How to Feed Your Cory Catfish?

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Corydoras don’t need many things to be happy. But one of the main ones is food.

Bottom-feeding fish like Corys need an elaborate and balanced diet to meet their energy and nutrition needs. And feeding Corydoras is about more than just fish flakes.

But what makes a balanced diet for Corydoras? Well, you have to choose healthy and micronutrient-rich foods. You must keep a few different foods on hand to ensure your fish gets a varied diet.

You’ll also have to feed your fish in a balanced way— not too much, not too little.

It sounds like a lot to take in, but it’s rather simple! Keep reading to learn what foods to feed your Catfish, how much, how often, and how to alternate between them!

You’ll find all the info you need below.

What to Feed Your Corydoras?

Corydoras are omnivorous fish. They need balanced and varied diets to cover their nutritional needs.

Most importantly, Corys need a healthy amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber to stay healthy. Besides macronutrients, your fish also require vitamins and minerals.

Corydoras will get all these nutrients from a combination of meaty foods and vegetable matter in various forms. You can feed your fish fresh, frozen, dried, or live foods.

As for what foods exactly to include in your Corydoras’ diet, here’s a rundown of the most common options:

– Commercial Food

By “commercial food,” I mean processed and packaged things like flakes, pellets, and wafers.

Such foods are specially formulated to provide a balanced mix of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

These are the most common and accessible foods for your fish, and they can make up the basis of the Corydoras’ diet.

There are plenty of products on the market.

Some of the best choices for your Corys include:

  • Bottom feeder tablets: This is by far the best food for Corydoras. As bottom-feeders, Corys need sinking foods. These tablets make feeding much quicker and easier for you and your fish.

You’ll find plenty of quality products to choose from, some specially formulated for Cory Catfish. These tablets are typically made of whole fish meal, shrimp meal, dehydrated vegetable and algae powders, and supplemental vitamins and minerals. A good product should contain plenty of protein and fiber and a low amount of fat.

  • Fish flakes: Fish flakes are another common option, although not a Cory’s favorite. Flakes make a good snack but take forever to sink. Nevertheless, fish flakes are highly nutritious and can supplement bottom-feeder tablets.

Fish flakes are typically higher in fat than bottom-feeder tablets. However, they come packed with lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. A good product contains fish, shrimp, and oyster meal, plus dried algae and vegetables. Look for products with no artificial colors or flavors.

  • Algae wafers: Corydoras aren’t big algae eaters but like nibbling on algae here and there. Algae wafers are good supplemental food and provide variety in the diet. And luckily, most algae wafers sink well because they’re formulated for bottom feeders.

Despite their name, algae wafers contain more than just algae. This vegetable-based product contains other nutrient-rich plants such as alfalfa, vegetable germs, yeasts, added vitamins and minerals, and even some fish meal. This food is low in fat and has a good amount of protein. But some of the main ingredients include spirulina, chlorella, and other nutrient-dense algae species.

  • Shrimp pellets: Shrimp pellets are another popular food specifically designed for bottom-feeding fish. These slow-sinking pellets are low in fat but high in fiber and protein. They contain shrimp meal, fish meal, and an array of supplemental vitamins and minerals.

Note that this food shouldn’t make up the basis of your Corys’ diet. Shrimp pellets are best kept for rare occasions to diversify your pets’ diet. Although shrimp pellets sink well without soaking, you should still soak them to soften them up. Otherwise, Corydoras won’t show much interest in this food.

– Live and Frozen Food

It’s important to feed your Corydoras some live or frozen foods every once in a while. These foods simulate the most natural feeding conditions for your fish.

Besides, including these foods ensures your Corys have a diverse and balanced diet.

What live or frozen foods should you choose? Well, Corydoras aren’t picky. In the wild, these fish eat a variety of worms, insects, larvae, and other small, bottom-dwelling creatures.

Some of the common options in pet stores include:

Live foods are preferable because they’re the most nutrient-rich and fun for your fish to consume.

These foods are highly nutritious but also high in fat and low in fiber. They shouldn’t make up a large part of your Corydoras’ diet.

However, frozen foods are also good. Frozen foods are the easiest to store. They come in pre-shaped little cubes, and you can chuck them in the fridge.

When using frozen foods, remember to thaw them first before feeding your fish.

– Homemade Food

You can and should also feed your Corydoras some home-prepped foods sometimes.

Fresh veggies, in particular, make a good treat and help round up your Corys’ diet with additional fiber and vitamins. You can also feed your Corydoras small bits of fish or seafood to keep feeding time interesting.

Homemade food doesn’t have to be anything special. Just choose some fish-safe foods and chop or shred them into small pieces.

Here are some safe and nutritious options your Catfish will enjoy:

  • Leafy greens (spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, chard)
  • Seaweed (fresh or dried and flaked)
  • Thawed green peas
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Squash
  • Garlic
  • Shrimp
  • Squid
  • Mussels and clams
  • White fish (tilapia, cod, etc.)

