Do Cory Catfish Eat Snails? The Ultimate Guide For New Aquarists

Cory Catfish are among the most famous bottom feeders, so many aquarists will want to bring them into their freshwater ponds.

When adding new species to an aquarium, the challenge is forecasting how these creatures will behave with other tank mates, including snails.

Do Cory Catfish eat snails? Most of these aquatic creatures won’t like eating these organisms, but some will.

If you intend to introduce these fish into your tank, it’s best to deeply understand their features and the differences between the two species.

Let’s scroll down to discover!

Do Cory Catfish Eat Snails?

The answer depends on the snail types! Live dawdlers are not Cory’s favorite diet. Besides, both dead and crushed, dawdlers are edible to all these catfishes.

However, a few of them may still consume smaller snails. Corys cannot kill or eat the more enormous dawdlers as they are too vast and tough.

Snails are famous for their hard shells. The fish species find it challenging to break through these shells.

That’s why just a few of these fish appear to be capable of eating slugs.

Also, countless dawdler varieties are too massive for most of these Catfish to consume.

However, the situation is different with dead or crushed snails. It means that Corys will enjoy this food source.

The biggest obstacle to these fish with their favorite dish is the large size and tough shell of the slug.

When a dawdler dies, and its shell is crushed, it will become a feast for these fish. After that, the catfish can gorge themselves.

Baby snails are another food source for these fish. That’s because their shells are yet to toughen too much while their sizes are not yet too big.

Corys can eat dawdlers, especially dead, crushed-shell, or baby ones, for these reasons. This phenomenon is entirely normal in a tank.

What about snail eggs? Can Corys eat them? The short answer is yes!

When these Catfish come across them while scavenging, they will happily enjoy this food source.

snail in the tank

Snails in a tank

Snail Feeding For Cory Catfish

Are you looking for a way to feed your Corys some snails? The following tips will be helpful for your task.

If the dawdlers come with tough shells, you can crush them before feeding your fish. These Corys will easily suck the flesh from the shell pieces.

It is a fantastic technique to feed Corys while also controlling the number of nuisance slugs in the tank.

If you apply this method, you can use a rock, tweezers, or other items to smash them. However, many people also prefer to break them by hand.

You can also try this method, but it may get squeamish for the very first time, but this feeling will disappear after a few times.

How do Corys eat these dawdlers? Snail eating usually involves three phases.

First stage: The fish discover some dawdlers. Check the snails’ sizes to see whether they are big enough to kill these prey.

Second stage: These Corys dig up the dawdlers, making them go out of their hiding spot.

Third stage: The fish try to shatter the hard shells of the slugs to get the meat.

The last step is the most challenging for these fish. So, some of them can’t eat dawdlers this way.

Instead of living snails, they search for dead or crushed-shell prey for their meals.

In this case, the eating process is much simpler. All the fish need to do is remove all the fragments and enjoy the meat.

Eating snail process

Eating process

How Do Cory Catfish Characteristics Restrict Them From Consuming Snails?

If you plan to keep dawdlers in your tank, you may wonder whether Corys can eat your smaller pets.

Don’t worry much. Even when these fish want to kill and enjoy snails, they will encounter challenges due to the features of the two species.

Let’s look at Cory’s mouth. It’s so tiny. Even when Corys try their best, it’s hard to eat your dawdlers.

Moreover, slugs have tough shells meant to keep predators at bay. So, they are safe when living in the same tank along with Catfish.

Cory Catfish’s favorite diet should include algae, organic supplies, and leftover food. So, they don’t touch your living dawdlers.

Cory's features

Cory features

Differences In Average Size Between Cory Catfish And Snails

The size gap between Corys and snails is the primary reason they cannot consume them even when they want.

These Corys are typically 2 inches in length. However, some are even much smaller or bigger than this standard dimension.

For instance, the Pygmy variety is a little fish that only grows to be approximately 1 inch long.

On the other hand, the Banded type can reach a maximum size of 4 inches.

Besides, the dawdlers come in various types, so there are different sizes. For example, the Malaysian Trumpet variety is just around 1.5 inches long.

They’re not as big as the 4-inch fish, but they are about a sixth of an inch in diameter.

It may not appear to be a significant difference, but slugs can still protect themselves thanks to this diameter.

If you want to learn more about this variety, you can watch this video:

The Bottom Line

This article has eventually reached the bottom of your headache question: Do Cory Catfish eat snails?

In conclusion, Corys will kill and eat the dead or crushed-shell or soft shell dawdlers. Baby ones can be an ideal food source for these fish.

The two species can still get on well with each other as long as the snails are tough and big enough to protect themselves from these fish.

Hopefully, this post will be helpful for you. Thank you for reading!