Can Cory Catfish Live with Cichlids: (Tank Mates or Foes?)

When creating a harmonious aquarium environment, the compatibility of different fish species is crucial. Many aquarists wonder whether Cory Catfish can coexist with Cichlids, as these popular species often share the same tank setups. So, can Cory catfish live with cichlids peacefully in the community tank?

While Cory Catfish and Cichlids are known for their vibrant colors and distinct personalities, their cohabitation can sometimes cause concern.

Cory Catfish are non-aggressive fish bottom-dwellers that thrive in groups and are beloved for their scavenging and algae-eating habits.

Cory catfish swim bladder treatment

On the other hand, Cichlids, especially those from the African and South American varieties, are known for their territorial and aggressive nature. These differences in behavior and habitat preferences can lead to conflicts in the aquarium.

In this beginner fishkeeping guide, we will explore the factors contributing to the compatibility of Cory Catfish and Cichlids in the same tank.

We will discuss the potential challenges and benefits of keeping these species together and provide recommendations for creating a successful Aquatic life with Cory Catfish and Cichlids. 

Can Cory Catfish Live with Cichlids?

Can you put Cory Catfish with Cichlids? Cory catfish can live with cichlids if their tankmates are carefully selected. Cory catfish are peaceful bottom dwellers that can coexist with many cichlid species. 

However, ensuring that the cichlids are not overly aggressive or territorial is important, as they may cause stress or injury to the Cory catfish.

Lifespan of Cory Catfish

Providing plenty of hiding spots and visual barriers in the tank is also advisable to help reduce potential aggression. Additionally, Cory catfish are sensitive to water quality, so regular maintenance and monitoring of the tank’s parameters are crucial to their well-being.

With proper tank setup and species selection, Cory catfish can live harmoniously with cichlids and other tankmates in a community aquarium setting. Researching the specific species of cichlids and Cory catfish is always recommended to ensure compatibility before introducing them to the same tank. 

What Fish Can I Keep With Corydoras?

Corydoras catfish are peaceful bottom dwellers, making them ideal companions for many community fish. Here are some good choices for tankmates:

Peaceful Fish that occupy different water levels:

  • Tetras: Popular choices include neon tetras, cardinal tetras, and harlequin Rasboras. These schooling fish add movement and color to the middle and upper levels of the tank.
  • Danios: Zebra danios and pearl danios are active and lively Fish that occupy the middle and upper levels.
  • Rasboras: Chili Rasboras and ember tetras are small and peaceful schooling fish that add color to the middle and upper levels.
  • Gouramis: Honey Gouramis and dwarf Gouramis are peaceful Fish that occupy the middle and upper levels. They are beautiful Fish with interesting personalities.
  • Swordtails: These Fish are active and playful, occupying the tank’s middle and upper levels.
  • Platies: Similar to swordtails, platies are active and peaceful Fish that add color and movement to the middle and upper levels.

Other peaceful bottom dwellers:

  • Otocinclus catfish: These small catfish are peaceful algae eaters that make great companions for Corydoras.
  • Bristlenose plecos: These plecos are peaceful algae eaters that can help keep your tank clean.
  • Amano shrimp: These are peaceful scavengers that help keep your tank clean.
  • Cherry shrimp: These small shrimp are peaceful and beautiful, making them a great addition to any community tank.

Will Corydoras Breed in a Community Tank?

Corydoras can breed in a community tank, but certain factors must be considered to increase the chances of successful breeding.

First, ensure that the tank conditions are optimal for breeding, including appropriate water parameters, plenty of hiding spots, and a balanced diet. It is important to have a mix of males and females in the tank to encourage breeding behavior.

Additionally, be mindful of other tank mates disturbing the breeding process or eating the eggs. Providing a separate breeding tank or a sectioned-off area within the community tank can help protect the eggs and fry from being harmed by other types of Fish.

Ultimately, with the right conditions and careful planning, Corydoras can breed in a community tank and for their fry to survive alongside other tank mates. However, monitoring the breeding process closely and being prepared to separate the fry if necessary is important.

