While there are plenty of good tank mates for guppies, it’s hard to beat the appeal of the cory catfish. Cory catfish are able to get along peacefully with even aggressive fish and they help your aquarium stay clean just by eating.
The cory catfish, also called cory cats or corydoras, are a member of the armored catfish family. There are more than 142 species of cory catfish, all of which are bottom feeders that live in ponds, streams, and the shallows of river banks. In the wild, cory catfish thrive on worms, larvae, bottom-dwelling bugs, and plant matter. In aquariums, the feed on algae and algae supplements.
Here’s why cory cats are one of the best additions you can make to your freshwater aquarium.
A few corydoras in your tank will give you a hand with cleaning your aquarium sides and substrate. Cory cats will eat leftover food that sinks to the bottom of the tank as well as algae growing on the sides, although you do need to supplement their diet with flakes and algae pellets.
Cory catfish prefer water on the soft side with a slightly acidic pH although they can adapt well to most water conditions as long as you don’t change the parameters suddenly. Corydoras thrive in the same water 68 to 82 degree temperature range as guppies.
Out of the Way
Corydoras usually stay under 4.5″ long so they won’t take up too much space in your tank. Because they’re bottom feeders, they also stay out of the way of fast-moving fish and guppies.
Add a few cory cats to your tank and you won’t have any problem maintaining a good population to maintain the peace in your tank and keep algae to a minimum. Try adding at least two males (which have slimmer bodies) and a few females (which have a thicker middle). If you need to prompt them to breed, try dropping the water temperature gradually.
Unlike most species of catfish, corydoras are active during the day, which means you can watch them feed. Because they’re most active during the day, they will have the chance to grab leftovers from your guppies and other tank mates after feeding before it dissolves and clouds the water.
Fun Facts About Corycats:
- Cory catfish can live for 20 years if cared for.
- There are dozens of varieties, colors, and patterns to choose from. Try looking for albino corys and dalmation corycats.
- While they prefer groups of 6 or more, two cory catfish can live together successfully. Don’t try to keep a corycat alone because they’re social fish. Don’t be surprised to see them resting in a pile together.
- While most reach an adult size of 2-4″, the dwarf corydora reaches an adult size of just one inch long.