How Many Cory Catfish Can Live in 10 Gallon Tank?

In a 10-gallon fish tank, 2-4 Cory catfish can live comfortably together.

However, it also depends on the type of Cory catfish, as there are more than 100 species.

Read on to learn more about how to best keep Cory catfish in a 10-gallon tank.

Tank Requirements for Cory Catfish

First, let’s understand the tank requirements that are suited for cory catfish.

Tank Size

Cory catfish like to explore and swim around the fish tank. A small tank will not let them be comfortable, and they are less likely to develop and grow healthily.

As mentioned before, the type of cory catfish will affect their compatibility with a 10-gallon fish tank (bigger would be better).

Cory catfish like to swim in groups, so be sure to have at least 4-6 Cory catfish.

Water Quality

Cory Catfish needs the water quality to be maintained at all times.

This is because the nervous system of Cory catfish is more fragile than other fish species. Consequently, they need more care.

Even a small change in their environment can have a big impact on their health. Hence the reason why the water quality measurements need to be regularly looked at.

Cory catfish are best kept at a water temperature from 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 81 degrees Fahrenheit.

They are a relatively high tolerance to pH level variance. The tank water should have a pH level between 5.5 to 7.2.

For the hardness of water, it should be around 15 dKH at maximum. But even here, the size of the fish tank matters.

Cory catfish need to live in water that has an almost negligible amount of ammonia and nitrate in it. In an ideal case scenario, these levels should be at 0 ppm.

Having such water conditions will make your Cory catfish happy. Because of their delicate nature, any sudden changes can affect them in a drastic way.


Cory catfish are typically found near the bottom of the fish tank. A sand substrate will work best for them because of many reasons.

Cory catfish are naturally curious, and they like to dig around for any leftover pieces of food. This is only possible with a sand substrate.

Gravel substrate, on the other hand, will have stones with sharp edges. This can damage Cory catfish’s bodies, especially their fins, and will impair their ability to swim.

Fish owners should be careful not to stir the sand substrate when they are cleaning the tank.

This will cause any leftover food and other decaying materials to float around and contaminate the water.

When the water is contaminated, there is a higher chance of bacteria and diseases flourishing and infecting the tank inhabitants.

Moreover, when the sand substrate is disturbed too much, the ammonia levels will rise in the tank water.

Aquarium Plants

While Cory catfish like moving around the fish tank, they also prefer having a space to rest or hide from others.

The plants shade some of the areas from light. Cory catfish like to spend some time in these shaded areas.

You should put live plants in your fish tanks like Cryptocoryne Parva and Echinodorus tenellus. Java fern, hornworts, java moss, and Amazon Sword are also good options.

Types of Cory Catfish Suitable for 10-Gallon Tank

Although there are more than 100 types of Cory catfish, these species are identified by the difference in their body shapes and sizes.

Some of the species that are suitable for a 10-gallon tank are listed below.

Skunk Cory Catfish

Skunk Cory catfish are perfectly comfortable living in a 10-gallon fish tank as they grow up to 3 inches when fully mature.

Skunk Cory Catfish

Their social and friendly behavior makes them great companions with other species.

They are also quite curious and are often found hiding or searching for food in the substrate.

If you have Skunk Cory catfish in your fish tank, you can put caves and another similar décor for them.

Albino Cory Catfish

Perhaps the most common and cheapest type of Cory catfish out there.

Albino Cory Catfish

Albino Cory catfish like being in groups and can grow up to 2.5 inches long when reaching adulthood.

Their relatively small size will make them ideal for a 10-gallon fish tank.

They may also eat algae on occasion, but it should, in no way, be given to them as their main food source.

Also read: Are Albino Cory Catfish Blind?

Pygmy Cory Catfish

Pygmy Cory catfish, as their name indicates, are quite small, even in the Cory catfish species.

Pygmy Cory Catfish

They can grow up to 1 inch in length. Yet, this makes them all the more suitable for a 10-gallon fish tank.

Pygmy Cory catfish are usually for those fish owners who are just starting out keeping fish as pets. They are quite low maintenance and require little to be kept happy.

Because of their docile nature, they can usually mix well with other fish.

They are originally freshwater fish species; hence they like to live in environments which imitate their natural habitats.

Dwarf Cory Catfish

Dwarf Cory catfish are a popular choice for fish tank owners.

They are mostly used for a variety of practical purposes as workers and scavengers, as well as pets.

Dwarf Cory catfish can grow up to 2 inches in length, making them ideal for a 10-gallon fish tank. They can live up to 3 years.

