I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Learn more.

11 Best Cory Catfish Tank Mates (With Pictures)

Cory catfish are a small breed of catfish. They require very simple care and come in a variety of types. This makes them very popular catfish for freshwater tank setups.

Best of all, cory catfish make for great community tank fish. You can find a lot of different fish breeds and other aquatic pets to place with the cory.

While cory can live with any number of fish or pets, you do want to exercise some caution when picking tank mates.

Cory won’t start fights with other tank mates, but they can be a target of other types of fish. Large aggressive fish can be especially dangerous for these catfish.

In this guide, we’ll talk about cory tankmates that are best suited for a cory catfish community.

We will only introduce the best cory catfish tank mates!

Otocinclus Catfish

Otocinclus arnoldi by CHUCAO (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Otocinclus catfish are the first cory tank mates we will talk about in this post. These two breeds of catfish are perfect to house together. Otocinclus are around the same size as your cory catfish.

They also have a similar personality to the cory. Really, you can’t ask for a better pairing with these two.

Usually, otocinclus have a hard time living with other fish. These catfish are on the fragile side.

However, with the cory, they won’t have any trouble and won’t be knocked around or harmed.

The similar water conditions and care requirements also make the otocinclus one of the best cory catfish tank mates!

You will not have to put in a lot of work to maintain both these species in one tank.

Neon Tetras

Neon tetras and cory catfish also create an ideal tank setup. Neon tetras are well-loved for their diverse colors and bright visuals.

So, when they are put in the same tank as cory catfish, they can liven up your aquarium space.

Cory fish are not dull-looking. But it doesn’t hurt to have a splash of color in the water with Tetras.

Both of these fish will get along swimmingly too. Neons and cory are of a similar size to the otocinclus.

Tetras also have an easy-going personality. That prevents tension between your pets.

However, you want to buy neons in a group. Unlike cory, the neon needs to swim in a big school of other neons.

Anywhere between fifteen and twenty neons is best for your pets.

Nerite Snails

Zebra Nerite Snail by TheJammingYam (CC BY-SA 3.0)

You might not want to put other fish in with your cory. In that case, you can try placing a nerite snail in your cory tank.

These snails are a nice alternative pet option. They have beautiful shells that come in striped patterns, swirls, and other varieties.

Your cory will not eat these snails either. And your snails will stay away from your cory fish.

Nerite snails, and other types of snails, are good for keeping cory tanks clean. Cory fish do not make a huge mess in tanks.

But if you have a group of them it can help to have a snail in your aquarium. Nerite snails eat algae and other waste that can make the water look murky.


Swordtail Fry (Xiphophorus hellerii) by Ltshears (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Swordtails and cory catfish are another pair that we recommend. Any type of swordfish should mesh well with cory catfish and other catfish.

Both of these fish are generally peaceful. Red swordtails are popular among tank owners.

But swordtails have a lot of looks and colors to offer to potential buyers.

Swordtails are not large fish, so you won’t need a massive tank for these fish and your cory.

Like many of the fish and pets on this cory tank mate list, they only grow a few inches.

Swordtails like to be in a group. But you won’t have to purchase a huge school of swordtails.

You only need around five swordtails to make your fish comfortable.


Mollies and cory catfish can be in the same tank together too. But the results of this fish pairing can depend on your tank setup. Again, cory catfish are not aggressive.

But in some cases, they might chase your molly around. Other times, mollies can be the aggressor.

Your fish won’t end up dead, but if you want a more peaceful community, get a bigger tank.

And try to purchase mollies and cory in a small group.

This way they are able to socialize with other fish that are from the same breed. This can make them less aggressive overall.

Fancy Guppies

Fancy guppies and cory catfish have personalities that match each other well. So we highly recommend putting them in the same tank.

In general, guppies and catfish are a great match.

Their sizes are well suited and their temperaments don’t lead to aggression. With fancy guppies and cory catfish, this remains true as well.

Fancy guppies don’t have many differences between normal guppies. They just have more elaborate tails and designs. These are truly unique guppy fish.

This breed costs a little more to get in your tank. But they have a really pleasing visual appearance in cory catfish tank communities.


Platies can be a good option for people new to tanks with multiple fish breeds in them.

Platies don’t have a complicated care routine, and they get along with other pets easily.

The platty is another easy-going fish for the cory catfish to bond with. Get a small group of these fish for your tank. And keep the gender of your fish balanced.

You don’t want to have more males in your tanks than females. There could be fights that break out with your fish.

It’s not dangerous to your fish. But the female platies will get worn out by many males.