Fresh and raw foods are best. But if you want, you can also boil harder veggies like carrots, peas, and squash to soften them.

Alter between different vegetable colors at each feeding to ensure your fish get a variety of nutrients and antioxidants.

You can feed your fish homemade foods three meals per week as a supplement to a regular pellet and wafer diet.

Feeding Adult Corydoras

Now that we know what to feed Corydoras let’s see how often and how much to feed them. Adult Corys should eat two meals a day.

Commercial fish foods, especially bottom-feeder tablets and algae wafers, should make up the basis of their diet, so most of their meals should be centered on these foods.

Two to three meals per week can consist of alternative foods. These can be either live and frozen foods or home-prepped veggies and seafood.

Don’t rely on the same foods all the time. Alternate between these sources so your fish gets a balance of protein, fiber, and micronutrients.

Keep the portion sizes small and avoid overfeeding. The ideal quantity of food is one the Catfish can eat in three minutes or less. On average, one Cory will consume ½ to one full pellet daily.

If you have other fish in the tank, your Corydoras will also consume leftover flakes from them. So, your Corys might be happy with less pellet food.

Feeding Corydoras Fry

Baby Corydoras have slightly different dietary needs than adults. After hatching, Cory fry will go 2-3 days without eating.

They’ll feed on their yolk sac, which has all the nutrition they need. After the first two days, you can start offering them food.

Since Cory fry are so small, they need the food to be appropriately sized. Growing fish also require more protein, fat, and energy than adults. Since they’re still growing, there’s no danger in overfeeding them.

The perfect foods for them during the first few weeks are baby brine shrimp, micro-worms, and commercial fry food.

These foods are small enough for hatchlings and contain a lot of protein, healthy fatty acids, and crucial vitamins A and D.

The ideal feeding frequency is 3-4 times a day. Feed the fry as much as they can consume within 5 minutes or less.

As the fish grow, you can start diversifying their diet with larger foods like crushed flakes and pellets.

Can Corydoras Eat Vegetables?

Absolutely! Corydoras are omnivorous, so they can eat a variety of plants. Common vegetable foods to feed your Corys include cucumber, green peas, lettuce, and zucchini. However, not all Corys will consume these foods.

Turns out fish have food preferences too! Even if your Catfish avoid vegetables, know that these foods are safe and healthy for them.

Don’t worry too much if your fish won’t eat veggies. Corys still get enough fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins from wafers and pellets.

Commercial foods contain a variety of vegetable powders like spinach, algae, peas, garlic, alfalfa, and other sprouts. Algae wafers, in particular, pack a powerful veggie punch.

Even if your fish avoid veggies like the plague, they’re still likely to nibble on algae wafers.

Can Corydoras Eat Algae Wafers?

Yes, they can! Algae wafers are a healthy and nutritious food for your Corys. In fact, this commercial food is specifically formulated for bottom-feeders like Catfish, plecos, and loaches.

Algae wafers contain many healthy vegetables like spirulina, alfalfa, and other sprouts. Algae wafers are also a good source of protein for your fish.

Corydoras can get a lot of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fiber from this food. However, not all Corys will flock to eat it.

As healthy as they are, these wafers aren’t the main attraction. Corys most often prefer meatier foods like pellets and sinking tablets.

Though if these foods aren’t available, your fish will consume algae wafers more readily.

How Long Can Corys Go Without Feeding?

Sometimes, you have to let your fish go hungry for a while. It happens when you’re on vacation or have to treat your fish for digestive problems.

So, knowing how long your Corys can safely go without food is good. Luckily, Corydoras are robust; these fish can last for up to two weeks without eating!

A healthy adult Cory should have enough body reserves to last 10-14 days without food. If the fish are particularly stocky looking, they’ll have plenty of stored energy to burn.

Of course, these are just estimates! Not all fish are the same. Smaller Corydoras, especially juvenile fish, have less body fat and won’t last as long.

Other factors can influence a Cory’s metabolism. Things like water temperature and water current can slow down or increase your fish’s energy consumption. In a lower-temperature, low-current aquarium, catfish burn less energy and have lower appetites.

Such conditions make it most likely for adult Corys to last 14 days without food. Conversely, warmer water and stronger currents increase your pets’ energy needs.


Corydoras are bottom-feeding omnivorous fish. Their dietary needs and feeding behaviors determine what foods to feed them and how much to feed them.

The main takeaway is that your fish need a balance of protein and vegetable foods.

Corys should eat twice per day. The ideal meal size is as much as they can eat in under three minutes.

Their diet should focus on nutritious commercial foods that sink well (bottom-feeder tablets, shrimp pellets, and algae wafers).

Two to three meals per week, you should feed your fish various live foods and fresh vegetables.

Choose leafy greens, green peas, zucchini, squash, and cucumber for vegetables. Common live foods include tubifex, daphnia, brine shrimp, and bloodworms.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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