How to Save a Dying Cory Catfish: Effective Steps You Should Know

Cory cats are a type of tropical fish often kept as pets. They are known for their lively personalities and their ability to swim rapidly. If you’re looking for a fun fish to keep in your aquarium, cory cats may be perfect.

There are a few things you can do to try and save a dying cory catfish. First, try and move the fish to freshwater as soon as possible. If the fish is in an aquarium, change all of the water quickly before putting it into freshwater so that it doesn’t contract any diseases from the other tankmates. Bring up some oxygen levels by bubbling air through the tank or adding an air pump. In addition, offer the fish food known to eat, like sinking pellet food or vegetable matter such as flakes. Try and feed it in small amounts several times a day rather than leaving the food down all of the time so that they don’t get too full and stressed out.

Best Practices to Save Cory Catfish From Dying

You can do several things to help protect your cory catfish from dying. First, ensure that you provide the proper water quality and nutrients, avoid overstocking your tank, and be careful not to stress or harass it.

Aquarium Cycling

One way to help protect your cory catfish is to cycle your tank. You will periodically change the water and substrate to keep the tank clean and healthy.

In addition, if your tank has been set up for too many fish, let the water turnover time increase.

Quarantine Fish

If you are adding new fish to your tank, it is essential to quarantine them for a few weeks to ensure they are not carrying any diseases or parasites. Furthermore, it is vital to make sure that you follow safe fish tank husbandry practices not to stress or harass the cory catfish.

Adding Substrate

Adding sand to your tank can help create a better environment for your cory catfish. In addition, some fish like to burrow and aerate their substrate.

Feed a Healthy Diet

Another way to help protect your cory catfish is to feed it a varied diet. This means that you should provide it with different types of foods to get the nutrients it needs.

Test Your Water

Ensure that your water is at the correct level before adding fish to your tank. If you are unsure what the right level is, you can use a pH meter to test it.

Perform Regular Water Changes

Another way to help protect your cory catfish is to perform regular water changes. This will keep the tank clean and healthy, and it will also provide the cory catfish with excellent water quality.

Signs Your Cory Catfish Is Dying

Inactivity or Slow Swimming

One of the earliest signs of a cory catfish dying is its slow swimming behavior. If the fish cannot move around well, it will not be able to find food or get away from predators.

In addition, sluggish catfish will not move around enough, making it easier for predators to attack.

Weird Swimming Patterns

If the fish starts swimming in strange patterns or circles, this may also indicate that it is dying. In addition, it will also become susceptible to being eaten by predators. In addition, small fish such as guppies and cherry barbs may attack a dying cory catfish, inflicting further damage.

Weakness or Loss of Appetite

Another symptom that a cory fish is dying is the loss of appetite and the fact that nothing seems to feed him anymore. When these symptoms start happening, many aquarium keepers assume wrongly that there are worms in his food when in actuality, he’s just lost interest. To prevent this problem, make catfish food more nutritious. You can add vitamins, especially B-complex and C tablets, made especially for the fish.

Deformation or Decaying Flesh

If you see the tail fin start to appear deformed or do not look healthy in general, your cory will likely be unable to eat. This can lead to suffocation if cyanobacteria overgrowth, resulting in an inability for the watery breath within its gills to dissolve food.

Abnormal Breathing

If the fish is gasping for air or breathing rapidly, this may be a sign of oxygen deprivation. If you notice any of these signs in your cory catfish, please take it to a qualified fish carer as soon as possible.

Cloudy Eyes

Cloudy eyes are another sign that the fish is not well. This may be due to a lack of oxygen, water quality problems, or a problem with its diet. Ensure the cory catfish has access to clean water and appropriate food to help improve its condition.

Injured Barrels

Barbels are the fleshy projections that hang down from a fish’s upper jaw. If they are damaged, this may impair their ability to breathe and eat. Check the barbels of your cory catfish to see if they appear to be in any distress.

Damaged Fins

If the fins on your cory catfish are damaged, this may impair its ability to swim and escape from danger. If you notice any damage to the fins, please take it to a qualified fish carer for repair or replacement.

Common Causes of Cory Catfish Death

There are several reasons why cory catfish might die. First, if the fish is not getting enough oxygen, it may start gasping for air or breathing rapidly. This may be a sign of oxygen deprivation. Other causes of death include water quality problems, problems with its diet, or being harassed by other fish. Ensure that your cory catfish has access to clean water and appropriate food to help improve its condition.


If your cory catfish is not getting enough food, it may start to starve. Ensure that you are providing it with the proper nutrients and that its water is clean to help improve its chances of survival.

Diseases and Parasites

If your cory catfish shows any signs of illness or parasites, please take it to a qualified carer for treatment. In addition, it could be advisable that you quarantine the fish until it recovers from any illness or parasites.


Cory catfish are sensitive to stress and can die from it. Ensure that your cory catfish is kept in a comfortable environment and given plenty of space to move around. In addition, make sure that you provide it with clean water, food, and regular monitoring for signs of stress.


If your cory catfish feels shocked or scared, it may start to die. Instead, try to find out the cause of the stress and take appropriate steps to alleviate it. In addition, make sure that you quarantine the fish to provide it with time and space to recover.


If you have overstocked your tank, it may be contributing to the death of your cory catfish. Ensure that you are only adding fish that you can help feed and watch closely so that they do not attack or harass your cory catfish.

How to Know if a Cory Catfish Is Dead?

If the fish is dead, it will be difficult to determine this without help from a qualified fish carer. If you think that your cory catfish may have died, please take it to a qualified carer for examination. 

In addition, your local fish store can assist you in this task. A single scale at the base of the tail is a standard feature for cory catfish and does not necessarily mean that your cory catfish have died or asp to be replaced, but it could help recognize missing scales from harassment.