Cory catfish are the most common bottom dweller fish aquarists love adding to their community tank because of their peaceful and hardy nature. However, they can easily become stressed when kept in inadequate water conditions.
It is essential to detect if they are under stress, and we have to look for signs and symptoms. So, How to tell if your cory catfish is stressed? Let us find out.
Signs like hiding, lethargy, staying at one spot, and refusal to eat indicate that your cory catfish is under stress. Poor water conditions and unstable water parameters are the primary cause of stress. Ensure adequate living conditions and avoid adding aggressive mates to prevent such issues.
This article will discuss knowing if cory catfish are under stress and how we can prevent such issues. So, let us get into it.
- 1 What are the symptoms of cory catfish under stress?
- 2 What are the reasons behind cory catfish coming under stress?
- 3 Will cory catfish pass away because of stress?
- 4 How to prevent stress from our cory catfish?
- 5 Conclusion:
What are the symptoms of cory catfish under stress?
These are the symptoms your cory catfish will show when they are under stress:
- Your cory catfish will hide most of the time.
- They will start avoiding eating.
- They will become lethargic and will avoid moving much.
- They will mostly swim at the top of the tank, gasping for air.
- You will notice white patches in your cory catfish fin and body.
- They will swim frantically.
- Your cory catfish will show strange swimming behavior like swimming upside down.
- They will become pale and will look thin.
- The gills of your cory catfish will get discolored.
- They will rapidly move their gills.
All these are the symptoms that indicate that your cory catfish is under stress.
There are numerous reasons behind your cory catfish suffering from all these issues.
Let us discuss the reasons behind cory catfish coming under stress.
Also read: Why Are My Cory Catfish Hiding?
What are the reasons behind cory catfish coming under stress?
There can be various reasons behind your cory catfish coming under stress.
These all are the possible reasons for your cory catfish being under stress:
- The water conditions of your cory catfish tank are poor.
- The water parameters of your cory catfish tank are not adequate and stable.
- The tank of your cory catfish is overcrowded.
- There is a presence of aggressive fish in your cory catfish tank.
- Your cory catfish is suffering from illness.
- Your cory catfish is suffering from physical injury.
- They are not getting a regular supply of food.
1. Poor water conditions
Cory catfish are tropical freshwater fish and require clean water conditions to thrive.
Poor water conditions make them weak and vulnerable to various diseases and parasites.
They will become stressed because of poor water quality and start avoiding eating.
There will be a high risk of an ammonia spike in dirty water.
An ammonia spike will burn your cory catfish’s skin and gills, making them suffer swimming and maintaining their buoyancy.
There will be an oxygen deficiency in poor water, making your cory catfish suffer breathing, and they will remain most of the time at the tank’s surface, gasping for air.
Also read: Are Cory Tropical Fish.
2. Inadequate and unstable water parameters.
Inadequate and unstable water parameters will make your cory catfish come under stress.
Living in too high a water pH level will make your cory catfish suffer from critical conditions.
Too high pH level will result in your cory catfish losing their ability to excrete the metabolic waste, resulting in the build-up of toxins within their body.
Too low pH level will affect their reproductive cycle, making them unable to lay eggs or hatch new fish fry.
Also, they will start producing excessive mucus, which will result in mucus clogging their gills, making them suffer breathing.
All these will make them come under stress.
Inadequate and unstable water temperature will make your cory catfish lethargic and avoid eating.
All these will make them weak, and they can come under stress.
Also read: Ideal Water Temperature For Cory Catfish.
3. Overcrowded tank
An overcrowded tank can make your cory catfish come under stress.
A crowded tank comes with all these issues:
- Your fish will not be able to swim and live comfortably.
- There will be a high risk of an ammonia spike in a crowded tank.
- The overcrowded tank will get polluted faster than usual.
- There will be oxygen deficiency in a crowded tank.
All these will make your cory catfish under constant stress and become prone to diseases and parasites.
4. Aggressive tankmates
Cory catfish are peaceful fish and prefer to live with other peaceful fish in a tank.
Adding aggressive fish to your cory catfish tank will make them come under stress.
Aggressive fish will constantly chase and bully your cory catfish.
Your cory catfish will not fight back and will keep running and hiding from them.
This will make them come under constant stress and become prone to diseases.
They can even injure themselves by running and hiding from aggressive mates.
Also read: Can Cory Catfish Live With Neon Tetra?
Cory catfish suffering from any illness or parasites will come under stress because of pain and weakness.
Swim bladder disorder, fin rot, body burns, and constipation is something common in cory catfish.
However, overfeeding, poor water conditions, and inadequate water parameters are the primary cause of such illness.
