ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Keeping Corydoras catfish

Updated on September 7, 2014
Corydoras paleatus, the peppered cory. Copyright Christian Ude, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Corydoras paleatus, the peppered cory. Copyright Christian Ude, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. | Source

With 150 formally described species, and perhaps more than a hundred undescribed species, the genus Corydoras offers great possibilities for fish keepers. All species are easy to care for, relatively undemanding fish with great personality. Many of them are readily bred. For the average fish keeper they are relegated to the "cleanup crew" and kept singly or in very small groups. Even under those conditions, they can be interesting fish. Kept in larger groups, they really shine and can become the focal point of a lively aquarium.

Corydoras are social fish - they should not be kept in groups of less than three. They appear to be happiest in groups of six or more. With the right selection of fish and appropriate aquascaping you can enjoy almost constant activity as they swim around a community tank.

Common species

Corydoras catfish have been kept by aquarists for over 100 years. The most popular and readily available species are Corydoras aeneus, the Bronze cory, and Corydoras paleatus, the Peppered cory. Both species are extensively bred in captivity. Long-fin and albino versions of both of these species exist. They are both are available in most pet stores, including national chains like Petsmart and Petco (in the US). Peppered corys, which are native to southern Brazil and northern Argentina, prefer cooler water; this is especially true for wild-caught fish.

Other popular species include the Panda cory (Corydoras panda), Corydoras trilineatus (often mislabeled as Julii corys) and Corydoras sterbai.

Corydoras panda (centre) with Corydoras trilineatus (left). Copyright I. Ramjohn
Corydoras panda (centre) with Corydoras trilineatus (left). Copyright I. Ramjohn
Corydoras trilineatus (left) and Cw008 (right). Copyright I. Ramjohn
Corydoras trilineatus (left) and Cw008 (right). Copyright I. Ramjohn
Corydoras trilineatus (left) and Corydoras sterbai (right). Copyright I. Ramjohn
Corydoras trilineatus (left) and Corydoras sterbai (right). Copyright I. Ramjohn

Dwarf corys

There are six species commonly known as dwarf corys. These fish get up to about an inch and a half in size. Three species are more commonly encountered - Corydoras habrosus, Corydoras hastatus and Corydoras pygmaeus. The others are harder to find - Corydoras cochui, Corydoras gracilis, Corydoras xinguensis.

Dwarf corys are some of the more entertaining species. Given their small size, it's possible to keep them in fairly large groups, so you can observe their shoaling behaviour. All except Corydoras gracilis are considered relatively easy to breed.

Feeding corys

Corys live feed primarily on the bottom of the tank. They find food by sensing it with their barbels. Many people get catfish specifically for that reason - to clean up uneaten food. If you rely on that, your corys might not get enough to eat. It's a good idea to feed them sinking food that they will have a chance to get at before all the other fish do.

Many people suggest feeding them just before you turn off the lights at night. Once the tank is dark the corys have an advantage when it comes to getting food, because they find food using touch, not sight.

Corys do well on a mixture of live, frozen and dried foods. A high quality diet, right in live of frozen food, is important to get them into breeding condition.

Water conditions

Most corys prefer softer water with a pH around neutral, but this varies from species to species. If you have a specific species in mind, look it up in Planet Catfish's Cat-eLog. Corys tend to be fairly tolerant of water conditions, but you are unlikely to get them to breed unless you meet their specific water quality parameters.

Breeding corys

Many Corydoras species are considered easy to breed. While the specific conditions vary, most will respond to a series of water changes a few degrees below the temperature of the water in the tank. Before trying to breed corys, it's important to get them into breeding condition. This usually requires a high quality diet rich in live or frozen foods.

Many people have reported that a water change coupled with a drop in barometric pressure will trigger corys to spawn. Other people have found that difficult fish will spawn when water is added from a tank with other breeding corys.

Resources

The best resource for beginners is Plant Catfish. Their Cat-eLog has an extensive collection of images. Their forum has a section called "What's my catfish?", which provides identification for unknown species. And Shane's World is a great collection of articles.

For the dedicated Corydoras keeper, there's Corydoras World. Run by Ian Fuller, one of the top Corydoras keepers and breeders, the site has a wealth of information. Most of the information on the site is subscription-only. At £15.00 (about $30 US) subscriptions aren't terribly expensive, but enough to deter the merely curious.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Tom 

      5 years ago

      If you have Corys with other types of fish... a very good food to mix in with your other fish foods --- especially if your other fish are Black Tetra size or larger --- that your other fish will mostly ignore (but that the Corys will eat)... is decapsulated brine shrimp eggs. You can get them from brineshrimpdirect.com Add a couple of tablespoons to 7 oz. of regular or freeze-dried fish food. The brine shrimp are so tiny that most fish (except guppies and such) ignore them; but the corydoras catfish love them! They eventually sink and are greedily consumed! A little goes a long way!

    • profile image

      Jpac90 

      6 years ago

      I have my temperature set at 28c for my discus would corys survive this temperature?

