When looking into cory catfish, it’s important to make sure that you get the kind that you want. As with many fish, there are different types of cory catfish out there that you can purchase.
There will be various differences depending on what type of fish you decide to buy. Continue reading to learn everything that you can about the different types of cory catfish.
You’ll receive information on how many types there are while also getting the answers to a few common questions. This will give you a much greater understanding of cory catfish.
It’s always wise to learn about fish before you commit to buying them. This should allow you to make an informed decision about whether cory catfish are a good fit for your aquarium.
Cory Catfish Scientific Name
The term cory catfish is actually an abbreviation of the scientific name for these fish. They’re actually called Corydoras catfish.
Corydoras catfish are a type of freshwater catfish. They belong to the Callichthyidae family as well as the sub-family Corydoradinae.
1 – Bronze Cory Catfish
The bronze cory catfish might be the most common and popular type that you can find. One of the reasons why this fish is so common is that it’s easy to breed.
Bronze cory catfish are considered to be some of the simplest cory catfish to breed. If you want to, it’ll be easy enough to breed them in your home aquarium.
It’s also notable that these fish are considered to be quite hardy. Beginners who are just getting into keeping aquariums in their homes will have a good time with these fish.
They look really nice in community fish tanks, too. Bronze cory catfish have a sort of brownish-bronze coloration.
These fish also have two large, dark patches on their bodies. Caring for these fish will be a good experience so long as you’re using a sand substrate.
2 – Albino Cory Catfish
One of the most popular types of cory catfish is the albino cory catfish. They’re considered to be among the three most common cory catfish that you’ll find being sold in pet stores.
These aren’t fish that you can find and catch in the wild. They’ve been bred commercially, and they’re actually very hardy fish.
If you’re looking for an interesting fish that is good for a beginner, then you’ll be pleased with the albino cory catfish. It’s actually just another form of the bronze cory catfish.
The eye area of the albino cory catfish is going to be reddish-pink. The body of the fish will be entirely pink.
It’s a fish that truly stands out in a community fish tank setting. If you want a good fish that’s easy to care for, then consider going with this one.
3 – Elegant Cory Catfish
It’s hard to talk about popular types of cory catfish without bringing up the elegant cory catfish. These fish have been popular aquarium fish for a number of years.
They’re actually a bit smaller than typical cory catfish. This makes them good options for those who want to keep small aquariums in their homes.
Since these fish are popular, it’s easy to find them in just about any pet store that sells fish. You won’t need to spend much money to get a small group of elegant cory catfish.
They’re easy to take care of even for beginners. Even breeding these fish will be simple to get used to.
4 – Arched Cory Catfish
Arched cory catfish look really neat overall. They’re quite a bit stockier than many of the other cory catfish on this list, but they’re beautiful.
You might wind up falling in love with the cream-like white color of these fish. Each arched cory catfish has a black bar that runs through its eye.
Interestingly, the black bar will disappear when the fish becomes stressed. If you scare the fish, the bar won’t be visible, but it’ll reappear when the fish has a chance to settle down.
When looking at this fish, you’ll find that it has a round snout. The barbels stand out more than normal on this fish, too.
One thing to note about caring for these fish is that breeding isn’t as easy as it is with other cory catfish. It’s possible, but amateurs often have a tough time getting these fish to breed.
5 – Pygmy Cory Catfish
The pygmy cory catfish is very small. If you prefer to keep small fish in your aquarium, then you might want to look into this fish further.
It will only grow to be between half an inch and three-quarters of an inch in length on average. In the wild, some will wind up growing to be more than one inch long, but this isn’t necessarily common.
You’ll find that these fish really like to be kept in groups. Be sure to buy at least six of them if you want them to be happy in your fish tank.
They enjoy swimming together just above the substrate of the tank. So they don’t graze for food like most other cory catfish do.
6 – Agassizi Cory Catfish
If you would prefer to buy a cory catfish that looks flashy, then going with an agassizi cory catfish will be perfect. These fish have silver bodies and they have a black pattern that makes them stand out.
Many people who own these fish say that they’re among the prettiest fish in their fish tanks. As with most cory catfish, these fish are hardy and not overly hard to care for.
You can introduce these fish to a fairly new tank which is nice. After about four weeks have passed, you’ll be ready to introduce them.
These fish are able to breed easily as well. If you wish to encourage breeding, then you could wind up with many of these fish.
They’re not picky eaters either. They love eating fish flakes, but they’ll also appreciate frozen food or live food on occasion.
7 – False Bandit Cory Catfish
The false bandit cory catfish has been gaining in popularity over the last several years. It isn’t as common as some of the other cory catfish in this article, but it’s still very well liked.
