Do Cory Catfish Clean The Tank?

In Aquarium Fish, Aquascapes, Freshwater Aquariums by

Yes, Corydoras Catfish will clean the tank. The Corydoras Catfish will clean uneaten food, and scavenge in all the hard-to-reach areas of your tank that your fish would have otherwise missed. The cory catfish is a good scavenger fish but nonetheless, they will not be able to help with your algae maintenance.

The Corydoras Catfish will eat pretty much anything. Some of the corys favorite meals are bloodworms, blackworms, brine shrimp, and fish pellets. The corys will eat fish flakes as well but the corys prefer more meat-based food so having the brine shrimp and bloodworms will be amazing.

If you have missed these articles on the bloodworms, brine shrimp, and fish flakes be sure to check them out.

If you are concerned with exactly how clean the corydoras catfish can do then you may want to consider adding plants to help with the spread of algae. Algae can be a real problem at times but when you have some plants that draw in a lot of nutrients like many invasive plant species then algae will have a hard time competing for nutrients.

Corydoras will have an easy time getting around your debris, substrate, roots, and decorations but if you would like to clean your tank better you may need to add some more cleaners. I know what you are thinking PLECOS! Well, how about no plecos. Plecos will clean the tank but not with their massive rep for pooping so dang much, not to mention that they will most likely outgrow your aquarium tank so not the best idea.

5 Awesome Tank Cleaning Tank Mates For The Cory Catfish

Rabbit Snail

The Rabbit Snail has gotten its name for its long ears. The Rabbit snail also has this cute elephant-like mouth which is just a cool feature and they can get up to 5 inches long. They can help Corys clean up some excess waste of your fish and help turn over your sand. These little guys will also help clean your ornaments but they are not nearly as good as the cory fish when it comes to plants or ornaments.

Zebra Snail

The Zebra snails are called many different names like the onion snail, helmet snail, Neratina spp. Not all Nerite snails are considered to be freshwater so the drawback is finding the right zebra snail for your aquarium. Zebra snails are very good tank mates for your corydoras catfish. The zebra snail will eat the leftover scraps like the Rabbit Snail and corys. But, they will climb your tank walls eating algae, clean your ornaments very well, and clean your plant leaves.

The main ratio is 1 to 2 snails per 5 gallons of water will net you a clean tank of algae. Of course, having plants as well helps combat algae growth.


Goby’s arent very typical for most aquarium shops but if you find some they sure are fun to add to your aquarium. If you see them in your local fish shop you will see them as Blue Neon and Rainbow Gobys.

Goby’s ,especially Blue Neon Gobies, are generally classified as nano tank Gobies due to their small size.

If the Goby’s have a mouth towards the bottom of their face then you will have a very good algae eater however they are only good at feeding on rocks, ornaments, and substrate and not the sides of the tank. If you have a Goby with a mouth in the middle of its mouth then he won’t be very good at algae.

For the Gobys, they will need a good filter and aeration. The main reason for the filter and aeration is due to the high streams of water they generally reside in. The Gobies would make an okay tank mate for the corydoras but they are mildly aggressive so I would stick with the Zebra Snail.

Amano / Cherry Shrimp

Amano Shrimp are going to be best suited for tanks with bigger fish as they can get a little bigger than an inch or more. The Cherry Shrimp are very small so they are better for nano tanks. The Shrimp will eat string algae on your plants, and decorations very well. But, they are not good at eating off of the glass which is why the shrimp are typically put in aquariums with fish.


These little cuties are a Plec yes but they only get to be a good 1 inch to 2 inches long and will not overwhelm you with a ton of waste. These otocinclus are a favorite among nano tank enthusiasts, and aquascapers since these fish do love heavily planted tanks. The otocinclus will eat algae in every nook and cranie of your tank very vigorously but, the only thing with these guys is safety in numbers. The minimum for these guys is 3 otocinclus.

The Corydoras are still one of the best and arguably the best scavenger fish for the aquarium hobby. Even so it makes you wonder about how many to add? Corydoras love being in a big group and it sure is cool to watch them school around for food.

So of course we are going to discuss breeding the corydoras! Corydoras do not need much to breed. They are generally like us humans in a way.

The corys will need a full belly and a good place to spawn some young so I consider feeding them well then moving them to a spawning tank with some nice spawning moss. They do not require any acclimation and will be okay with temperate water perameters.

Corydoras are fun to breed actually and lets be honest probably as much fun for us as them.

If you would like to learn more about breeding the corys then you will want to check out this article. You will see 10 different types of corydoras as well listed in the article.

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