    • profile image

      DrHoo 

      6 years ago

      If only humans were as agreeable as Corys, They get on fine with themselves and other species, keep the place clean, have genuine sense of humour, don't overpopulate and are beautiful to watch. Your hub is really helpful I Ramjohn, keep on fishkeepin on.

    • I Ramjohn profile imageAUTHOR

      I Ramjohn 

      6 years ago

      My guess would be to give them sinking pellets - they should make it to the bottom before the other fish get them. I wouldn't worry about the shrimp - corys should be tough enough to compete with them for food, especially if they are hungry.

    • profile image

      Jimbo 

      6 years ago

      I have a heavily stocked 75 gallon tank and everything is really good.I do 30% water changes once a week and don't overfeed.But,I don't thing my corys are getting enough to eat When I try to feed them the other fish get it before they do. I have fed them after lights out but I thing the amano shrimp might be getting it before them.I see how those amano shrimp are when the lights are on,and they try to steal the food from the fish as best they can,and their pretty good at it. I know my corys aren't getting enough. What should I do?

    • profile image

      Opalrose 

      6 years ago

      Listen, ray71384, U need 2get a life and stop being so negetive.

      NO ONE NEEDS TO HEAR YOUR POTTY MOUTH AND PUT-DOWNS.

      This is not the type of site for yur negetivity, SO SHUT YUR MOUTH !

      If u don't like or care for this VERY HELPFUL INFO, then stay off the air.

      U NEED 2GET A LIFE, VATO !!

    • profile image

      ray71384 

      6 years ago

      does it really matter how many species there are...who gives a fluck...y'all are all losers smh

    • profile image

      swamp fox 

      7 years ago

      Do they eat other fish in the tank. We left town and came back. three tetras were gone? No sign of them. Two corys in the tank and one tetra left.

    • profile image

      vidar 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for the advice. bosh for the heat is over rated.

    • profile image

      vidar 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for the advice bosh for the heat is over rated.

    • profile image

      Pixigutz 

      7 years ago

      Corys (particularly the peppered variety) are usually a great mix with bettas. Ensure you have hiding spaces from the light for your Cory, and I would recommend some aeration; predominately use their labyrinth to breath oxygen from the surface, while corys only to this if the oxygen levels in the water are low. If you live in a temperate or tropical climate there should be no need for heating, although this may be required in winter, as neither bettas or corys like temps much under 20 deg Celsius or so. Live plants are also good idea.

    • profile image

      LenaP 

      8 years ago

      I have seen the corys recommended with betta, partly because they don't require aeration.

    • profile image

      warjna 

      8 years ago

      Hi! I just bought two corys to go in my two tanks with my bettas (2 females, separate tanks). One is an albino and the other is dark silvery. I had a brain fart at the store, should have asked if the tanks now need to be aerated? I'm not seeing anything about it on any of the websites I've searched. Also, I brought them home in the same bag, and one kept chasing and nipping at the other. Am I going to have problems with them together with the Bettas?

    • I Ramjohn profile imageAUTHOR

      I Ramjohn 

      8 years ago

      Corydoras aeneus, the Bronze Cory, gets up to about 3 inches/7.5 cm long - females larger than males. Pygmy cories, on the other hand, reach a size of only a little over an inch, about 3 cm. Brochis, on the other hand, sometimes sold as the Emerald (or Green) Cory, gets much bigger - 3 inches or bigger.

    • profile image

      JRaab 

      8 years ago

      how big do they get

    • profile image

      JC 

      8 years ago

      i have a pond....3500 liter one.....and i have several different corydoras, i have found egg under the leafs of a couple plants.....i have grabbed them and put them on a separated 50 ltr tank...with that blue thing to avoid algae and well airated....is there anytnhing else i need to do ?? how long do i have to wait to know if the eggs stilll good or not ?? any other advise pls ??

      nascar_beast@hotmail.com

    • profile image

      dar 

      8 years ago

      Just found this site, interesting and informative reading as I loveeee Corys (my favorite)! Congrats to 2 yrs.

    • profile image

      Cory 

      8 years ago

      Well how seriously can you take someone with a stoner towel as his avatar anyway?

    • profile image

      Woo 

      9 years ago

      Obviously vanhove is sadly mistaken, either that or he is unable to count. If only as a visitor it is possible to visit corydorasworld.com where there are nearly 300 species listed. Most of them with names but there is the C list and the CW list for the ones with no names given as yet.

    • profile image

      token 

      10 years ago

      they r easy to breed

    • organized living profile image

      Adrian Walker 

      10 years ago from Magnolia, AR

      Well written, both the article and the reply to that rather sad comment. Keep up the good work

    • I Ramjohn profile imageAUTHOR

      I Ramjohn 

      10 years ago

      In his "Checklist of Catfish" published in the journal Zootaxa, Ferraris lists 153 valid species. At least one species has been described since then. So no, I think "over 150" is a pretty good estimate.

      Ferraris, Carl J., Jr. (2007). "Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary types" Zootaxa 1418: 1–628

    • vanhove profile image

      vanhove 

      10 years ago

      You are completely wrong about corydoras, there are only 99 species of those catfish so don't write hubs about stuff you don't know about. You probaly don't even own chia pets. Those lions are extinct.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)