Are Cory Catfish Livebearers? (Complete Information)

Cory catfish are the most common bottom dweller fish that most aquarists prefer to add to their community tank. They are peaceful fish and love living and interacting with other peaceful fish. 

When it comes to breeding, the query in every beginner’s mind is whether cory catfish give birth to fry or lay eggs. So, Are cory catfish livebearers? Let us find out. 

Cory catfish are not livebearers as they are egg-laying fish. The female cory catfish swim towards the abdomen of male cory catfish, forming a “t” shape, and then swallow the sperm using their mouth. Female cory uses sperm to fertilize the eggs and release them when they find the right place.

This article will discuss whether cory catfish are livebearers and how cory catfish mate. Also, we will know how we can take care of a cory fry and eggs. So, let us get into it. 

Do cory catfish give birth to a fry?

Cory catfish are egg-laying fish and don’t give birth to a fry.

They lay eggs everywhere in the aquarium, and those eggs get hatched in an average of 5-7 days.

They lay the well-fertilized eggs all over the aquarium.

You will usually find the eggs attached to the aquarium’s glass or the plants.

Cory catfish can lay about 200 eggs in a single spawning.

The breeding process of corydoras is amazing and super easy.

Even a beginner can breed their corydoras as all they need is to ensure the ideal water conditions for cory catfish to breed.

How do cory catfish mate?

The mating process of a cory catfish is very different and unique.

The male cory catfish shiver around the female catfish and lie down on top of her.

The female cory catfish then swim up to the male’s abdomen.

The female cory catfish uses her mouth to suck up the sperm from the male catfish.

You will notice that the cory catfish will make a ” T ” position when breeding.

The female cory catfish uses the sperm to fertilize the egg inside her and then releases the eggs all over the aquarium.

The female cory catfish will keep the eggs in her pelvic fin until she gets the right spot to place the eggs in an aquarium.

Also read: How Long Do Cory Catfish Eggs Take To Hatch?

How do cory catfish fertilize their eggs?

Female cory catfish suck the sperm from the male cory catfish using their mouth.

They use the sperm to fertilize the eggs inside her and then lays the eggs in an aquarium.

They retain the eggs in their pelvic fin until they find a good place to release them.

However, some aquarists say that the male corydoras spray the sperm in the eggs when the female corydoras release the eggs in the aquarium.

Ideal tank conditions of a tank for breeding cory catfish.

These are the things to take care of to ensure ideal conditions for a cory catfish to breed:

  1. Tank size
  2. Water flow
  3. Water temperature

Tank size

Corydoras are schooling fish and like to live in a large group of at least 5-6.

Keeping only 2 or 3 cory catfish together will make them under stress and not be interested in breeding.

When planning to breed your corydoras, consider keeping a group of 5 cory catfish together ( three male and two female )

Also, it would be best to keep your corydoras in a separate tank and not in a community tank for the breeding process.

Also, if you keep them in a separate tank, you can detect them closely and also will be able to find and protect the eggs.

Consider a minimum of a 20-gallon tank to keep five corydoras together.

Also read: How Many Cory Catfish In A 10-Gallon Tank?

Water flow

Add an air pump or stone to ensure the right water flow.

However, make sure to create some spots in a tank with low water flow so they can rest.

Adding some plants, a cave, and other hiding decors will do the work.

Adding a filter is not recommended, as the filter will suck the eggs and fry corydoras.

Water temperature

Usually, cory catfish require a water temperature between 70-82 °F.

However, maintain the water temperature between 78-80 °F to ensure the ideal water temperature for breeding.

Consider adding a heater to your cory catfish tank to stabilize the water temperature.

Also, make sure to maintain the water pH level between 7 and 8.

Also read: Ideal Water Temperature For Cory Catfish?

Do cory catfish eat their eggs?

Cory catfish will eat their eggs. This is why we recommend separating the parent cory catfish and other adult cory catfish from the eggs.

When the mother cory catfish lays the eggs in the aquarium, separate them as soon as possible as they will feed on those eggs.

Also, breeding your cory catfish in a community tank can be dangerous for the eggs as the adults can eat it up.

We recommend breeding your cory catfish in a separate tank and separating the parent cory as soon they lay eggs.

When do cory catfish get sexually mature?

Cory catfish get sexually mature at the age of 12 months.

However, the male coy catfish will get sexually mature at the age of 6-9 months.

But, we don’t recommend allowing them to breed at this age and should try to refrain them from breeding.

The best way to classify that your corydoras are sexually mature and ready to breed is by looking at their size.

If your corydoras have reached the size of 2.5 inches, they are ready to mate.

Spawning can cause a high-stress level if your corydoras are not sexually mature.

So, make sure to breed them when they reach the age of at least 12 months and are 2.5 inches in size.

How often can cory catfish breed?

Corydoras can breed every week if kept in the right water conditions.

They can lay hundreds of eggs by single spawning.

The eggs will remain on the glass, plants, and the corner of the substrate until they get to hatch.

The difficulty you will face is to save the eggs from the adults.

Corydoras will feed on their eggs, as is normal in every egg-laying fish.

Consider separating the parent and adult cory from eggs.

How to take care of a cory fry?

The first and essential thing to do is separate the cory fry from the adults.

Corydoras will not hesitate while feeding on the cory wrigglers.

So, separating the cory fry from the adult corydoras should be the first step to taking care of them.

Your cory fry will not need food for the first 24-48 hours after getting out from the eggs.

They will feed on the remaining yolk sags till that time.

You have to feed them two times a day after they start to wriggle and move more than usual.

Feed them powder food for the first week, and then you can introduce live or dead protein food to them when they grow a little.

We recommend feeding your cory fry with baby brine shrimp as it is the best food for the fry.

You can start feeding them with live or frozen food like daphnia when they reach the age of 3-4 weeks.

All of your cory fry may not be healthy and strong, and there will be some weak and deformed cory fry.

If you want to breed the cory fry when they become adults, you have to separate the deformed cory fry as it can lead to a genetic issue.

Once your cory fry gets big enough to get introduced to adult cory’s, you can shift them to your home aquarium.

However, make sure you don’t overcrowd your tank by adding more corydoras in a small tank.

If you have a big enough tank to add more cory catfish, you should add them. Otherwise, consider giving away some of the fish.


Cory catfish are not life bearers and are egg-laying fish.

Male corydoras lie down on top of the female corydoras. Female corydoras come towards the abdomen of male cory catfish and swallow the sperm from the male corydoras using their mouth.

Female cory catfish fertilize the eggs inside her body using the sperm of a male cory catfish and then lay the eggs in an aquarium when they get the right spot.

Until then, they retain the eggs in their pelvic fin.

Corydoras can breed every week when kept in the right water conditions.

Also, make sure to separate the eggs from the adult and parent cory catfish as they will not hesitate to feed on their eggs.

Reference: ScienceDirect, Wikipedia

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