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Cory Catfish Breeding Guide (Answers to Common Questions)

Cory Catfish Breeding Guide (Answers to Common Questions)

This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addtion, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Cory catfish are such great fish to own. You’re likely going to love having them in your aquarium if you recently bought some.

You might even decide that you would like to breed these fish. Is breeding cory catfish easy, or will it be a difficult process?

Read on to learn all of the information that you need to know about breeding cory catfish. Doing so will ensure that you understand how the process goes.

Once you’ve learned everything, it’ll be easier for you to decide how to proceed. You’ll know whether breeding these fish in your home aquarium will be practical for you to do or not.

Are Cory Catfish Livebearers?

No, cory catfish are not livebearers. These fish don’t give birth to live larvae.

Instead, these fish are going to lay eggs. You’ll learn more about this below.

Do Cory Catfish Lay Eggs?

Cory Catfish Spawning Eggs

Yes, cory catfish do indeed lay eggs. A female cory catfish will become gravid, and that means that it is carrying eggs.

When the female fish is ready to lay the eggs, it’ll begin clearing an area of sand to create a nest. One of the male fish will remain near the female as it is making the nest.

The male will fertilize the eggs and then they will hatch after several days have passed. The breeding process is as simple as that.

There are some interesting things to know about cory catfish breeding, though. For instance, it’s possible for multiple males to fertilize the eggs.

Sometimes, one male won’t be able to fertilize all of the eggs. If two males are near the female while it’s creating the nest, then they will likely both fertilize the eggs.

Cory catfish are schooling fish that get along with each other nicely. It’s common for them to stay in groups of six or more in fish tanks.

Because of this, the males generally won’t fight over the right to fertilize the eggs. They’re peaceful fish by nature.

If you’re used to breeding other fish, then you’ll know that many types of freshwater fish are competitive when it comes to breeding. Things are just a bit different with cory catfish.

How Often Do Cory Catfish Lay Eggs?

A female cory catfish should be able to lay eggs every seven days. Since you’re supposed to keep multiple cory cats in the same tank, there’s a good chance that you have multiple females in the group.

Each female cory catfish has the potential to lay eggs every seven days. This means that you could wind up with many more cory catfish if you encourage breeding.

How Many Eggs Do Cory Catfish Lay?

Corydoras Eggs

A female is going to lay between ten and twenty eggs at once. This doesn’t mean that all of the eggs will hatch, though.

Sometimes certain eggs won’t get fertilized properly. It’s also possible that some of the eggs won’t be viable for other reasons.

You can tell if an egg has been fertilized properly or not by examining its color. A properly fertilized cory catfish egg is going to look beige.

Also, the egg will start to get darker in the middle as it gets closer to hatching. If any of the eggs develop problems with fungus, then they likely won’t hatch.

An outright infertile egg will be either white or translucent. Sometimes it might simply have a plain appearance, but it’ll be easy enough to tell it apart from the fertilized eggs.

Do Cory Catfish Eat Their Eggs?

Cory catfish will eat their eggs. This is a behavior that is shared by the majority of egg-laying fish.

If you leave the parent fish in the same fish tank as the eggs, then you will have a tough time keeping the eggs around long enough for them to hatch. It’s very common for the parent fish to eat the eggs.

It’s simply a normal behavior for fish to do things like this. When you want the eggs to survive and hatch, it’s appropriate to keep them away from the parent fish.

The most practical thing to do is to remove the parent fish from the tank. Put the fish that you want to breed in a breeding tank, and then put them back in the main tank after the eggs have been fertilized.

Another idea is to have a partitioned tank where you’ll be able to separate the cory catfish from the eggs. It might seem annoying to have to go to such lengths, but that’s just how it is when you’re breeding cory catfish.

Cory Catfish Egg Development

Corydoras Eggs

Cory catfish egg development is pretty simple to understand. The female lays the eggs in the sand nest that it creates.

Males fertilize them, and then they will have a beige appearance. They will hatch after three to five days have passed under the right conditions.

