How Big Do Cory Catfish Get: Biggest, Smallest, and Tips for Growth

Cory catfish are a type of fish that you may have seen at your local fish store. They are a popular choice for beginner freshwater aquarium owners because they are easy to care for and don’t require much maintenance.

Cory catfish are popular freshwater fish that can grow to sizes of up to four inches in length. While they’re not considered one of the larger fish in the world, cory catfish can usually reach a weight of around 11.2 grams. Like most fish, cory catfish are carnivorous and eat various things, including other small fish, insects, and crustaceans.

How to Help With Cory Catfish Growth?

If you’re looking to help your cory catfish grow, there are a few things that you can do. First and foremost, make sure that the fish has access to plenty of food. This means supplementing their diet with live and frozen foods as needed. These fish will feed on small invertebrates, food pellets, and flakes, so a reliable water filtration system and quality conditioned water are essential. Secondly, be sure to monitor the water temperature in which the fish is kept. Colder temperatures will encourage growth, while warmer temperatures will retard it.

Cory catfish are hardy and adaptable but, like all fish, should have plenty of hiding places, solid surfaces to attach to, and a reliable food supply. They prefer natural plant growth, so some driftwood or bogwood may also make an excellent addition to their tank. A tightly-fitting cover is not necessary, but one that shades the fish from direct sunlight is beneficial. As with all Corydoras species, you should not mix them with other similarly sized fish because they can inflict severe damage to each other’s scales.

Why Is My Cory Catfish Not Growing?

There are various reasons why a cory catfish might not be growing. Some common causes include inadequate water quality, overcrowding, and lack of food. If you notice that your cory is not eating or is lethargic, it’s essential to take action and fix the problem. In addition, Corydoras catfish are more sensitive to several chemicals than other types of fish. Because these cory catfish shouldn’t be kept in closed aquariums, buying small quantities can be difficult if you don’t know what type they might eat or the size they will grow up to wind up getting eaten by your ten-gallon tank boys. Therefore, you should pay close attention to selecting which cory catfish species fit right.

The Biggest Cory Catfish Species

The three most giant catfish species are the Banded cory catfish, Emerald cory catfish, and Pepper cory catfish. All three of these species typically grow to twelve inches in length and one-and-a-half to three pounds in weight. Additionally, all three of these species have a different appearance than the smallest cory catfish species and are known for having different temperaments. In addition, these three species of cory catfish typically inhabit freshwater habitats. Freshwater habitats range from three percent to twenty-five percent salinity and have a depth range of two inches to twelve feet.

Banded Cory Catfish (Scleromystax barbatus)

The banded cory catfish are freshwater fish that can reach a length of 3.9 inches. This species has a green and black coloration with bands running the size of its body. The banded cory catfish is native to South America and Southeast Asia and feeds on small fish, invertebrates, amphibians, and crustaceans. This species can be kept in larger aquariums but should be kept in at least six fish groups for optimum health.

Emerald Cory Catfish (Corydoras splendens)

The emerald cory catfish is a tropical freshwater fish that can reach a length of 3 inches. This species has an olive green coloration with numerous orange and yellow stripes running the size of its body. The emerald cory catfish is native to Central America and South America and feeds on small fish, invertebrates, amphibians, and crustaceans. Like the banded cory catfish, the emerald catfish should be kept in groups of six fish for optimum health.

Pepper Cory Catfish (Corydoras paleatus)

The pepper cory is a tropical freshwater fish that can reach a length of 2.3 inches. This species has yellow and black stripes running the size of its body. The pepper cory is native to South America and Southeast Asia and feeds on small fish, invertebrates, amphibians, and crustaceans.

The Smallest Cory Catfish Species

The three smallest cory catfish species are pygmy catfish, salt and pepper cory, and dwarf corydoras. All three of these species typically grow to only 1 inch in length. In addition, all three of these species have a similar appearance and are known for having the same temperament. These three species of cory catfish typically inhabit brackish waters. Brackish water ranges from seven percent to thirty-five percent salinity and has a depth range of twenty inches to sixty feet. 

Cory Catfish: General Overview

Appearance & Behavior

All cory catfish species are tropical and freshwater fish that can reach 3 inches. All three of the smallest cory catfish species only grow to 1 inch in length. These fish typically inhabit brackish waters with a depth range of twenty inches to sixty feet. They have an olive-green coloration with numerous orange and yellow stripes running the length of their body.

Typical Behavior

Cory catfish create bubbling sounds when they are stressed or excited. They will also make a hissing noise when they are alarmed or defending their territory. In addition, the pepper cory will become exhausted when frightened and can show this by limply holding its lips. Food introduced to the aquarium should be small enough for these fish to eat but not so small as to pose a threat.

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