catfish


When it comes to personality, cory catfish is one of the preferred fish for leisure activities. They have a calm and serene personality that is almost unique. Do not keep Corydoras with violent container buddies because, in addition, they quadrate practically every type that claimed they are incredibly non-aggressive and also frequently will not “stand up for themselves.”

Do not mistake Corydoras’ polite behavior for being uninteresting. Cory catfish are entertaining and exciting to witness at any time of day. They must be kept in groups of five or more since they are incredibly social fish. Trust me when I say that watching your Corydoras interact with one another is unlike watching any other fish during leisure time.

Natural Habitat

Both lakes and small streams in South America are the source of cory catfish. Try to mimic as closely as you can their native surroundings, which is rich in online plants and other hiding places.

A further important point to be made about the cory catfish’s natural habitat is that sand is much more comfortable for them than gravel or stony substrate. Crushed rocks and other abrasive surfaces are not advised since they have a tendency to damage the fins and barbels of corydoras.


According to numerous references, Corydoras have a lifespan of 5-7 years. The Cory Catfish can live far longer in captivity, even though this may be true in the wild.

Cory catfish are known to live between 12 and 15 years in ideal conditions. Additionally, there are some documented cases of fish tank owners caring for Corys for more than 20 years!


Corydoras are relatively tiny for catfish criteria. Generally, Cory Catfish’s dimension varies from 1.5 to 2.5 inches (4-7 centimeters) depending on the varieties.

That claimed, reproducing women can get to 3+ inches in older age.

Cory Catfish Care

Right here are a couple of points you must recognize before trying to maintain Cory Catfish.

Tank Setup Requirements

Cory catfish are typically quite simple to care for. They are fairly adaptable and do not require a large container when it comes to the water issue (a lot smaller sized than that, many other kinds of catfish).

Cory Catfish likewise manage excellent with various other types– this mix makes them remarkable for novice fish-keepers.

Container Size: Cory Catfish are relatively tiny fish. Technically, a solitary Cory needs to be significant in a 10-gallon storage tank.

Water Flow: Cory catfish adore moving water and frequently find “dancing” in areas with strong currents. Having said that, make an effort to include a few areas in your container with low tide circulation so your corys can unwind (rock, slate as well as plants are a terrific method to do this).

Water Parameters

For many years, it has been known that wild Cory catfish can be finicky when it comes to water issues. However, careful replication has “strengthened” tank-reared Cory catfish into robust and also particularly resilient variants.

Although I wouldn’t characterize Corydoras as “difficult” to maintain, every effort must be taken to provide a lovely ambience.

Right here are some standard standards for water criteria when maintaining these fish.

  • pH: 6.0-8.0.
  • Temperature level: 70-80 ° F. Alkalinity: 3 ° -10 ° day.

When taking care of Cory catfish, security is far more vital than striking that ideal pH and temperature level.

If your criteria are a few levels off, try to keep it as constant as you can without worrying about it too much. Additionally, cory catfish are highly sensitive to ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. The first 2 are among the most important ammonia, and nitrite can dissolve quickly.

This goes without saying, but before adding any fish, not to mention Corydoras, make sure your container has been cycled properly. Nitrate is a bit more cunning than usual. It eventually builds up in the water, even in perfectly wholesome and balanced fish tanks. Keep track of biweekly water modifications to help lower nitrate levels to safe levels.

The API Freshwater Master Test Kit is the very best set on the marketplace for checking your fish tank water.

Cory Catfish Diet

Corydoras, like all bottom fish, are superb scavengers. They typically find the majority of their food by scouring the base of nearby storage tanks. Having said that, owners of cory catfish should never assume that their fish can survive solely on leftover food.

Due to their omnivorous nature, corydoras require a balanced diet of both meat-based and plant-based items. I’ve directly learned that Cory loves Hikari Algae Wafers (most flake foods are additionally enough). Omega One Bloodworms are a fantastic choice for the odd special treat.

