What to Feed Cory Catfish?


What to Feed Cory Catfish?

So you're wondering, "What to Feed Cory Catfish?" Picture this: you're hosting the aquatic equivalent of the Oscars after-party. The venue (your tank) looks divine, there's ambient lighting, and the bubbly (O2 from the filter) is flowing. But whoops, you hit a snag. The menu! What exactly do these Cory celebrities munch on?

Choose the wrong menu, and:

  1. They might feel undernourished.
  2. Their glamorous shimmer could dim.
  3. Worse, they might face some health hiccups.

It's the equivalent of serving fast food at a five-star gala. But don't sweat it. We've got the answers.

With our Cory Catfish dining guide, you’ll be the talk of the underwater town for all the right reasons.

Let's get into the art of feeding these armored catfish, shall we? 🍽️🐟


What Do Cory Catfish Eat?

Originating from South America, specifically the slow moving streams and rivers, cory cats (the cool kids' nickname for corydoras catfish) are bottom feeders by nature. In their natural habitat, they'd be nibbling on dead fish, plant matter, and the occasional wild caught fish treat. Now, unless you’re planning on recreating the Amazon in your living room, we’ll have to adapt a bit.

Corydoras are carnivorous little micro predators that eat worms, insect larvae, and other small invertebrates in nature. Since live foods can be inconvenient to keep on hand at all times, you're going to want a good quality prepared food blend on hand for most days.

So what are the best prepared foods for Corydoras?

Quick Rundown:

Understanding Cory Catfish Dietary Needs

Cory catfish care goes beyond merely dropping fish foods into the tank and calling it a day. These fish are pretty versatile eaters. But here's the twist: just because they eat a variety of foods doesn’t mean they should be munching on just any old fish flakes.

By the way, if you're itching to dive deeper into the world of these fascinating fish and get acquainted with their quirks, habits, and natural habitat, we've got just the thing. You might find our dedicated article on 'All About Cory Catfish' enlightening.

[Cory Catfish: Care Guide!]


Best Foods for Cory Catfish

To help you narrow down your choices, we have compiled a list of the Top 3 Best Best Foods for Cory Catfish based on customer reviews, ratings, and expert opinions;

In a hurry? I recommend Fluval Bug Bites Tropical Fish Food!

Commercial Foods: Flakes and Shrimp Pellets

Always opt for high quality ingredients. Brands like Omega One and Hikari sinking wafers come highly recommended. Sinking pellets or bottom feeder tablets are excellent since our little friends frequent the bottom of the tank.

Fluval Bug Bites Tropical Fish Food


Overview and Features:
Fluval Bug Bites are specifically formulated to address the natural, insect-based feeding habits of fish, translating into a healthier, more digestible diet. This formulation is rich in black soldier fly larvae which are high in protein. It's ideal for small to medium-sized fish like our Cory Catfish.


  • High protein content promotes growth and health.
  • More digestible than traditional fish foods.
  • Mimics the natural diet of wild fish.


  • A bit pricier than some other commercial foods.
  • Small granule size might not be ideal for larger Cory Catfish.

User Review:
"One of the best fish foods I've tried. My Cory Catfish go crazy for these! They look healthier and more active since switching to this diet."

Live and Frozen Foods: Bloodworms, Brine Shrimp, and Daphnia

Think of these as the gourmet meals for your fish. Offerings like frozen bloodworms provide a nutritional punch. Still, they should be kept as an occasional treat.

Hikari Bio-Pure Freeze Dried Blood Worms


Overview and Features:
Packed with protein, these freeze-dried blood worms by Hikari are a hit among both tropical and marine fishes. Especially for Cory Catfish, it provides an exciting and nutritious munch.


  • Natural and high in protein.
  • Suitable for a variety of fish species.
  • Maintains the natural flavor fish love.


  • Limited to protein content; may need to be paired with other food varieties.
  • Slightly more expensive due to premium quality.

User Review:
"My fish swarm the tank when they see these coming. A hit with my Corys!"

Vegetable Foods

Did someone say veggie rounds? Yes, even fish appreciate their greens. Boiled frozen peas, once cooled, are a gentle and easy-to-digest option.

Hikari Sinking Wafers


Overview and Features:
These sinking wafers by Hikari are a dream come true for bottom feeders. Especially formulated for corydoras catfish and loaches, they cater to their natural grazing habits.


  • Sinks quickly, ensuring bottom feeders get their fill.
  • Contains a balanced mix of essential nutrients.
  • Long-lasting and doesn't dissolve easily, reducing waste.


  • Ensure not to overfeed to avoid tank contamination.
  • Might need to be broken into pieces for smaller fish.

User Review:
"My corydoras catfish are more active and lively since I started them on these. Highly recommend!"


DIY: Homemade Foods for Cory Catfish

Making your own food isn’t just for those Texas cichlids with a penchant for gourmet. Get your inner chef on and mix fish pellets, fish flakes, and a touch of frozen and live foods for a custom-made cory feast. Ensure a good mix for nutritional value, and maybe even throw in whole fish from pet stores. And remember, no added spices!


  1. Fish pellets and flakes: Your foundational nutrients.
  2. Frozen/live foods: Think bloodworms, brine shrimp. A protein punch.
  3. Whole small fish from pet stores: For that wild-caught zest.

Quick Steps:

  1. Blend Base: Grind equal parts of fish pellets and flakes. We're aiming for something sinkable.
  2. Add Protein: Mix in thawed frozen foods or clean live foods.
  3. Go Wild: Chop up the whole fish finely and mix.
  4. Shape it: Use a tad of boiling water to create a malleable mix. Form small pellets or wafer-like portions. Let dry.
  5. Store: Keep in airtight containers in cool, dry places.