After the cory catfish fry hatch, they will be very small. You don’t need to feed them the first day.

On the next day, you’ll want to feed them freshly-hatched brine shrimp. These are very tiny fish, and they need food that will fit in their mouths

Feed the cory catfish fry three times each day. It’s recommended to feed the fry at spaced-out times of the day to get the best results.

After a week has passed, it’ll be pretty easy to feed them. An average cory catfish fry will grow to be a small juvenile cory catfish pretty fast.

What Do Cory Catfish Eggs Look Like?

Cory catfish eggs are going to appear to be beige when they have been fertilized. Infertile eggs will usually look white or translucent.

Remember that fertilized eggs will become darker in the middle as they get closer to hatching. You need to keep an eye on the eggs to ensure that fungus doesn’t start to grow on them.

When things go wrong, the eggs might start to look gray. This is generally a sign that the water parameters in your tank are off.

You might need to use some chemicals to adjust things. This can help you to get better results the next time your cory catfish lays eggs.

How Do Cory Catfish Breed?

Two Cory Catfish

Cory catfish breed by having the female lay eggs that have been fertilized. A male cory catfish will wait nearby as the female creates a nest in the sand.

They will then go through mating behaviors. Males fertilize the eggs by spraying them, and the females place the eggs in the nest.

It’s a pretty simple process that isn’t much different than how most egg-laying fish do things. Of course, there are mating behaviors that the cory catfish exhibit.

Cory Catfish Breeding Behavior

When cory catfish form a mating bond, the male will often follow the female around. Sometimes, it might appear as if the male is chasing the female.

A male cory catfish will ram its head into the side of the female to form a “T” shape. This is how the fish mate.

The male sprays the eggs, and the female transfers the eggs to the nest that it created. Sometimes, it takes multiple times for all of the eggs to be fertilized.

Experts have noted that the process can take between two and fifteen minutes. It depends on how many eggs the female cory catfish is laying.

How to Breed Cory Catfish

Two Spotted Corydoras

Breeding cory catfish shouldn’t be too difficult. To get the best results, you should put a mating pair into a breeding tank where they can do what they need to do.

It’s best to use a breeding tank because it’ll make it easier to separate the parents from the eggs. The parent fish can lay the eggs and fertilize them in the breeding tank.

Once this has happened, you can transfer the parent fish back to the main tank. This will ensure that the eggs won’t be eaten.

A female cory catfish can lay eggs every seven days. So you could keep doing this process of transferring the fish to the breeding tank when it appears that they’re ready to mate.

Note that cory catfish can and will spawn in the community tank. It’s just less likely that the eggs will survive in a tank with so many fish.

Getting the fish to breed is really just about keeping them healthy and happy. If the fish are kept in groups of six or more, then they should be happy.

You must keep an eye on the pH balance of the tank and the water temperature. Keep things in the right range to protect the fish.

Advice for Setting Up a Breeding Tank

Setting up a breeding tank is not that hard. Ideally, you should use a 20-gallon fish tank that has high sides to get the best results.

Some experts suggest leaving the bottom of the tank bare. Others say that you should place sand at the bottom of the tank so that the female can create the nest for the eggs.

Either option should work out okay. Ensure that the breeding tank has a heater, so you can keep the temperature of the tank at 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Putting an air stone in the tank is highly recommended. You’ll also want to have an air pump in the tank so that it will have the right amount of water flow.

Using a filter can be too risky since the eggs and the fry might get sucked in. Just using an air stone and an air pump should be fine.

Do your best to keep the water chemistry of the breeding tank the exact same as the main tank. Some choose to simply transfer water from the main tank to accomplish this.

Many experts also recommend placing Indian Almond Leaves in the fish tank. This can help to protect the eggs from fungus.

How to Hatch Cory Catfish Eggs

Cory Catfish Eggs

You don’t have to do anything special to get the cory catfish eggs to hatch. It’s possible to simply keep the eggs in the tank and wait for three to five days to pass.

