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Catfish - Corydoras

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Corydoras Albino Catfish

Albino catfish are a great choice for your freshwater aquarium. These bottom dwellers are small but mighty—they play an important role in your aquarium, as they are efficient tank cleaners. Cory catfish are great pet fish to have—they are gentle, clean up scraps and are easy to care for. For care tips, see our freshwater community fish care sheet.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cory Catfish

Most types of Cory catfish only get as long as 2.5 inches, with most adults staying around 2 inches long. Albino Cory catfish may only reach a little more than an inch long.

Most species of Cory catfish have lifespans from 5 to 10 years. The better you maintain their aquarium environment can help them live longer. If Corydoras are lonely, stressed or living in unhealthy water conditions, their lifespan may be shorter than 5 years. Use our catfish care sheet as a guide to help keep your pet happy and healthy.

Corydoras do not typically eat algae, but they do act as part of your aquarium’s cleanup crew—scavenging and eating food scraps from other tank mates. They might ingest some algae every so often, but don’t rely on them for this type of cleaning. There are other live freshwater and tropical fish for aquariums that do a better job of eating algae than Corydoras.

Corydoras catfish eat fish flakes, sinking wafers or pellets or bottom feeder tablets. They love to scavenge for food around the aquarium, digging in the gravel or sand—their barbels and whiskers help with this—to get any scraps. Special treats for Cory catfish are brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp and small worms—like blackworms or frozen bloodworms.

You should be able to fit a small school of Corydoras catfish in a 20-gallon tank. Try to include more than one Corydoras catfish in your aquarium—they can survive alone but tend to prefer living and swimming in a group. For a 20-gallon tank, aim to include about six Corydoras. You’ll also have enough room for small- to medium-size live fish and one or two centerpiece fish, as well as live plants and décor.

Feed Corydoras catfish once or twice a day, and only feed them enough food that they can finish in 3 to 5 minutes. These little fish will forage throughout the day, so make sure to not overfeed them.

Yes, Cory catfish clean the tank of food scraps leftover from other fish. They are bottom dwellers and like to scavenge—they may also clear small bits of debris from the substrate of gravel or sand.