Also read: Why Is My Cory Catfish Floating?
6. Physical Injury
Any physical injury can make your cory catfish come under stress.
They can get physically injured by swimming frantically or running from aggressive mates.
They can injure themselves by banging on hard, sharp objects like decors and stones.
7. Regular supply of food
Irregular feedings can make your cory catfish come under stress.
Cory catfish are bottom dwellers and will feed on leftovers and other wastes.
But, we should feed them with varieties of food to ensure their faster growth and development.
Not feeding them regularly will make them weak, and they will come under stress.
Will cory catfish pass away because of stress?
Cory catfish will pass away because of being under constant stress.
You must know that fish under stress for a long time will become weak and prone to various diseases and parasites.
Your cory catfish will not be much interested in feeding on foods, moving from one corner to another, and interacting with other fish when they are under stress.
They will become prone to various diseases and parasites by being under stress for a long time and can even pass away.
How to prevent stress from our cory catfish?
Ensure all these things to prevent your cory catfish from getting stressed:
- Ensure good water conditions of your cory catfish tank.
- Make sure to keep your cory catfish in adequate and stable water parameters.
- Avoid overcrowding your cory catfish tank.
- Avoid overfeeding your cory catfish.
- Keep a regular check on the health of your cory catfish.
Good water conditions
Providing your cory catfish with good water conditions will prevent them from stress and parasites.
Performing a weekly water change of 35% will ensure clean water conditions.
Consider adding a good filtration system to your cory catfish tank to protect the water from harmful toxins like ammonia and nitrite.
|Water condition||Clean water condition|
Keep a regular check on ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate and ensure to maintain ammonia and nitrite at 0ppm, whereas nitrate should be below 20ppm.
We recommend using the API master test kit as it will help you check the pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.
Also, it shows accurate results.
You can buy it from amazon: API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT.
Make sure to treat the water with a water conditioner to eliminate chlorine from the water as it can affect your cory catfish health.
We recommend using the API water conditioner as it will help you eliminate chlorine, chloramine, ammonia, nitrite, and heavy metals from the water.
It is available on Amazon API TAP WATER CONDITIONER.
Also read: Best Substrate For Corydoras.
Adequate and stable water parameters
Provide your cory catfish with their ideal water parameters to prevent stress.
|Water Temperature||Between 70-82 °F|
|Water pH level||Between 7 and 8|
|Water TDS level||Between 400-600ppm|
|Water Hardness||Between 5 and 19 dGH|
They will thrive in a water temperature between 70-82 °F.
Make sure to provide them with the water pH level between 7 and 8.
Ensure to maintain the water TDS level between 400-600ppm.
Also, the water hardness should be between 5 and 19dGH.
Unstable water temperature can make your cory catfish come under a high level of constant stress.
So, consider adding a heater to your cory catfish tank to stabilize the water temperature.
Also read: Ideal pH level For Cory Catfish?
An overcrowded tank will make your cory catfish come under stress.
To ensure you are not overcrowding your cory catfish tank, follow the one-inch one-gallon rule.
The one-inch one-gallon rule means one inch of fish per gallon of water.
Cory catfish can be anywhere between 1 and 4 inches, with an average size of 2-2.5 inches.
Also, they are schooling fish and prefer to live in a large group of at least 5-6 of their species.
So all these make a 20-gallon tank an ideal size tank for your cory catfish.
Also read: How Many Cory Catfish In A 10-Gallon Tank?
Overfeeding your cory catfish can make them suffer from issues like bloating and constipation, which will make them come under stress.
To ensure you are not overfeeding them, feed them in a quantity that they can finish eating in one to two minutes.
If your cory catfish is taking more time to finish their food, you are overfeeding them.
And, if they finish their food in seconds, you are underfeeding them.
Also read: How Often To Feed Cory Catfish?
Check their health regularly.
Keeping a regular check on your cory catfish health is necessary.
This will help you to treat any issues at the early stages, and your cory catfish will struggle.
Look for signs like red and black patches, lethargy, swimming at the top, frayed fins, and sitting at one spot.
If your fish shows any of these signs, something is unusual and needs immediate action.
Issues like an ammonia spike, swim bladder disorder, and fin rot are the common cause of all these symptoms.
Numerous signs indicate that your cory catfish is under stress.
Lethargy, refusal to eat, sitting at one spot mostly, swimming at the top, red patches, and rotten fins are some primary signs that indicate that your cory catfish is under stress.
Poor water conditions, inadequate water parameters, overcrowded tanks, and the presence of aggressive fish are the primary reason behind stress in your cory catfish.
Providing them with their ideal water conditions and parameters will help you prevent such issues.
Reference: NCBI, ScienceDirect