Will Corydoras Uproot Plants? {How To Stop It}

Occasionally, my corydoras devour the live plants in my tank. Will corydoras uproot plants?

Which plants are best for cory catfish? How do I stop corydoras from digging up my plants?

I’ve finally discovered some interesting details to create better harmony between cory catfish and plants which I’ll explain in this article.

Will Corydoras Uproot Plants?

No.  You don’t need to bother about Corydoras uprooting plants in the tank.

However, some specific species like Corydoras paleatus and Corydoras Aeneus will uproot small carpet plants when they are not yet established.

Will Corydoras Uproot Plants

Are Corydoras Active? 

Corydoras are bottom-tank dwellers, and they like to keep to themselves. They spend most parts of the day resting or hiding; thus, they love to have live plants and decorations in their tank.

They sometimes use their intestine to trap oxygen when the tank condition is not right. It is an adaptive feature that helps the fish cope in unfavorable environments.

Corydoras are mostly peaceful. They don’t attack or pose any threat to their tank mates. They swim actively and are interesting to watch when the tank condition is right.

Can You Keep Corydoras in a Planted Tank?

Yes. You can definitely allow corydoras to enjoy a planted tank. They may uproot some plants are are:

  • Newly planted
  • Short stem plants
  • Carpet plants

Choose deeply rooted plants instead like Amazon sword or Java fern instead. Choose older plants that have taproots. These are more robust and anchored into the substrate.

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4 Best Plants for Corydoras Tank 

Corydoras need live plants in their tank to mimic their natural environment. These species of aquarium fish are peaceful and shy. Therefore, they love to take cover and hide within plants.

Besides, live plants in Corydoras tank assists with filtration and tank clean up. It also improves the oxygen content in their tank.

Below are four plants that are a perfect fit for the Corydoras tank:

1. Amazon Sword 

Amazon Sword is one of the best options for Corydoras tanks. This plant can grow up to 10 inches long.  The Amazon sword is large and broad enough to provide comfortable hiding places for Corydoras. This plant will thrive in the same tank because they need similar parameters for their growth.

2. Java Fern 

Java Fern is another valid option for the Corydoras tank. It has long and fairly broad leaves with a bright green color that beautifies the tank. Java fern can grow up to 12 inches or more. The leaf dimension is large enough to cover and offer enough privacy and protection for Corydoras in the fish tank.

3. Anubias Nana 

Anubias Nana is a super hardy plant that can thrive in various aquarium conditions, including Corydoras tanks. It has a relatively slow growth rate; thus, making it easy to maintain.  This plant can grow up to 5 inches; hence, it is suitable for Corydoras small tanks. It also offers enough protection and cover for the fish.

4. Moss Balls 

Not every aquarium fish will cope with moss balls in their tank, but Corydoras love them. Moss balls cannot provide cover for Corydoras, but they perform other vital roles.

Moss balls can remove contaminants from the tank and serve as one of the best natural filtrations for fish tanks. Food mass also sticks to moss balls; thus, providing Corydoras with something to scavenge on all day long.

How to Stop Cory Catfish Digging up Plants?

It’s hard to stop a fish from doing something that is in their nature. Cory catfish like digging up the substrate sometimes. This is why we don’t use gravel to protect theory sensitive barbells when they are actively rummaging down there.

Stop your corydoras from digging up plants with the following tips:

  • Deeply root your plants as far under the substrate as possible.
  • Use gravel spots where plants are rotated under these small dedicated zones.
  • Pot your plants in terracotta.
  • Anchor your plants with rocks and other heavy decorations.
  • Feed your corydoras more often.

These tips are meant to help you prevent corydoras from digging or uprooting your carefully decorated and planted tank.

Do Corydoras Eat Plants?

Yes. Corydoras don’t need to eat your plants and won’t do so if there is plenty of food available. These fish are omnivores, but your plants getting nibbled on is a result of:

  1. Lack of food
  2. Clean tanks without enough detritus
  3. No algae
  4. No brine shrimp or larvae
  5. Plants are not anchored
  6. Plants not deeply rooted

The biggest reason why corydoras eat plants is because it’s in their nature to do so.  The reasons above are why your plants are being targeted.


Corydoras are shy and peaceful aquarium fish that love to have plants in their tanks. These aquarium fish love to have live plants in their tank because it provides cover and protects them.

If you keep the right plant with Corydoras in the tank, then you don’t have to bother about the fish uprooting it.


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Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind HelpUsFish.com. I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.