9PLUS GREAT Tank Mates for Cory Catfish (Compatibility Guide)

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Cory catfish are some popular fish amongst home aquarists, and rightly so! These adorable little catfish can entertain anyone as they coast along the bottom of your tank. 

Cory catfish come in many different colors and often range in size between one and four inches. They’re also known to be peaceful, which makes them a great addition to any community tank with other peaceful fish.

If you’re looking for some good tank mates for cory catfish, our top 10 include:

  • To learn more about these incredible tank mates, read on!

Raising Cory Catfish With Friends

Cory catfish are great little fish that like to mind their business.

Though they can be curious at times, they spend the majority of their day searching along the bottom of your tank for a quick snack, whether that be some algae or sinking food.

Because of this, your cory catfish won’t be picking fights in the tank anytime soon. This means you should in turn give your cory catfish some tank mates that won’t want to fight with it either.

Since cory catfish are bottom feeders, you’ll want to focus on mostly getting fish that are not bottom feeders for your tank. If you have too many bottom feeders, they may all feel a bit cramped as they scavenge along your substrate!

Sticking to fish that will swim in the upper portions of your tank will give everyone their space and keep your cory catfish stress-free, so they can focus on what truly matters: algae sucking. 

Best Tank Mates For Cory Catfish

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1. Cherry Shrimp

  • Scientific Name: Neocaridina davidi
  • Origin: Eastern China
  • Size: 1 – 1 ¼ inches long
  • Temperament: active, docile

If you’re really interested in more bottom feeders, a good choice to pair with your cory catfish is the cherry shrimp. Cherry shrimp are tiny, bright red shrimp that love to explore the bottom of your tank!

These adorable little shrimp are quite personable and fun to watch, especially when the swim from time to time. Since they’re so small, they also won’t take up too much of your cory catfish’s space along the substrate. 

Sounds like a win-win!

2. Harlequin Rasbora

  • Scientific Name: Trigonostigma heteromorpha
  • Origin: Malaysia, Thailand
  • Size: 2 inches
  • Temperament: peaceful, active

Harlequin rasboras are active, unique-looking fish to add to your tank. These fish are orange but have a curved triangle of solid black on their sides, almost like a Nike symbol.

This species is known for its peaceful personality, but it is also quite active. When you watch your tank, you’ll be entertained by the antics of these lovely little fish. 

Plus, since they’re only two inches in length, you won’t need a much larger setup than you already have for your cory catfish. A smaller tank means less water and upkeep, which can save you time and money in the long run!

3. Swordtails

  • Scientific Name: Xiphophorus hellerii
  • Origin: Central America
  • Size: 5.5 – 6 inches
  • Temperament: peaceful, social

If you’re looking for a truly unique fish for your tank, consider a swordtail. Swordtails get their name from the long, pointy tail sticking out underneath their tailfin. 

Though swordtails may sound fierce, they are actually a peaceful species. They enjoy being social and typically won’t nip or start any fights with their other tank mates. 

Since they enjoy being social, we recommend getting at least five swordtails at once so they won’t be isolated in your tank. This can help them warm up and avoid hiding as well. 

4. Neon Tetras

  • Scientific Name: Paracheirodon innesi
  • Origin: The Amazon, South America
  • Size: Approximately 1.5 inches long
  • Temperament: Peaceful, timid

Neon tetras are a great tiny fish for any tank. These fish have bright blue and red stripes along their sides, so they’re easy to see in your tank.

Neon tetras primarily swim in the upper portions of the tank, so you don’t have to worry about them bothering your cory catfish at all. They’re also a peaceful species, so they won’t fight, nip, or cause any territorial issues in your tank. 

Because of their small size, neon tetras are easily intimidated. You should plan to get at least six of them at once so they can form a school. 

With a school of neon tetras, they should warm up quickly and not be shy for long!

5. Zebra Danios

  • Scientific Name: Danio rerio
  • Origin: South Asia
  • Size: 2 – 2 ½ inches long
  • Temperament: active, social

Zebra danios are simple, easy to care for fish. They have blue and white stripes down their sides, which has given them their “zebra” title.

This species is known for its prolific breeding ability, so you should make sure you’re okay with eggs and babies in your tank before bringing a school of them home. If that is something you’re interested in, watching your zebra danios reproduce can be fascinating to watch.

Zebra danios are active, so you can expect to see them zooming around your tank throughout the day. They’re also social, so you should plan to get at least six of them at once so they can remain comfortable in higher numbers. 

6. Freshwater Angelfish

  • Scientific Name: Pterophyllum scalare
  • Origin: South America
  • Size: up to 6 inches long and 10 inches high
  • Temperament: Peaceful, but can be aggressive to smaller fish

One of the largest fish on this list is the freshwater angelfish. These fish are known for their beautiful appearance with their long, wispy fins and distinctive stripes. 

Freshwater angelfish can reach six inches in length and 10 inches in height, so you’ll need a much larger tank if you plan to get this species as a tank mate for your cory catfish.

Freshwater angel fish are generally peaceful, but have been known to sometimes be aggressive with smaller fish. Since your angelfish and your cory catfish will inhabit different levels of your tank, you shouldn’t run into any problems. 

7. Plecos

  • Scientific Name: Hypostomus plecostomus
  • Origin: South America
  • Size: 1.5 – 20 inches, depending on the type
  • Temperament: peaceful

If bottom feeders are your thing, you may be interested in adding some plecos to the mix. Plecos, also called suckermouth catfish, are bottom feeders just like your cory catfish.

This species of catfish is also peaceful, so it won’t cause any issues with your cory catfish. However, you should keep in mind that there are many different types of plecos out there!

If you plan to combine your plecos with your cory catfish, you’ll want to aim for the smaller types, such as the 1.5 – 2 inch-sized plecos. A 20-inch pleco would be much too large for your poor cory catfish!

Plan to have lots of space along the bottom of your tank for these bottom feeders. They won’t like to share, so you’ll have to make sure everyone has a safe spot to graze!

8. Platies

  • Scientific Name: Xiphophorus maculatus
  • Origin: Central and South America
  • Size: 2.5 – 3 inches
  • Temperament: peaceful

Platies are cute little fish that can brighten up any tank! This species comes in many colors, so you can pick your favorite to add to your tank.

This species of fish won’t cause any trouble, as it isn’t known to become aggressive or territorial. They can grow up to three inches in length, so you should consider a slightly larger tank than the one you have for cory catfish alone. 

Platies are unique because they give live birth and reproduce quickly, so you should be prepared to see babies at some point!

9. Mollies

  • Scientific Name: Poecilia sphenops
  • Origin: Mexico
  • Size: 4 – 4 ½ inches long
  • Temperament: peaceful, active

If you want a fish that looks like a platie but is bigger, go with a molly! Mollies grow up to four inches in length and come in a variety of colors and patterns.

Mollies are known to be peaceful but active, so they will keep you entertained all day long. They are a shoaling species, so you should be sure to get at least four of them at once. 

Because of this, you should plan to get a bigger tank to fit all of these species without cramping them!

10. Dwarf Suckers

  • Scientific Name: Otocinclus sp.
  • Origin: South America
  • Size: 1 ½ – 2 inches long
  • Temperament: peaceful, timid

Dwarf suckers, also called “otos,” make great bottom feeders in any tank. If you plan to have a tank full of bottom feeders, this is a great choice to add to your cory catfish.

Dwarf suckers, as suggested by the name, are small fish. They’re quite peaceful, but they can become timid if they are outnumbered.

You should plan to get a few dwarf suckers at once and provide many hiding spots for them if they become nervous. Make sure your tank has a large bottom so all of your bottom feeders have ample space to eat, play, and rest!


Full Tank Future

With the cory catfish’s peaceful nature, you can’t really go wrong with getting it tank mates. Just make sure that any species you choose are peaceful and won’t nip at your cory catfish!

We recommend that you should keep them in groups of at least five. They can be housed with other types of peaceful fish such as Cherry Shrimp, Harlequin Rasbora, and Swordtails. Just be sure to avoid any fish with sharp fins or spines which could cause harm to the Cory catfish.

image of What fish go well with cory catfish?

If you have cory catfish in your community tank, tell us how its going! Feel free to leave any questions about your tank in the comments, and we may write on yours next!

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