Voila! Gourmet delights, Cory Catfish-style.


How Often Should You Feed Cory Catfish?

If fish had wristwatches, they’d probably be set to "feed me" o’clock all the time. But, for keeping cory catfish leading a healthy life, once or twice a day is the golden rule.

Feeding Schedule and Portion Control

These fish aren’t counting their macros, but you should keep an eye on their portions. A pinch of fish flakes, a couple of sinking pellets, and the occasional frozen bloodworm are all they need per session.

And always feed them only what they can consume in 3-5 minutes.

Avoiding Overfeeding: Signs and Solutions

Overfeeding is like inviting all your friends for a movie night and then realizing your living room isn't a theater.

Look for signs: uneaten food at the bottom of the tank or water turning murkier than your Aunt Agatha's mystery soup. If you've overfed, reduce the fish count for a few days and monitor the tank water.

Quick Solutions:

  1. Fast Thinking: Consider giving your fish a short fasting period - a day without food can help them digest and clear out the excess.
  2. Clean-up Crew: Introduce some algae eaters or bottom feeders like snails to help clean up the food mess.
  3. Portion Control: Remember, it's always better to feed in smaller, controlled portions, perhaps even multiple times a day, rather than one large feast.


The Importance of a Balanced Diet for Cory Catfish

Just as you wouldn't thrive on a diet solely of potato chips (tempting as it may be), cory cats need variety. A balanced diet ensures good skin health, longevity, and keeps them active and playful with other fish species.

  • Variety is Key
  • Glow Up
  • Active Lifestyle

Benefits of Offering Occasional Treats

Live food, live foods, and the occasional frozen treat (no, not ice cream) act as enrichments. They not only add nutritional value but also keep the fish mentally stimulated, chasing after their food.

  • Mental Gymnastics
  • Beyond Nutrition

Did You Know? In the wild, cory catfish often dig and shuffle around in search of food. So when you give them live or frozen treats in the tank, you're mimicking their natural behavior, turning mealtime into an adventurous scavenger hunt! It's like a treasure hunt, but with, well, worms. Yum?


Tips for Maintaining a Clean Tank (Post-Feeding)

Remember, cleanliness is next to fishiness:

1. Bio Load Capacity: Keep track of your bio load capacity. More food means more waste. Ensure your fish tank can handle the load.

2. Remove Uneaten Food: After feeding, scoop out any uneaten food. This keeps the tank free from debris and reduces the risk of the water temperature spiking.

3. Tank Mates Matter: If you have other fish species in your tank, ensure they aren't hogging all the food or leaving scraps that the corydoras catfish need to clean up.

4. Consider the Living Species Tax: Always ensure the many species in your tank have their dietary needs met. Bottom dwellers, algae eaters, and other species all have unique requirements.


FAQs about Cory Catfish Diet

Can Cory Catfish eat Betta or Goldfish food?

Technically? Yes. But it's like giving pancakes to someone expecting waffles. While it might slide occasionally, Cory catfish would appreciate food tailored to their specific, sophisticated tastes.

How long can Cory Catfish go without food?

Alright, don’t test this just for fun, but these champs can coast through up to a week without food.

But remember, consistency is key—like wearing matching socks.

What are the signs of malnutrition in Cory Catfish?

If your Cory Catfish starts looking like it's had too many late nights, showing signs like lackluster color, an unenthused attitude, or slimming down (and not in a gym-junkie way), it's probably not getting the nutrients it needs.

Can Cory Catfish feed on tank algae alone?

Algae eaters they might be, but a sprinkle of terrestrial grains wouldn't hurt as part of their varied diet. As for gel foods, they're a hit or miss, so let your cory fish be the judge.

While they might snack on algae like it's the chips bowl at a party, they can’t thrive on that alone. Think of it as their side salad—it’s nice but not the whole meal.

Is it essential to provide a variety in their diet?

Absolutely! It's like asking if one should have both chocolate and vanilla ice cream in their freezer.

A varied menu ensures these finned pals lead a zesty, vibrant life.

What are the risks of feeding expired fish food?

Expired fish food is like that old mystery takeout box in the back of your fridge.

It's lost its charm and might just lead to some regrettable decisions (or in this case, sick fish).

Should you soak the pellets or flakes before feeding?

Soaking makes things soft and easy, kind of like those memory foam pillows. Especially handy for the younger, small-mouthed Cory crowd.

Are there any specific foods that can enhance their color?

Seek out foods high in carotenoids—like spirulina, krill, or shrimp. It's like a spa day, but for fish color. Fancy, right?

Recommended Reads:


  1. Can Betta Fish Live in Tap Water?
  2. DIY Koi Pond with Waterfall for Beginners!

Lastly, a community awaits you!

Dive into our Facebook community group, "Aquariums For Beginners" with over 470k members. Whether you're a seasoned aquarist or just dipping your toes in the water, it's the perfect place to share, learn, and engage with fellow fish enthusiasts!

Swim on over! 🐟 (LINK)


Keeping your bronze cory catfish (or any other cory species, because yes, there are many species) well-fed and happy isn’t rocket science. With the right fish pellets, a sprinkle of live foods, and an occasional treat, your cory cats will be the kings and queens of their watery castle.

REMEMBER: keep an eye on that bottom of the tank, and maybe they'll even give you a fishy high five!


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