7 Best Small Cory Catfish Species for Your Aquarium Tank

Corydoras catfish, also known as Cory catfish or simply corys, are popular and adorable little creatures that make great additions to aquarium tanks. Their peaceful nature, small size, and low-maintenance requirements make them perfect for beginner and experienced fish keepers alike.

There are many different species of Corydoras catfish, each with unique characteristics and appearance. This Cories care guide will explore the seven best small corydoras species ideal for your aquarium tank.

These small Cory catfish species are known for their exciting behavior and scavenging habits, making them excellent tank cleaners. They are also compatible with other schooling fish, making them great community tank inhabitants.

From the classic Bronze Cory to the vibrant Panda Cory, a small Corydoras catfish species suits every aquarist’s preferences and tank setup. So, if you’re considering adding some of these delightful little fish to your aquarium, read on to discover the best tiny Cory catfish species for your tank. 

Are there any catfish that stay small?

Yes, there are catfish that stay small. Some species of catfish, like the dwarf giraffe catfish or the pygmy Corydoras, remain relatively small compared to other catfish species. 

The dwarf giraffe catfish, also known as the Asian stone catfish, typically grows to about 2 inches long and can be kept in small aquariums. The pygmy corydora, on the other hand, reaches a maximum size of about 1 inch and is also suitable for smaller aquariums. 

can you mix different types of cory catfish

These small catfish species are popular among hobbyists who have limited space for larger aquariums or simply prefer the smaller size of these fish.

Despite their small size, these catfish still exhibit interesting behaviors and are unique to any aquarium. So, if you’re looking for a pet catfish that won’t outgrow its tank, consider adding one of these small catfish species to your aquarium. 

Corydoras catfish, also known as Cory catfish, are famous for home aquariums due to their small size, peaceful nature, and interesting behaviors. Many species of small Cory fish are perfect for smaller tanks.

For adult-sized Corydoras, a minimum 20-gallon tank is necessary, with a 20-long tank being preferable over a 20-tall tank due to better suitability for their natural behaviors. 

Here are seven best small cory catfish for small tanks Aquarium in the aquarium hobby that you can get from any nearby reputable online fish pet store with affordable shipping options:

1. Pygmy Corydoras (Corydoras pygmaeus)

The Pygmy Corydoras, also known as Corydoras pygmaeus, is a tiny freshwater fish native to the Amazon Basin in South America. These peaceful and social fish are popular among aquarium owners for their small size and interesting behavior. They thrive in well-maintained tanks with plenty of hiding spots and gentle water flow.

2. Panda Corydoras (Corydoras panda)

The Panda Corydoras, also known as Corydoras panda, is a small, peaceful freshwater fish popular among aquarium enthusiasts. This species is easily recognizable by its panda-like coloration, with black patches on its white body. They are a social species and thrive in groups, so it’s best to keep them in a school of at least six individuals. Panda Corydoras are relatively easy to care for and are a great addition to any community aquarium.

3. Salt and Pepper Cory Catfish (Corydoras habrosus)

The Salt and Pepper Corydoras, also known as Corydoras habrosus, are small and peaceful bottom-dwelling fish native to South America. They have a distinctive salt and pepper-like pattern on their body, which gives them their unique name. These fish are popular among aquarists for their active and social behavior and their ability to help keep the aquarium clean by eating algae and leftover food. They are a great addition to community aquariums and can thrive in various water conditions.

4. Dwarf Corydoras (Corydoras hastatus)

Dwarf Corydoras, also known as Corydoras hastatus, are small, peaceful, bottom-dwelling fish often sought for their attractive appearance and easy care. They are native to South America and are typically found in the wild in slower-moving waters with dense vegetation. These colorful fish are popular among aquarium hobbyists for their active nature and ability to help keep the tank clean by scavenging for leftover food and debris. They are a great addition to any community aquarium.