This fish has become more popular over time due to how aesthetically appealing it is. It’s a fish that has a nice creamy body color and interesting black bar markings.
One downside to buying these fish is that they can be pricey. You’ll likely have to give up a little extra cash if you want to own one of these fish.
Overall, false bandit cory catfish are hardy enough that they won’t be difficult to care for. However, they do need you to pay close attention to the oxygenation levels in the tank.
It’s recommended to have a very good filtration system for these fish. They can very easily die if you have any nitrate problems in your aquarium.
8 – Leopard Cory Catfish
Leopard cory catfish are going to stand out because of their markings. As you’d expect by the name, the markings of this fish somewhat resemble leopard markings.
Their bodies are covered in little black spots. Leopard cory catfish also have large black blotches on the upper parts of their dorsal fins.
Looking at the front of the fish will allow you to see that it has a very rounded, blunt snout. It has an interesting look to it that will make it appealing to those who are seeking pretty fish.
It’s notable that leopard cory catfish are super common. This is partially because they’re easy to breed, but it also has to do with how popular they are.
If you’re a beginner, don’t hesitate to buy these fish. It’s easy to keep leopard cory catfish in good health and you’ll enjoy taking care of them.
9 – Peppered Cory Catfish
Peppered corydoras is another one of the “big three” most popular cory catfish types. Looking at this fish will make it clear why it is named the way that it is.
These are some of the easiest cory catfish to breed overall. Because of this, commercial breeders provide most of the fish to pet stores.
They have olive-green bodies and markings that look black. Each peppered cory catfish will have slightly different markings.
Generally, the fish will appear as if it has been peppered by the markings. That’s why it has been given the name.
Peppered cory catfish are some of the best community tank fish that you will find. They’re incredibly peaceful and they’re also long-lived.
Anyone who wants to own a hardy cory catfish will like what these fish bring to the table. They look great and they’re a joy to own.
10 – Flagtail Cory Catfish
Flagtail cory catfish are among the most active types of cory catfish that you can buy. These little fish seem to always move around in the tank.
They aren’t shy like many other types of cory catfish, either. Some cory catfish will like to hide in the aquatic plants, but these fish will pretty much always be visible.
You’ll be able to see black and white markings on the tails of these fish. They look really nice in most fish tank settings, and it’s nice that they’re so easy to observe.
Female flagtail cory catfish will be a bit plumper than the males. This is true of most cory catfish, but it stands out for these fish.
11 – Spotted Cory Catfish
Spotted cory catfish definitely stand out because of their spots. This fish is similar to many of the other cory catfish that have been mentioned already.
The big difference is that this fish has spots all over its body. The unique circular dot markings of this cory catfish will be appealing to many people.
Spotted cory catfish make excellent community tank members. They will look nice in a community aquarium and they’re so peaceful that they will leave other fish alone.
It’s nice that these fish are easy to breed as well. If you’d like to breed fish in your home aquarium, then spotted cory catfish will be a good option for you.
12 – Sterba’s Cory Catfish
Sterba’s cory catfish are beautiful, but they haven’t been around long at all. This is a wide-bodied fish that stands out due to having a gorgeous pattern.
There are prominent lines down the length of the body. These lines are actually made up of individual dots, and they look really amazing.
You’ll also be able to see these patterns on the fins. Each of these cory catfish will have long barbels.
The long barbels are designed to make it easier for them to dig for food in the substrate. They also have rounded snouts.
Anyone who wants to own a pretty type of cory catfish will be interested in checking this option out. It isn’t as common as some of the others, though, and this might make it harder to find at a reasonable price.
13 – Schwartz’s Cory Catfish
This is another type of cory catfish that is notable for looking quite pretty. These fish have large black bars going up the front of their dorsal fins.
On their bodies, you’ll be able to see lines with broken spots. Sometimes there will be tiny dots, but there are also large spots.
On the tail, the fish showcases spotted markings that are much smaller. Its other fins are going to be clear, and it is known for its rounded snout.
These fish have very pronounced barbels that you’ll notice right away. It isn’t as common as some of the more popular options that you’ve learned about, but you shouldn’t hesitate to buy some of these fish if you see them at a local store.
14 – Panda Cory Catfish
The panda cory catfish is also sometimes just referred to as the panda catfish. It’s a notable variation that has a black and off-white pattern that resembles a panda.
Panda cory catfish are very peaceful and will get along with many other fish. They can be excellent community tank fish when you’re putting together a smaller fish tank.
