Can Cory Catfish Live With Goldfish?

Goldfish and Cory Catfish are fantastic fish, and an aquarist must keep them both at one point in their lives.

However, most aquarists still wonder whether keeping them both together in a fish tank is a good idea or not.

Keep reading this blog as we break it down for you and answer all your concerns regarding: Can Cory Catfishlive with Goldfish?

Can You Keep Cory Catfish and Goldfish Together?

The answer is ‘No’. It is not advised to keep your Cory Catfish with Goldfish together in a fish tank for various reasons.

One of the most obvious reasons is that they require different environmental conditions.

Let’s first look into what conditions are suitable to keep a Goldfish and a Cory Catfish.

Conditions Suitable For A Cory Catfish

All experienced aquarists know that Cory Catfish are easily the first option for people to keep in community fish tanks.

Cory Catfish are bottom dwellers, which means that they love to stay at the bottom of the tank. They hardly ever come in the way of bigger fish in the tank.

Cory Catfish are easy to maintain as well and barely ever go beyond a few inches in size.

Their small size ensures that they can easily coexist with other fish. However, it may also put them at risk of getting attacked.

The natural habitat of Corydoras consists of clear but shallow water bodies like streams, rivers, ponds, and marshy lands.

The base of these water bodies is usually made of sand, and it is preferred that they are heavily laden with plants. Cory Catfish require hiding spots like plants to cover them up.

The most important factor one must consider when keeping a Cory Catfish in an aquarium is the temperature of the water.

Cory Catfish prefer to stay in temperatures between 74° and 80° F.

The pH of the water should also be maintained between 7 to 8. They prefer slightly alkaline water.

Besides this, Cory Catfish must never be kept in an aquarium that has been neglected for some time.

Cory Catfish cannot survive even in slightly contaminated water. The water must be clear and should not have any waste accumulated. This can be particularly problematic if kept with bigger fish like Goldfish.

Conditions Suitable For A Goldfish

Goldfish are one of the top choices for new aquarists. Goldfish are beautiful, and their vibrant colors attract both children and adults alike.

Hence, it comes as no surprise why it is mostly the first pet fish that people love to keep.

While Goldfish can survive in a small fishbowl (not recommended though), people usually love to build a small community of fish as they further explore their aquarist passion.

The natural habitat of Goldfish consists of any freshwater body that can be found in temperate or tropical environments.

These water bodies can include ponds, rivers, reservoirs, etc. The temperature requirements also slightly vary from species to species.

Differences in the Living Conditions of a Goldfish and Cory Catfish

There are striking differences in the living conditions required for a Goldfish and a Cory Catfish.

Both fish can indeed make up good members of a community fish tank, but it is not precisely feasible to keep them together.

On average, all Goldfish species prefer to live in temperatures between 60° to 70° F.

These temperature requirements are considerably lower than what a Cory Catfish would choose to live in.

The Optimum pH levels needed by Goldfish are also different from those required by a Cory Catfish.

A Goldfish can live for over 20 years if all the optimum environmental requirements are met.

Hence, they can grow huge in size and can contribute to more waste. This is something a Cory Catfish will not be able to tolerate as they require their water habitat to be pristine.

A Goldfish can lay eggs in a scattered way. These eggs can get stuck onto plants or decorations, necessitating the need to separate them from the main aquarium.

It is common to remove such items from the aquarium, but this won’t be suited for a Cory Catfish.

A Cory Catfish requires plants and decorations to have hiding spots in the aquarium to take refuge.

This is because a Cory Catfish would rather hide than confront its bullies in the fish tank.

Let’s move ahead and see what exactly happens if both the fish are accidentally kept together.

What Happens If A Cory Catfish Is Kept With A Goldfish?

It has become quite apparent why a Cory Catfish cannot be kept with a Goldfish. They both require different tank water conditions, and their size can vary considerably.

If a Cory Catfish is kept with a Goldfish, the water condition is likely to cause distress to either of the fish, if not both.

