How Many Cory Catfish Fit In A 10 Gallon Tank?

Cory Catfish is a popular tank pet known by several names, including Corydoras catfish, Cory cat, and Cory fish. An inhabitant of freshwater lakes, the fish is a hardy type that can survive many environments. It boasts a peaceful temperament, rarely standing up to defend itself against aggressive fish species.

Despite their delicate nature, the Cory Catfish is quite entertaining. They are active swimmers that enjoy wading through the water in groups. Keeping at least three or four of them in a tank is imperative to make their stay more enjoyable at the aquarium. It is exciting seeing them swim together, making their comical moves.

Cory Catfish are community fish that enjoy each other’s company. Stock at least four, five, or more to offer them an enjoyable stay at the tank. 

Depending on the number, a hobbyist needs to have enough space in the tank for them all. 

Keep in mind that the tank should not be wholly stocked as they are schooling fish and need their space. 

While choosing a tank size, go for a bigger one than is required.

This guide will walk you through how many Cory Catfish can live comfortably in a 10-gallon tank, the ideal tank conditions for them, and any equipment you might need to keep them.

How Many Cory Catfish Fit In A 10 Gallon Tank?

How Many Cory Catfish Fit In A 10 Gallon Tank

On average, Cory Catfish grow up to 2.5 to 3 inches in size or four inches for adult specimens. The minimum tank size that one Cory requires to live comfortably is 2 gallons. But as mentioned earlier, these are schooling fish and will feel comfortable in a group of five to six. 

The rule of the thumb is having 2 or 3 gallons of water for one fish. 

Ideally, you will need at least 10 gallons for five to six fish.

Even if your tank size feels more extensive for your baby Cories, let it be as they will do well in decorated tanks. You can use any extra space you have to put plants or rocks.

It is often safer to have a larger tank than a smaller one. Using a 15-gallon tank is usually recommended for Corys to thrive. With every Cory Catfish that you add to the tank, add 3 to 4 extra gallons to the size.

To understand how to decide the number of fish in a tank, look at these guides to determine how many guppies and bettas you can keep in a 10-gallon tank.

How to Calculate the Number of Cory Catfish for a Fish Tank?

There are more than a hundred Cory Catfish species. Some of these are bigger than others. A chart will help you determine how many of these popular Cory fish will fit in a 10-gallon tank to ensure that each of them has enough space to move around.

Cory Catfish TypesSize (in inches)Number of fish in a 10-gallon tank
Bronze Cory2.55 to 6
Dwarf Cory25 to 6
Pygmy Cory16 to 8
Albino Cory34 to 6
Skunk Cory34 to 6
Julii Cory2.5 to 35 to 6
Sterba’s Cory2.5 to 35 to 6
Emerald Cory34 to 6
Panda Cory25 to 6
Three stripes Cory2.5 5 to 6

All of these Cory Catfish have medium temperaments, so remember not to house aggressive fish or bullies. Similarly, do not house smaller fish with them either. Research carefully, and if possible, only add other species of Cory catfish with them rather than going for a new species.

What Will Happen If You Add Too Many Cory Catfish? 

Adding too many Cory catfish to your tank will be detrimental to their health. No fish does well in cramped spaces, and if you overstock your tank, they will suffer greatly.

More fish means less space, more waste, increased aggression, and risk of infections and diseases.

To ensure that your fish are well protected, keep them in smaller numbers if your tank is small.

Equipment You Might Need For Your 10 Gallon Tank

A 10-Gallon Tank

Aqueon Aquarium Starter Kit with LED Lighting 10

For starters, you will need an excellent 10-gallon tank to begin. Many tank kits are available these days that include everything you might need to start your hobby!

Our recommended 10 Gallon Tank Kit is the ‘5 Live Mixed Color Male Guppies – Great For Aquariums’

  • All the equipment needed to get started in one box!
  • The low-profile full hood contains vibrant cool white LED lighting to bring your aquatic environment to life.



The filter in a Cory Catfish tank needs to allow a medium to fast water flow. Even though Corys are used to living in slow-streams and sometimes fast-moving water bodies, keep the filter on a weaker setting to let the water flow at a medium pace.

A small power filter will do the job just fine.



Cory Catfish needs moderate to normal lighting to thrive. Use standard lighting that mimics that of its natural environment. The portions are in dark areas of vegetation and murky water or swamps in the wild, so the lighting should not be harsh on them.


Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater

Cory Catfish need an ideal temperature between 70 to 78 degrees F. If you find that the place you are in is chilly, especially in winters, consider getting a heater for your tank.

Heaters are inexpensive, especially those needed for smaller tanks such as for Cory fish. However, some heaters may suit your needs better than others. 

There are many small-sized heaters available too for small tanks. You can consider many different heaters, such as fully or partially submersible, adjustable, and pre-set heaters.

Other equipment

Some aquarists also purchase other miscellaneous equipment such as air pumps to regulate water flow in the tank. An air pump is a good investment if you have a more extensive tank, but it is not required for a small 10-gallon tank.

You will also need to purchase a separate thermometer to keep track of the tank water temperature.

Tank Conditions In 10-Gallon Tank For Cory Catfish

Cory Catfish is small and easily falls prey to larger fish. In its natural habitat, Cory Catfish prefers living in a murky, heavily planted space for extra protection.

Cory is a bottom dweller fish that prefers fine sand. It avoids coarse gravel that can hurt its barbels and fins. It also inhabits waters with a high flow. You should emulate these characteristics in its tank.

Cory catfish like heavily planted tanks, but if their tanks are too full, they might have trouble breathing. Cory fish have a habit of coming up to the surface to breathe occasionally, so leave some open space for them. Do not overfill the water in their tank.

Cory Catfish are comfortable between 70 to 78 degrees F.  They will thrive in a medium water movement. In the wild, you can spot them in slow-moving streams.

The pH levels for Cory Catfish need to fluctuate between 6.0 to 8.0. Their ideal living situation is warm and neutral. Cory catfish cannot tolerate high levels of ammonia and nitrite. 

The proper water alkalinity of a Cory Catfish tank is 3 to 10dKH. 

Wrapping Up

Cory Catfish are a great fish species to keep, even in community tanks. These fish are pretty social and have cheerful dispositions. Cory Catfish are not aggressive, and they enjoy the company of other fish around them. 

They make for good tank companions, making maintenance easy for the aquarist. They are pretty active, alert, and engaged as they participate well in a community tank. Lastly, there are so many options to choose from for you. You will find one that suits your needs perfectly, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced level aquarist!

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