Lifespan of cory catfish. (How To Ensure Their Longer Lifespan.)

Cory catfish are the most common bottom dwellers every aquarist live to add in their community tank. They are peaceful and hardy fish, making them the best option for beginners. Cory catfish can live a long life when kept in the right conditions. We will discuss the lifespan of cory catfish in this article. So, let us find out.

Cory catfish can live for five years and even longer when kept in the right conditions. Provide your cory catfish with their ideal water conditions and parameters, feed them regularly with high-quality nutritional food, and a stress-free environment to ensure their long and healthy lifespan.

This article will discuss the lifespan of cory catfish and how we can ensure a long and healthy lifespan of our cory catfish. So, let us get into it.

How long do cory catfish live in captivity?

Cory catfish can live in captivity for five years and more when kept in the right water conditions.

There are numerous things that can affect their lifespan.

Inadequate water parameters and poor water conditions are the common and primary causes behind cory catfish passing away in no time.

Other factors like stress, illness, injury, fights, and poor feeding also affect their health and shorten their lifespan.

If you provide good water conditions, maintain adequate water parameters, and feed regularly with high-quality food to your cory catfish, they will have a good lifespan of 4-5 years.

How to ensure a long and healthy lifespan for my cory catfish?

Ensure all these things for your cory catfish to have a long and healthy lifespan:

  1. Perform a regular water change.
  2. Keep testing the water regularly.
  3. Maintain adequate and stable water parameters.
  4. Feed them high-quality nutritional food.
  5. Avoid adding aggressive fish to their tank.
  6. Avoid overcrowding your cory catfish tank.
  7. Create plenty of hiding spots.
  8. Provide them with a stress-free environment.

Water change

Cory catfish are freshwater fish and like to live in clean water conditions.

Perform a weekly water change of at least 35% to keep the water clean.

When performing a water change, Make sure to treat the tap water first with a water conditioner before adding it to your fish tank.

We recommend using the API water conditioner as it helps eliminate chlorine, chloramine, ammonia, nitrite, and heavy metals from the water.

Also, consider adding plenty of live aquatic plants to your corydoras tank, as it will help keep the water clean and well oxygenated.

Also read: Can Cory Catfish Live In Brackish Water?

Keep testing the water regularly.

Cory catfish are hardy fish and can live in a wide range of water conditions and parameters.

However, a slight amount of ammonia and nitrite can make them suffer from a life-threatening condition.

So, consider checking your corydoras tank’s ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels weekly.

Ensure to maintain ammonia and nitrite at 0ppm, whereas nitrate should be below 20ppm.

We recommend using the API freshwater master kit to check your tank’s ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH level as it shows accurate results.

You can buy it from amazon: API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT. 

Maintain adequate and stable water parameters

Maintaining adequate and stable water parameters will prevent stress and ensure your cory catfish’s longer lifespan.

Provide your corydoras with a water temperature between 70-82 °F.

Maintain the water pH level between 7 and 8.

The TDS level of your cory catfish tank should be between 400-600ppm.

Consider adding a heater to your fish tank, as it will help you stabilize the water temperature. 

Also read: Ideal pH Level For Cory Catfish?

Feed them high-quality nutritional food.

Cory catfish are bottom dwellers and spend most of their time scavenging on the bottom, searching for food.

They feed on food leftovers, decayed plants, and small dead fish from the bottom of the tank.

However, we should not make your cory catfish rely on all this waste and should feed them with high-quality nutritional food.

They are omnivore fish and require both meat and plant-matter food in their daily diet to fulfill their ideal nutritional requirement.

Consider feeding them with bloodworms, tubifex worms, brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, blanched vegetables, boiled peas, sinking flakes and pellets, and bottom feeder tablets.

Also, to make sure that you are not overfeeding them, feed them in a quantity that they can finish eating in one to two minutes.

If they are taking more time to finish their food, you are overfeeding them.

Also read: Can Cory Catfish Eat Betta Food?

Avoid adding aggressive fish.

Cory catfish are peaceful fish and like to live with other non-aggressive fish in a community tank.

Aggressive fish will constantly chase and try to nip your cory catfish.

Cory catfish will not fight back and keep hiding and running from the aggressive fish.

All these will make them come under constant stress and become prone to various diseases and parasites.

These are some best tankmates of your cory catfish you can consider adding to their tank:

  1. Neon tetras
  2. Guppies
  3. Mollies
  4. Platies
  5. Zebra danios
  6. Shrimps
  7. Snails

Also read: Can Cory Catfish Live With Neon Tetras?

Avoid overcrowding

An overcrowded tank looks amazing and attractive. 

However, an overcrowded tank will come with all these issues:

  1. A crowded tank will get polluted faster than usual.
  2. Your fish will not be able to live and swim comfortably in an overcrowded tank.
  3. There will be an anytime risk of an ammonia spike in a crowded tank.
  4. Oxygen deficiency is expected in a crowded tank.

All these will affect your cory catfish’s health and can make them sick.

So, to ensure you are not overcrowding your cory catfish tank, follow the one-inch one-gallon rule.

The one-inch one-gallon rule means one inch of fish per gallon of water.

Cory catfish can be as long as 4 inches, depending on the species, with an average size of 2-2.5 inches.

Also, they are schooling fish and should be kept in a group of at least 5-6 of their species.

The substrate, plants, equipment, and other decors will take some space.

So, a 20-gallon tank is your cory catfish’s minimum tank size requirement.

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

Create hiding spots

Cory catfish require plenty of hiding spots in their tank to feel safe and comfortable.

Also, some corydoras species are shy and hide most of the time.

You can create hiding spots by adding terra cotta pots, sunken ships, driftwood, and other hiding decors.

Adding lots of live aquatic plants is the best way to create plenty of hiding spots for your cory catfish.

Tall and deep plants will provide good hiding spots for your cory catfish.

These are some best plants you can consider adding to your corydoras tank:

  1. Java fern
  2. Java moss
  3. Amazon sword
  4. Anubias nana
  5. Vallisneria
  6. Micro sword
  7. Water sprite

Also read: Why Are My Cory Catfish Hiding?

Provide stress-free environment

Cory catfish that is under stress will lose its appetite and become weak.

Weak cory catfish will become prone to various diseases and parasites, affecting their health.

So, to ensure our cory catfish’s longer lifespan, we have to provide them with a stress-free environment.

Ensure these things to provide a stress-free environment to your cory catfish:

  1. Adequate water parameters.
  2. Stable water temperature
  3. Good water conditions
  4. Avoid adding aggressive fish
  5. Avoid overcrowding the tank
  6. Avoid overfeeding your fish.
  7. Keep them in a large group of at least 5-6.
  8. Provide them with enough space
  9. Feed them regularly with high-quality food.

Also read: Ideal Water Temperature For Cory Catfish.


Cory catfish can have a lifespan of more than five years if kept in the right conditions.

Provide your cory catfish with their ideal water conditions and parameters, and feed them high-quality nutritional foods to ensure their long and healthy lifespan.

Poor water conditions, stress, aggressive mate, unstable water temperature, and irregular food supply will affect their health, and they will not live long.

Cory catfish can live longer in captivity than in the wild if we keep them in the right conditions and provide them with all their ideal needs.

Reference: Wikipedia, Britannica


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