Why Is My Cory Catfish Not Moving? 6 Common Reasons!

Watching your fish in distress can be a very alarming site especially if you are a new fish keeper.

Similarly, if you ever find your Cory catfish not moving, it may not be anything less than a panicky moment.

Most fish keepers adore how their Cory catfish scavenges for food at the substrate level of the tank and goes about its daily business.

But what do you do if your Cory catfish isn’t moving?

There are several reasons why a Cory catfish might not move in a fish tank.

In this article, we are going to explore all the reasons this might happen and the things you can do in order to prevent or fix it.

Let’s dive into it!

Why Is My Cory Catfish Not Moving?

Cory catfish generally rest at the bottom area of the fish tank, so if you see your Cory catfish staying still for a while, it might just be resting.

However, if this persists for more than just a while, it can be a signal of a pretty serious issue.

In this case, you should be ready to address it in order to restore your Cory catfish to its optimal health.

That being said, sometimes fish do stop moving for a while every other day, but if your particular Cory catfish doesn’t move for several hours or even days, it is a definite red flag.

Let’s take a look,

Exhaustion or Tiredness

This is the most common reason why a Cory catfish might not be moving in the fish tank.

It may be tired or exhausted due to its daily activities and scavenging among the gravel.

This is especially possible if your Cory catfish shares the fish tank with other larger aquatic creatures.

They might play, chase each other around, or hide from each other, which leads to exhaustion.

To get over there tiredness and fatigue, they might curl up in a corner at the bottom of the fish tank and lay low for a while in order to conserve their energy.

If your Cory catfish lives alone or with its mate, it may be tired due to scavenging for food all day.

Since they are bottom feeders, this is one of the most enjoyable activities for them but it can be a tiresome task.

Sickness or Illness

If your Cory catfish is still or unmoving in a singular position, it might be because your Cory Catfish is sick.

Fish that are generally healthy and content move around and explore different parts of the fish tank over and over again.

If you feel that your Cory catfish is sick, you should investigate for any cuts or injuries on its body.

If you cannot find any signs of distress or damage on the body of your Cory catfish, then it may be an internal illness that you are dealing with.

In some cases, you might find an externally damaged area on its body due to scraping against any sharp objects in the tank or even the gravel found on the tank floor.      

Scraping can cause Cory catfish to develop Columnaris disease which can also affect other fish species in the tank if it is not treated on time.

Cuts or Wounds

If you Cory catfish is spending a lot of time hiding in a corner of your fish tank, this can be a concerning sight.

Injured catfishes might refrain from eating or moving about, indicating that they are hurt or sick.

The best possible thing for you to do is to examine your Cory Catfish for any wounds or cuts. Sometimes parasites can also be a possibility.

If you have other fish in your tank, then you must capture your Cory catfish and examine its entire body.

Sometimes they can have scrapes from rocks or gravel which can get quite sore.

Since these cuts are pretty small, they can be difficult to see from afar. Therefore, a close inspection is needed.

If your Cory catfish is infected by parasites, which might be a rare scenario, you must immediately seek help and inspect all other members of the fish tank to avoid transmission.

Tank Water Conditions

The conditions in your fish tank really matter when it comes to aquatic fish such as Cory catfish.

Since Cory catfish are tropical fish, which is why they require warm water parameters compared to other exotic or tropical breeds.

This is the reason why you have to provide them with water that is 72 to 82°F, otherwise it may affect their health adversely.

In a situation where your Cory catfish finds itself in a temperature that might be higher than 82°F or lower than 72°F, it might not be able to function properly.

If the water reaches above 82°F, the atmosphere would be too hot for them.

As a result, they will be excessively releasing heat from their gills in order to stay cool. Not only is this exhausting, but it can also cause them to fall sick.

In order to make them feel better, you have to adjust the temperature of the tank, or help them by moving them to colder water that is less than 82°F.

This will allow them to cool down and heal with time.

If your Cory catfish does not feel better even with a cooler setting, there is a possibility that this may not be the reason for the unusual behavior of your Cory Catfish.

Dietary Issues

It is crucial for every fish owner or breeder to understand that fish are incredibly fragile creatures when it comes to their digestive systems.

They need a well balanced and nutritious diet in order to function properly and stay healthy.

Therefore, if your Cory catfish stops swimming or stays still in a position for a long period of time, there is a possibility that it may not receiving enough essential nutrients that it needs.

This is a chance for you to take a closer look at your Cory catfish diet and make sure that it gets enough fiber and protein to keep it thriving.

A Cory catfish diet should contain pellets, fish flakes, live foods, as well as bottom feeder tablets.

A well-balanced diet will give the Cory’s enough nutrition to be active all day. If your Cory catfish is not given enough nourishment, it will stop swimming and stay still in a particular place.

To address this issue, you must introduce extra protein and nutrients to fulfill its needs.

Depression or Sadness

It is very possible for your Cory catfish to become upset and stop moving.

This can happen due to several reasons, such as being housed in an unfavorable environment, high levels of ammonia, or even a lack of things to do.

Unsuitable tank settings can include the wrong temperature of water, tank makes that do not get along with them, or even an unclean environment that they may not like.

Situations like this can cause Cory catfish is to become depressed and stay in one place.

You must ensure that the tank is properly filtered and cycled so that ammonia toxicity doesn’t become an issue.

Other than this, you must provide your Cory Catfish with gravel going up to at least one to two inches so that they can scavenge for food.

Just like many other aquarium fish, Cory catfish also appreciate plants in their environment.

Providing fun aquarium plants give them enough room to hide, seek shelter, as well as play.

Little pebbles, toys, and ornaments also create an attractive and intriguing environment for the Cory catfish.     

Other than this, you must be careful before placing other forms of aquatic life in the fish tank.

Always do your research before pairing different species to understand if they are going to get along with your Cory catfish or not.

The Bottom Line

To put it simply, it is not normal for Cory catfish to not move in the fish tank.

They are incredibly energetic and curious by nature which is why they like to explore and scavenge at the substrate level.

It is very normal to find your Cory catfish being extra active in the daytime and sleep during the night, but elongated periods of staying still in a place is definitely alarming.

If you find your catfish staying in a single position for a few hours or days, you should definitely check it out for any symptoms of damage, disease, or even general unhappiness with tank conditions.

Other articles you may also like: