Bronze Cory Cats are widely accepted as one of the staple tropical community fish due to their pleasant appearance, peaceful nature and adaptability.
What if you want to add live plants to your Cory tank? Are there any plants out there that we would particularly recommend? What plants do well with Corydoras Catfish and why?
Do Bronze Corydoras like real plants in their tank?
Cory Cats live along the bottom of the river, where there is plenty of shaded cover from the plantlife above.
Throughout the day, Cories like to spend periods of time resting underneath this plantlife where they digest their food and regain stamina, safe from predators.
Live plants provide the best habitat for cory cats, as the dense cover simulates their natural environment where they would rest under leaves and roots along river banks.
How do you know which plants are suitable for Bronze Corydoras?
Nearly all the aquatic plants you see at your local fish store will be suitable for Corydoras, as the small catfish are ideal for planted aquariums.
The plants which will not work however, are those coldwater pond plants which will struggle to withstand the warm temperatures of a tropical tank, and will either become stunted or will melt back and die.
While pond plants can sometimes be kept indoors in cooler tanks, Bronze Catfish are tropical and like temperatures of around 25C / 77F, which will cause too much stress for temperate pond plants.
What plants do Bronze Corydoras eat?
Corydoras do not eat live plants as they are micro predators, grazing the sand with their barbels for tiny worms and infusoria.
There is little worry that your Cory Cats will cause harm to your live plants.
What they can occasionally do however, is poke tiny holes in the soft leaves of some plants with their barbels.
These holes do little damage to the plants, although it can sometimes cause the leaf to show brown or yellow marks where the holes are.
This is not a common occurrence however, and if your plants are being destroyed, it is unlikely to be the Corydoras, but something else in the tank instead.
How to choose plants for a Bronze Corydoras tank
If you look around the tropical plant section of your local fish store, chances are that most, if not all of the plants there would be able to grow in your Bronze Cory tank.
Bronze Corydoras oppose little to no threat to plantlife as they are not destructive in nature and their preferred water parameters are within the range that most plants thrive in.
If you are looking for what plants to go in your Cory tank, consider your setup. How large is your tank? Is your lighting strong enough? Are you new to plant keeping?
Answering these questions can lead you to choosing certain plant species over others. Java Fern and Anubias are by far the easiest plants for beginners, they are slow growing and easy to manage and look nice.
Or, you may want to go for something else which you like the look of.
The best plants for Bronze Corydoras
As mentioned, Corydoras spend most of their time on the floor, living their lives grazing on the tiny animals that live within the substrate.
Because of this, Corydoras heavily appreciate low growing plant life which they can easily take cover within and be protected from above.
Cory Cats seem to have favorability for the shaded areas of the tank, under thick leaves and bushy plants which they can dive underneath.
For this reason, plants with broad, shading leaves are generally preferred.
An ideal thick, broad leafed plant which provides lots of shade on all levels of the tank.
The leaves provide protection and shade from above, the roots drape down and give the Cory Cats something to rest within.
Anubias is a very hardy plant, and is suitable for nearly all aquarium setups.
Another very popular plant in the aquarium hobby, Swords grow up from the substrate where they are rooted in the ground.
Their leaves are large and broad, providing lots of shade above and below.
Amazon swords are very hardy and enjoy the same water parameters that Corydoras like to live in.
They do however, get rather large, so a bigger aquarium of around 100 litres or so is recommended, otherwise it can take over the tank.
Susswassertang is a kelp-like moss, which grows in large clumps over surfaces. It has a peculiar seaweed like texture, but is a true freshwater plant.
It is extremely hardy, being able to survive in low light conditions and being able to tolerate a wide range of water parameters.
It is very much enjoyed by Bronze Corydoras who like to dive underneath it and become completely concealed.
What plants should you avoid putting in a Bronze Corydoras tank?
There aren’t many aquarium plants that don’t go well with Cory Cat; however, those plants which you may find in your local ponds and waterways are not a good choice to add to your Bronze Catfish tank.
Wild plants which you find may be protected under wildlife conservation – they may be invasive, or they may be growing in a polluted river filled with toxins and chemicals that would be very harmful to your fish.
Unless properly identified and treated, wild plants should never be introduced to your Cory tank, and should be left in the wild where you find them.
Coldwater pond plants will also struggle to survive in a heated tropical tank, so try and stick to plants which originate from a warmer environment.
Do Bronze Corydoras need live plants?
Corydoras do not need live plants to be present in the tank in order to stay alive and be healthy.
However, they will really appreciate and use them to their fullest potential.
Plants provide excellent cover for Cory Cats (something they highly value due to their shy nature) and introduce beneficial microorganisms which the Cories can feed on.
Plants also maintain sound water quality and reduce nitrates, something that is particularly important to catfish, due to their sensitive, hyper absorbent skin which reacts very poorly to high toxin levels.