Sterba’s Cory Catfish

Sterba’s Cory catfish have a stunning appearance which makes them hugely popular in the Cory catfish species.

Sterba’s Cory Catfish

They are also extremely low maintenance, allowing fish owners to take care of them quite easily.

Sterba’s Cory catfish can grow up to anywhere between 2 inches to 2.5 inches in length.

They like to hide in the environment and will typically cost more than the average Cory catfish.

One of the most striking characteristics of Sterba’s Cory catfish is their unusually long lifespan.

They can live up to 10 to 14 years when provided with proper care. They are also excellent at cleaning the substrate.

Julii Cory Catfish (Leopard Cory)

Julii Cory catfish are also called Leopard Cory catfish because of the resemblance of their skin to that of a leopard.

Julii Cory Catfish (Leopard Cory)

This species of Cory catfish is renowned for its visual appeal.

Julii Cory catfish can grow up to 2 inches in length when they are fully mature. Furthermore, they can live up to 5 years which makes them an excellent choice for keeping in a 10-gallon fish tank.

Three Stripe Cory Catfish

Similar to Julii Cory Catfish, the Three Stripe Cory catfish has a striped texture and color combination.

Three Stripe Cory Catfish

The differentiating point in their appearances is the pointed snout and growth of their bodies.

Three Stripe Cory catfish have a snout that is less pointed than Julii Cory catfish. Also, they are shorter in length, which, arguably, makes them better suited to live in a 10-gallon fish tank.

The Three Stripe Cory catfish have an extremely playful nature and can live up to an age of 5 years.

Emerald Cory Catfish

Emerald Cory catfish come in green and pink colors. They are quite peaceful by nature and can grow up to slightly more than 3 inches if taken care of properly.

Emerald Cory Catfish

Emerald Cory catfish have a ravenous appetite and are known for being excellent at scavenging food. They also have a huge lifespan of 14 years.

Fish owners who are not well-experienced in having fish as pets should start with them as they are quite low maintenance.

Panda Cory Catfish

Panda Cory catfish are one of the most social types of Cory catfish. They thrive in groups of 4 to 5 fish and can grow up to 2 inches in length.

Panda Cory Catfish

Panda Cory catfish got their name because of their appearance being similar to a panda as they have black markings on their bodies, eyes, fins, and tail.

Panda Cory catfish are high maintenance, and fish owners should be vigilant in taking care of them.

They can live for a long time, given that the tank conditions are properly maintained.

Ideal Tank Mates for Cory Catfish in a 10-Gallon Tank

Because a 10-gallon fish tank isn’t very large, there are certain fish and other species that can live with Cory catfish.

What Fish Shouldn’t Be Kept with Cory Catfish?

Cory catfish are quite friendly and docile creatures and will live comfortably with other peaceful tank mates. However, they cannot survive with aggressive tank mates.

Some of the fish that you should never put with Cory catfish are Cichlids, Oscars, and Barbs.

While these are a popular choice among fish tank owners, they are, nevertheless, quite aggressive by nature and will try to dominate other fish.

Aquarium crayfish is another type that should be kept away from Cory catfish. These fish can injure or even kill your Cory catfish.

Even when not directly harmed, their presence will cause an extreme amount of stress for your catfish.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Below are some of the commonly asked questions about keeping cory catfish in fish tanks.

How many Cory catfish should be kept in a fish tank?

The recommended number of Cory catfish in a fish tank is 2-4 in a 10-gallon home aquarium. If you have a bigger fish tank, you can keep 4-6 cory catfish (as they like to swim in groups)

What is the best diet for Cory catfish?

Cory catfish can eat both plants and meat.

They should be given a diet of shrimp pellets, bottom feeder tablets, and worms such as bloodworms or Daphnia.

What tank size is ideal for cory catfish breeding?

If you are looking to increase the number of cory catfish in your fish tank, we recommend going for a 20-gallon aquarium.

Since cory catfish prefer swimming near the bottom, a 20-gallon fish tank will be enough for cory catfish and other tank mates.

What is the average size of an adult Cory catfish?

Cory catfish can grow up to 2 inches to 2.5 inches when fully mature.

However, it also depends on what species they are. Adult Pygmy Corydoras are only 1 inch long.

Also read: How Long Do Cory Catfish Live?


Cory catfish prefer living in groups, and they like to swim around. If you have a 10-gallon fish tank, 2-4 Cory catfish are perfectly suitable for you.

However, you need to remember that when they breed, you will have to increase the size of your fish tank.

For the most part, however, they are excellent creatures to be put in a home aquarium.

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