5. Bronze Corydoras (Corydoras aeneus)

The Bronze Corydoras, or Corydoras aeneus, is a widespread freshwater catfish species in the aquarium trade. It is named for its bronze-colored body and is native to South America, inhabiting slow-moving rivers and streams. This peaceful and hardy fish is an excellent addition to community tanks and is known for its habit of scavenging for food along the bottom of the aquarium. Bronze Corydoras are also known to be excellent algae-eaters, making them a valuable addition to any aquarium.

6. Sterbai Corydoras (Corydoras sterbai)

The Sterbai Corydoras, also known as Corydoras sterbai, is a widespread freshwater catfish often kept in home aquariums. Its striking appearance, with orange and black markings, makes it an attractive addition to any tank. They are known for their peaceful nature and can be kept with other non-aggressive fish. These bottom-dwellers are relatively easy to breed and care for and are an excellent choice for beginner aquarists looking to add vibrancy to their tank.

7. Julii Cory Catfish(Corydoras julii)

The Julii Corydoras, also known as Corydoras julii, is a popular species of catfish in the aquarium trade. These small, peaceful fish are native to the Amazon River basin in Brazil and are known for their distinct pattern of black spots on a light background. They are a hardy and adaptable species, making them an excellent choice for beginner aquarists. Julii tail spot cory catfish are bottom-dwellers and prefer to be kept in small groups in a well-maintained tank with plenty of hiding spots.

What fish can live with the black stripe pygmy Cory Catfish?

The pygmy Cory Catfish is a peaceful and shy species that does well in a community tank with other peaceful fish. They are best kept with similar fish in size and temperament, as more extensive or aggressive fish may intimidate or outcompete them for food.

Good tankmates for pygmy Cory Catfish include small, peaceful tetras like neon tetras or ember tetras and peaceful bottom-dwellers like dwarf shrimp, tiny snails, and small loaches. They can also do well with peaceful mid-water and top-dwelling fish like guppies, killifish, and small Gouramis.

It’s important to avoid keeping them with fish that may nip at their fins, as this can cause stress and potential health issues for the pygmy Corydoras Catfish. A community tank with similar-sized, peaceful fish is the best environment for pygmy Cory Catfish to thrive.

Which Corydoras stay small?

Corydoras pygmaeus, Corydoras hastatus, and Corydoras habrosus are among the smallest Corydoras species, reaching about 1 inch long, making them suitable for smaller aquariums.

How big do mini Cory catfish get?

Mini Corydoras, like the Pygmy Corydora, stay tiny! They only grow to around 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, making them perfect for Nano aquariums.

How many pygmy corys should be kept together?

Pygmy corys are social fish that thrive in groups of at least 8-12. This makes them more confident and displays their natural shoaling behavior.

What are the small dwarf catfish?

Dwarf Cory catfish include Corydoras pygmaeus, Corydoras hastatus, and Corydoras habrosus, which are among the smallest species, ideal for smaller aquariums due to their compact size, reaching around 1 inch.

What is the smallest breed of catfish?

The Pygmy Corydoras wins the crown for the smallest catfish, reaching just 1 inch (2.5 cm) long! They’re perfect for nano tanks.

Can you keep small catfish?

You can keep small catfish like Corydoras pygmaeus, Corydoras hastatus, and Corydoras habrosus in aquariums. Ensure the tank size, water conditions, and diet suit their needs.

How big do dwarf catfish get?

Dwarf” can vary, but expect them to stay under 2 inches. Some, like the Pygmy Corydoras, are smaller, clocking in at just 1 inch!

How big do panda Cory Catfish get?

Panda Cory Catfish stay compact, reaching a maximum size of around 2 inches (5 cm), making them ideal for smaller tanks.

What do small Cory catfish types eat?

Small Cory catfish are omnivores, enjoying both sinking pellets and algae wafers and live treats like brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia.


In conclusion, caring for small Cory fish is a rewarding and delightful experience for any aquarium enthusiast. These little creatures bring charm and character to our underwater worlds with their playful antics and peaceful nature. We can ensure their well-being and longevity by providing them with a suitable habitat, a balanced diet, good filtration, and a clean environment. So, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned fish keeper, consider adding small cory catfish types to your aquatic family. Their presence will undoubtedly enrich your aquarium and bring joy to your life.

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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