Don’t overfeed Corydoras because they are sensitive to small conscious changes in ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Simply feed your fish as much as they can ingest in a few minutes, and remove whatever they don’t seem to enjoy.

Schooling Tendencies of Corydoras

We briefly mentioned this earlier. However, you must keep Cory catfish in schools of four or even more fish (five or more is preferable).

Due to their high levels of social interaction, corys are frequently seen “playing” and swimming in unison with other fish of the same species. Their educational shenanigans are not only intriguing and amazing to see, but they also help to improve and make your catfish lot healthier.

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Cory Catfish Types Common Species

There are more than 170 different Corydoras Catfish variations, many of which have not yet been given names. There are numerous options available when choosing a kind for your storage tank.

Right here are a few of our preferred Corydora varieties.

Panda Cory

Panda Corys are one of the most popular varieties of Cory catfish, and most local fish markets conveniently carry them.

They have a cream-white body with dark black spots on their head and tail. Panda Corydoras grow to a height of about two inches, however breeding-age females may become slightly larger.

  • Taxonomic Name: Corydoras panda.
  • Dimension: 2 ″.
  • pH: 6.0-7.0.
  • Temperature level: 70-78 ° F.

Albino Cory

Albino Cory Catfish do not practice their particular varieties. They are a Bronze Cory variation that has been selectively bred. Having said that, Albino Corys are special in more than than a few ways.

Their golden-white bodies and soft pink eyes make them a preferred choice among cory fans since they contrast well with plants and dark substrate. Additionally, Albino Corys are known for their “spazzy” personalities, which many fish tank owners find endearing.

  • Taxonomic Name: Corydoras aeneus.
  • Dimension: 2.5 ″.
  • pH: 6.0-7.0.
  • Temperature level: 72-80 ° F.

Peppered Cory

The majority of fish stores and online fish vendors carry peppered corys, one of the most popular varieties of corydoras.

They often have brown colouring with dark green and black markings (and usually an eco-friendly “radiate”). Having said that, many fish tank owners like the fact that no two Peppered Corys are alike.

  • Taxonomic Name: Corydoras paleatus.
  • Dimension: 2.5-3 ″.
  • pH: 6.0-7.0.
  • Temperature level: 72-80 ° F.

Bronze Cory

When compared to other Corydoras species, Bronze Corys (a shade variation of Green Corys) are renowned for being active, meaningful, and easy to care. They can grow up to 2.5 inches (6.35 centimeters) in length, though pregnant women can grow to over 3 inches.

Bronze Corys’ coloring might not be as striking as that of the other species on our list. They are a great option for aquarists who want to learn more about cory catfish reproduction and care.

  • Taxonomic Name: Corydoras aeneus.
  • Dimension: 2.5 ″.
  • pH: 6.0-7.0.
  • Temperature level: 72-80 ° F.

Julii Cory

Julii Corys, one of the more uncommon Corydora species on our list, are prized for their distinctive candy-striped patterns.

False Julii Corys (Corydoras trilineatus) are a great, more common option for individuals who really prefer the candy-striped pattern because real Julii Corys are typically difficult to find.

Corydoras julii and Corydoras trilineatus are very low maintenance and thrive in a variety of water issues, just like many other Cory types.

  • Taxonomic Name: Corydoras julii.
  • Dimension: 2.5 ″.
  • pH: 6.5-8.0.
  • Temperature level: 72-80 ° F.
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Sterbai Cory

Sterbai Corys are regarded as one of the most aesthetically pleasing varieties of Corydoras and are popular among freshwater fish owners.

They are known for being tolerant of numerous water issues and having energizing, humorous personalities. Sterbai expands to about 2.5 inches, like many Corys.

  • Taxonomic Name: Corydoras sterbai.
  • Dimension: 2.5 ″.
  • pH: 6.0-7.5.
  • Temperature level: 73-82 ° F.

