Can I Put a Pygmy Corydoras with a Betta Fish?

This type of Corydoras has something going for it, that is a lot different than the other types of Corydoras. The pygmy Cory only grows to around one inch long, and that makes it possible for you to keep these fish in a smaller nano-sized aquarium tank.

Most other Corydoras in catfish, grow to a lot larger in size. So the pygmy Corydoras – this fish is super popular amongst betta fish keepers because a lot of people keep them in 5-gallon tanks.

The pygmy Corydoras like I was saying, they only grow to around one inch long, and that is a huge variable with keeping these fish. As far as general care facts and tank setup, it’s mostly going to be the same as all other Corydoras species – most of them I should say. But the fact that these fish grow so small, you can keep them in much smaller nano tanks.

Keep Corys in a shoal of at least 5 fish

So let’s talk about the pure basics of taking care of Corydoras. One of the biggest factors and most important variables to know and keeping corys is that they need to be in a school / Shoal.

You don’t want to be keeping one or two of them, you want to be keeping like five to 10 of them. That’s where they feel their security, they need to be in numbers so that they can just share their personality with each other, and you will realize when keeping them, these fish have more personality than maybe any other fish you’ve ever seen on the planet.

Pygmy Corydoras tank size

As far as minimum tank size, I know that I said people keep them in nano five-gallon tanks with bettas, but I would honestly tell you a 10-gallon is going to be much better because going back to what I said about keeping multiple Corydoras together.

That means you might want a little more surface area at the bottom of the tank. And these fish actually will utilize some of the middle swimming areas of the tank. But you got to remember they are a catfish, and they are mostly going to be utilizing the substrate tank bottom, and a lot of five-gallon tanks, don’t have much room.

Tank setup

As far as a tank setup, I would just go the sand substrate because Corydoras love sand because they’re constantly sifting through it with their barbells. pygmy Corydoras do fine in planted tanks. You don’t have to use plants, but it does make for a well-rounded ecosystem.


As far as filtration, I wouldn’t go with anything too crazy, don’t have too much water current. You don’t need any powerheads, or you don’t need any wave makers.


You do need a heater because these are tropical fish, so figure on 5 watts of energy per one gallon of water.


As far as foods and feeding, corydoras are super opportunistic feeders. They are omnivores, so literally, anything that they can fit their mouth is going to be fine.

They’re omnivores, so what I personally would advise is to use a tropical flake food. Get a couple of different brands, use a variety of different brands, and throw in some micro pellets.

Pygmy Corys tank mates

Let’s talk take mates and what other fish you can keep with the pygmy Corydoras.

This might be maybe the most sketchy topic of all the topics when talking about this fish. My advice straight up when it comes to keeping fish with Corydoras I tell people, keep them with fish that don’t bother or screw with the Corydoras, and that is where the gray area comes in.

Can I keep Pygmy Corydoras and betta in one tank?

A lot of people keep them with betta fish, and I find that betta fish screw with these fish a lot. But I understand that betta fish can be kept in smaller tanks, so people are looking for a tank mate, aka a bottom dollar catfish, or anything to be kept with betta fish it drives me bonkers.

This fish is the victim of that sometimes because everybody that has a five-gallon aquarium they’re saying, “What can I keep with them?”. And people always say pygmy corydoras because they stay small and they only grow to an inch long.

I beg to differ if your betta fish screws with the Corydoras, which a lot of times they do especially males. They’re not a good take mate.

So what are good tank mates for the pygmy corydoras? Tetras are one of the most common tank mates to be kept with this fish, or else like rainbows – fish that do not screw with the Corydoras.

There literally isn’t a lot of them, but just know if your fish is screwing with them, it’s not going to work. And the reason is that Corydoras, for the most part, keep to themselves and they only want to kind of like congregate with each other.