Do cory catfish eat snails and shrimp?

Last Updated on July 13, 2021 by cmoarz

You might be thinking since cory’s will eat just about anything, does that mean they will also eat small snails and small shrimp?

The answer is no, cory catfish won’t eat snail or shrimp. The only exception is if they are starving, they may turn on very small shrimp or shrimp babies.

The reason being, snails have shells and a catfish can not extract the meat from an animal or plant that has a hard shell.

Snails also tend to be much larger than cory catfish, so it would be very difficult to swallow for any catfish species.

In fact, the opposite is true, Corys, snails, and shrimp make great tankmates in your planted aquarium!

It’s always important to pay attention to the needs of all of your tank inhabitants though, if you have a snail-eating fish in the same tank as cory catfish, it could make life very difficult for your snails.

Cory catfish are considered by many aquarists to be one of the best algae eaters you can keep in an aquarium. They will start grazing on algae when they are young and continue throughout their lives. This is why they are such popular candidates for community tanks. Because they do not grow too large (usually under 2 inches), cory catfish don’t consume enough food to destroy delicate plants or create unsuitable water conditions through waste build-up like some larger bottom feeders can.

Cory catfish are probably the best bottom feeder you can have in your planted tank because they not only remove nuisance algae, but they also don’t uproot plants when they roam around (like some tropical bottom-feeders will).

Another benefit to having cory catfish in a planted aquarium is that their fins aren’t as delicate and easy to tear like some other varieties of fish, so when they reach into the substrate looking for food, there’s no need to worry about them tearing all of your nice plants! Also, unlike many bottom dwellers who dig holes in your substrate and ruin it by creating dirt vacuums or removing too much dirt from where it shouldn’t be removed (such as an established root system), cory catfish prefer to feed off of the top layer of soil.

Corys are also very peaceful, small fish that will keep to themselves unless food is involved. They easily befriend other bottom dwellers and plants, so if you’re looking for a good community aquarium species, look no further than the humble Cory catfish!


Owner of and also owner of actual Aquarium Gravel believe it or not! ;). Setting up beautiful aquarium sceneries and habitats since I was very young. Enjoy!