Does your aquarium feel like it’s missing something? Adding a new fish can be a bit like getting a new college roommate – you might worry that the newcomer will be messy, irritable, or fail to mesh well with the existing Inhabitants. However, like a great college roommate, the cory catfish is easygoing, adaptable and will leave its environment cleaner than before.
Also known as corydoras, cory catfish are petite: between one and four inches in length. Because they are small and graze at the bottom of the tank, they don’t get in the way of quicker, larger fish in other regions. They are not aggressive and pose no threat to smaller fish. Cory catfish suck up food with their mouths and will not bite other fish intentionally or by accident. They are social in nature and are happiest when kept with at least three members of the same species.
Cory catfish are native to the small streams, ponds and shallows of South America. They are adaptable to a wide variety of water conditions but prefer water that is softer and slightly acidic. They are at home in both small and large tanks. They can tolerate temperatures of 68 to 82 °F. While they are highly adaptable, they should be given time to adjust to a new environment. When switching tanks, turn off the aquarium light and allow the fish to float on the surface in a plastic transport bag for half an hour. Then add some of the aquarium water to the bag and let it sit for another half an hour. At this point your corys can be set free to explore their new tank.
As a small bottom feeder, the cory catfish is an extremely efficient cleaner. It will scavenge the leftovers that have sunk to the bottom, cleaning up after messier fish that feed at the surface and midlevel of the tank. Catfish can forage food from small crevices and tight plant stalks that might be inaccessible to other fish. Be sure to include gravel or sand in the substrate. This makes it easier for the catfish to dig for stray bits of food at the bottom. All this scavenging means your tank will be cleaner and your water quality better, making it a healthier environment for your entire fish population. Be sure to supplement this diet of leftovers with sinking pellets or flakes to ensure your fish is getting enough to eat.
As a final benefit, the cory catfish is also easy to breed. While this trait can be a drawback in a college roommate, it is something many aquarium owners look for. To determine the sex of your fish, simply look at its body. Male catfish are slimmer and more streamlined, while females are thicker around the abdomen. Cooler temperatures can induce spawning, as can a drop in barometric pressure.
The cory catfish makes a great addition to any aquarium. It is easy to care for and gets along well with a wide variety of fish. It will improve the ecosystem of your tank by keeping it clean. Visit our store to find everything you need to keep your cory and its tankmates healthy and happy.