Cories Guide

Cories Guide

  • Author Aqua 59
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Corydoras, also called cories or armored catfish, are a small species of freshwater catfish that are becoming increasingly popular in the aquarium hobby due to their easy-care nature, and peaceful disposition. They are known as "beginner fish", as they are very easy to care for.

Corydoras vaguely resemble the well-known catfish, with barbs on the chin that help with sensory. They come in many different color patterns, such as peppered, Sterbai, and laser. Bronze Corydoras are the most popular.

Parameters and habitat
Corydoras like a water temperature of about 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit, a PH of 7.0-7.8, and will do well in standard lighting. They require aquariums with at least three inches of substrate, and can be housed in planted aquariums. Cories like lots of plant cover and decorations to rest, hide, and explore in.

Corydoras are very popular fishes, and are available at most pet stores that specialize in fish. They can also be mail-ordered, but if there is a pick-up option, that should take priority. When buying Corydoras, look for bright, active fishes with no lumps or torn fins. Also make sure that the little barbs, or "whiskers" on their chins are intact- these are what help the Cory to find food. Sometimes fish will nip at this very sensitive area and stress the catfish. Avoid these specimens.

Corydoras are very peaceful fish, and can be kept with other peaceful aquarium fish. They can even be kept with dwarf shrimp and young fishes. Corydoras can live up to five years in proper conditions.

There are a few important things to consider before setting up an aquarium for Corydoras or adding them to an existing aquarium- first of all, they cannot be kept in tanks with rough or sharp substrate, as this wears down the specialized barbs that help the Cory to find food. Smooth substrates like sand or dirt are usually preferred. Cories must be housed in groups of five or more, which requires a minimum tank size of 15-20 gallons. They can be kept in larger groups, and will thrive in large tanks.

Diet and feeding
Although wide-spread, it is a myth that Cories are just scrap-feeders that clean up old fish food. True, they do make great cleaners, going around the aquarium and eating food bits from in and around hard-to-reach places, but Corydoras require a proper diet to remain healthy. A proper diet consists of specialized Cory food, algae or veggie wafers, and occasionally blanched vegetables or greens. Their diet may also be supplemented with fish flakes, shrimp pellets, or invertebrate pellets. Feed your cories what food they can eat in about five minutes, and drop in a dry wafer or dry sinking pellet for the fish to feed on later.


Breeding Corydoras is quite easy, depending on species, and they will usually do it on their own. Cories, like many other small aquarium fish, lay eggs, and require both a male and female for spawning. A breeding mop should be provided- the fry should also be housed with a sponge filter. Corydoras will eat their own eggs, so they must be transferred to a separate tank. The fry can be fed crushed fry foods, and once they get a little older, they can be fed blood worms or black worms (black worms are also called tubifex).

Thank you for reading this article.
Aqua 59
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Very informative.
  • nimahs
  • 5.00 star(s)
Very helpful, thanks
  • Gus47
  • 4.00 star(s)
Thank you for the information.
I have a pair of Cories in a 5 gal tank by themselves. I didn't know they eat their eggs.
Corydoras like a very protein specific diet although they are omnivores
The information is too generalised. It is correct for just some corydoras species, for example peppered cories will not thrive in the higher temperatures that you listed

It also could've been a lot more detailed.

Overall, I think it could be a great article if you focused on one cory species; looking at the info, I believe it's applicable to panda cories.
While you do provide accurate basic info, there can be some very different variation within species refering to chemistry and temps. There are even corydoras that i wouldn't sell a beginner due to a more finicky nature. Over all though, a good introduction to the beginner corydoras keeper.
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