can cory catfish eat betta food

Can Cory Catfish Eat Betta Food?

If you are looking to expand your aquarium, you may be asking yourself what type of fish would be best to add to your tank. If you currently have any betta fish in your tank and are unsure what to add due to the sometimes aggressive behavior of betta fish, a Cory catfish could be a great addition for several reasons, including behavior and diet. Let’s look at the compatibility of these two fish and understand why the cory catfish would be a good tank mate.

So, can cory catfish eat betta food? Yes, cory catfish can eat betta food. If you have a betta fish or another carnivorous fish that eats betta food, a cory catfish is an easy addition since they will eat betta food as well. Betta food is primarily made of mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, bloodworms, fruit flies, and other insects so a carnivorous fish like the cory catfish will be eager to eat it.

But now you might be wondering, if cory catfish will eat the same food that my beta fish eats, will that create food competition between the two and bring out the aggressive behavior in my betta fish? Keep reading to find out…

Will a cory catfish compete with a betta fish for food?

If both betta fish and cory catfish eat the same food, it would make sense that keeping them together in a tank would lead to competition between them.

Let’s take a look at the three types of feeders that can be found in the water to help answer this question:

  • Bottom feeders:  As you might expect, a bottom feeder fish feeds at the bottom of a body of water. Bottom feeders are also known as benthivores, meaning they eat benthos, which is flora or fauna (plants or animals) found near the bottom, or in the bottom sediments of a sea, lake, or other body of water.  The mouth of a bottom feeder fish is generally located on the lower side of the fish’s body and is sometimes referred to as a suckermouth due to it’s round, suction cup appearance. Bottom feeders also tend to be negatively buoyant which means they naturally sink rather than float, making their life at the deepest part of the water easy to maintain.
  • Top Feeders:  Opposite the bottom feeders, are other fish who feed at the surface of the water.  These top feeders often have upturned mouths to help them access food at the surface of the water.
  • Middle feeders:  There are also fish that feed in the middle, and may go up to the surface or down to the bottom for feeding based on various environmental factors and where their food can be found.

Now that you’re familiar with the various terms that describe the water level in which fish feed at, let’s get back to the cory catfish and betta fish relationship.  While both eat the same food, betta fish have upturned mouths and tend to be top and middle feeders.

In the wild, they tend to stay towards the top so they are able to catch insects at the top of the water.  In a controlled environment such as an aquarium, they tend to stay more in the middle, but will go up or down as needed to get food.

Cory catfish are known to be bottom feeders so it is very likely that these two types of fish will interact unless food is scarce and they need to leave their normal levels, making them safe to keep in the same tank.

Generally speaking, these fish also tend to dwell at the same level that the feed, resulting in minimal interaction between them.

What type of cory catfish is best to share a tank with your betta fish?

Cory catfish make a great addition to your tank since they eat the same food, dwell in a different area of the tank, and generally keep the tank clean, but if you plan to add one, you’ll need to decide which type of cory catfish to choose.

Below are the best cory catfish to share a tank with your betta fish:

  • Bandit cory
  • Bronze cory
  • Julii cory
  • Skunk cory
  • Pepper cory
  • Three stripe cory
  • Panda cory

When choosing the appropriate cory catfish to add to your tank, remember to consider the size of your tank, the conditions of the water such as pH level and temperature, and that some cory catfish prefer to remain in schools of their own kind and do not do well alone.

Betta fish need water temperatures of 76° to 80° Fahrenheit with a neutral pH level of around 7.  All of the above listed cory catfish would do well in the same tank as a betta fish, however it is important to understand the environmental needs of each fish to create an optimal environment for the entire aquarium.

Conclusion: Can Cory Catfish Eat Betta Food (and CoExist)?

If you have a betta fish and are looking to expand your aquarium, a cory catfish would be a great option to add to your tank.

Since they feed at different levels of the water, feeding them the same betta food will not create competition between them which is great benefit since there is no need to go out and buy different food for them.

Plus, adding a bottom feeder to your tank will help keep it clean since bottom feeders such as the cory catfish will eat the food that settles at the bottom that would otherwise sit there collecting algae, improving the ecosystem by keeping the tank clean.