Guppies and Corydoras – Can You Keep them Together?

Corydoras catfish make excellent tank mates for guppies, primarily because of their peaceful nature.

The corys roam around the bottom of the tank, where they eat leftover food and serve as tank cleaners. They are also easy to rear and will suit a beginner tank.

Guppy Fish and Corydora Catfish

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Guppy Fish and Corydora Catfish

Other considerations to make when keeping the two species together include:

Tank Conditions for Corydoras and Guppies

Guppies are small fish, but they still require reasonable space to be healthy. When it comes to tank size, the general rule is that one gallon of water fits one inch of fish.

Guppies are quite hardy, and they have adapted to various environments in captivity. The ideal temperature is between 72 to 82 °F. You will need a heater if you live in an area with seasonal changes in temperature.

The temperature should not fluctuate too much to avoid causing health issues in the fish. The most suitable PH range is 6.8 to 7.8, while the water hardness should be maintained at GH 8-12.

You can add live plants to a guppy tank, especially if you have kept females and males together. In addition to cleaning your setup, the live plants will offer hiding spaces for all the tank’s residents.

The fish are not dependent on artificial light, although the plants will need it to supplement natural light. The lights will need to be controlled to mimic the natural day and night patterns. Guppies become inactive for some time to recuperate, and they can be seen settled on the substrate.

Corydoras are quite small, and 20 gallons will typically be enough for a school of six. The species is a social fish, and keeping them in shoals will reduce their chances of getting stressed.

The fish appreciate water flow and are often observed “dancing” in regions with a strong current. You can use plants and rocks to minimize the flow in other areas.

While selective breeding has made the Corydoras fish impressively hardy, the fish still needs some specific water parameters to be maintained. The appropriate temperature range is 70 to 80ºF, with a PH of between 6.0 to 8.0.

Like guppies, Corydoras fish also like stable parameters. Ensure the tank is well-cycled before adding corys and guppies. Corydoras are especially sensitive to ammonia and nitrites, and a test kit can help you ensure these elements are absent in your setup.

Care should be taken when choosing a substrate for a Corydoras tank. The fish are often seen scavenging at the bottom of the tank for food. Their head and snout have adapted to searching for food in a fine substrate. It is best to use a sand substrate to protect their snout, and barbels as a rough type will lead to damage and infections.

Feeding Guppies and Corydoras

Guppies are omnivores, and they will welcome anything you present to them. Most aquarists sustain their guppies with flake food, which offers the required minerals and vitamins. Select meals that are high in protein.

Veggie pellets will commonly contain algae, spirulina, and plankton. Give your guppies freeze-dried brine shrimp, blood worms, and tubifex worms. You can choose to use live food, provided you are assured it is free of bacteria and other contaminants. The safest option would be to culture daphnia and brine shrimp at home. You can also prepare egg yolk and beef hearts for these aquatic pets.

It is easy to overfeed guppies because they always seem hungry. Give them meals that they can easily consume in 20 to 40 seconds, and divide live food into numerous doses.

Corydoras, like guppies, are primarily omnivores. They are not hard to feed since they are not very picky when it comes to food. They will eat leftovers left by other tank residents, which will help in cleaning your setup.

Since the fish inhabit the bottom area, any wafers, pellets, or flakes you get should sink. Corydoras fish will especially love algae wafers and other veggie meals. Freeze-dried tubifex worms and brine shrimp make good treats.

The fish can be fed once a day, and do not allocate more food than they can eat in five minutes. You may be tempted to let the Corydoras feed leftovers from the guppies, but the fish will do well if they are given food that meets their nutrient requirements.

Guppies and Corydoras Behavior

Guppies are popular in community tanks because of their peaceful nature. They are commonly seen swimming around in groups, which is why you need to keep several of them. Guppies are not known as aggressive, and will easily live together with Corydoras species.

Aquarists who keep guppies, however, report cases of the fish chasing each other around the aquarium. This practice is normal mating behavior, and you will only see it if you are keeping males and females in a single tank.

Males can also chase each other around as a show of dominance. If the females are outnumbered, they can get stressed out by the constant badgering of the male guppies. Decorating your tank with plants and other decorations will give the weaker males and the females a place to retreat to.

Guppies are also noted to be active jumpers in home aquariums. They can jump as high as 8 to 15 inches, which is why you should always cover your setup.

The peaceful nature of Corydoras has made them a favorite in community aquariums. They will not harass other species, and they can often be seen feeding next to other fish.

Corydoras fish will either scavenge for food or rest on the substrate. They are quite entertaining and versatile to keep and watch.

They will mostly stick in their groups, although they are known to interact with other fish. Since they can absorb oxygen from the air, you will sometimes observe them coming up to the surface. Corydoras will feel safe in a well-planted and decorated tank and will live peacefully with guppies.


Community tanks add a touch of radiance to any room, especially if the fish contrast in appearance.

The species of guppies and Corydoras have interesting colors and hues, and it will be a joy to watch them swim around the same tank.

These two pets are quite hardy and will survive in a range of habitats. They have similar food requirements, which will make work easier for you.

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