Comparison Of Cory Catfish Vs Otocinclus – Do They Mix Well?

Cory catfish and otocinclus fish are both considered to be members of the catfish family. While these fish have some similarities, they also differ in several ways. The more information about each one of them you can get, the better able you will be to decide which one to purchase for your fish tank.

This article will help you learn about several facts related to cory catfish and otocinclus catfish and know can cory catfish vs otocinclus catfish live together. 

Cory Catfish Vs Otocinclus: Differences

Otocinclus Fish Are Algae Eaters, But Cories Aren’t

In the case of Otocinclus fish, one thing to remember is that they are algae eaters. If you are looking for a fish that will keep your tank clean from algae, then a bottom-dwelling fish may be right for you. I am sure that the Otocinclus will be a great help for this as they love to eat algae. Algae that is on the sides of the tank and near the substrate will be eaten off by the Otocinclus.

This is definitely not the case with cory catfish. If you are thinking about getting a cory cat, you need to know that they don’t really enjoy eating algae.

If you feed cory catfish algae wafers, they will snack on them. However, if you expect them to really seek out algae, they will not as they aren’t considered to be algae eaters.

Thus, if you are specifically searching for fishes that eat algae, then go with otos instead of cory catfishes.

Otos Are Difficult To Care For, But Cory Catfish Are Much Easier

Taking care of otacinlus can be tricky to care for at first. There are specific nutritional requirements that have to be met for them to be able to become acclimated to the tank.

It is often the case that people purchase otos and end up starving them in the tank. There may also be a connection between these issues and the fact that they were captured in the wild and were not fed properly while being transported to pet stores.

In general, cory catfish are easy to care for
In general, cory catfish are easy to care for

However, cory catfish are a lot easier to care for in general. If you monitor the water parameters carefully, these hardy fish can be kept alive for many years. 

The otos will be hardier fish once they have become accustomed to the tank. It will be the first month or so that will be the toughest period of time for you when caring for an otacinlus.

Otos Tend To Be Hyper, Cory Catfish Are Much More Laid Back

The Cory Catfish is known for being a very laid-back fish that will not bother any of the other fish in your aquarium. Rather than swim around the surface or mid of the tank, they just hang out at the bottom of the tank and sift through the substrate.

Unlike the cory catfish, otos do not seem to be nearly relaxed. On the contrary, they seem to be more hyperactive and active than the cory catfish.

It might be a good thing for some, since observing the otos can be an enjoyable experience. However, for those of you looking for peaceful fish that will let you mind your business in the aquarium, cory catfish are undoubtedly a better choice.

Otos Are A Bit Smaller Than Cory Catfish On Average

Otos tend to be quite a bit smaller than cory catfish on average. At maturity, most cory catfish will have reached a length of two and a half inches, but some are a bit smaller.

On average, an otocinclus catfish will grow to be somewhere between one and one and a half inches in length. Both types of catfish are relatively small in size, but there is still a size difference between them.

Cory Catfish Vs Otocinclus: Similarities

School of Cory catfish
School of Cory catfish

The cory catfish and the otocinclus catfish are both schooling fish. In other words, they do best if they are kept in a group.

It is recommended to keep at least six of either fish in the aquarium. Especially Cory catfish need to be kept in groups as they have been known to die when left alone.

Otocinclus also perform better in groups of six or more. Nevertheless, some have reported that they have been able to succeed in keeping Otocinclus alone.

In most cases, this is simply not the best way to keep them. Otocinclus are easier to survive alone than cory cats, but they are still better off when grouped together.

Can Cory Catfish and Otocinclus Catfish Live Together?

Yes, the cory catfish and the otocinclus catfish can live together. Both are peaceful fish, so there is no reason why they should have any problems getting along with each other.

The most important thing to remember when maintaining any of these types of fish is to keep them in a school. There should be at least six of each type of fish.

Keeping them in the same tank should be a good experience, as long as they can school with others of their kind. 

There is no better pair than these two. Otocinclus eats mainly algae, whereas Corydoras can eat pretty much anything. This is good news because the two breeds of catfish will not compete with one another for food sources with each other. As a result, they will get along just fine.

Most of the time, Otocinclus tends to have a hard time getting along with other fish. One of the main reasons for this is that they are quite fragile. Nevertheless, we think the introduction of Corydoras is a good idea since your Otocinclus will not be injured or knocked around by Corydoras.

Both of these species of fish also require almost the same water conditions and care requirements in order to survive. For this reason, they are perfect tank mates. If you keep both species together in one tank, you won’t have to put in the extra effort.

Video About Otocinclus And Corydora Catfish Eating


Are otocinclus and corydoras aggressive?

Otocinclus is a peaceful and non-aggressive fish. Since they don’t have any means of protecting themselves, they tend to lounge around the bottom of the tank, scavenging for algae to eat. Given their small size, it is always recommended that you choose the tank mates wisely as they can be aggressive. Corydoras, for example, is a good match for them.
Corydoras also possess a calm, peaceful, and non-aggressive nature. There are some corys that can be timid and shy at times.

Are otocinclus catfish good for beginners?

It is a perfect start for beginners and won’t take up much time. Their undemanding nature allows them to tolerate a range of conditions, so you don’t need much experience caring for them. In an aquarium that is kept clean, most species can live for three to five years.

Do cory catfish clean the tank?

As a small bottom feeder, cory catfish is an extremely good cleaner. This fish will scavenge the leftovers that have sunk to the bottom of the tank.


The choice of fish you will like better will depend on your personal preference. Cory catfish and otos are similar in some respects, but in actuality, they are quite different in others.

If you wish, you can keep both types of fish together. In this way, you can enjoy both types of fish. No matter what you decide, take excellent care of your fish.

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