Care Guide for Cory Catfish – The Perfect Community Bottom Dweller
Are you looking to find a tranquil beginner fish with lots personality? Look no further! Corydoras corycatfish or Corydoras catfish is a favorite community fish. Their happy-golucky nature, ease of breeding, and willingness to help as a cleaning crew make them a favourite. We answer the most common questions about this cute bottom dweller in this care guide.
What are Corydoras?
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. These catfish are also protected from predators with sharp spines in their fins. If stressed, they can produce mild venom.
The temperature range for cory catfish varies depending on its species. For example, peppered Corycatfish (Corydoras paleatus), and julii Corycatfish (Corydoras.julii), can live at lower temperatures, while sterbai Corycatfish (Corydoras.sterbai) may be able to survive in warmer environments. They prefer pH levels between 6.5 and 7.8.
Corydoras are often seen in large groups, ranging from 20 to hundreds of the exact species. They are most active during daylight hours, peak activity taking place at dawn and dusk. The most popular varieties in the pet trade include the bronze cory and albino cory (Corydoras aeneus), panda cory (Corydoras panda), emerald green cory (Corydoras splendens), and pygmy cory (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 is best for Cory Catfish?
For dwarf species, a 10-gallon aquarium may be suitable, but we recommend 20 gallons or more for most other varieties. They are a small fish and crave safety. Therefore, a group of six corydoras (or more) of the same species is recommended. These peaceful bottom dwellers can be kept with pretty much any community fish that won’t eat or attack them. (For instance, don’t keep corydoras with goldfish, which get rather large and will inhale anything that fits 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 like to shoal together (or swim loosely in a group), so get at least six of the same species so they feel safe and comfortable.
Cory Catfish need sand substrate
Corydoras have wispy barbels or whiskers to help them find food, so smooth sand or gravel is preferred. Cory McElroy (our CEO) visited the Amazon to observe the substrate. It’s a great way to feed larger foods, such as Repashy gel and worms, that can sit on top and not get stuck between cracks.
Corydoras in the wild can be found on sharp substrate. This means that if their barbels begin eroding, it may be due to other factors such as poor water quality.
What should I feed my Cory Catfish Fish?
Corydoras don’t have a particular diet and will eat any food that is small or soft enough for them to eat. They enjoy all types of worms. You should try frozen bloodworms or live blackworms. Hikari Vibra Bites are tiny food sticks that look similar to bloodworms. Repashy gel foods and sinking wafers are also favorites.
They are not primarily algae eaters, so you will need to specifically feed them to make sure they get enough nutrition. Cory catfish can become overwhelmed by more aggressive predators and waste away easily during feeding times.
Corydoras cannot eat algae, so they need to be fed frequently to live a long and healthy existence.
Can You Breed Cory Catfish in Aquariums?
Yes! Many fish keepers find that their corydoras breed randomly all the time without any special effort. Males have a shorter profile and are smaller in size, while females are larger and more robust to hold all their eggs. Preparing them for breeding (or conditioning them) is possible by providing them with lots of nutritious foods such as live blackworms or frozen bloodworms. Inducing spawning can be done by using cooler water than normal (by a few degree) during water changes that mimic the rainy season. Soon, sticky round eggs will appear all over the 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 given the chance, all fish, including the parents, will happily eat the eggs. 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. Feed the baby catfish plenty of live baby brine shrimp and powdered fry food, keep on top of the water changes, and enjoy a whole new generation of corydoras.
All the best with your cory catfish purchase!