Some of these fish will look a bit pink. The off-white color might be replaced by a slightly pink color depending on the fish.
This fish is known for having three sets of paired barbels. It’s possible for panda catfish to reach two inches in length upon maturity, but not all of them grow to be that large.
Remember that these fish will thrive when you keep them in groups. Ideally, you’ll want to buy at least six of these fish for your aquarium.
Are Cory Catfish Easy to Care for?
For the most part, cory catfish are going to be very easy to take care of. Some fish might be a bit less hardy than others, but they’re not fish that die easily under normal circumstances.
There are some exceptions to that statement that you’ll learn about later. For now, you should know that cory catfish will be a safe choice even for beginners.
If you want to have an easy time, then you should pick one of the common types of cory catfish. You could go with a bronze cory catfish or a peppered cory catfish.
All of these types of fish are hardy enough that beginners will be able to get used to caring for them. They don’t require you to be an aquarium master who has every little thing figured out right away.
Just do your best to watch the water parameters and the fish will do well under your care. You should be able to have a good experience with cory catfish if you’re interested in keeping some of them in your home.
Do Cory Catfish Live for a Long Time?
You should expect cory catfish to live for quite a while. These fish will typically live for at least five years in an aquarium setting.
Of course, things can go wrong and the fish can die way before they reach the five-year mark in your tank. It all depends on whether you’re doing your job as a fish tank owner.
Most cory catfish types will be expected to live between five and ten years in captivity. Some fish might live a little less time than that while others might live for slightly longer.
To give your fish the best chance at surviving for a long time, it’s best to focus on taking care of the basics. Keep the fish tank clean and monitor the parameters.
Ensure that the fish has access to high-quality foods that give it what it needs without going overboard. If you do this while looking out for signs of sickness, then your fish will likely live for many years.
Are Cory Catfish Expensive?
Most cory catfish aren’t going to cost too much money at all. You can buy some of them at very low prices.
Remember that these fish like to live in groups. You’re not supposed to keep just one of them in a fish tank.
These fish can get very lonely, and they can even die from loneliness. You’ll need to keep at least six of them in one tank for things to go well.
So you must budget your money well enough to buy six cory catfish. The most popular fish are inexpensive because they’re so common.
Some of the types of cory catfish that you learned about are less common and will wind up being pricier. If you want to save some cash, it’ll be better to stick to common types of cory catfish.
Do Cory Catfish Require a Good Filter?
If you don’t have a good filter for cory catfish, then they might die. Sadly, cory catfish are susceptible to issues with nitrates.
When nitrate levels rise in a fish tank, it makes it tougher for the fish to breathe. This can easily cause cory catfish to perish.
It’s imperative to keep a close eye on oxygenation levels in the fish tank. Monitor the pH balance and don’t allow ammonia, nitrate, or nitrite levels to get too high.
Using a good filter will make it easier to keep things right. It helps to keep the tank clean and generally makes your life easier.
Go out and purchase a high-quality filter for the fish tank. You’ll be glad that you did.
What Do Cory Catfish Eat?
Cory catfish aren’t picky eaters in any way. These fish can be fed standard fish flakes most of the time.
You’re going to want to feed them other types of food on occasion to mix things up. It’ll be smart to give them live food and freeze-dried food on occasion.
These fish are bottom feeders and they’re also omnivores. They’ll eat pretty much whatever, but you do need to give them food that will be easy for them to eat.
There are tablets and pellets that are designed to sink to the bottom of the tank. These will be perfect for bottom-feeding fish such as cory catfish.
Cory catfish love shrimp pellets, algae rounds, and even tropical granules. Just feed your fish twice per day and you’ll be doing fine.
When feeding the fish, try to give them only what they can finish in two minutes. This helps to ensure that you aren’t overfeeding the fish.
There are so many types of cory catfish out there. You’ll find that there are so many types of cory catfish that this article is only scratching the surface.
That being said, this list represents the popular options that people might buy for their aquariums. If you want to own cory catfish, then it’ll be best for you to stick with options that have been presented here.
Some of the fish are going to be more difficult to purchase than others. The common ones will be the fish that you’re most likely to find at a standard pet store.
Caring for cory catfish will be a very good experience overall. These fish are hardy, and they’re also good community tank fish.
They get along well with many other types of fish. So long as you pick appropriate tank mates for them, you’re going to have a great time.
Feeding the fish is easy since they aren’t picky. Cory catfish are even known to have fairly long lifespans.
If you do your best to care for these fish, then you’ll be able to enjoy them for many years. Pick out the type of cory catfish that appeals to you the most and then move forward from there.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.