How Fast Do Cory Catfish Grow?

Cory catfish are slow growers and will only reach their adult size at around eight to nine months. However, the fry will quickly grow to one inch, depending on the species, during the first month. Cory catfish are petite, and the average length of adult cory catfish ranges from one inch to four inches.

Cory catfish can live beyond five years when kept in ideal aquarium conditions. Female cory catfish often grow to lengths exceeding three inches. All the above depends on the species of cory catfish.

Cory Catfish Grows Slow

After hatching from the eggs, cory catfish fry grows at a phenomenal rate reaching one inch within the first month of their lives.

After that, growth slows significantly, and adult cory catfish only reach an average of two inches around eight to nine months.

How Long Does It Take A Cory Catfish To Grow

Cory catfish are petite fish, much smaller in size than other species of catfish, such as the bronze cory, the emerald, and peppered cory, to name only a few.

Schwartzs Cory on Gravel

Factors That Play A Role In The Growth Of Cory Catfish

Factors that play a role in how long a cory catfish takes to grow include its tank size, gender, water quality, and the quality and amount of food they receive.

Tank size plays a significant role in the speed at which a cory catfish grows. The bigger the tank and the more space available in the tank allow cory catfish to grow faster and become slightly bigger than average.

Adult breeding females tend to reach three inches in length, while male cory catfish will average two and a half inches. When inspecting them from above, female cory catfish appear rounder and broader than their male counterparts. In the case of cory catfish, the females are the bigger of the species.

Water quality plays a significant role in the growth of cory catfish. Cory catfish will grow faster and bigger when living in ideal water conditions:

  • Do a fifty percent partial water change weekly
  • Keep ammonia and nitrate levels under control
  • Keep the water temperature between 75 and 76⁰F
  • Nitrate and ammonia levels should always be 0%.

Cory catfish are omnivores that eat anything small and soft enough to fit in their mouths. Remember that cory catfish are not algae eaters.

Apart from feeding them bloodworms, blackworms, and shrimp brine, you need to feed them different foods to balance their diet. Sinking wafers, sinking pellets, and gel foods offer variety in their diet.

Cory catfish are on the smaller side and may need additional feeding since bigger fish in the upper levels of the tank may grab most of the food before it reaches the bottom, where cory catfish scavenge. Too little food will lead to malnutrition, slowing down their growth.

Which Cory Catfish Grows The Biggest?

Scientists have identified one hundred and sixty-one cory catfish species to date. Cory catfish are popular fish to keep in aquariums. However, Cory catfish seldom reach five inches in size.

The biggest cory catfish species is the scleromystax barbatus or, in layman’s terms, the barbatus cory catfish. While the males are slightly smaller, adult female barbatus cory catfish grows to five inches.

The growth phase of a barbatus cory catfish lasts between nine and twelve months. Barbatus catfish mature between six and nine months of age. After maturing, these fish will produce offspring.

Which Cory Catfish Is The Smallest?

Cory catfish are a small species of fish, to begin with, that range in size depending on the species.

The smallest cory catfish species are the miniatures, which include the checker cory, the pygmy cory, and the dwarf cory. Mature miniature female cory catfish grow to be one inch long. In contrast, mature miniature adult males grow to about three-quarters of an inch.

Pygme cory catfish, for instance, grows relatively quickly and near their adult size at about eight weeks which is also the ideal time to sell them.

Corydoras Catfish

Why Cory Catfish Fry Grow At Different Speeds

It is often noted that cory catfish from the same fry varies considerably in size. In addition, some fish grow at a faster rate than others of the same batch. Reasons for this include the following.

In nature, the strongest will always have an advantage over the weaker species. The more robust fry will grow faster than their weaker mates because they get the most food.

Being stronger makes them more competitive for food resources, and more food equals healthier fish and faster growth.

How To Help Cory Catfish Grow Faster And Bigger

Cory catfish are not the fastest-growing fish around. In general slow-growing fish takes longer to mature and produce fewer offspring over a longer period than fast-growing fish species.

Knowing the growth cycle of your cory catfish will guide you in providing them with optimal care. The speed at which cory catfish grows fluctuates.

For example, Cory catfish fry will double its size in the first twelve weeks, after which the growth rate slows considerably.

Enhance the growth rate of your cory catfish by doing the following:

  • Change water frequently
  • Keep their environmental parameters stable
  • Feed them a diverse diet.

Do Some Cory Catfish Species Grow Faster Than Others

There are 161 identified species of cory catfish, and they all have one thing in common: no matter the species, they grow at the same speed, slowly.


Cory catfish are interactive, playful, entertaining, and loads of fun to keep. Unfortunately, they are not the fastest growers in the fish kingdom. Still, their unique features and cute antics make them adorable aquarium additions.