What Temperature Do Cory Catfish Like: How to Set the Perfect Temperature?

Cory catfish are a popular choice for home aquariums, as they are easy to keep and relatively docile. While they can be fun to watch, be aware that they can become aggressive if they feel threatened or territorial. If you decide to keep a cory catfish in your aquarium, monitor it closely and keep your tank in a safe and secure location.

The optimum temperature for cory catfish is 74 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (23 to 26 degrees Celsius), but they will tolerate temperatures up to 82 degrees (28 degrees Celsius). In addition, cory catfish can tolerate cooler water temperatures for short periods, but it’s essential to set the tank temperature back up again if you decide to move them.

Do Cory Catfish Need a Heater?

No, cory catfish do not require a heater. Instead, they will thrive in either a warm environment or one that is not overly warm. In addition, they are not picky when it comes to water temps and can adjust accordingly. However, the best temperature for a cory catfish to thrive is between 72 and 82 degrees, but keep the water in their tank moving if you decide to set it lower.

If your home aquarium does not have enough surface area for the cory catfish, consider purchasing a supplemental heater made specifically with fish tanks in mind. Also, note that even though they do not require one as part of their regular care regimen, many hobbyists stock their tanks with a separate heater to ensure the temperature never drops below 72 degrees.

What Happens if Water Is Too Cold?

Cory catfish will not survive in water that is below 48 degrees Fahrenheit. And if maintained at this temperature, they may die. In addition, cory catfish in too cold water will chill very quickly if added to warmer temperatures.

What to Do When Water Is Too Cold?

If your tank is too cold, the priority should be restoring the water to a minimum temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideally, this would happen over several hours and can be done by leaving on lights for several minutes when you go out or turning off all lights for about 30 minutes. Sometimes adding just enough warm tap water so that it does not cause significant decreases in water temps will do the trick as well (but only gradually over several hours).

What Happens if Water Is Too Warm?

Cory catfish will not survive in water that is above 82 degrees Fahrenheit. And if maintained at this temperature, they may overheat and die. In addition, cory catfish in too warm water will heat up quickly if added to cooler temperatures.

What to Do When Water Is Too Warm?

If the water in your aquarium is too warm, you can add a more excellent tarp to the top of the tank or move some of the poly filter bedding into an area not currently occupied. In addition, add a piece of driftwood or some rocks to work around your tank. You may also want to remove at least some fish and keep them in an area that is not over 48 degrees but should be plenty warmer than the water temperature right now.

How to Keep a Stable Temperature?

One way to minimize temperature fluctuations in your aquarium is to use a thermometer and keep track of the water temperatures throughout the day. This will help you determine when it might be necessary to adjust the water temp for your cory catfish to thrive. In addition, the difficulty of maintaining stable temperatures will vary depending on your tank water’s bass in temperature, space, and decoration.

Corydoras Catfish Care Guide

Natural Habitat

Corydoras have a natural habitat that consists of flood plains, rivers, and slow streams. They are timid fish that prefer to hide among vegetation rather than fight in the open water. They are not typically aggressive with other fish, but they can develop territoriality if their environment is changed too much or they feel threatened. In addition, they tend to swim in schools, which may cause excessive territorial behavior.

Water Requirements

Your cory catfish will need between 2 and 4 gallons of water per gallon of body weight or a total minimum tank size of 8 to 10 gallons. Tankmates should be chosen with caution; larger fish may challenge your cory for dominance in the aquarium.

Aquarium Recommendations

A tank that is 12 to 16 inches long and 4 to 6 inches in width will be adequate for a single cory catfish. If you want several, buy smaller tanks or create multi-level systems. Your cory will appreciate plenty of hiding places; caves, under rocks, and other areas with soft surfaces can all be used.

Temperament and Compatibility

Corydoras are timid fish that prefer to live in peaceful surroundings. They should be kept with other non-aggressive fish species or tankmates of similar temperaments. Females will often lay eggs in the same area as the male, so it is essential to keep them separated if you plan on keeping more than one cory.

Food and Diet

Cory catfish are omnivorous, consuming both plant and animal food. They will scavenge meat off of live or dead prey but may also be fed fish flakes, freeze-dried foods, and even vegetarian alternatives such as algae-based pellets.


Your cory’s substrate should be sandy or gravel-like and large enough to cover the fish entirely. A layer of vegetation will also be beneficial; some Corydoras, like Java fern, can get very territorial if their surroundings lack plants. They will also thrive in gravel or water with a small amount of plant life. So, you can fit their needs above and below the waterline, depending on where they will be.

Hiding Spots

Your cory catfish will need good hiding places in your aquarium safe from other fish aggression. Therefore, it is vital to help him adapt as quickly as possible for his own individual best interest. This means providing running water by filling your tank with at least 3 to 4 inches of water per day and giving plenty of rocks, driftwood, and other surfaces for him to hide.


Cory catfish are generally peaceful fish, but they can be bred in a confined tank if their water parameters are maintained, and the tank is kept well-lit. The male cory will need to display his colorful territorial flags before getting accepted by the female, showing her receptivity signals. If you want to breed your Corydoras, it is best to start with two specimens that have lived together for some time and establish a pecking order in the tank.