Do Cory Catfish Need Live Plants? (8 Best Plants For Corydoras Tank)

Cory catfish are peaceful creatures aquarists prefer to add to their community tank. They are hardy fish which makes them the best choice for beginners. However, when setting up a tank for corydoras, the common question is, can we add plants to their tank? Will they feed on plants, or do they require plants? So, Do cory catfish need live plants? Let us find out.

Cory catfish require live plants in their tank as plants provide them with good hiding spots and make them feel safe and comfortable. Also, it will help in keeping the water clean and oxygenated. Consider adding tall and dense plants like Vallisneria and amazon sword to ensure good hiding spots.

This article will discuss whether cory catfish require live plants and which are the best plants for my corydoras tank. So, let us get into it.

Do cory catfish require live plants in their tank?

Cory catfish do require live aquatic plants in their tank as it helps in mimicking their natural habitat.

Live aquatic plants will also provide plenty of hiding spots for your cory catfish.

Core catfish require hiding spots in their tank to feel safe and comfortable.

Adding plenty of live plants to your cory catfish tank will make them thrive and live happily.

Also, corydoras are bottom dwellers that spend most of their time scavenging on the bottom in search of food.

Dense plants on the bottom will help them scavenge and search for food.

Also read: Do Cory Catfish Eat Algae?

Do cory catfish eat live plants?

Corydoras are omnivore fish and require both meat and plant matter food in their daily diet to fulfill their ideal dietary needs.

However, they will not eat plants most of the time. So sometimes only you will notice your cory catfish eating plants.

Instead, they will feed on rotten plants from the bottom of the tank.

You can add plenty of live aquatic plants to your cory catfish tank as they will not do any harm to your plants.

10 best live aquatic plants for cory catfish tank.

Live aquatic plants are necessary for your corydoras tank as they provide hiding spots and ideal living environments.

These are the ten best live aquatic plants for your corydoras tank.

1. Java fern

Java fern is the most common live aquatic plant people like to add to their home aquarium.

It is easy to take care of and can tolerate a wide range of light conditions.

Java fern can grow up to 12 inches in size, giving your cory catfish a good hiding spot.

Also, the leaves of the java fern are bright green in color, which makes your aquarium looks more attractive.

Java fern is not the one to plant directly in the substrate. Instead, you have to tie or use glue to stick the roots coming out from the rhizome into rocks or driftwood to cultivate java fern in an aquarium.

2. Micro sword

A micro sword is also an excellent option to add to your cory catfish tank.

When kept in good condition and care, it can grow as long as 3 inches in size.

Provide high dense light and maintain the water temperature between 70-82 °F to ensure ideal conditions.

A micro sword is the best carpeting plant to add to your cory catfish tank.

Your cory catfish will be able to hide in this dense plant, and it will be easy for them to search for food.

You can easily find it in pet stores under different names such as carpet grass, Brazilian micro sword, and micro sword grass.

3. Amazon sword

Amazon sword is also common among aquarists. They prefer to add it to their corydoras tank.

The best thing is that amazon sword needs the same water parameters and conditions cory catfish require.

They will survive in darker tank conditions like cory catfish. However, an adequate amount of light will help them grow faster.

It can be as long as 20 inches in size if appropriately kept and provided with ideal conditions.

4. Sagittaria subulata

Sagittaria subulata is also the best option to add to your cory catfish tank.

It is a grass-like plant that originates from South America. It is a hardy plant and will thrive in a nutrient-rich environment.

It can grow up to 20 inches, making it a perfect fit for medium and large-size aquariums.

You can use it as a midground or background plant.

What makes it more fit for your corydoras tank is the light requirement.

The less the light Sagittaria subulata receives, it will grow upwards to reach the light. So, medium light is best for them.

Also, this plant will spread at the bottom of the tank, giving it a grassy look and a perfect base for your corydoras to scavenge.

5. Blyxa japonica

Blyxa japonica, also known as dwarf Asian grass or the Japanese bamboo plant, is the most common midground and background plant aquarists prefer to add to their home aquarium.

Corydoras prefer Blyxa japonica because of their size, as they can reach 8 inches tall. This plant will cover all the space at the bottom.

They require moderate lighting to grow, and the temperature should be between 72-80 °F.

All these requirements make Blyxa japonica the best live aquatic plant for your corydoras.

6. Vallisneria

Vallisneria, also known as eelgrass, Vallis, and tape grass, is the most common plant aquarist, and beginners prefer to add it to their home aquarium.

It is best for beginners because it is easy to take care of and grows in low and moderate light conditions.

Vallisneria can grow up to 20 inches, making them perfect for a medium and large-size tank.

It requires a water temperature between 64-82 °F, which is also ideal for corydoras.

Vallisneria will take up to two months to get established. However, once they get fully established, they will propagate quickly.

7. Water sprite

Water sprite is another good choice to add to your cory catfish tank.

This plant can be cultivated in soil or gravel, making them the ideal option for your cory catfish.

You can also use this as a floating plant, but it will grow faster and make your surface messy, so we recommend cultivating it on soil or gravel.

It requires a good amount of light to grow faster. They will survive in moderate light too.

You can use the plants as a background or midground plant as they will reach the size of as long as 10 inches.

8. Anubias nana

Anubias nana is a hardy plant that can live in a wide range of water parameters and conditions.

They will require the exact tank conditions that cory catfish require to live, making them an ideal option for a cory catfish tank.

Anubias nana will thrive in high light and normal substrate.

However, you can keep light at medium. Corydoras are bottom dwellers, which makes the normal substrate ideal for them.

When kept in the right conditions, it can grow up to 5 inches in size. It is best for smaller tanks.

This plant has a slow growth rate and requires minimal trimming, which makes it easy to take care of the plant.


Cory catfish do require live plants in their aquarium.

Plenty of live aquatic plants in your cory catfish tank will provide hiding spots.

They require hiding spots to hide from other fish, and also, they will feel comfortable in a tank with plenty of aquatic plants.

Corydoras are bottom dwellers, and adding plants to the substrate will help them to scavenge and search for food.

Reference: INJAF, Wikipedia

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