Do Cory Catfish Clean the Tank: How Do They Do It?

Cory catfish are a widespread freshwater fish found in many different parts of the world. They are easy to care for and can be kept in various tanks. Cory catfish are usually peaceful fish, but they can become aggressive when they feel threatened.

Cory catfish can clean their tank using their mouths and scales as bottom dwellers. They use their mouths to suck in the debris and their scales to scrape it off the bottom of the tank.

How Do Cory Catfish Clean Aquariums?

Bottom-dwelling fish like cory catfish can play an essential role in keeping your tank clean. Their mouths and scales can scrape the debris off the bottom of the tank, which helps to prevent build-up over time. In addition, they can clean their tanks with the algae that they scrape off. Algae tend to stick right to the scales of a cory catfish, so it is usually easy for them to pick up and suck into their mouths. This also makes it significantly easier for you to remove any debris from your tank. Cory catfish like living in an aquarium and helps maintain pH levels throughout the water system.

Why Does Your Aquarium Need a Cory Catfish?

There’s no denying it – cory catfish are visually stunning fish. They come in various colors, ranging from light blues and greens to dark purples, blacks, and silver. Some people even keep them as pets! But there’s more to these fish than just their looks- they’re also terrific aquarium cleaners. Corys are also very friendly fish and can be kept with other bottom-dwelling fish. Some people keep them as a primary tank inhabitant and other popular freshwater species such as bettas, guppies, or gourami. This is not recommended, though, since it may cause aggression between the closely related inhabitants of your tank!

How to Choose a Healthy Cory Catfish?

When looking for a cory catfish for your aquarium, be sure to purchase one that is healthy and of the correct size. They range in size from 3 inches up to 12 inches long, so make sure to buy one that will fit into your tank comfortably. Another thing you’ll want to look for when purchasing a Cory catfish is its coloration. Be sure to select an individual with a vibrant coloring scheme- this will set them apart from the other fish in your tank and make them look more dynamic.

Keeping Cory Catfish in Aquariums

Habitat and Behavior

Cory catfish are native to the rivers and streams of South America. They vary greatly in coloration, but all share a common feature- they are algae eaters. Keeping them in an aquarium with clean water and good quality protein food is essential for their health and happiness. Corys tend to be calm fish that prefer hiding places among rocks and plants, so providing plenty of these will make them feel at home in your tank.

Aquarium Size

Cory catfish are suitable for the home aquarium only as a small addition to an existing fish community. However, they are not suited to be kept alone and need adequate space both in terms of length and width. For example, a 12-inch Cory will require a tank measuring at least 18 inches wide by 24 inches long, while 3-inch corys will do well in tanks up to 10 inches wide by 20 inches long.

Plants and Decorations

Providing plants and floating decorations is an excellent way to add depth and visual interest to your cory tank. Good choices include stemless water lilies, sword blennies, java ferns, crypts, aquatic weeds, or bogwood blades. In addition, fish in your cory tank should have an excellent home-based decoration. Different types of colorful small fish will improve the visual interest and engage more active play from your corys, which is very important for their overall happiness when kept as an aquarium pet.


Cory catfish are avid feeders and should be given a diet that consists primarily of quality protein. They enjoy things like sinking pellets, small crustaceans, and live insects. In addition, they have a reputation for being bad with smaller fish, so caution is recommended when introducing them to other active species. In addition, make sure the tank is large enough for them to swim around in, and they can get ample food and hiding spots.


Cory catfish are peaceful fish that you can keep in most community aquariums without fear of aggression from other tankmates. However, they should not be housed with large, aggressive fish or those with solid finning tendencies as they may be unable to defend themselves. In addition, in the wild, cory catfish live in strongly oxygenated water full of plant life, so they may not be as decorated with small plants and other decorations.

Water Parameters

The water parameters needed for cory catfish vary depending on the species and variety. Still, typically they will require a substrate of sand or gravel, live plants, dimmable lighting, and room temperature of 74 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 degrees Celsius). In addition, they should be kept in an aquarium for at least 20 gallons.


Best tank mates for cory catfish vary depending on their personalities. Still, generally, they should be kept with other similar-sized species of fish that are neither too aggressive nor timid. Some popular choices include tropical fish such as gouramis and Siamese fighting fish.