Pregnant Cory Catfish: The Exclusive Breeding Guide of 2023

Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned aquaria enthusiast, the idea of pregnant Cory catfish will likely pique your interest.

These amusing little bottom-dwelling creatures are popular aquarium inhabitants due to their peaceful demeanor and interesting behavior.

However, learning about how they reproduce and care for their young can bring an exciting new dynamic to your tank.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the process of Cory Catfish reproduction, covering topics such as sexing Corys and understanding fry care.

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With this in-depth look into the reproductive habits of these unique fish, you’ll be much better prepared if (or when) your pets decide it’s time to have babies!

Is My Cory Catfish Pregnant?

No, Cory Catfish cannot be pregnant as they belong to an egg-laying fish species. The female will lay hundreds of eggs simultaneously, and the male fertilizes them externally.

However, after mating, the female catfish can retain sperm for up to 6 months, allowing her to produce multiple spawns throughout the year if she finds suitable spawning sites.

How to Tell If Your Cory Catfish Is Pregnant?

How to tell if Cory catfish is pregnant? Signs of pregnancy in Cory Catfish include:

  • An increase in size.
  • A behavior change.
  • The appearance of a red or black spot.

Female Cory Catfish develop this coloration on their underside when they are pregnant.

It is important to note that only female Cory Catfish can become pregnant, and males do not display any signs of pregnancy.

Cory Catfish Reproduction

When beginning the process of Corydoras catfish reproduction, it is important to understand that these fish can reproduce in multiple ways. 

The most common method of breeding fish is “pair spawning,” which involves a single male and female Cory living together for several weeks, forming a pair bond, and ultimately spawning.

These fish may spawn multiple times throughout the year if provided with suitable environmental breeding conditions, including a sandy or gravel substrate, plenty of hiding places and vegetation, and a stable temperature between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pregnant Cory Catfish Behavior

When preparing to spawn, Cory Catfish pairs will often become more active and may start chasing each other around the breeding tank. Male Cory Catfish are known to be very attentive and protective of pregnant females by frolicking around them.

This behavior is also seen as a form of courtship, as the male displays his interest in the female. During this time, the male will also establish a nesting site for her to lay her eggs. After she lays her eggs, he will use his fins to fan oxygenated water over them until they hatch.

Once the female cory catfish lay eggs, the pair must be removed from the tank, as Cory’s parents will often eat their offspring. 

Male vs. Female Cory Catfish:

How to tell if a Cory catfish is male or female? How Do I Sex My Cory? Sexing male and female Corydoras can be tricky, but it’s not too hard with a little practice!

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The easiest way to tell the difference between males and females is by looking at the pelvic fins. Males have longer, pointed pelvic fins, whereas females have shorter, rounder fins.

Another method is to look at the color of their faces. Females tend to have an orange-ish hue, while males usually have a more silver or grey face. Finally, females are usually larger than males and may appear rounder due to their egg-filled bodies.

How to Tell If Cory Catfish Are Breeding?

How do I know if my Cory catfish are mating? Cory catfish sometimes form a “T shape” when mating. Look for this behavior in the tank to tell if your cory catfish are breeding.

Other signs of breeding include changes in coloring and increased aggression between fish pairs.

Finally, if you think your Cory Catfish is pregnant, look for a black or red spot on the female’s underbelly.

Where Do Cory Catfish Lay Their Eggs?

In aquariums, Cory Catfish lay their eggs against the glass of an aquarium, live plants, or hard objects like wood or stones. The female will swim around these surfaces and deposit her adhesive eggs in batches.

Keeping the surface clean is important, as debris on it can cause fungal problems that can kill the developing fry.

Once the eggs are laid, the male will fan water over them to oxygenate and protect them. It is important to keep a low water level during this time to ensure the eggs are given enough oxygen.

What Does a Pregnant Cory Catfish Look Like?

When a Cory Catfish is pregnant, it will develop a prominent round or boxy bulge in its abdomen region. This area will be filled with thousands of tiny eggs ranging from white to orange.

Additionally, the fish’s eyes may look slightly hollow due to the extra energy they use to generate more eggs and ensure that everything is going well with the pregnancy.

How Long Does It Take for a Cory Catfish to Lay Eggs?

