If you are dealing with cory catfish digging up plants, you have come to the right place. Many pet owners think that their fish are acting up and just being assholes for digging up plants for fun. Others wonder if this can signify the fish catching diseases or feeling stressed out. I’m here to gladly tell you that this is not a severe problem, and I have a solution if you are interested. Please keep reading!
Will Cory’s Uproot Plants And Why?
Firstly, I want to highlight that corydoras are omnivores. So they definitely can consume plants and algae alongside worms, brine shrimps, and larvae. However, cory catfish digging up plants is not common, even though these greens belong to their diet. They usually nip on the leaves or feed on what has fallen to the bottom, given that they are bottom feeders.
So why do cory catfish dig up plants? This might be the lamest answer, but it simply is a part of their nature. These bottom dwellers sometimes uproot plants because that’s what they do in their natural habitat, and there isn’t much we can do to change their behavior.
The good thing is that they don’t do it too often. And the case happens mostly when the plants are new and weak. Their roots haven’t dug deep enough yet. That’s why corydoras have enough strength to ruin the plants.
Prevent Your Cory Catfish From Digging Up Plants
We can’t change the nature of the fish. However, it’s possible to anchor the plants to avoid them from being plugged out of their place.
Choose Older Greens
When you purchase and introduce a new plant to the aquarium, chances are this new green hasn’t developed a strong enough set of roots. My advice is that you pick older plants with taproots, which are much more robust compared to the fibrous roots of most aquatic greens, and they will grab onto the rocks or gravels at the bottom of the tank with better force.
Anchor The Plants
If your new plant is still weak and you can’t purchase a new one at the moment, the only solution is to anchor it. You can use the rocks and gravel in the tank and place the plants deep on the bottom. If the corydoras are still small, they can’t flicker the stones around to dig up the plant. So your new green is safe.
Another trick is to use a ceramic ring or a bio ring. This tool allows beneficial bacteria to have a home instead of being filtered. Due to the ring-like design, we can put the plants through the hole in the middle and secure them at the bottom of the tank. The bio rings are heavy, safe, and secure enough to protect the plants from being uprooted. The water quality won’t be affected unfavorably either.
However, we must keep in mind the ring’s size compared to the stem’s size. A ring that is too big won’t be able to hold the set of roots. So I suggest that you pick rings with smaller diameters.
Provide The Fish With Enough Food, Including Vegetables
If they are digging plants up to eat them, it means that we aren’t providing them with enough food. In this case, I recommend that you add more bloodworms or even algae or zucchinis to their diet and augment the amount of the portions. Nothing can be worse than a hungry fish in a community tank. Feeding them enough will protect your plants and also other tank mates.
Video: Cory cats are like pigs. They love to root up foreground plants.
Annette M. Chaney is an experienced marine biologist with over 20 years of experience as an aquarist and fishkeeper. She started her first aquarium at a young age, filling it with frogs and goldfish obtained from the ten-cent pet store.
Annette grew up caring for and breeding African Cichlids, which led to a hobby in high school that doubled as a profitable means. Attending Reed College gave her time to solidify herself as an accomplished aquarium caretaker with an eye for sales. After that, from 2009 – 2013, she studied at Roger Williams University – one of the most prestigious universities for Aquaculture and Aquarium in USA. She is the founder of AquariumCircle since 2010.