Angelfish need a bigger tank to live in, but they will be fine in a tank with your cory catfish. Angelfish are around three times the size of a cory.

However, since your cory primarily stays at the bottom of the tank, this is a non-issue. Angels can get aggressive with other fish types though.

So make sure all your fish are compatible before putting them in.

Angels live with cory and other catfish in the wild peacefully. They like to be in groups when they are young but prefer solitude as they age.

You can get angelfish alone or in a small group.


celestial pearl danio by Cisamarc (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Danios are slim active fish that love to swim around every inch of your tank. The energy of the danios makes them especially popular, as do their looks.

This fish type is friendly with any pet they encounter in their home. And they will really go well with your cory catfish.

They adapt to the needs of your catfish. And they don’t have very specific water parameters they need to live in.

Danios do need to reside in a small group though. For this particular fish, around six danios will be ideal.

Plants and a few decorations will be helpful for your cory catfish tank. This way your cory has someplace to relax around the danios.


Gouramis are much more laid back in comparison to the danios. This is not to say that energetic danios are a bad choice for a cory tank.

However, if you are looking for a more chill and zen tank this breed is perfect for you. Gouramis tend to live on their own in the wild. So you won’t have to purchase a group of these fish either.

They like to leisurely swim in their environment and keep to themselves.

Overall, gouramis are one of the best cory catfish tank mates. They look beautiful with their unique look, and they are fairly easy to care for.

Amano Shrimp

The last cory catfish tank mate we will talk about is not a fish, it is a shrimp. The amano shrimp likes to stay in the same area as cory fish. But they are fine with sharing this area of the tank.

They are uncomplicated aquatic pets that get along with fish and other types of water pets.

Get them in a group of two to three shrimp. You can even have multiple cory catfish around your shrimp without issues.

In addition, amano shrimp also like to eat algae. So your tank can stay cleaner with them in it!

Cory Catfish And Other Tank Mates

Cory catfish are known for their sociable personalities and easy disposition. They enjoy being in tanks with other fish. In fact, they like to swim in pairs with other cory catfish.

You can put another catfish in with your pet, or create a large group of cory catfish in your aquarium. Some cory can even be put in a tank without other catfish.

But we recommend having at least one other cory to improve your fish’s happiness and mood.

Still, how will your cory act around other fish species and tank pets? When you put this type of catfish in with other pets, the results will be good. Cory catfish are not aggressive. You should have no fights or problems.

Again, these fish are peace-loving creatures. It is rare for them to get into conflicts with other aquatic pets. And even when they are placed in a large group they will thrive and stay calm, unlike a lot of other species.

Really, cory catfish are ideal for a large tank community. So if you want to create an aquarium with a lot of variety the cory is a good fish to have in your mixed tanks.

You just want to make sure that you have the correct setup for your underwater pets before you put your cory and its tank mates in!

Tips For Tank Setup With Cory Catfish And Other Fish

Tank setup is extremely important for your cory catfish and their tank mates. Before you even set up your cory catfish community though, you need to find the right tank size.

Cory fish can actually be put in several types of tank sizes. But a minimum you want to have them in a ten-gallon tank. Still, this could be too small of a tank size with other fish though. So you should think about all your fish’s needs and how much waste they will create.

Thinking about this will help you get the right size tank. Really, though, a big tank isn’t such a bad thing. It takes up a lot of space, but you won’t have to change or clean your tank nearly as much. And your cory and its tank mates will have a lot more room to roam and swim.

Once you have your tank size figured out for your catfish and other pets, you want to pick out other tank materials. A substrate is another crucial element of cory tanks. You need something soft for them, or at the very least not jagged.

Gravel usually works for the cory. They like to swim at the bottom of tanks, and they also like having a lot of plants around. So we suggest finding some easy to care for aquatic plants for your aquarium.

Other than this, make sure the parameters of your tank are right. You want the correct temperature and ph levels. And your tank should be kept clean and filtered for your cory catfish and its other tank mates.


Your cory catfish tank mates should be picked out with special care and knowledge. The cory is not a difficult fish breed to cohabitate with by any means. However, because of its small size, you want to get agreeable tank mates.

This list presented several of the best cory catfish tank mates. These tank mates are peaceful and add to the aesthetic of a cory tank community well.

There are other cory tank mates you can purchase for your community. But these are the best options for cory. Hopefully, now, you can create an aquarium space that is perfect for cory catfish and other aquatic pets!

Aaron Boyd
Aaron Boyd

Hello, I’m Aaron Boyd, the proud owner and author behind Aqua Movement. I hope my article was able to answer your questions. If you want to learn more about me, click the home icon above.

Aqua Movement