If you have kept other fish away from the eggs, then they should survive long enough to hatch. So long as the water chemistry is appropriate, the eggs should have a good chance of hatching assuming that they have been properly fertilized.

It’s likely easier to keep the eggs in the tank where they were laid anyway. Moving the eggs opens up the potential of mishandling them and breaking them.

Of course, there are enthusiasts out there that are very good at transferring the eggs out of the original tank. You’ll need to do so delicately if you want to attempt it, though.

You could put the eggs in a simple hatching tub that contains water from the tank where the spawning occurred. Then, you can wait for the necessary amount of time for the fish to hatch.

If you want to keep things simple, just remove the parents from the breeding tank. It’s easier, and you’re less likely to make mistakes.

Try to keep the aquarium at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. The eggs should hatch after around three days have passed if all is well.

Cory Catfish Eggs Hatching Time

It doesn’t take too long for cory catfish eggs to hatch. They should hatch sometime between three and five days after they’ve been laid.

If the eggs haven’t hatched after the fifth day, then they probably aren’t going to. It could be that the eggs weren’t viable, or something else could have gone wrong.

For example, fungus might have grown on the eggs. This can prevent the eggs from hatching and will ruin things.

Try to keep an eye on the eggs to see how things are going. This will ensure that you’ll have an understanding of what’s going on.

How to Tell if Your Cory Catfish is Pregnant

Cory catfish can’t get pregnant. As mentioned above, they are not livebearing fish.

Since these fish lay eggs, the female is going to become gravid. When the fish becomes gravid, you might notice it looks a little swollen around the middle.

Mostly, you should look out for their mating behaviors. If you see the female and the male that it is paired with acting like they’re about to mate, then it’s likely about time for the female to lay its eggs.

Are Cory Catfish Easy to Breed?

Cory Catfish Close Up

Generally, cory catfish aren’t that hard to breed, but there are exceptions. There are different species of cory catfish to consider.

Some types of cory catfish are very easy to breed, but others will be a bit harder to breed. You might want to seek out a type of cory catfish that is simple to breed if you’re a beginner.

Breeding cory catfish has the potential to be very satisfying. Many people have found success breeding these fish even when they don’t have a lot of experience.

Just understand that your success might vary when trying to breed certain types of cory catfish. You might want to look up specific information about the different species to learn more.

Learn about the type of cory catfish that you have in your fish tank. This will ensure that you have the best understanding of what to expect.

The information above is valid and applies to cory catfish in general. There just might be some minor differences based on species variations.

How Long Does It Take Cory Catfish to Reach Full Size?

If you’re wondering how long it’ll take the cory catfish to reach full size, then you should know that these fish grow surprisingly fast. A baby cory catfish will reach a respectable size in just a few months.

On average, it’ll take a cory catfish twelve to fifteen months to reach its maximum size. This is a lot faster than many other types of fish.

Of course, there are many different cory catfish types. Some cory catfish are going to be quite small, while others might grow to be four inches long.

It can be good to learn about the maximum size of the specific type of cory catfish that you own. That way you’ll have an idea of how big the cory catfish fry will get.

Different types of cory catfish will need to be kept in different tank sizes, too. Some might fit in fairly small tanks, but others might need to be kept in 29-gallon fish tanks or something larger.

Final Thoughts

You should be able to breed cory catfish much easier now that you have read the information above. This gives you a good basic understanding of the cory catfish breeding process.

These fish lay eggs, and females are capable of laying up to twenty eggs at once. Every seven days, the female can lay its eggs.

A male will fertilize the eggs, and then, they will hatch three to five days later. Sometimes, these fish will spawn in community fish tanks, but it’ll be safer to put the mating pair in a breeding tank.

Cory catfish fry will need to be fed tiny food such as freshly-hatched brine shrimp. Feed them carefully, and keep them separated from the parents because you don’t want the babies to get eaten.

Doing all of this will ensure that you can see the baby cory catfish thrive. They should do well in your tank if you’re doing your best to care for them and protect them.

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