Pygmy Cory

One of the most amazing varieties of cory catfish on our list are unquestionably pygmy corys. This kind, which has a peak size of about one inch, can live in a smaller fish tank than many other Cory species.

Pygmy Corys, in contrast to other Cory species, like to swim near the middle of the tank rather than spend their entire time there.

  • Taxonomic Name: Corydoras pygmaeus.
  • Dimension: 1 ″.
  • pH: 6.4-7.4.
  • Temperature level: 72-80 ° F.

Cory Catfish Tank Mates

Containers for a single species of Corydoras can be astonishing. The bulk of fish tank owners prefer some variety. Fortunately, Cory catfish get along with (pretty much) anything that won’t try to eat them.

Right here are a couple of wonderful Corydoras container companions for those aiming to create an area container.

Suitable Tankmates for Cory Catfish

  • Mollies.
  • Fancy Guppies.
  • Platies.
  • Swordtails.
  • Neon Tetras.
  • Angelfish.
  • Danios.
  • Gouramis.

Tankmates to Avoid

Below are a couple of types you most definitely must not maintain with Cory catfish.

Cichlids: Cichlids as a whole often tend to be as well hostile to Cories. Wide varieties such as Oscars will certainly outright consume them.

Barbs: While Barbs aren’t extremely hostile, they are incredibly nippy. Barbs commonly capitalize on Corydoras’ serene nature, creating anxiety and hefty competitors for food.

Setting up a Cory Catfish Tank

If you want to set up a storage tank for the Corydoras species solely, this is the place for you. We will definitely take care of everything you need to correctly establish a wonderful, natural Cory container.


Container: Cory catfish are great in 10-gallon containers, as many sources will surely tell you, but I honestly disagree. I highly advise using a 20 or 30-gallon setup if you want to keep a shoal of corys that is healthy and balanced.

Purification:Cylinder filters are a great way to step up your filtration if you want to go above and beyond; otherwise, there are no issues. The grip on the back filter must be simply exceptional. The AquaClear Power Filter is what I advise.

Heating unit: A heating system is crucial to keeping your container stable. I’ve had great results with the Cobalt Aquatics Neotherm for a long time.

Lights: You will probably need an LED light if you plan to maintain live plants, which Cory loves to do. The CREW Classic is a great low-cost substitute.


The substratum is among the most important components of any Cory catfish container. Corys don’t fare well with crushed rock, unlike many freshwater fish. Their tummy as well as their fins could get hurt by the rough surfaces. Sand is without a doubt the best option when it comes to caring for Cory Cats. CaribSea Super Naturals Sand is what I advise (in the Sunset Gold shade).

Because it isn’t perfectly white and is soft enough to prevent damage to your Cory’s barbers, the container appears less filthy (white sand makes particles and algae far more noticeable). Although sand is without a doubt your best option, it poses a problem for live plants. Since sand has a low CEC and so does not absorb fertilizers well, origin tablets are necessary to provide your plants the right nutrients.

Put them at the base of your plants, below the substrate. After a few months, your sand should have grown sufficiently to eliminate the need for the origin tabs.

Adding Live Plants

Cory Cats are not particular regarding plants; actually, almost any type of varieties need to function. Here are a few lovely novice fish tank plants that do not call for a lot of light or immaculate water problems.

  • Anubias Nana.
  • Java Fern.
  • Crypts.
  • Pennywort.
  • Hornwort.
  • Java Moss.

Origin tabs will likely be necessary for the first few months if you’re using any kind of sand, as we said above (specifically for rooted plants). As the storage tank expands, enough nutrients are absorbed directly into the substrate to eliminate the need for the origin tabs.

Cory Cats enjoy hiding among driftwood and slate racks in addition to vegetation. This is the time for your creative thinking to shine, so don’t be afraid to use ingenuity in your aquascaping and format!