How Often Do Cory Catfish Lay Eggs? Cory catfish typically take anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks to lay eggs. Breeding season usually begins in the late spring and usually lasts until autumn.

Male Corydoras will start chasing the female around, showing their desire to mate. Once she is ready, they will make a spawning pit under any rock or object where she can deposit her eggs, which he then fertilizes.

Once they have spawned, it takes 1-4 weeks for the fry to hatch and become free swimming!

When Are Cory Catfish Eggs Fertilized?

Cory Catfish eggs are fertilized externally once released from the female fish. This occurs after the male fish has spread milt on the eggs and they have become sticky. Therefore, external fertilization happens right after mating and egg-laying.

Once the Corydoras eggs are fertilized and firmly attached to a surface, the male will fan oxygenated water over them until cory catfish eggs hatch.

What Do Fertilized Cory Catfish Eggs Look Like?

Catfish eggs look like tiny bubbles or drops of liquid. They are usually about 1mm in size and can range in color from white to yellowish orange.

After fertilization, Cory Catfish eggs will turn a more brown-orange color, and you may notice small black spots appearing on the surface.

The difference between fertilized and unfertilized eggs is, These spots are from the sperm that were responsible for fertilizing the egg. On the other hand, infertile eggs exhibit a white, unadorned, and semi-transparent appearance.

The Ideal Tank Conditions for Breeding Corydoras

Cory Catfish have tanks holding around 30 pounds of water, although tiny. Corydoras prefer school life as compared to other fish species. This requires incredibly much storage space, so a good-sized tank will help keep your freshwater fish safe.

A tricky part about having much tiny fish grouped inside tanks is that the fish will like swimming around one another. Larger fish tends to be less lazy than smaller fish, which most anglers don’t expect. The tanks might be large enough to hold your fish.

Water Parameters (pH, temperature, etc.)

The ideal tank conditions for breeding Corydoras include warm to moderate water temperatures (72 – 78 °F) and a pH between 6.0-7.5 with medium hardness levels (3 to 7 dGH).

Additionally, you should ensure the tank is well-oxygenated and has enough space for the fish to swim around comfortably.

It is also important to closely monitor the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels in the tank. These should all be kept at 0 ppm to ensure the water is safe for your fish. These animals are sensitive to ammonium, nitrites, or nitrates and can kill silently, so check them regularly.

Finally, it is a good idea to use a water conditioner to remove chlorine or chloramines before introducing your Corydoras.

This will help ensure the water is safe for your fish and their eggs. Once the ideal tank conditions are met, you can begin breeding your Corydoras.

Ensure the fish have plenty of hiding places and live food sources so they are comfortable in their environment. This will help to ensure that your fish feel safe and secure, which makes them much more likely to breed successfully.

Do Corydoras Eat their Eggs?

The breeding of Corydora is not a difficult process. But raising children has never really helped. Finding Corydora eggs is just the start, as the parents are not concerned with the eggs.

Corydoras catfish have no interest in the eggs they lay. They eat the eggs whenever they have an opportunity. If a fish finds eggs, it can eat them. The eggs are not toxic or damaging to the fish.

It is, therefore, important to remove any eggs as soon as they are spotted to give the cory catfish fry a better chance of survival. You can do this by replacing the eggs with artificial spawning media or manually removing them from the tank.

Tips for Breeding Cory Catfish and Caring For the Eggs

Thankfully, this beautiful fish can be easily grown and bred. There are five important ways to be successful at breeding. Here are some tips for breeding Cory Catfish and caring for the fertilized eggs:

Set up a Separate Container

It can be used in various kinds to keep corydora eggs safe. It is possible in plastic containers that can easily get into. Many prefer professionally-built boxes, while others hatch them in separate tubes.

It’s preferably a bathtub you put into the tank because water is needed for heating. Egg tumblers do no good for catfish eggs. They have a sticky surface, so they stay inside the tumbler.

Regular bathtubs can be used just about every other way, and they are cheaper. Next, add a little edified water. Besides raising the oxygen level, the bubble creates water flow, which decreases the chances of infections infecting eggs.

Remove the Cory Eggs from your tank

As I mentioned earlier, Cory Catfish eats eggs. Even with Corydoras stored within community aquariums where parents and other species can eat their eggs, separate eggs are the only way to ensure good ones.

