How Do Cory Catfish Breed?

Cory catfish breed in groups and will naturally pair and find a partner to breed with. During the mating ritual, the males will follow the females around the tank, and when he has found a female, he will release his milt, and the female will use this to fertilize her eggs. 

The cory catfish eggs are deposited on the surface of the tank. The breeding process usually takes an hour. During this time, the female cory catfish can lay 10 to 20 eggs every time she spawns, but this number varies depending on the species. Some corydoras can lay between 50 and 100 eggs in one hour.

How To Breed Cory Catfish?

Cory catfish prefer being in groups, and many aquarium owners that keep corydoras will have at least 6 in a tank. If you’re planning on breeding cory catfish, maintaining a ratio of one female for every two or three males is best.

The perfect amount of cory catfish to keep for breeding is two or three females and four or five males. This number gives you the best chance of successfully breeding cory catfish and getting the most fertilized eggs.

Corydoras Catfish Bronze

The Breeding Process Of Cory Catfish

Breeding cory catfish can take a couple of hours, but the mating ritual and spawning can take just an hour, depending on the breeding environment and the number of eggs you want.

During breeding, the male cory catfish will look for a mate. Once the male finds a female, both fish will assume the “T” position. The male will be situated underneath the female and release his milt, which the female swallows; it then travels down her digestive tract and fertilizes the eggs before she lays them.

Some species of cory catfish will lay their eggs closely together, and others will lay them scattered around the tank.

When Are Cory Catfish Old Enough To Breed?

Cory catfish have a life expectancy of 5 years, but some can live between 8 and 10 years. The best time to start breeding cory catfish is when they are between 2 and 3 years old.

It takes 6 to 9 months for corydoras to reach maturity; from this point, they can breed. The best way to determine if you can start breeding your cory catfish is to look at their size.

Most species are ready to breed when they are 2.5 inches long, but this varies between species. It’s not recommended to breed corydoras earlier than the above guidelines, as this could negatively impact their health.

How Many Eggs Do Cory Catfish Lay?

Most cory catfish females will lay between 10 and 50 eggs each time they spawn. Bigger species may lay more, and corydoras that are conditioned before breeding tend to lay more eggs than those that aren’t.

How Long Can It Take For Cory Catfish Eggs To Hatch?

It takes cory catfish eggs 3 to five days to hatch, but hatching can also take up to seven days, depending on the species. In warmer environments, the eggs will hatch faster.

An ideal temperature for the corydoras eggs to hatch is 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit. When the eggs are about to hatch, you’ll notice the fin of the baby corydoras, also known as fry, coming out of the egg.

Leopard Cory Catfish

How Often Can You Breed Cory Catfish?

A female cory catfish can lay eggs every seven days, but the breeding time can be limited depending on the number of eggs you want to have.

Once you are happy with the number of eggs your cory catfish has laid, you can remove the parent fish from the tank and wait for the eggs to hatch.

What Are The Best Tank Conditions For Breeding Cory Catfish?

When breeding corydoras, it’s crucial to have the best tank conditions to help them reproduce. The tank should be in a slightly dark area where you control most of the lighting.

Typically, 13 hours of light is sufficient for cory catfish to breed.

Make sure there are plenty of places for the cory catfish to hide, like aquarium plants, caves, and broken coconut shells. The water ph should be between 6 and 8, and the water temperature should be between 75- and 78-degrees Fahrenheit for breeding.

Water changes should occur daily, but only 50% of the water should be changed. There should be lots of tank space and at least a 30-gallon tank for your corydoras.

Your cory catfish aquarium will also need a sand substrate, led lighting, a sound water filtration system, and a heater to keep the water at an optimal temperature.

How To Set Up A Breeding Tank For Cory Catfish?

If your aquarium has many different fish, it may not be the best to try and spawn your cory catfish in the tank. Instead, set up a dedicated breeding tank for your cory catfish.

There are a few items you’ll need to set up your breeding tank.

  1. Tank. Ideally, the tank should be a 30-gallon tank, but you could use a 20-gallon tank if you have fewer fish. Longer tanks are preferred over those that are shorter and taller; this gives your corydoras more room to lay eggs. However, if the tank is too large, you’ll have trouble finding the eggs, and cleaning the tank will be more challenging.
  2. Filtration system. A filtration system may not be required if you are frequently changing the water, but filtration systems are very beneficial in adding oxygen to the water.
  3. Plants and tank decorations. Many cory catfish may want to lay their eggs in aquarium plants. Adding one or two plants to the breeding tank will make corydoras comfortable and give them a place to lay their eggs. Adult cory catfish love to hide, so adding decorative elements for them to hide in will also make them happy and create a good breeding environment.
  4. Substrate. The substrate in a breeding tank isn’t required, but since corydoras are bottom dwellers, they love substrate. The only problem with adding substrate to your breeding tank is that it will be nearly impossible to find any eggs on the substrate.
  5. Lighting. Lighting requirements for a breeding tank are minimal. A small led light attached to the tank will be suitable for your corydoras for breeding.

To make breeding more successful, you can condition your cory catfish. This means getting your corydoras ready to breed.

Getting your corydoras ready to breed involves improving their diet and simulating environmental changes that will encourage them to reproduce.

To improve their diet, add foods like brine shrimp, grindal worms, and blackworms to each feeding.

In the wild, cory catfish are seasonal breeders and will experience a dry season and then a rainy season. To simulate the dry season, remove 50% of the water in the tank and raise the temperature of the water slightly for a couple of days to a couple of weeks.

After that, you want to simulate the rainy season. This can be done by adding cold water to the tank.

Corydoras breed during the rainy season. A good diet and the ideal environmental simulation will encourage your cory catfish to breed.


Cory catfish breed in a “T” position where the male cory catfish releases his milt, and the female uses the milt to fertilize her eggs. Once the eggs are fertilized, the female cory catfish will lay them in a suitable spot in the tank.

Certain tank conditions need to be met to encourage breeding, and there needs to be a two to three ratio of male cory catfish for each female when breeding corydoras.