I sincerely advise choosing an LED component for a variety of reasons. They produce far better plants, live much longer, and delay heat considerably less. The NICREW Classic is a great choice for individuals on a budget, as previously advised.

The presence of light is necessary for plants. Cory Catfish enjoy environments with low light levels. Despite this, corys are adaptable and can easily adjust to whatever kind of light you throw at them. Occasionally, make an effort to make sure that similar structures or a few caverns exist so that your Corys can escape the light.


Making sure your container is completely cycled before presenting any fish should go without saying. If you need any help with this process, check out our comprehensive review of the fishless cycle.

One of the most alluring features of Cory Cat aquariums (and of growing containers in general) is that it’s always best to add plants before cycling your fish tank. There is a ton of evidence to support the claim that plants can help accelerate the nitrogen cycle.

Use the next several weeks to find the right plants, learn about aquascaping, and get your container precisely set up the way you want it.

According to my personal experience, giving your container enough time to cycle results in a more healthier storage tank in addition to one that is better organized and visually pleasing.

Breeding Cory Catfish

Eventually, most Corydoras proprietors wish to reproduce their fish– fortunately, producing Cory Catfish is quite simple.

In this area, we undergo whatever you learn about establishing a reproduction container, urging generating, as well as elevating Cory fry.

Cory Breeding Setup

The right setup is crucial to Corys’ ability to reproduce, but fish won’t reproduce unless they feel secure and comfortable. Here are a few ways you can get close to putting together a replica container.

Approach # 1 Dedicated Breeding Aquarium: The majority of reproduction guides will surely inform you that you need to set up a dedicated breeding aquarium separate from the “main” Cory store tank. This method comprises removing the Cory reproducing group from the well-known fish tank, acclimating them to the new aquarium, and encouraging them to breed.

Technique # 2 Dedicated Fry Aquarium: In this method, Cory owners encourage spawning in the “main” fish tank rather than relocating their fish to a reproducing setup. The eggs are moved to a fry container, where they are elevated as soon as generation takes place and hatched out. For your adult Corys, I should say that this setting is more simple and less demanding. The cost of fry survival is typically a little lower than with technique #1.

Which approach is much better? Naturally, it depends.

For those that keep their Corys in neighborhood fish tanks, the customized reproduction container path is fantastic. Container companions (and the Corys themselves) will likely turn the eggs into a quick feast even if they will still produce with other types present.

Additionally, not having to move the eggs or fry while using a specialized reproductive fish tank helps to increase fry survival rates.

However, your Cories may have a very difficult time moving your reproductive swarm back and forth from the main fish tank to the reproduction container.

I really recommend procedure #2 since I find it to be more simpler and safer for my fish. To get the fry container just right, it can take me a few tries. There won’t be a shortage of eggs once your Cories start to reproduce.

Setting up a Fry Tank

The fry container should ideally be set early. You want to give the fish tank enough time to maintain before adding any delicate fry during this process. In the fry storage tank, adding plants, decorations, and substrate might be interesting. However, that is exactly the opposite of what you should do.

My preference is for the frying pot to be as basic and unadorned as possible. It is simple to clean a fish tank when it is empty, making it much simpler to maintain constant water quality (vital to preserving fry to live).

A 10-gallon fish tank must be an excellent place to start. You can completely eliminate the biking process in the new fry storage tank by relocating beneficial useful microorganisms. Use water and filter media from the large container to scrub the filter media on the container walls and anything else in the fish tank.

There are very few more components needed for the fry container besides the basic fish tank, sponge filter, and heating system. Try to keep it as simple as you can, as we discussed previously. Aim to keep nitrates under 10 ppm and make sure there are no residues of ammonia or nitrite.

Determining the Gender of Corydoras

You’ll need a mixture of men and women if you want your Cories to reproduce (duh). The ideal ratio for the fish tank is two guys for every single woman. There isn’t a clear-cut method to determine Cory Catfish’s sex with absolute certainty. Having said that, there are a few things you may look for.