A distressed Cory Catfish would refuse to eat and swim frantically. They would even be seen going up to the water surface gasping.

When Cory Catfish start swimming up to the water’s surface, they can come in the way of all other fish in the tank, causing a disturbance in the aquarium. Some fish may see it as a threat and attack a Cory Catfish.

When a Cory Catfish is attacked, it will make all its sharp spines pop out to protect itself.

Sometimes these spines contain toxins. A Goldfish attacking a Cory Catfish can get poked by these spines.

Toxins released from a Cory Catfish’s spines can be harmful and can even result in the death of a Goldfish.

A Goldfish can usually eat a small Cory Catfish, but sometimes a Cory Catfish can grow so big that it can also engulf even the biggest Goldfish in the tank.

Goldfish and Cory Catfish are not aggressive fish to keep in a community tank, but there are a lot of factors one must consider before keeping them together in one tank.

Why Does A Goldfish Attack A Cory Catfish?

Goldfish tend to have large mouths. Any fish with a large mouth is not safe to keep with small fish like a Cory Catfish.

A Cory Catfish usually stay at the bottom of the tank and, with plenty of hiding spots, can easily stay out of sight of fish like a Goldfish.

However, a Goldfish also swim to the bottom of the tank to consume food. And this is what creates problems.

An already agitated Goldfish can easily engulf the small Cory Catfish.

But it is imperative to note that even though a Goldfish eat the Cory Catfish, it can result in the death of the Goldfish as well.

A Cory Catfish has sharp spines all over its body that become erect when a Cory Catfish is in danger.

So when a Goldfish eats a Cory Catfish, a Cory Catfish can make its spine protrude out and harm the Goldfish.

The spines contain very harmful toxins that can poison the Goldfish and result in its demise.

Under What Circumstances Can You Keep A Cory Catfish With A Goldfish?

It is highly impractical to meet the different living conditions required by the Cory Catfish and the Goldfish. However, there are rare circumstances when this can work out.

We already know that a Goldfish prefers to live in a colder temperature while a Cory Catfish prefers a warmer temperature.

A middle ground can be reached at around 70° F. The fish can survive well at this temperature but might not breed.

Getting a bigger tank that can hold up to 10 gallons of water is suitable to keep a small number of Goldfish and an even smaller quantity of Cory Catfish.

It should still be ensured that there are plenty of plants and decorations in the tanks.

A Cory Catfish can live comfortably in the shade of plants and decorations. It gives them a sense of protection and privacy.

Another crucial thing to be considered when keeping both these fish together is the size of the fish. A Cory Catfish must at least reach the size of 4 inches to avoid getting eaten by largemouth Goldfish.

It is, however, worth reiterating that a Goldfish and a Cory Catfish must not be placed in the same tank. They do not make ideal tank mates for each other.

Let us now offer some alternate options of fish that can be safely kept with a Cory Catfish and a Goldfish.

What Fish Are Safe To Keep With A Cory Catfish?

Enormous, aggressive fish with large mouths must be avoided in the same tank as a Cory Catfish.

Fish that can be safely kept with a Cory Catfishinclude:

What Fish Are Safe To Keep With A Goldfish?

Large, aggressive fish or small spinous fish must be avoided in the same tank as a Goldfish.

Fish that can be safely kept with a Goldfish include:

  • Loaches
  • Plecos
  • Ricefish
  • Barbs

The Bottom Line

We hope that this blog helped you understand why keeping a Cory Catfish with a Goldfish is not feasible.

Both fish are extremely beautiful and relatively peaceful to keep in the community fish tank.

However, it is essential to ensure that their habitat meets the water and environmental requirements they need to live comfortably.

Under extremely rare circumstances, both the fish can be kept in the same tank. But even then, you always run a considerable risk of both the fish getting killed by each other.

Hence, it is always discouraged to not keep a Cory Catfish with a Goldfish despite them both making great candidates for a community fish tank.

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