Do Corydoras Eat Plants? (All Doubts SOLVED!)

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Aquarium plants offer a combination of benefits to your aquarium and some beautiful scenery for you and your fish to enjoy. Corydoras are known for being hungry fish, so you might be worried about how your plants will hold up to these fish. Do corydoras eat plants?

Corydoras might nibble on plants occasionally, but it’s not their first food of choice. They typically clean up any plant matter or other matter that has already died. So long as they have ample other food sources, they shouldn’t go after your aquarium plants very often.


Knowing the somewhat unique diet of a corydora can help you avoid having them resort to eating your plants. 

Do Corydoras Eat Plants?

Corydoras aren’t prone to eating aquatic plants. Any corydoras that do go after live plants are probably hungry, and don’t have enough of their other food sources to sustain their appetite.

Eating these plants isn’t harmful for your corydoras, but of course, it can be harmful to your plants that you’ve worked hard to cultivate. 

Corydoras also have a harder time eating live plants than other food sources. Their teeth aren’t developed in a manner that makes it easy to break down the leaves or stems.

Chances are, when they do end up eating parts of your plant, they are already starting to rot or they are just trying to clean the plants. 

Corydoras would actually prefer to eat anything that has fallen off of your plant. These fish are known as scavengers.

They will end up cleaning up any debris that has floated to the bottom of your fish tank or aquarium so that you don’t have to clean it up yourself. They may also clean off your plants if food has fallen into them. 

Having plants in your tank alongside corydoras is actually important. Not only do plants offer corydoras some solitude and places to rest, but they also end up offering them a food source when they capture or create debris. 

Do Corydoras Eat Dead Plants?

If there are parts of your plant that are starting to die, your corydoras may end up eating those dead parts off. If leaves fall off of your plant, but your plant is still healthy, they may decide to nibble up those fallen leaves.

They tend to only be able to break down plant matter that has become soft due to decay or other reasons. 

Your corydoras won’t go after your dead or dying plants if they have any sort of algae on them. Corydoras are not fans of algae, and neither are most other fish. Plants with algae growing on them should be removed from your aquarium. 

Letting your corydoras clean up dead plant matter is actually a good thing. Having this plant matter removed before it has time to impact the quality of your aquarium’s water is very beneficial for the health of your fish.

This dead plant matter, over time, can alter the pH balance of your water, and leech bad stuff into it. 

Do Corydoras Need Plants?


When you bring fish home, it’s an important goal to create the best environment for them to live a long and happy life in. For corydoras, that includes plants. Plants are going to make your aquarium feel more like home to these fish. 

Corydoras are found within smaller bodies of water that are usually filled with various aquatic plants above and below the surface. In the wild, corydoras will typically hang out close to these plants when they aren’t at the bottom of the water looking for food. 

Plants usually serve multiple purposes within an aquarium. Depending on the plant, they offer aid in filtration and removal of unsafe contaminants in the water.

They also offer fish a chance to hide away and get some rest, or run for cover when they are feeling stressed out. For corydoras, both of these benefits are appreciated. 

Which Plants Are Good For Corydoras?

There are a variety of live plants to consider for an aquarium with a corydora. One of their favorites is the java fern, given that they offer great places for hiding with their expansive leaves.

Amazon swords also offer the same type of privacy, while also being very adaptable to a corydora’s preferred aquatic conditions. 

Moss balls are another option for your tank that work just as nicely for corydoras as they do for you.

These little green balls help keep water clean in various ways. They also end up catching a lot of food and other debris that your corydoras will love nibbling on. Java moss also captures some matter and uneaten food, as does hornwort. 

The Corydora Diet

Corydoras are often referred to as bottom feeders or scavengers, which may have unsavory connotations but it’s truly not a bad thing. They essentially help to keep your aquarium cleaner by removing any type of dead matter within it. 

Outside of what they can find in your aquarium naturally, they are also fans of worms, as they are also considered to be omnivores. They are fans of multiple types of worms, including bloodworms and blackworms. 

You can also feed them some bottom feeder tablets or sinking wafers that they can nibble on as they please at the bottom of the aquarium. Repashy gel foods are also a desired source of nutrition.  

Read: What Do Albino Cory Catfish Eat? A Complete Guide!

In order for your corydora to be able to eat from the bottom of the aquarium, it’s recommended that you fit yours with soft gravel or soft substrate on the bottom.

It should be at least two inches so there’s plenty of cushion for food to fall into. It’s crucial that this bottom layer is very soft so that your corydoras don’t get injured. 

When Corydoras Might Eat Plants?

Your corydoras might resort to eating some of your plants if they are hungry and haven’t been fed. That said, eating plants isn’t an easy task for your corydoras.

If your plants are starting to die, they may also take care of those dead parts for you so that you don’t have to prune them yourself, making plant maintenance a little easier.  

Sometimes, it may appear that your corydoras are eating your plants, but they are actually cleaning food off of them.

If they are in an aquarium with fish that eat towards the top of the water, any food that falls down might be caught by your plants. Your corydora will then suck that food off, which may, at first glance, look like they’re trying to eat the plant. 

Recommended: Cory Catfish Happiness Guide Every Cory Keeper Must Read!

Final Thoughts 

Corydoras are popular fish due to their peaceful nature, their love of family (having groups of them together is ideal), and their unique personalities.

They also offer a lot of fun for their human parents, and are a beautiful fish to watch. Given their diverse diet, you might worry about having plants in your aquarium. But do corydoras eat plants? Not usually, but it’s not unheard of. 

If you offer up your corydoras enough of their preferred food sources, there shouldn’t be any need to worry about them eating your aquatic plants.

Instead, your corydoras will find solace in having greenery around, and will use them as shelter when they need to rest after a big meal. 

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