Cory catfish are peaceful bottom dweller fish every aquarist love to add to their community tank. Their hardy nature makes them the best option for beginners.
They can live in a wide range of water conditions and parameters and will not easily get sick. However, there are some cases in which cory catfish show strange swimming behavior, like swimming in circles. I have also encountered such a case and will share the reason and prevention for such an issue. So, Why is my cory catfish swimming in circles? Let us find out.
Ammonia poisoning and poor water conditions are the primary reason behind cory catfish swimming in circles. Other causes include stress, inadequate water temperature, and illness. Perform a weekly water change of 35% and ensure adequate water parameters to prevent such issues.
This article will discuss the reason behind cory catfish swimming in circles. Also, we will discuss how we can prevent our corydoras from such issues. So, let us get into it.
- 1 Is it normal for cory catfish to swim in circles?
- 2 Cory catfish’s natural swimming behavior.
- 3 What are the reasons behind my cory catfish swimming in circles?
- 4 How to prevent my cory catfish from swimming in circles?
- 5 Conclusion:
Is it normal for cory catfish to swim in circles?
It is not normal for your cory catfish to swim in circles.
If they are showing such swimming behavior most of the time, it is a matter of concern.
The primary reason your fish swim in circles is an ammonia spike and poor water conditions.
Ammonia poisoning in your fish will affect them by burning their skin, gills, and fins.
They will come under constant stress because of struggling to breathe and swim and will show such swimming behavior.
Other reasons include poor water conditions, inadequate water temperature, and high-stress levels.
Cory catfish’s natural swimming behavior.
Cory catfish are peaceful creatures that love to swim and interact with other non-aggressive fish in a community tank.
They spend most of their time scavenging on the bottom, searching for food.
They will come to the water surface to gulp air from their mouth as it is their natural behavior.
However, if they remain at the water’s surface most of the time, there is something wrong with the water conditions.
Glass surfing is also their normal swimming behavior, but they occasionally do it.
They are calm species and will spend most of their time searching for food.
Swimming in circles is not their natural swimming behavior; if they are showing such swimming behavior, it is a matter of concern.
Also read: Why Is My Cory Catfish Swimming At The Top?
What are the reasons behind my cory catfish swimming in circles?
These all are the reasons behind your cory catfish swimming in circles:
- Your cory catfish tank is affected by ammonia poisoning.
- The water quality of your cory catfish tank is poor.
- Cory catfish is under stress.
- Your cory catfish is suffering from illness.
- The water temperature of your cory catfish tank is not adequate.
An ammonia poisoning
An ammonia spike in your cory catfish tank can be the primary reason corydoras swim in circles.
Rapid breathing, lethargy, swimming at the tank’s surface, and gasping for air are the symptoms of cory catfish suffering from ammonia poisoning.
An ammonia spike affects your cory catfish by burning their body, gills, and fins.
They will come under constant stress and show strange swimming behavior like swimming in circles.
You must know that an ammonia spike can even result in your cory catfish passing away.
Also read: Why Is My Cory Catfish Floating?
Poor water quality
Poor water conditions can also make your cory catfish show strange swimming behavior like swimming in circles.
Bad water quality will make your cory catfish come under stress and become prone to diseases and parasites.
They will become weak and show strange swimming behavior because of the stress.
Also read: Can Cory Catfish Live In Brackish Water?
Stress can also be the one possible reason for your cory catfish swimming in circles.
Now, your cory catfish can come under stress because of numerous reasons.
Staying at one spot, avoiding eating, hiding most of the time, and swimming erratically are stress symptoms in your cory catfish.
The presence of aggressive fish, poor water conditions, illness, physical injury, and inadequate water parameters are the common cause of fish stress.
Cory catfish in constant stress can show strange swimming behavior like swimming in circles.
Also read: How To Tell If A Cory Catfish Is Stressed?
Parasites or diseases can also be one reason behind your cory catfish showing strange swimming behavior.
The symptoms include frayed fins, lethargy, weakness, avoiding eating, and staying in one spot.
Separating the sick fish and placing them in a separate tank is suggested as infection or parasites can be contagious, harming all the fish in the tank.
Proper antibiotics treatment with vet recommendations is necessary to treat such issues.
Inadequate water temperature
Inadequate water temperature will put your cory catfish under stress and show such swimming behavior.
Too hot water temperature will make your cory catfish hyperactive by boosting their metabolism, and they will swim erratically.
Also read: Ideal Water Temperature For Cory Catfish.
How to prevent my cory catfish from swimming in circles?
Ensure all these things to prevent your cory catfish from swimming in circles:
- Provide your cory catfish with good water conditions.
- Ensure adequate water parameters of your cory catfish tank.
- Provide a stress-free environment to your cory catfish.
Good water conditions
Providing your cory catfish with good water conditions will help you prevent such issues.
Perform a weekly water change of at least 35% to ensure clean water conditions.
Also, consider adding a good filtration system with biofilter media to protect the water from ammonia and nitrite and keep the water clean from excess waste.
Keep a regular check on nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia, and make sure to maintain ammonia and nitrite at 0ppm, whereas nitrate should be below 20ppm.
We recommend using the API master test kit to check your corydoras tank’s ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate as it shows accurate results.
You can buy it from amazon: API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT.
Also, make sure to use a water conditioner to treat the fresh water when performing a water change.
We recommend using the API water conditioner as it will help you eliminate chlorine, chloramine, metals, ammonia, and nitrite from the water.
You can buy this product on amazon: API TAP WATER CONDITIONER.
Also read: Ideal pH Level For Cory Catfish?
Adequate water parameters
Providing your cory catfish with their ideal water parameters will help you prevent them from showing such swimming behavior.
Ensure the water temperature is between 70-82 °F.
Maintain the water pH level between 7 and 8.
The water TDS level of your cory catfish tank should be between 400-600ppm.
Also, you must know that unstable water temperature will put your cory catfish under stress and become prone to various diseases and parasites.
So consider adding a heater to your corydoras tank to stabilize the water temperature.
Also read: Ideal TDS For A Cory Catfish
Stress can make your cory catfish show such swimming behavior.
Providing your cory catfish with a stress-free environment will help prevent such issues.
Ensure all these things to provide a stress-free environment to your cory catfish:
- Provide them with good water conditions.
- Ensure adequate water parameters.
- Ensure stable water temperature.
- Avoid adding aggressive fish to your corydoras tank.
- Avoid overcrowding your tank.
- Feed your corydoras regularly, two times a day.
- Regularly check ammonia and nitrite levels and maintain them at 0ppm.
- Create plenty of hiding spots in your cory catfish tank.
- Keep a large number of corydoras together as they are schooling fish (At least 5-6 of their species).
- Provide them a large size tank to live and swim comfortably.
There can be various reasons for your cory catfish swimming in circles, which are mainly ammonia poisoning and poor water conditions.
Being lethargic, avoiding eating, staying at the top of the tank, and gasping for air are the symptoms of ammonia poisoning in your fish.
Stress, inadequate water temperature, and illness can also be the reason behind such issues.
Provide your cory catfish with good water conditions, stable water temperature, and a stress-free environment to prevent them from swimming in circles.