Will a Cory catfish kill my shrimp?

Keeping tropical and exotic fish can be an expensive business – and there’s no quicker way to throw your money away than by putting incompatible species together in a tank. In this article, we’re shining a spotlight on the cory catfish – and whether its a swipe right for your shrimp. 

About the cory catfish

The cory catfish is a genus of freshwater fish which grows to between one and four inches when it reaches full size. Cory catfish tend to be peaceful chaps who will rub along with most species of small fish. As well as an amenable personality, the cory has a small, downturned mouth which makes them extremely unlikely to attack or display aggression to other fish. 

As a rule, your cory catfish will happily cohabit with your shrimp, however, there are a few caveats. To begin with, cory catfish have been known to munch on sick shrimp as well as shrimp eggs and ly so, you may want to keep an eye on this and, if necessary, separate the cory from shrimp eggs. The shrimp eggs will generally be stored underneath the female shrimp’s tail and will remain there until they are ready to hatch. It’s a good idea to wait until your shrimp are approaching maturity before putting them in a tank with your cory catfish. In the same vein, shrimp are omnivorous and, although they will occasionally eat small fish, they do not pose a risk to your cory catfish, although they may startle them from time to time as some species of shrimp are known for loudly snapping their pincers together to either communicate with other shrimp or warn off prey. 

While your cory is unlikely to attack your living shrimp, they will eat any dead shrimp which may be floating around your tank. While it’s best to remove any dead shrimp from the tank as soon as possible, consumption of a dead shrimp cocktail won’t harm your cory catfish or present any problems. In fact, shrimp pellets are a common food for cory catfish and so you don’t need to worry if your cory does eat the odd dead shrimp within the tank. 

Creating a home for your cory and shrimp

When it comes to making your cory catfish feel at home, outstanding water quality is essential. Cory catfish should never be placed into tanks which are brand new or have been neglected and, as well as ensuring proper filtration, 10% of the water should be changed every week. To ensure the ultimate comfort your shrimp, make sure that you maintain a pH level between 6.5 and 8.0 and a temperature of between 65 and 85. 


The good news is that there is no reason that you can’t keep your cory catfish and your shrimp in the same tank as long as you do your best to maintain the optimum water conditions for both species.