Are Cory Catfish Nocturnal? The Interesting Facts Here!

Last Updated on March 28, 2022 by Marco C.

Are cory catfish nocturnal?  The facts behind this might surprise you!  

This article will overview key information about cory catfish, their habits, and sleeping patterns.  After reading it, you should be able to start to raise cory catfish successfully. 

A cory catfish is the short name for Cordyra.  This is the family of catfish.  There are many different specific varieties of Cory Catfish.  

The catfish is an extremely popular fish that people raise in aquaponics.  This is because they grow to a large size, are delicious to eat, and easy to raise.  

You can find Cory catfish in almost every Pet store across America.  The most common variety that we see in pet stores is called the bronze Cory Catfish,

They have cute little whiskers that resemble a cat.  This is where they got their name “Catfish.”  

Whenever you raise a fish, it is important to know its habits and characteristics.

This will help you care for them more accurately.  That is why the question: Are Cory catfish nocturnal? Is very important.  You need to understand the cory catfish’s sleeping patterns to know how to feed them and raise them.

Continue reading this article to get all the necessary information to raise cory catfish successfully at home.

Catfish Behavior

Keep in mind there are over 100 different types of Cory Catfish.  Its exact behavior depends on the specific variety.  However, we can give you a general view.

Cory catfish are a very peaceful fish.  You will never have to worry about them becoming aggressive in your fish tank.  They are considered a very social fish.

This means you can put them in the tank with many other species.  They are bottom dwellers.  Bottom dwellers are fish that like to scavenge the bottom of the tank and eat leftover food or debris.  

Think of it as your personal tank cleaners.  Cory Catfish are used to help maintain a fish tank because of their eating patterns.

Catfish Behavior

Learn more about: How Fast Do Channel Catfish Grow In A Pond? All Your Answers Here!

According to Mississippi State University, Catfish is the leading aquaculture industry in the United States. Commercial catfish production generates over 27 percent of the value of aquaculture production in the United States.“  So you can see it’s such a popular fish! 

Are Cory Catfish Nocturnal?

Cory Catfish tend to consume the most food in the evening to night hours when it is dark outside. This doesn’t mean that they are nocturnal.  But, they do have a tendency to be most active at night. They usually move slowly during the day.  

Keep in mind that even though they are moving slowly, they are not completely inactive. This means that they are not nocturnal.  A nocturnal being sleeps during the day and is active at night.  

Since Cory Catfish are still active during the day, they cannot be classified as nocturnal. 

You can always observe your fish to really understand their sleeping patterns. The best way to do it is to be very quiet when approaching the tank.  Fish feel the most calm when there is a peaceful environment. 

Catfish Sleeping Habits

Now we will overview some ways that you can recognize if your Cory catfish is sleeping.  Typically, the cory catfish lies at the bottom of the tank to sleep.

So if you notice them anywhere else in the water, assume they are awake.  Obviously, if they are moving they are also not sleeping. 

If you notice them floating without making any movements over a long period of time, they are sleeping.   Another way to check if your cory catfish are sleeping is to see if they react to their environment.

Fish are usually jumpy and if anything approaches them, they will react.  When they are sleeping, there will be no reaction.  

Catfish do sleep during the day.  But they do not sleep all day.  They also like to sleep together with other Corydora fish.  

It is not uncommon to see clusters of sleeping cory catfish at the bottom of your tank.  Since cory catfish are not nocturnal, why do they like to be awake at night?

One popular theory is that Cory catfish do not like light. They prefer it when it’s dark outside and humans are asleep. In fact, it is important when raising a Cory, that you do not have too strong of aquarium lights.

They like to be in shady areas, so if you need to use an aquarium light, be sure to provide plenty of hiding spaces. Keep this in mind when determining the location of your tank.

You want to avoid putting it near a sunny window. 

When To Feed A Cory Catfish

This behavior pattern affects their eating habits.  It is always better to feed your fish when they are hungry.  When you do this, there is less of a chance of excess food sinking to the bottom of your tank.

Cory catfish are hungriest around the evening time.  Wait until the sun goes down to feed. They should eat right away.  If you were having a problem with getting your Cory catfish to eat, this may be the reason. Try to change your feeding times to see if the situation continues.  Another reason your cory catfish may not be eating is because of the type of food you are giving them.

Make sure to be providing adequate amounts of protein in your food source.  Some good sources of protein are worms, insect larvae, and live insects.


Now you should understand the answer to the question: Are cory catfish nocturnal? It is always important to do your research before raising any kind of fish. 

This will help you avoid problems in the future.  Paying attention to details is always a game-changer.  Overall, raising cory catfish is not difficult.  They are a very hardy fish. 

Give it a try and let us know about your experience.  Feel free to comment and ask questions below!

Read more about: How To Raise Catfish?


Are cory catfish active at night?

Cory Catfish tend to consume the most food in the evening to night hours when it is dark outside.

They are also active at night.

Do cory catfish sleep during the day?

Most Cordyra fish take frequent naps throughout the day. They sleep whenever they feel tired.

How do you know if a cory catfish is stressed?

Your cory catfish will be stressed if it exhibits any of the following signs of stress:
The most common symptom of a fish getting stressed is a rapid gasping at the surface of the water, loss of appetite, odd swimming patterns or pale spots on the body.