Breeding corydoras

Breeding corydoras catfish

What you will need

  • male and female corydoras catfish mating
    Corydoras cat fish mating in T position with male top of T

    24 inch aquarium with hood and light

  • soft sandy substrate
  • stones,coconut shells,flowerpots and tree roots
  • densely planted rear of the aquarium
  • floating plants
  • breeding group of 5 adults or more
  • sponge filter with airpump
  • 100w heater – stat

General care

Generally keep corys at a temperature of75F, water acidity at ph 7,  and hardness at 6dh. They make excellent community fish but need to be kept as a group because they get lonely.

Breeding set up

Set up the breeding aquarium with water from the main aquarium and transfer a sponge filter to the aquarium. Set up the aquarium with plants (including floating plants) and hiding places such as pots and coconut shells. When your corys look healthy and the female looks plump then it is time to choose your breeding group and move them to the prepared breeding tank.
Put around 5 healthy adult specimens in the breeding tank. Include only 1 or 2 males. Then condition them with live food for a week. The water in the breeding tank should only be 8 inches high. There should only be a thin layer of sand on the floor. Simulate a long day by leaving the light on from morning until night, at least 12 hours. After that lower the temperature by 2 degrees per day. Continue until the temperature reaches 68F.


This should trigger spawning. Mating is unusual with 2 or 3 males following the female. One male will present his pelvic area for the female to attach to. This is quite a manic affair. They pull each other through the tank. The female presses her mouth tightly against the male’s pelvic area. They form a T-shape. He releases sperm which passes through to her eggs which are held in her cupped pelvic fins and they become fertilised. Other males try to push themselves into the same T-position, but it is usually the stronger males that succeed.

corydoras breeding catfish
Breeding corydoras catfish t-position
corydoras female with eggs
corydoras female holding fertilised eggs in pelvic fins

The female will then frantically wander around the aquarium in search of a spawning site. She will in a single motion, clean an area of plant, the aquarium glass or a stone and quickly she lay a batch of eggs there. This is so quick you might miss it. Then the T-position will restart. This repeats several times until her egg supply is finished. She may lay about 200 eggs. In between batches the parents may graze on the eggs. Remove the fish immediately after spawning has finished to maximise the number of eggs surviving. Corys get very hungry after mating.

Raising the fry

corydoras catfish fry
corydoras fry

Add some methylene blue to the water. Start raising the temperature again by 2 degrees per day until it reaches 74F. The eggs hatch after 5 days and become free swimming 2 days later. The fry look like typewriter commas and stay on the ground. Start feeding brineshrimp and microworms. After another week start feeding them crushed fish food. At one month old they should be 0.5 inch long. At 2.5 months they should be 1 inch in length and sellable.

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