Are Cory Catfish Aggressive?

Cory catfish are non-aggressive, small, docile, and friendly bottom-dwelling fish. Cory catfish are known for their sweet natures and are adored by aquarium enthusiasts. The Corydoras aeneus, commonly referred to as the bronze cory, is the best-known corydoras species.

Apart from other corydoras species, cory catfish are associated with the following mild-tempered fish. Angelfish, neon tetras, guppies, goldfish, x-ray fish, zebra danio, elephant nose, glofish, and ram cichlid.

Cory Catfish Are Not Aggressive

You will notice small bottom-dwelling fish with barbels whenever you observe a freshwater fish tank. These are the cory catfish everyone enjoys having in their tank.

These little fish are known and loved for their gentle cleaning of the tank substrate from food and debris the middle and top-dwelling fish dropped. Cory catfish are gentle, hardy, and in most cases, easy to care for.

Why Are Cory Catfish Popular Freshwater Aquarium Fish?

Cory catfish are an incredibly diverse group that varies from easy-to-keep species to delicate ones. Therefore, keeping only a few cory catfish of the same species in an aquarium tank is a complete blunder. Instead, aquarium enthusiast should diversify their catfish shoal by adding other species to the tank.

Cory catfish are shoaling fish. When cory catfish are kept in more significant numbers, they begin to show fascinating behavior. They behave more as they would in their natural habitat, adding to their popularity.

The ideal would be to keep at least six cory catfish in an aquarium, no matter the species.

Popular Cory Catfish To Keep In Freshwater Aquariums

Following are the most popular cory catfish to keep in freshwater aquariums. Fish enthusiasts consider cory catfish non-aggressive and hardy.

They quickly adapt to the new environment when added to community tanks. The cory catfish’s docile, friendly, and peaceful demeanor restores balance to any aquarium.

1. Bandit Cory Features And Attributes

Bandit cory catfish are one of the most popular members of the catfish family. Fish enthusiasts have been trading them for a long time.

They are easily recognizable with the black patch, resembling a mask, over their eyes.

Bandit cory catfish have a lifespan of five years. They are more sensitive to variations in water temperatures than most of their other family members.

Adult bandit cories can reach two inches and love spending time with other peace-loving schooling fish.

Bandit Cory Catfish

2. Bronze Cory Catfish Features And Attributes

Bronze cory catfish are also known as green corydoras. Adult fish reach two and a half inches and have a five-year lifespan.

Bronze cory catfish are available in color morphs, including albino, bronze, black and green.

The bronze cory catfish fares well when sharing a tank with other peaceful schooling fish. These little fish do well in various conditions.

However, it is essential to remember that you need to keep them in schools as they are shoaling fish.

Bronze Cory Catfish from Genus Corydoras

3. Julii Cory Catfish Features And Attributes

Actual julii cory catfish are not that readily available. The ones sold by pet shops are a distant cousin, the three stripe cory.

True julii have spots that do not form long chains as those of the three stripe cory. No matter which one you buy, they are both peace-loving, kind fish that enjoys spending time with shoals of other peaceful bottom-dwelling fish.

The julii cory catfish lives for an average of five years, and adults are two and a half inches.

By Kai Schreiber [CC BY-SA 2.0]

4. Panda Cory Catfish Features And Attributes

Panda cory catfish has a lifespan of ten or more years! Adult fish reach two inches, are highly sociable, and easily make friends with other peaceful shoaling fish. They easily join bottom feeders of other species to form a shoal.

Panda cory catfish are also known as panda corydoras or panda catfish.

It is presumed that the “panda” in their names refers to the markings on their bodies that imitate those of panda bears. The verdict is still out on this fact, though.

Panda cory catfish prefer cooler water and fare well in unheated aquariums.

Panda Cory on Brown Gravel

5. Pepper Cory Catfish Features And Attributes

The beautiful, famous pepper cory catfish also goes by peppered catfish, pepper cory, or blue leopard corydoras. These beauties have a five-year lifespan.

Adult females reach three inches, while males reach two and a half inches.

These are extremely popular aquarium fish. They get on well with other peaceful fish but should be protected from aggressive fish species.

Peppered Cory Catfish

6. Skunk Cory Catfish Features And Attributes

Skunk cory catfish are extremely sensitive to elevated levels of nitrates and ammonia. Therefore, these fish should only be introduced to a new aquarium once the tank matures.

The adults reach two inches, live for an average of five years and enjoy being part of a shoal of other peaceful species.

7. Three Stripe Cory Catfish Features And Attributes

Even seasoned fish enthusiasts often confuse the three-stripe cory fish with its closely related cousin, the julii cory catfish. However, the three-stripe cory differs from the julii in appearance.

You will notice the spots on the three-stripe cory catfish’s head connected in a long string. The colors and motives leave the fish with an almost maize-like appearance.

These beautiful little fish have a lifespan of ten years, and adults grow to two and a half inches.

Excellent tankmates for the three-stripe cory catfish are small schools of other peaceful fish species.

Cory Catfish Bottom Feeding Friends

Cory catfish lives at the bottom of the tank. They rummage through the substrate in search of leftover food and debris.

Even though cory catfish aids in keeping the tank free from rotting meat and other bits, they work together with other little creatures to keep the tank clean.

The “tank cleaning team” consists of cory catfish and other bottom-dwelling fish, snails, shrimp, and loaches. These species share the bottom of the tank. They spend their days scavenging for pieces of food that have been dropped by the fish occupying the upper levels of the tank.

How To Keep A Cory Catfish Happy

Corydoras need a good measure of high-quality aquarium gravel or substrate to search for food scraps. Ensure to fill the bottom of the aquarium with at least two inches of a smooth substrate to protect the corydoras barbels from injury.

Cory catfish do not always get enough to eat. Therefore, it is essential to supplement their food intake by feeding them sinking wafers or sinking pellets, live shrimp brine, blood- and other worms.

Install live plants, driftwood, and filters in the aquarium. Plants and driftwood provide hiding space from more aggressive fish and filters clear the water from ammonia and nitrates that will toxify both cory catfish and their tank friends.

Every aquarium should have a water pump installed to circulate oxygen through the water, which is essential for the well-being and survival of all tank inhabitants. Cory catfish thrive in clear, clean, healthy water.

A happy and healthy cory catfish will be dancing in the tank. Happy fish are active and alert and may even dash to the surface and back from time to time.


Caring for and looking after cory catfish is doable. Once you grasp the essence of keeping them, you can enjoy these peaceful little creatures for years. Cory catfish are truly remarkable freshwater aquarium fish.