Can I Keep Corydoras with Cichlids in the Same Tank?

Corydoras, also known as Cory Catfish, Cory Cats, and Cory Fish, are well-known freshwater fish. They are easy to take care of, which makes them popular among beginners. Corydoras are calm, peaceful, curious, active, non-aggressive fish and some are shy and timid. 

One popular question that a lot of people ask is this: can I keep corydoras with cichlids in the same tank? No, you should not. Especially if they are African Cichlids.

African Cichlids (as well as all Cichlids) are known for being aggressive, between their species as well as across the species. There are some types of fish that can coexist peacefully with Cichlids, but you have to be very careful with the types of fish you choose.

If you’re stuck on getting a Cichlid then you can try getting a Dwarf Cichlid. Dwarf Cichlids are small compared to African Cichlids and get along pretty well with other fish. They usually won’t pick on other fish as long as those fish don’t pick on them.

In the next sections, I’ll list some suitable tankmates for Corydoras as well as African Cichlids. Keep this list in case you decide to have a diverse community in your freshwater tank. 

What Fish Can I Keep With Corydoras?

To be on the safe side, you can keep Corydoras in the same tank with Bamboo Shrimp, Angelfish, Fancy Guppies, Rabbit Snails, Tetras, Swordtails, and Vampire Shrimp. Corydoras do well in a community of other fish, either more like themselves, or other fish with the same temperament and size.

Here’s a list of other fish and creatures that can be tankmates with Corydoras:

  1. Danios
  2. Gouramis
  3. Mollies
  4. Neon Tetras
  5. Platies
  6. Ivory Snails
  7. Ghost Shrimp
  8. Otocinclus Catfish
  9. Hatchetfish
  10. Endler’s Livebearers

If you do decide to get more Corydoras, try to get 6 or more of them together. It’s very interesting and entertaining to watch how they interact with each other. Plus, they are social creatures so they love the company. 

As long as the other tank mates are non-aggressive and peaceful, then your Corydoras will be just fine. Along with most cichlids, avoid putting any Barbs in the same tank with your Corydoras as they will nip at them and create competition for food. 

Tankmates for African Cichlids

As I mentioned before, African Cichlids are very aggressive fish, even more aggressive than most Cichlids. This means that you should not put them in the same tank as other African Cichlids. They are territorial and will fight each other.

Also, do NOT put them with fish that are smaller than them because they make easy targets and won’t last long. 

Here is a list of 10 suitable tankmates for African Cichlids: 

  1. Plecos
  2. Red Tail Shark
  3. Giant Danios
  4. Rainbowfish
  5. Flying Fox FIsh
  6. Siamese Algae Eater
  7. Clown Loaches
  8. Scavenger Catfish
  9. Leopard Bushfish
  10. African Red Eye Tetra

Will Corydoras Breed in a Community Tank?

Yes, if you keep several Corydoras in the same tank, even with other fish, they will breed. It’s pretty easy to breed them and some people have even done it accidentally so keep watch on your fish unless you want to have a school of 20 or more new guys swimming around in your tank. 

However, if you do end up breeding your Corydoras, it’s a good idea to move them to another tank. Corydoras lay eggs and not live fish and have a weird tendency to eat their offspring.

So, as soon as the adults lay eggs you should move them from the other tank back to the community tank to allow the eggs to hatch and grow up freely before you also move them into the community tank. 

Corydoras eat their offspring as a way of controlling the size of their population. We don’t know if they do this because they know the eggs have a genetic dysfunction or if they do it just to survive. Either way, it’s pretty messed up. 

How Do You Tell if Cory Catfish is Male or Female?

What do they look like? Female Corydoras are typically bigger and longer than the male and their underbellies are more rounded than that of males. Males grow to be around 2.5 inches long while females can grow to be 3 inches long. It’s hard to tell whether your fish are males or females until they are sexually mature. That typically happens after a year. 

If you are a cory catfish expert then you will probably be able to tell earlier, but for those who aren’t as knowledgeable, wait for a year, especially if you want to breed your fish. If you try to breed sexually immature Corydoras, it won’t work and you’ll be frustrated with yourself and your fish. Trying to breed them too soon can also be stressful for the fish. 

Do Corydoras Clean Tanks?

Corydoras are bottom feeders so they are super effective cleaners. They swim along the bottom of the tank and eat up any food that has settled into the substrate. You won’t have to worry about cleaning up the bottom of the tank because these fish will take care of it.

They also help to stir up the substrate which improves the water quality and gets rid of any air pockets that could impact the aquatic environment. Even though Corydoras eat leftover food, you should still feed them pellets or flakes to make sure they get enough to eat. 

Closing Thoughts 

Corydoras will make a wonderful addition to your tank. They are easy to take care of, beautifully colored, and peaceful. As long as you’re aware of what tankmates are appropriate for them and which ones to stay away from, you should have no problem maintaining a tank with these guys or breeding them. 

African Cichlids are also beautiful fish that will make a great addition to your tank. Just beware of fish they won’t get along with, or eat, and these fish will provide you with much joy. 

If you already have either of these two fish, then hopefully you are enjoying them and still have learned something from this article. 

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