Are Cory Catfish Aggressive?

Cory catfish are famous among aquarists for putting in tanks with other fish.

Finding a new inmate for your fish can be a tricky thing. Not all fish get along well with other species despite living peacefully alone.

Cory catfish, however, are not among such fish. Cory catfish are peaceful and one of the easiest options to build your little fish community in the tank.

Cory Catfish are also known as Corydoras. They grow up to only 4 inches in length, so they are not very huge.

They do not occupy a considerable space in the tank and can easily co-exist with other fish.

These fish are petite and are usually seen grazing at the bottom of the tank. Hence, they never really come in the way of other fish in the tank.

They stay at the bottom mostly and seem to mind their own business.

Cory catfish feed on food by sucking on it. Hence, you cannot expect them to bite other inmates in the tank accidentally.

They are unlikely to do it intentionally either. Their peaceful nature is why they are always in demand by aquarists wanting to build a larger fish community in the tank.

Despite being known for its calm nature, Cory Catfish sometimes exhibit aggressive behavior in the tank.

Could it be that some Cory catfish are just aggressive in nature? Or could certain conditions in the tank push them to express their aggressive side?

We will answer all of these questions regarding the aggressive nature of the Cory Catfish.

But before that, let’s look into what features can make Cory Catfish look aggressive and whether it is okay to take the risk of keeping it with other fish in the tank.

Are Cory Catfish Aggressive in Nature?

Cory Catfish are not at all aggressive in nature.

It is also NOT true that some Cory Catfish are aggressive by birth and will showcase their aggressiveness for no reason.

All Cory Catfish are incredibly calm and peaceful fish. They can easily co-exist in the tank with other species of fish.

They never even come in the way of others or cause any disturbance. This is because they usually reside in the bottom half of the tank.

Cory Catfish are not even scary for fish that are smaller in size.

They stay in their little world at the bottom of the tank. This should not be mistaken as being aloof.

They will not mind if another fish passes by their space, as long as they don’t try to attack or threaten the Cory Catfish.

It is highly uncommon for a Cory Catfish to make the first move to attack another fish mate.

It is simply not in their nature to be aggressive without any reason. It is always in self-defense.

A Cory Catfish would avoid exhibiting aggressive nature even when attacked sometimes.

They would much rather prefer to hide in a corner than attack in response. Hence, they are often a victim of bullying by other fish.

A Cory Catfish is one of the most easy-going fish to keep in community aquariums.

They are undoubtedly amongst the top picks by aquarists to keep owing to their highly peaceful nature.

How To Prevent Cory Catfish From Becoming Aggressive?

It is established that a Cory Catfish may attack another fish either in self-defense or accidentally poke them with its spine.

It is a very uncommon site, yet specific measures can be taken to avoid these rare sights.

Choose The Right Tank Mates

It is common knowledge that Cory Catfish are perfect for keeping in a community tank fish.

They are least bothered by the other fish in the tank.

However, it is also very common for new aquarists to assume that any freshwater fish can be put in the community tank with Cory Catfish.

Not all freshwater fish are compatible with Cory Catfish.

We have already learned how Cory catfish live in their own space and do not disturb other fish, but the same cannot be said about the other fish in the tank.

Some fish are aggressive and can invade a Cory Catfish space and bully the Cory Catfish.

In the absence of appropriate hiding places, a Cory catfish would eventually retaliate against its bully, which can create many problems in the tank.

Hence, it would help if you always researched which fish are safe to keep in the community tank fish.

Mollies and Betta fish are great examples of fish that can easily inhabit the same space as Cory Catfish.

There are more options available in the market, so it’s not like you will ever run short on options to build up your community tank fish.

It is essential to look for compatibility for any fish placed in a community tank fish.

Do Not Overcrowd The Fish Tank

If you put too many fish together in a tank, it is not surprising that all fish would feel a little agitated.

A Cory Catfish prefers to stay at the bottom of the tank. Similarly, all fish prefer to have some space for themselves.

If your fish tank is overcrowded, your fish will likely get into rifts with other fish.

A fish must have a specific space to call its own and feel comfortable in the tank.

Other fish should not invade it, and usually, it doesn’t happen if there is enough space in the tank for all the fish.

Place Decorations To Be Used As Hiding Spots

A Cory Catfish is a peace-loving fish. They try to avoid getting into conflicts with other fish at all costs.

This is why an aggressive fish in the tank can end up bullying a Cory Catfish.

A Cory Catfish doesn’t always use its spines to defend itself. It would rather hide in a corner than confront the bigger fish. Hence, it is crucial to create hiding spots in a tank.

You can place small decorations in the tank with hollow spaces. It will serve as a hideout spot for a Cory Catfish.

You can also place tall plants in the tank. A Cory Catfish can hide between the branches of it.

It makes the Cory Catfish feel safe and comfortable. Even if there are no aggressive fish in the tank, making such hiding spots for the Cory Catfish is still advisable.

How Does Cory Catfish Attack?

Cory Catfish may seem to attack you or the other fish by using what appears to be its ability to sting.

However, attacking may not be the correct word as they usually only sting when they are in danger or are threatened by larger fish.

Cory Catfish can sting you and other fish with the help of spines. They can accidentally poke you or the other fish in the tank.

These spines can be seen protruding from a small area near the eyes of the Cory Catfish.

That said, these spines are not always protruding. Hence, it can be challenging to locate them.

The spines only become erect or protrude out when the fish is threatened. They have this feature to defend themselves from fish much more prominent in size than their petite bodies.

These spines can also release mild toxins. The toxins are not exactly poisonous or harmful to humans.

It may burn a lot if you accidentally get poked by a Catfish spine. Hence the term ‘sting’ is used.

Since these toxins are not very dangerous to humans, the pain caused by them subsides on its own without leaving any scar.

However, if a Cory catfish stings another fish and releases its toxins, it can be very harmful to the other fish.

If they sting the other fish at a vulnerable place, it can even result in the demise of the fish that was poked.

It is important to remember that a Cory Catfish will never attack another fish unprovoked. Hence, their sting mechanism is no reason not to keep a Cory catfish in the tank.

Sometimes, these spines can also be seen when the Cory Catfish gets excited. In such cases, they are not likely to release harmful toxins.

Yet, it is best to avoid handling them when their spines are protruded.

Remember, Cory Catfish has these spines to sting or poke as measures of self-defense.

This is probably the only time Cory catfish are seen exhibiting aggressive behavior. This finally brings us to our main question: are Cory Catfish aggressive in nature?

Final Thoughts

We hope that this article helped you clear all doubts regarding the aggressive nature of a Cory Catfish.

They are one of the calmest fish to keep in a community tank fish. And they would much rather hide in a corner than exhibit aggressive behavior, even in self-defense.

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