Corydoras Catfish – Habitat, Care, Feeding, Tank Size, Breeding

The Corydoras catfish is a member of the family Callichthyidae and are from the genus Corydoras. They are also known as Albino Corydoras, Armored Catfish, Plated Catfish, Bronze Catfish, Mailed Catfish, and Cory Catfish.

They come in various species, and they all share similar traits, such as shape, body size, and behavioral habits.  What distinguishes them is their color palette, some of which are quite striking.


Cory catfish are armored, with a short face, a flat underside, and a pair of rows of bony plates on the sides of their body. These Armored catfish have pectoral fins that stick out and rest on the surface, often propping themselves up with them.

The Corydoras catfish also has two barbells, one on each side of its mouth. The female is slightly bigger, a bigger belly, and broader than the male. There are a few other species of the Corydoras genus that are interesting.

With the Leopard Corydoras, the head and the top half of the body plus the caudal fin are all scattered with black spots. However, the dorsal fin might have a large spot at the top. These tend to merge, forming horizontal lines along the flanks. The color of the overall body is a white-gray mixture.

The Corydoras Arcuatus, on the other hand, grows to about five cms, while the Corydoras Nattereri, grows to six cms, and the Corydoras Aenus grows up to nine cms. The main colors of these three species are white-mauve, silver-brown-blue, and bronze-green, respectively.

Albino Corydoras is another species that grows to about 2- inches in length; they are white to pink in color with pink eyes that appear to be looking directly at you. The Black Spotted Corydoras is a very nice species, with a silverfish body and black spots.


Corydoras are found on the rivers and streams of South America between Columbia and Argentina, with a wide majority originating from the Amazon basin. They do well in a freshwater aquarium with an exterior power filter, a 1/4-inch of gravel, and a pH of 7.0 and temperatures between 70-79 degrees Fahrenheit.

The bigger Cory will do well in a 20-gallon tank. The Corydoras are also a fish that can thrive in the smaller aquarium. It is acceptable to house a group of 6 to 8 in a 10- gallon tank. They are hardy enough to withstand most water conditions, with the exception of salted water.


Corydoras are omnivores and are not fussy eaters; therefore, they will eat almost anything that sinks on the aquarium floor.  Their diet comprises of live bloodworm, flake foods, brine shrimp, sinking tablets, daphnia, and many more. They are also known to eat the small eggs of other species in the aquarium, so if you hope to breed any of their tankmates, you should be wary of this.

However, they get little to no nutrition from veg or algae as their digestive systems are not set up to process it efficiently. Corys are fed once a day; they are only given as much food as they can eat in less than five minutes. Unlike most bottom inhabitants, Corydoras normally rises to the surface to consume foods such as freeze-dried worms while taking gulps of air.

Water & Tank Requirements

The water tank you are going to place your Corydoras is essential. If you provide them with normal conditions of water, they will be happy. This means that the temperature of the water should be about 80° F, and the ph level of the water is 7.0. The only precaution you should take is not adding salt to the water since they may not adapt and survive in such water conditions.

They are playful and love to chase each other, so it would be helpful if you provide rocks and sand at the bottom of the aquarium and also ensure you provide enough hiding places.  You can also add some plants with big leaves.

But care should be taken to avoid rocks with sharp edges. This is because Corydoras catfish like hiding and hanging around at the bottom, therefore such sharp rocks may damage their body.

The tank may not necessarily be big, but it should be wide enough to provide a good space so that the Corydoras catfish can swim at the bottom.  As these fish do not usually use the upper portion of the tank, you can arrange for a tank of about 10 gallons of capacity.

Also, provide a small filter for cleaning the water.  Do not go for a large filter because there is a risk of small fry being sucked into it.


Corydoras are friendly and peace-loving with other species of fish. They are compatible with other Corydoras species, such as Tetras, Livebearers, and Angelfish.

Try and keep a group of six Corydoras catfish of the same species together in the same aquarium, for instance, Armored catfish, since they enjoy being together. Armored Corydoras Catfish can be teamed up with Livebearers such as Platies, Mollies, Fancy Guppies, and Swordtails.

If your aquarium is larger, then you can keep two different types of Corydoras Catfish. Angelfish will do well with Corydoras catfish. Bigger Tetras, such as Serpae Tetras and Black Skirt Tetras, or Small Tetras such as Neon Tetras, also do well with Corydoras Catfish.


Breeding is no problem with Corydoras; however, they have some of the weirdest mating practices found among freshwater fish. When mating, they spawn in groups of three that are one female and two males, usually assuming a T position.

Normally, the female will place her mouth against the male’s genital; she will open and consume some sperm. These sperm will pass through her body very fast, and out onto the eggs she has just released. She will use her ventral fin to transfer the eggs to a flat surface and attach them there until they hatch.

To help Corydoras catfish breed, you should provide them with plenty of food. They usually like bloodworms, so you should treat them with such food.

If you wish to raise the fry, carefully remove a plant that she placed the eggs onto and put it into a separate tank. But you will have to act soon, as the adult fish will waste no time devouring the eggs. In the end, the mother will have scattered up to 200 eggs. After about one week, the fry will hatch.


Catfish are a great fish to have in your aquarium; however, not many people go for them when it comes to petting animals. They can be really cute pets and are not so difficult to maintain either.

You only need to pay attention to their demands, and then you can have the perfect pet. Corydoras catfish can adapt to any setup. They are not colorful, but they perform a great job of maintaining the cleanliness of the aquarium. And for this reason, they have become popular among many fish keepers.

Updated: March 5, 2020

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