Wait hours for the egg to hatch before the egg is harvested. The eggs can be removed without damage. Eggs can be picked quite quickly without being too fragile.

Some people prefer using credit cards or razors. Both could also cause a damaged embryo. My best technique was using my hands to wring up an egg on the net.

Caring for Corydoras eggs

When you have a Corydoras spawn, you must do something to keep it alive. Corydoras are not good fathers, but hatching eggs is very straightforward. Remove the fish eggs from their parents and incubate them in a separate tank.

The water temperature should be between 76-80°F with low to mid-water hardness. Change the water regularly and add fresh infusoria or freshly hatched baby brine shrimp as food. Make sure that you provide good water flow and aeration. The fertilized eggs should hatch in 4-10 days.

Once the cory catfish fry (cory catfish babies) have hatched, feed them high-quality food like a finely crushed flake or liquid fry foods. Feed the fry several times daily in small amounts, and ensure the breeding tank is kept clean and oxygenated.

How To Take Care of The Newborn Cory Catfish

After the fry hatches and you move the parents back to the tank, the time has come to think about the food they are eating or how they will grow. They are small, so they must eat fewer foods.

Once they master the art of swimming, their eager taste buds will relish fry food as they embark on a thrilling culinary journey toward devouring adult fish food.

You can feed the shrimp with boiled shrimp a couple of times daily. You can learn about bringing shrimp by doing this simple process two days before the incubation of the Cory eggs.

Add brine shrimp for one week to feed the fry. The animals can have daphnia and micro worms too. If you don’t have cooked shrimp, do not worry; various specially formulated foods are available for feeding the catfish.

Commonly Asked Questions about Pregnant Corydoras & Cory Cat Eggs (FAQ)

How Often Do Cory Catfish Breed?

Cory Catfish will typically breed every few weeks. However, it is not uncommon for some Corydoras to not always spawn regularly.

How Do I Know If My Corydora Is Pregnant?

The female pregnant Cory fish will appear larger and plumper than usual when she is pregnant. If you look closely, you should see the eggs in her belly.

Do I Need to Separate My Corydoras After Spawning?

It is not necessary to separate your Corydoras after they have spawned. However, keeping a close eye on the parents is important, as they may eat the eggs and fry.

How Do You Stop Cory Catfish from Breeding?

Removing the females from the tank is the best way to stop Cory Catfish from breeding. You can also reduce the water temperature, making them less likely to breed. Lastly, you can reduce the amount of light in the tank, which will also discourage breeding.

How to Fix Bloated Cory Catfish?

A bloated Cory Catfish may indicate a variety of issues. If your fish is bloated, checking the water parameters and ensuring they are within the correct range is best. Additionally, you should check for signs of parasites or bacterial infections.

How Long Do Corydoras Carry Eggs?

A Corydora can typically carry eggs for about two weeks. However, the exact time may vary depending on the cory catfish species and the water conditions in which they live. Monitoring your adult fish during this time is important to ensure they do not get too stressed or suffer health issues.

Can a Pregnant Cory fish Lay Eggs Every Week?

The male catfish have been known to mate with pregnant catfish, and the egg is buried each day. The spawning hatching rate varies in particular from the conditions. Generally, Cory Catfish are not known to lay eggs every week.

How Many Eggs Do Cory Catfish Lay?

A typical Corydoras can lay between 10-50 eggs at a time. However, the exact number may vary depending on the species and the environment in which they live.

Is my Albino Cory Catfish Pregnant?

It is difficult to tell if your albino Cory catfish is pregnant or not. Generally, the female will appear larger and plumper than usual when pregnant. You may also see the eggs in her belly if you look closely. If you are still unsure, it is best to consult a veterinarian or fish expert.


All in all, pregnant Cory catfish can make a great addition to any freshwater aquarium. They provide a pop of color and excitement to the tank’s inhabitants and offer an additional layer of complex biological functions that actively help keep the tank clean. Additionally, while caring for these fish may require some extra attention from their owners, monitoring and maintaining their breeding tank will be exceptionally rewarding when their fry emerges into the world.

To ensure your fish live long and enjoyable lives, always provide them with an appropriately sized environment where water parameters are ideal for their health and safety. If you plan for success by setting yourself up with the right materials and devoting adequate time for care, it is more than possible that these small yet powerful adult fish could bring joy and pleasure to your home for years to come!

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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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