Can I put three Cory Catfish in a 10-gallon tank?

As humans, we all appreciate comfortable accommodation – and so does the cory catfish. These complex and beautiful creatures make great aquarium fish for the home or workplace and, as a bonus, are pretty easy to look after – even for absolute beginners. For many fish lovers, there’s only one thing better than a cory catfish- and that’s lots of cory catfish, however, before populating your tank with these unique tropical fish, there are a few things you need to know. 

Safety in numbers

Cory catfish are fairly undemanding creatures and require little more than clean water, a varied diet including shrimp pellets and bloodworm and, some driftwood for daytime hiding. That being said, they do like their own space – the cory is a schooling fish and so tends to thrive in schools of six or more. Because the cory can grow to up to four inches in length, a 10 gallon tank isn’t suitable for a school of cory catfish.

Depending on how many fish you have, the minimum size tank that should be used for cory catfish is 20 gallons to allow plenty of room for your school. Where possible, a 30 gallon tank will really help your fish to thrive. If you find that your cory are becoming sick or dying, it may be that the tank is too small for your school.  

Keep your cory covered

As we as paying attention to the size of your tank, it’s important to ensure that your tank is fully covered when keeping cory catfish. The cory will often zip up to the top of the tank to either grab a morsel of food or to take in air so, you’ll want to make sure that there’s no danger of your fish leaping out of your tank. 


If you have only a few cory catfish, you may be able to get away with a 10 gallon tank, however, as mentioned, these schooling fish do best in groups of six or more and, so, a 20 or 30 gallon tank will be necessary if you want your fish to survive and thrive.