How to Care for Cory Catfish

Corydoras are a type of catfish.
Corydoras are a type of catfish. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Corydoras, also called cories, are a type of freshwater catfish that are popular bottom feeders in home aquariums. These fish are peaceful community fish that get along well with a variety of other species. They are also relatively easy to care for. With the right environment and care, corydoras catfish can live more than five years. In the home aquarium, these fish are active and entertaining to watch while also serving the functional purpose of consuming uneaten fish food.

Things You'll Need

  • Aquarium, 15 gallons or more
  • Dechlorinating solution
  • Submersible aquarium heater
  • Power filter
  • Rocks, driftwood and live plants
  • Sinking fish food pellets
  • Algae wafers
  • Aquarium vacuum

Select an aquarium for your corydoras. Cories are bottom feeders so they do not require an aquarium that is very tall, but they do need room to roam. An aquarium 15 gallons or larger is recommended.

Fill your aquarium with dechlorinated water and keep the temperature between 72 and 78 degrees F with the help of a submersible aquarium heater.

Maintain adequate water circulation and filtration through the use of a power filter. Undergravel filters are generally acceptable for small aquariums, but they may reduce the amount of food available to your cories at the bottom of the tank.

Decorate the tank with a variety of rocks, live plants and pieces of driftwood. Corydoras catfish are found in shallow streams and enjoy an aquarium environment similar to their native habitat, which is full of plants.

Provide your corydoras with others of their species. Cories do best in groups of six or more of their own species. Different types of corydoras can often be kept together.

Supplement the diet of your corydoras with sinking fish food pellets or with algae wafers. When offering pellets and wafers, be sure to only give your fish as much as they can eat in one hour. If pellets or wafers remain in the tank for too long without being eaten, they will dissolve and add to the waste accumulating in the bottom of the tank.

Maintain high water quality in your tank by performing routine water changes. Once a week, siphon out 10 percent of the water in the tank with an aquarium vacuum and replace it with fresh, dechlorinated water. Once a month, change 25 percent of the water.

Tips & Warnings

  • In order to ensure the health and well-being of corydoras, it is important to simulate their natural environment as much as possible. Select a soft substrate like sand and try to maintain a pH between 6 and 8.

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