Corydoras can breed in a community tank, but the success rate depends on several factors. Here’s a summary of the factors that can influence Corydoras breeding in a community tank:

Success Factors:

  • Large tank
  • Peaceful tank mates
  • Suitable water conditions
  • Plenty of hiding places
  • Varied diet
  • Triggering spawning


  • Predators eating eggs or fry
  • Competition for food and space
  • Difficult to control water parameters
  • Stress from Other Fish

If you create an ideal environment and are patient, you may witness the fascinating spectacle of Corydoras breeding in your community tank. However, be prepared to take additional steps, like removing eggs or setting up a separate breeding tank, if you want to ensure the survival of the fry.

Compatible Tankmates for African Cichlids

Cichlids are aggressive fish species, so When considering tankmates for African Cichlids, it’s important to choose freshwater fish that can coexist peacefully with these territorial and aggressive species.

Some suitable tankmates for African Cichlids include other African cichlid species from the same region, such as Mbuna and Haplochromis. These Fish tend to have similar temperaments and can hold their own against the African Cichlids.

Bottom-dwelling species like Synodontis catfish and Plecos can also make good tankmates as they occupy a different space in the aquarium. 

However, it’s important to avoid small, slow-moving Fish and long-finned species that may be seen as easy targets by the African Cichlids. Additionally, it’s best to avoid mixing African Cichlids with Fish from different regions, as the differing water parameters and behaviors could cause conflicts.

With careful consideration and monitoring, compatible tankmates can successfully cohabitate with African Cichlids in an aquarium. 

Can I Keep Corydoras with Cichlids in the Same Tank?

Can Cory catfish live with African cichlids? It’s generally not recommended to keep Corydoras with aggressive cichlids, as cichlids may harass or stress the peaceful Corydoras. However, with careful monitoring and a spacious tank with hiding spots, some cichlid species, like Angelfish, may coexist peacefully with Corydoras.

What Fish can be in a tank with Cory catfish?

Cory cats are peaceful Fish, compatible with most non-aggressive community fish like tetras, Clown Loaches, guppies, and gouramis. Avoid large, predatory Fish or fin-nippers.

Can cichlids go with Cory catfish?

It depends. Some smaller, peaceful cichlids, like dwarf cichlids, can be good tankmates for Cory catfish, but larger, more aggressive cichlids are not recommended.

What Fish Can Be in a Tank with African Cichlids?

Compatible tankmates for African Cichlids include other Lake Malawi cichlid species, such as Mbuna or Peacock Cichlids. Avoid combining them with Fish from different regions to prevent aggression.

Can Cory catfish live in Blackwater?

Yes, Cory catfish can live in blackwater aquariums! Many Cory fish species come from blackwater habitats in the wild. They thrive in the soft, acidic water and enjoy the tannins and other beneficial compounds released from leaves and driftwood.

What Fish are good in Blackwater?

Fish suitable for a blackwater aquarium include Tetras (e.g., Cardinal Tetras), Rasboras, Dwarf Cichlids (e.g., Apistogramma), and Catfish (e.g., Corydoras). These species thrive in the soft, acidic conditions created by tannins released from materials like driftwood and leaves in blackwater setups.

What water do Cory catfish live in?

Cory catfish prefer soft, slightly acidic water with a pH of 6.0-7.0 and 2-10 dGH water hardness. They thrive in slow-moving, warm water (72-80°F) with a sandy or muddy bottom. Many species come from blackwater habitats and enjoy the tannins and other beneficial compounds.

Can I keep albino Cory catfish with African cichlids?

Keeping albino Cory Catfish with African Cichlids is not recommended, as the cichlids may exhibit aggression towards the peaceful Corydoras. African Cichlids are very aggressive and can stress or harm the catfish.


So, can corys live with cichlids? In conclusion, keeping Cory catfish with Dwarf cichlids can be a successful and enjoyable combination in a well-planned aquarium setup. Both species are known for their peaceful nature and can coexist without major issues. The bottom-dwelling Cory catfish will help keep the tank clean by scavenging for leftover food and algae, while the Dwarf cichlids will occupy the mid to upper levels of the tank. However, it is important to consider the size of the tank and provide enough hiding places and territories for each species to reduce any potential aggression.

Additionally, monitoring the water parameters and ensuring that both species’ dietary needs are met is crucial for their overall health and well-being. So, can Cory catfish live with cichlids? With proper care and attention, keeping Cory catfish with Dwarf cichlids can create a harmonious and visually interesting aquarium environment.

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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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