How Much Do Cory Catfish Cost: The Value of Tank Setup for Corydoras

Cory catfish are a widespread freshwater fish found all over the United States. They are peaceful fish that loves to live in ponds, lakes, and streams. They are a popular choice for beginner fish keepers because they are easy to care for and are not difficult to breed. Cory catfish are also a good choice for people who have allergies because they are not known to contain any harmful chemicals.

The cost of cory catfish varies depending on the size and condition of the fish. Generally, small, younger cory catfish are less expensive than older or larger specimens—typical cory catfish range in price from $5 to $10 per piece. 

What Is the Minimum and Maximum Price of Cory Catfish?

The minimum price you’ll find Cory catfish for is $5 per piece, while the maximum price will be around $10 per piece. In addition, the price increases depending on the size of the fish. So, go for those that are small and young, one-inch cory catfish to cut down your costs per piece by almost half compared to purchasing larger fishes at a higher price.

Price Differences of Common Cory Catfish Species

Cory catfish can vary in price depending on their breed. Some of the more common species you are likely to find for sale include Albino Catfish, Bronze Cory, Panda Cory, Peppered Cory, and Adolfo Cory.

Albino Cory Catfish

Albino catfish are a new and exotic cory catfish breed that can be pretty pricey. Expect to pay around $10 per fish. In addition, the price is determined by the size, ornate, and eye color of the fish.

Bronze Cory Catfish Price

You can find bronze cory catfish for sale starting at $5 per fish. A larger 5-inches can be fetched at around $9 per piece. Because these kinds are not as common, you’ll have to try your luck in finding one rather than paying more if it isn’t readily available on sale.

Panda Cory Catfish

Panda cory catfish are not as common as some other breeds, but they can still be found for sale for $6.99 per fish. Depending on their size, coloration, and ornate quality, they can also vary in price from $8 to $15 per piece.

Peppered Cory Catfish

Peppered Cory catfish are a more exotic breed and can be priced at $10 per fish. The larger they are, the more expensive they will be – with price differences beginning at $12.99 per fish.

Adolfo Cory Catfish

Adolfo cory catfish are not as easy to come by as some common breeds, but they can typically be found for sale starting at $12 per fish. In addition, price differences generally are much more minor. Once you find one, it is unlikely to go on sale again for months or years, and that’s why they can be a bit more expensive than the other cory catfish breeds.

Price Differences Between Captive Bred and Wild Cory Catfish

Captive-bred cory catfish cost more than wild-caught cory catfish. Captive-bred cory catfish are typically fed a diet that has been specially formulated to give them the best possible nutritional value, so they tend to be pricier than their wild-caught counterparts. In addition, they are cared for by a professional breeder who takes excellent care of them and has access to better quality feed to maintain their weight at optimum levels in captivity.

How Many Cory Catfish Do I Need?

The amount of cory catfish you need will depend on how large your aquarium is and what type of fish you would like to add. Generally, a tank that is 15 gallons or larger should have at least three to five cory catfish. In addition, these fish will live for at least 15 years, so their size should be indicated when doing the math.

They require constant water movement and especially good bio-luminescence to thrive and reproduce. And so, you’ll need a skimmer with a sufficient flow rate or an airstone if your aquarium does not have serious agitation issues, which means these cory catfish are more suitable for tanks with smaller quantities of water.

What to Remember Before Buying Cory Catfish

Before you buy a cory catfish, read up on the different varieties and find one that is compatible with your specific aquarium setup. Also, make sure to feed your cory catfish a diet tailored for them – something different from what they would eat in nature. And finally, be aware of their size – while they are not dangerous, they can still give you some grief if they escape from their tank.

How Much It Costs to Set Up a Cory Catfish Aquarium?

The initial costs of setting up a cory catfish tank will vary depending on the size and make of your aquarium, but in general, an appropriately sized tank can cost around $100. Additionally, you will need to buy food for your cory catfish and live plants to provide them with places to hide and swim.


A primary tank for a Cory catfish will cost about $30. In addition, you will need live plants and a good amount of gravel or substrate to fill out your aquarium.

Food & Aquarium Maintenance

You should follow up on all cleaning and changing the water between 30 to 45 minutes after cycling the tank for regular aquarium maintenance. Once this has been done, add two half-strength feedings (1 tablespoon flakes/pellet) of flake food at one feeding per day for about 7 to 10 days. Afterward, reduce to one feeding per day and maintain this feeding schedule for the rest of the cory’s life. You should also feed them a variety of live food to keep them entertained and ensure they get the nutrients they need.


The filter cost of a tank will also depend on the size and make of your aquarium, but an appropriate filter system can run anywhere from $40 to over $100.


A heater is not necessary for a cory catfish tank, but if you live in an area where the water temperature gets too low during the winter, it can help keep your fish comfortable. A typical small aquarium heater will cost around $20. In addition, you will need a thermometer that goes with your heater to monitor the temperature of your fish regularly.


Cory catfish are shy, secretive fish and need gentle indirect lighting to supplement the natural daylight they get. You will also need a light fixture with a hood or reflector to keep your fish safe from direct sunlight. A typical small aquarium bulb (12 volts) will run anywhere from $10 to $25, depending on the model and type of bulb.


A good plant for a cory catfish tank will provide hiding places and some algae to eat. You can purchase live plants or buy pre-made aquarium plants specially made for cory catfish tanks. Pre-made plants can cost anywhere from $5 to $15, but you will need to add them to your water once you have bought them and set up your tank.