10 Best Cory Catfish You Have to Try
Corydoras catfish is one of our favourite bottom dwellers due to their calm personality, helpful cleaning abilities, and adorable appearance. There are many species of cory catfish. They come in all sizes and prices. These are our top 10 corys that we cannot live without.
1. Sterbai cory (Corydoras sterbai)
In terms of popularity, this is the cory that everyone gravitates towards because of their famous polka-dotted, striped pattern and orange fins. They are great tank mates for most community aquariums and are often kept with discus because of their tolerance for higher temperatures. Like most corys, they can survive in many water conditions and can tolerate pH levels from 6.6 to 8.2.
Healthy corydoras can only be achieved by providing enough food. Fast-moving fish will eat anything that is near the surface, but corys will only eat what is at the bottom. Therefore, feed your corydoras sinking wafers as well as frozen bloodworms and live blackworms. Their bellies may become round and fat and they might start to lay eggs and reproduce.
2. Pygmy cory (Corydoras pygmaeus)
If you have a nano tank that needs some smaller bottom dwellers, you can’t go wrong with these tiny cory catfish. This silvery-gray (2.5 cm) catfish features a horizontal black line running down the sides. They can sometimes be confused with Corydoras habitrosus, a small cory with a black horizontal line running down its side.
A group of corydoras with six or more members of the same species is best to keep them happy and secure. Different species don’t tend to comingle because they prefer to be in a large school of their own kind. The more you have, the more you’ll see their active and natural behavior. Pygmy corydoras get along just fine with other peaceful nano fish, but if you put them in a species-only tank (with no shrimp, snails, or other types of fish), they may breed as a colony, especially if the aquarium has tons of live plants and cover.
3. Barbatus cory, or bearded Cory (Scleromystax baratus).
Want to keep a cold water tank that doesn’t use an aquarium heater? The bearded cory can live at room temperatures down to 67degF (19degC). It can grow to 3-3/4 inches (9-9 cm) in length and has a black-spotted pattern with a golden stripe running down its snout. You can encourage breeding by lowering the pH and adding lots of leaf litter to the water. These special catfish sell for $30 each. Therefore, we recommend barbatus Corys for advanced keepers.
4. Orange laser corydoras (Corydoras sp. CW010)
While most corydoras are neutral in color, such as brown, white, or black, this cory is distinguished by its bright orange stripe down its back. The orange laser cory, aside from its striking appearance and easy care requirements, is a simple fish to maintain like all corys. They do cost more than the average corydoras at $15 to $20, so they might be a fun fish to breed for profit. You can breed them as a colony in a heavily planted tank with dense foliage like java moss, or you can remove the eggs to raise the fry in a separate tank.
5. Panda corydoras (Corydoras panda)
This extremely popular species has two very attractive qualities – it stays small at 2 inches (5 cm) long and its pattern looks like a black and white panda. Unlike many cories that must be kept in larger tanks, the panda cory can work well in 10- to 20-gallon aquariums (although more space is always better). You can get at least six for the price of $7, and they are only $42. This cute little catfish is easy to care for as long as it gets plenty of worms, meaty food, and other healthy foods.
6. Albino corydoras (Corydoras aeneus)
The albino version is one of most common corys to be found in every pet shop. Because they are so easy to breed, and can produce hundreds per batch, they cost only $2.50 to $5 each. The budget-friendly price tag makes it one of the first corydoras that beginners take home, but people often only buy one or two albino corydoras. As a schooling fish, your albino cory will thank you if you get at least five to six same-species companions. Expect the adults to reach up to 2.5-2.75 inches (6-7 cm) in size with bubbly personalities that are enjoyable to watch. Finally, if you don’t like the albino, whitish-pink coloration, you can also get the normal bronze variant of this species instead.
7. Julii corydoras (Corydoras trilineatus)
Don’t let the common pet store name of this catfish fool you; it’s actually more accurately known as the false julii corydoras, three line cory, or leopard cory. The true Corydoras julii is a lot rarer in the aquarium hobby, but we still love this beautiful lookalike. Corydoras trilineatus is one of our best sellers because of the black squiggly lines all over its body and the horizontal stripe running down its side. Keep them in groups of six or more. Also, this species can go a bit cooler down to 70degF (21degC), so it can hang out with coldwater fish like hillstream loaches and dojo loaches.
8. Similis cory or violet cory (Corydoras similis)
The name violet cory is derived from the smudged area at the base of its tail, which ranges in color from dark gray to dusty purple. Its head and body are light-colored, and are covered in tiny dots. It stays on the smaller size around 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) and has a rounder face compared its long-nosed cousin Corydoras ourastigma. Although the species is mostly captive bred nowadays, it is not often seen in pet stores because of the $15 price tag per fish. You can think of it as a deluxe panda cory. It’s roughly the same size, similar behavior, but rarer and more expensive.
9. Brochis multiradiatus (Hognose brochis)
If you are looking for a corydora-sized fish, the hognose Brochis might be the one for you. The hognose brochis grows to just shy of 3.5-4inches (9-10 cm) in length and boasts a hog-like snout with 17 rays in the dorsal end. It is a great tank mate for angelfish, blood parrot and angelfish cichlids, as well as other large, docile fish with big mouths that can eat smaller corys. The biggest downsides are that they retail for $25 to $30 each and they do not seem to readily breed in captivity. However, this shiny, dark green bottom dweller is quite the beauty and would make a great, peaceful addition for bigger aquariums.
10. Peppered cory (Corydoras paleatus)
The peppered corydoras is a high-contrast pattern of dark and lighter splotches that we couldn’t leave this list without mentioning it. It can be kept at 68 degrees F (20 degrees C) and can grow up to 3 inches (7cm) in length, just like the barbatus cory. Peppered cory is an affordable entry-level species that can be cared for at $5.
Cory catfish, which come in many colors and are friendly with most peaceful fish, are loved by all. Visit our Live Fish page for a list of our top online fish sellers.