This section contains information about catfish species that are neither Plecos nor predatory catfish. The most prominent members of this group are the popular Corydoras catfishes. The Brochis catfish species are also well-liked in aquariums, and closely related to the Corydoras catfishes.
There are more the 70 described species in the genus Corydoras. Corydoras aeneus, Corydoras metae, Corydoras paleatus, Corydoras panda, Corydoras sterbai and Corydoras trilineatus are all examples of commonly kept Corydoras species. All these different species are usually called Cory catfish or just Corys among aquarists.
Cory catfish originates from South America and they all prefer similar conditions in the aquarium. They are not very picky when it comes to pH levels, but avoid the extremes and try to keep the pH fairly neutral. A few Cory catfish species will survive in temperatures as low as 59 degrees Fahrenheit, but all the other species prefer water temperatures in the 72-81° F range.
Cory catfish do not grow very large; 1-3 inches is common. A 10-15 gallon aquarium is enough, but Cory catfish is also commonly found in larger aquariums where they work as “cleaners”. They should ideally be kept in groups of at least four individuals and you can mix several species of Cory catfish in the aquarium. If you place rough gravel in the aquarium the Cory catfish can injure its mouth.
Cory catfish can be a valuable “cleaner fish” in an aquarium since they are omnivorous and scavenging bottom feeders. Due to their feeding habits, the aquarium where you house your Cory catfish should ideally have a bottom that is covered with sandy or polished gravel without any sharp edges.
To keep your Cory catfish healthy you should ideally feed them a combination of sinking tablets and more meaty foods, e.g. blood worms or beef heart. Cory catfish must also be provided with plant or vegetable material, and will appreciate blanched lettuce. Some people leave their Cory catfish to survive entirely on scraps left by the other fish, but this is not recommended. If you treat your Cory catfish well they will do much better in the aquarium and may even spawn.
The Brochis catfish species are also from South America and can be found in the River Amazon, Rio Ambiyacu, Rio Ucayali and several smaller tributaries. Compared to the Cory catfish species, the Brochis catfish species have more rays in the dorsal fin. Brochis catfish appreciates soft and acidic water in the aquarium since this resembles its natural environment. The Brochis catfish species tend to grow bigger than the Cory catfish species and require a somewhat larger aquarium.
One of the most popular Brochis catfish species is the Brochis splendens. Brochis splendens live in densely grown slow moving waters and should therefore ideally be kept in a planted aquarium. The colouration varies from almost completely black to emerald green, with clear or brown fins. The colour of your Brochis splendens can actually change in order to reflect the mood of your fish. The belly is white or has a very pale orange shade.