Care Guide for Cory Catfish – The Perfect Community Bottom Dweller
Are you looking for a calm beginner fish with lots of personality? You have come to the right place! 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. This care guide answers some of the most commonly asked questions about this bottom-dweller.
What are Corydoras, you ask?
The South American catfish genus includes over 160 species. Several hundred more are in the process of being 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 are also tolerant to pH levels from 6.5 to 7.8.
In the wild, corydoras have been observed in large groups numbering from 20 to hundreds of the same species. They are most active in the daytime, with peak activity occurring 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 does Cory Catfish need?
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 (all 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. 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.
Are Cory Catfish Require Sand Substrates?
Corydoras have whiskers and wispy barbels that help them find food. So smooth sand is preferable. Cory McElroy (our CEO) visited their Amazon habitat and discovered that the substrate was quite sharp. 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 are fond of all kinds of worms. So, they love frozen blackworms, live blackworms, and Hikari Vibra Bits (tiny food sticks that look just like bloodworms). Repashy gel foods, sinking Wafers and other sinking foods are all 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 get overwhelmed when they are surrounded by other aggressive fish, which can lead to them wasting away.
Corydoras are not algae eaters and therefore must be regularly fed in order to live a long, healthy life.
Can You Breed Cory Catfish in Aquariums?
Yes, it is possible! Many fish keepers find that corydoras can breed spontaneously without any effort. Males have a smaller and thinner profile, whereas females are rounder and larger to 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. All fish (including the parents themselves) will happily eat the eggs, given the chance. 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. Keep the baby catfish well-fed with live baby brine shrimps and powdered fry food. This will allow you to enjoy a new generation of corydoras.
We wish you the best for your new cory fish!