Women are bulkier around the waist and frequently rest more unbelievably off all-time low than men, who frequently prefer to be slender and “formed.” Don’t worry if you can’t get a good idea of sexes at the fish store; cory catfish typically can’t be accurately sexed-up until they grow.

Selecting a random group of 6–8 Cories works almost always, as opposed to getting tired of distinguishing sexes there and then.

Right here are the possibilities of accessing the very least one male/female set based upon the variety of fish you purchase.

  • 6 Cories: 98.43% of at the very least one set.
  • 7 Cories: 99.21% of a minimum of one set.
  • 8 Cories: 99.60% of a minimum of one set.

Conditioning Your Catfish

Cories who are well-fed are happier Cories, therefore the spawning process requires a diet high in good protein and nutrition. Feed your fish a mixture of live and frozen items, such as bloodworms and saltwater shrimp, along with premium pellets or flakes.

I like to feed frequently in modest amounts throughout the day (perhaps 4-5 times). Regular feedings help send signals that there is enough food, which promotes reproduction.

Having said that, be careful not to overdo it—keeping your water standards in line should always be your top priority.

You will definitely notice your ladies Cories becoming bloated with eggs after a week or two of conditioning. This is an excellent indicator that pinpoints the best moment to go on to the next step.

Inducing Your Cory Catfish to Spawn

It’s time to generate now that your Cories are chubby and well-fed, full of eggs! Without any luring factors, some Cories will surely emerge. Several others won’t.

The method listed below should work reliably for individuals who belong to the last category.

Use water that is significantly different from your container water (25%–50%) and is 2–3 °F colder. When Cories breed in the wild, the drop in temperature resembles midsummer rains.

If your Cories do not produce after a few hours, empty out a little bit more water and restart the process. Never allow the water to get below the recommended temperature of 65 °F.

Your Cories will most likely produce on the same day. Do not worry if it does not occur as quickly as possible; in certain instances, it may take a few days.

Typically, women place their prompts on the container wall, but occasionally they substitute plants, drawings, or filters (I have also seen them lay prompt a Mystery Snail).

Caring for Cory Catfish Eggs

The container wall was covered in eggs that were smudged all over it. What are you doing right now? Taking the eggs out of the main container is the first step. The Cories’ breeding swarm is starving after producing, and they frequently eat their own eggs.

Gently scrape the eggs off of the container wall with your finger, a credit card, or a razor before placing them in a small container or web. Be tactful in this activity. After that, transfer the eggs covertly to the fry storage tank. Instead of just throwing them in the bottom of the container, set them in a dog breeder web with an air rock to allow water to circulate.

If you want something far more basic than a dog breeder website, egg stemless glass is a fantastic affordable option. They were created specifically to breed fish eggs, and they are fantastic at keeping fungus away. The Cobalt Aquatics Egg Rocker is highly recommended.

Fry Care

Typically, cory eggs hatch out in 3–6 days. For the first several days, you don’t need to feed your fry because they absorb nutrients from the egg sack attached to their bodies.

Start feeding the fry New Life Spectrum Fry Food as soon as the egg sacks have been absorbed and they are swimming freely. This strikes me as one of the easiest and most effective ways to use food (a lot easier than elevating your infant saltwater shrimp). Use a syringe or baster to liquefy a tiny pinch in a tiny bit of water, then spray it as closely to the fry as you can.

Your fry must start expanding quickly the moment they start eating. It may be tempting to feed them often throughout the day, but remember that the storage tank fish need good water conditions to survive.

When the fry has reached a sufficient size, switch to dried shrimp or crushed flakes. Try to introduce some variety into their food as soon as possible to prevent them from becoming particularly in the future (which should not be strict with Cory Cats).

You should be able to transfer your fry to the large container at 3/4″ to 1″ and trade them for other sorts or sell them to your local fish market.

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