The Green Cory Catfish is a freshwater fish found in the wild in North America. It has been introduced to other parts of the world as well and can be an invasive species, but it’s also an excellent source of protein with low levels of mercury like many native fresh water fishes. This article will provide information about how to identify this species, where they are located in the US, what their habitat preferences are, and what types of food they eat.
Green Cory Catfish Species Summary
1. Species Summary :
The Green Corydorus Catfish is a beautiful fish. This species has an olive green main body color with brownish stripes and a dark mark in the center of its forehead. Underside and tail are white tinted with grayish blue colors. They have two or three pairs of barbels that give them their name (barbels are the whisker like structures found on the chin, lip, and mouth). These barbells move in and out to sense for food particles in the water column.
Origin / Native Range: South America : Brazil – Rio de Janeiro area
2. Green Cory Catfish Lifespan
The lifespan of this species can be around 10 years if well cared for in captivity . 3-5 years is more normal. In their natural habitat they live until about 3 years old when they are preyed upon by larger fish such as cichlids and catfish.
3. Appearance :
The body composition is moderately compressed laterally and oblong in the dorsal view. They have two pairs of barbels under the chin, one pair on the upper lip, and another pair at the corner of the mouth that can be moved in and out like whiskers to sense for food particles in the water column or detect movement near them (this function is not well understood).
These barbells will also aid in cleaning debris from around their mouth area which aids with feeding. The adipose fin has no spine in front of it – a trait shared with the Green Terror, Bronze Cory, and others. Coloration is olive green with no other colors (stripes or markings) besides a dark mark in the center of the forehead between the eyes called the interorbital streak . This species can reach up to 3.9 inches as an adult and will live up to 9 years if well cared for in captivity .
4. Green Cory Catfish Size :
These fish are very hardy and tolerant of poor water conditions including high nitrates that other fish would succumb too after only a short time. They have been known to survive for 6 months without food! In their natural habitat they eat algae, small crustaceans, insects, worms, insect larvae , plant matter, and other fish if smaller than them.
They are very peaceful towards most species of fish but can be territorial against others of their own kind and some corydoras catfish species as well. The will need an aquarium with a good sized tank (54 gallons or larger) so that they have room to swim around freely. A mature pair may require a tank even larger depending on the amount of other fish present in the tank . Young Green Cory Cats do not get along well together and should only be kept in groups of one male to three females .
Green Cory Catfish Care :
1. Tank Size:
A minimum of 65 gallons (250 Liters) is recommended to house a single adult Green Corydorus Catfish. A tank larger than 90 gallons (350 Liters) will be needed if other fish are present in the aquarium .
2. Water Parameters:
pH 6-8, Temperature 65F – 75F , and KH 8-12 degrees are ideal as a starting point for this species . These values may change depending on the outcome of your water testing kits that you use or by “feel” when tested with your finger. The main key is to keep them stable and within these ranges consistently throughout the tank so they can slowly adjust over time.
3. What To Put In Their Tank :
Provide a lot of hiding places and broken up plants/rocks for them to hide in. They are shy fish and will appreciate these spots to go to if frightened or startled by other tank mates .
4. Common Possible Diseases:
The Green Cory Catfish is very hardy as long as its water parameters remain stable and does not have any aggression from larger more aggressive corydoras catfish species. If they are stressed out, harassed, or kept in dirty surroundings disease can set in quickly making it spread throughout the tank easily infecting all the inhabitants. This requires frequent partial water changes of about 50% a week and good maintenance on cleaning up uneaten food particles too keep the environment free of excess nitrates that can cause fin rot among other common diseases like Ich.
Food & Diet:
Green Corydorus Catfish have a wide diet and can easily be fed flakes, frozen foods, live worms, tubifex worms , brine shrimp , mysis shrimp , and mosquito larvae . Feeding them a variety of these will be appreciated by the fish as well as help it live longer. Some may not take to flake food so adding bloodworms or brine shrimp in with their routine food is important if they aren’t getting enough nutrients in their regular diet.
They are easy to feed but only offer what they can consume within 5 minutes at each feeding time. Overfeeding may result in extra nutrients/waste that can lead to other problems for your aquarium inhabitants including lower oxygen levels and higher nitrates . Repeat this feeding process 2-3 times a day.
See more: Best Foods For Corydoras Reviews
Behavior & Temperament:
They are peaceful fish that stay away from most other unfriendly tank mates but can be territorial with their own kind and some C or dwarf species of Corydoras Catfish . Unless the aquarium is large enough for them to have their own territories they should not be kept in groups larger than one male to three females . If they do get aggressive, then there will be fin nipping which may lead to the loss of some fins until the dominant male Green Corydorus Catfish knocks off its competitor.
The female Green Cory Catfish are less aggressive and generally get along well together. They like to dig around substrate so you may want to use sand, gravel, or pebbles instead of something like crushed coral which they are known to eat.
They enjoy burrowing around and may even create a small hole in the substrate so check on them often if you notice this activity is increasing. Some people recommend adding bogwood to their tank for additional hiding places and as long as it’s cleaned off every couple of months so they can’t use it as a bathroom.
Green Cory Catfish Tank Mates:
Green Corydoras Catfish should not be kept with other C or dwarf species of Corys due to their aggressive nature when crowded into small tanks along with larger fish that may want to eat them such as large cichlids . Other peaceful catfish get along well with the Green Corydoras Catfish such as the Pristella Tetra and Black Skirt Tetras .
They are fine with smaller non-aggressive fish like White Clouds or Longfin Silver Dollars as long as they get enough hiding spots. Don’t keep them in a tank with very aggressive fish that may bully them and chase them out of their hiding places too often which can make your Green Cory Catfish stressed, unhealthy, cause fin nipping, and lead to an early death.
Some examples would be Mbuna cichlids , Oscars , Jack Dempsey’s , Tinfoil barbs & other barb species, Red tail sharks, huge Pacu’s , Piranhas , Arowana’s (and other large predatory omnivorous surface dwelling fish that can grow up to 3 feet), large catfish, and very aggressive discus fish.
Green Corydoras Catfish are larger than most Cory’s and easily breed in well maintained community tanks with plenty of places for them to hide their eggs . One male to three females is the best ratio for breeding since the females get too stressed out by males when there are more of them around which will reduce your chances of getting fry or even kill off some of the eggs.
Some people have kept small groups together with no problems but this is luck depending on many factors so it is best not risk it if you want successful spawning since Green Cory Catfish don’t take other people’s word for what they have done.
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Are They The Species For You?
Green Corydoras Catfish are easy to care for and make great beginner fish even though they require more space in the tank than other surface dwelling cory species such as pygmy or dwarf . In fact, those 2 species should be kept in at least a 10 gallon tank each so unless you’re an experienced hobbyist with a larger aquarium of around 20 gallons , then you may want to stick with the Green Corydorus Catfish due to their larger size (they grow to almost 2 inches long when full grown).
If your tank is too small for them to breed, then you may be better off with the discus or larger pygmy species such as Laetacara curviceps or Ctenops nobilis since they require similar care. Green Corydoras Catfish are hardy fish that can tolerate a wide range of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels so just keep an eye on your water parameters if you go a week without doing a water change and do partial water changes weekly at least in a 10 gallon tank .
If you have any questions about anything else you’d like to know about cory catfish in general or the Green Corydoras Catfish in particular, please leave a comment below. Also don’t forget to bookmark this page for your future reference.