A Good Tank With Cory Catfish And Tetras: 5 Imperative Notes

Corydoras catfish are curious and active bottom dwellers, and often scavenge the tank bottom for food. In addition to being peaceful and sociable, these catfish can adapt well to a variety of water conditions. Therefore, they can be kept in a tank with most fish that do not require too strict water conditions and are not aggressive towards them.

One of their suitable tankmates is small tetra species like neon tetra and cardinal tetra. For the good tank community for cory catfish and tetras, this article will demonstrate 5 important notes that you will probably need.

Cory Catfish And Tetras Are Good Tank Mates

It is a good idea to keep corydoras, also known as cory catfish, in a tank with tetras. As many species of catfish and tetras can often be found together in nature, keeping them in the same aquarium makes sense.

Neon tetras and cory catfish also work well together because they are incredibly peaceful aquatic creatures. These fish are not aggressive and will perfectly get along with each other in the same environment.

Further, cory catfish usually live at the bottom of a tank, so they are perfect for adding to a tank with other fish that live at a different level of the water column, like tetras. In other words, cory catfish can easily live in a tank with small, active schooling fish. Thus, other species of tetras like the neon, cardinal, phantom, and serpae tetras can be housed with a shool of cory catfish. 

Keep A Proper Number For Each Schooling Fish Species 

Since tetras are schooling fish, they should be kept in groups. In addition, tetras do not school with other tetra species, so you should keep at least 10 of the same species and should acquire them at the same time.

Like tetras, cory catfish need company to thrive. They live in large groups and have a highly social life in the wild. Their schooling behavior can help them avoid predators. Thus, if they are kept in a proper-sized group, they can live to their fullest and have less fear of predators. Cory catfish must be kept in a group of at least six of their own species.

Keep cory catfish and tetra species in their proper-sized groups
Keep cory catfish and tetra species in their proper-sized groups

The Larger Tank The Better

If you want a community aquarium with cory catfish and tetras, then you will need a tank large enough to accommodate and provide all of them with enough space to swim.

Building a home aquarium with cory catfish and tetras requires at least a 20-gallon long tank. A high tank is not a good idea since it causes much water pressure on your fish, making their swimming activity more difficult. Meanwhile, a long tank can lessen the water pressure influence and provide more swimming space for the fish.

A tank of less than 10 – 15 gallons is probably not a good idea to keep cory catfish and tetra together because it is too small. They will not have enough space and the tank will become overcrowded, causing several serious health problems. Moreover, the cory catfish are messy and the tetras can be a bit nippy, and such small tanks will only amplify these problems.

Water Change Is Always Important

Cory catfish is sensitive to ammonia and nitrite levels in the tank and so do the tetras. Therefore, ensuring your aquarium water is clean, has stable pH and zero ammonia and nitrite levels is extremely important.

Doing partial water change regularly (~15-20% of water content every two or three weeks is recommended) can help improve the water quality. Moreover, a regular check of water parameters is crucial because you can know the problem in water chemistry and control it timely.

Good water quality significantly contributes to a healthy and perfect harmonious tank environment for your cory catfish and tetras to thrive.

Having Some Water Currents Is A Good Idea

Both cory catfish and tetras are active fish and do enjoy playing in with water currents. In nature, they live in streams and rivers characterizing moving waters, thus a bit of current can make them happy and healthy.

Remember to have some stones, plants, and driftwood to break down the current water and to provide resting places for them. They do need to take a rest in still and quiet water. 

Too strong current or very fast-flowing water is not ideal and even causes stress to them. They may struggle in swimming if your tank is filled with fast-flowing water. Take time to observe your fish and adjust the water current to a suitable level for them.

Video: 55 Gallon Community Fish Tank With Cory Catfish And Tetras, And A Few Others


These are 5 notes on keeping the cory catfish and tetras for a community tank. Building a good community tank requires more factors than this but the notes provided in this article are the most imperative ones. It’s always better to do some research before housing different fish species together, and I hope that this article is useful for you, especially when you are somehow struggling with your home aquarium of cory catfish and tetras.

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