Can Cory Catfish Eat Betta Food?

Cory catfish, short for Corydoras catfish, are extremely popular denizens of family fish tanks around the world. In aquarium environments, you often see them in groups, or aquarium owners pair them with betta fish in the same tank. While the betta, or more popularly known, the Siamese fighting fish, are territorial and does have some specific feeding requirements. These fish owners often wonder.

Can Cory catfish eat betta food?  Cory catfish are quite happy eating betta food, as these fish are scavengers and omnivores, so they will eat anything they can find. The main issue is that betta pellets are meat-based proteins, and Cory catfish do need a more balanced diet. Betta food will do them good, but it won’t be sufficient for all their dietary needs.

Many tank owners pair these two fish together, and although some fish owners think they shouldn’t be in the same tank. If you follow some simple advice, there is hardly ever an issue.

What do Corydoras Eat?

Corydoras love to eat algae, as well as any other morsels, which are floating around. They are not fussy eaters by comparison to some fish, and they are happy as bottom feeders picking up scraps that have sunk.

Because they favor algae, they do a great job of keeping certain elements of an aquarium clean. When it comes to feeding time, you can feed them near enough anything as long as they can get it into their mouth.

One of the most significant issues is they are keen overeaters. You will have to be cautious when feeding them, or if they are in a tank with a top feeding beta, then you need to be wary of sinking food.

How Much do I Feed My Corydoras Catfish?

Your corydoras only require feeding once per day, and at this time, they should only consume as much as they can eat within five minutes. On top of this, you do need to be sure the food type is the sinkable type so that it will pass by your betta.

The most common types of foods will consist of either wafers, flakes, or pellets. Other foods are suitable in pellets, or you can offer them some treats on occasions such as worms (tubifex), or brine shrimp that have been freeze-dried.

As we saw, you can also feed them blanched vegetables to help balance their diet. As the day progresses, you can often see the corydoras moving the top of the tank substrate as they rummage around for more to eat.

Even before you get to the stage of wondering if corydoras will eat betta pellets, you do need to look at all the other things that can affect them as being tank mates. Now, we will look at how these two fish can co-habit in the same tank without upsetting each other too much.

When you feed your beta, be sure to drop in a pellet or wafer for your corydoras. This way, your beta will be occupied with his food to notice the bottom feeders underneath him eating their food.

Corydoras and Bettas as Tank Mates

Before going off any further, you will need a betta that has a somewhat calm temperament. If you have one that shows signs of aggression, it may be worth giving it a miss to share his tank. However, if you have a calm and relaxed beta, then you may be lucky enough to use the tank for other fish.

Corydoras Origins

You find this fish in the wilds of South America. Their usual habitat is slow-moving rivers, which are teeming with plant life, and have a lot of food around the surface of the substrate. There are many varieties, yet all of them are suitable to co-habit with your beta.

Colors of Corydoras

One thing, which may make them suitable to live with beta fish, is that the colors are not bright. They are often mottled brown, black, or gray, so they are never eye-catching to other fish. It is also possible to get some strains that are albino (white).

Tank Conditions for Corydoras

Corydoras are quite hardy, yet they will want suitable conditions in the tank. If your pH levels or the temperatures are outside their favored range, they may be stressed.

The pH for your corydoras is between 7.0 and 7.8. The bottom end of this is ideal for your beta (7.0), and if you can maintain your pH toward the bottom end of this range, both types of fish should be happy.

Note: Bettas can live in acidic waters, yet not alkaline.

Temperature ranges also fall in line. Again, the ideal temperatures for your corydoras are 70 – 78 fahrenheit. This time, the ideal setting for your betta is the top end of the scale at 78 fahrenheit. A couple of degrees on either side won’t hurt yet try to be sure it doesn’t go too far.

Other areas about water condition for corydoras is the nitrite levels. If these are on the high side, it will lead to fish becoming stressed. If this happens, they may be more prone to disease. You ought to be testing on a regular basis to be sure these are at 0ppm. You can easily find affordable nitrite test kits around that will help you monitor your levels.

You mustn’t disturb your tank substrate if possible, even though you need to vacuum it on a regular basis. Be sure not to loosen all the sand and gravel, because this is the quickest way to release feces and rotting food into the tank. Not only will you stress your fish, but also disturb a raft of bacteria that aren’t beneficial.

Habitats for Corydoras and Bettas

Corydoras will school together, so you will more than likely have multiple fish rather than just one. If you are beginning, a ten-gallon tank is sufficient for around four Cory cats and your betta. If you have too many in a smaller tank, it will lead to the betta fish showing his territorial aggression.

You will see your corydoras stick together, and even when sleeping. It appears one takes a break while the others stand guard. On the odd occasion, a corydoras may break the water’s surface to take a gulp of air. Hopefully, they can get back to the bottom before your betta spots them.

Cory size when they grow will be 1 to 2.5 inches in length. As they are bottom dwellers, you need to make sure your bottom substrate is two inches or more. Live plants are also welcome, as they like to hide. Other decorations such as rocks are good as it gives the fish somewhere to hide and play around.

One thing you do need to be sure of is that your tank has a lid. Betta fish are used to jumping in their natural habitat and jumping out of a tank will be no challenge.

Conclusion

These two fish can live together as long as your betta isn’t the aggressive type. It may be easier for them to co-habit if your betta is a female rather than a male.

As long as you are sure to feed for both the betta and the corydoras at the same time, there will be little feeding issues. Each should concentrate on their food source rather than what the others are doing.

These are two fish you can occupy your tank with, and in some ways, if your betta misses easting some of its food, the accompanying corydoras are there to help clear up the mess they leave behind.

You might be interested in

Author Profile

Adam Edwards
Hi, my name is Adam and I'm an aquarium enthusiast! I didn't discover the joys of being an 'aquarium fanatic' (as some of my friends call me!) until I was in my 20's. When I first started out I found it difficult to find all the information I needed so I started this website to compile all the useful information I can think of. Enjoy!