Feeding Corydoras Catfish

Food, feeding and diet.
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Feeding Corydoras Catfish

Post by plankton »

The diet of the Corydoras catfish is a tough subject.

It should be pointed out that they are NOT scavengers or algae eaters, but are omnivores with a tendency towards the carnivorous end of the scale, so a cory (or group of 5+ corys as it should be because they are gregarious) fed only with algae wafers is not going to be the healthiest fish in the world.

We know the Cory diet consists primarily of small wriggly or swimmy things.  Their systems work primarily on animal proteins and fats and fibre (omega 3 and 6), so their diet should consist of a high volume of meat protein – tubifex, blackworm and bloodworm are particular favourites, as are daphnia and grindle/whiteworm for the smaller species and fry (grindle/whiteworm are also good for conditioning for breeding) - with a backup of high protein catfish pellets. The odd algae wafer and fresh vegetables (like crushed pea - just blanch to soften and remove shells, courgette, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower etc.) can be given as an addition, but aren't necessary other than for fibre content. Care should be taken with feeding fry, as if the food (especially live) is too big there may be problems, either with choking or digestion (mashing the food may be a good option in these cases, as are micro-worms).
Live food that we can provide is good for a lot of tank/farm bred species, but not all. There are wild caught fish, especially some species from Suriname, such as c. boesmani, which do have problems with it. This is further complicated by the fact that, in the wild, they can take all live food, including bloodworm, but live food from elsewhere can have different parasites/pathogens that are lethal to them. This is aimed mainly at wild-caught cory, but care should be taken to make sure that all food has been irradiated/treated so that it is “cleaner” and the parasites/pathogens have been nullified. Frozen food has normally been treated against pathogens so should not be so problematic.
When choosing a group of Corydoras, many are aware that the need to be in a group, and while Cory are social, a species group is far better than selection of different species to make up a group of 5. Please do bear in mind the temperature ranges of these fish. This will affect their requirements for food. As with any fish, the warmer the water, the faster the metabolism. All corys can live at lower temps around 22C. Some, like pepper (paleatus) and panda corys will not adapt well to warmer water. A few species, like sterbai, gossei and C48, on the other hand, can adapt to much warmer temperatures. The only suitable middle ground for the two ranges to be kept in the same aquarium is 22C. You cannot keep all corys above that. If there are any doubts, ask in the forums.
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