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Why Is My Cory Catfish Laying Upside Down?

Why Is My Cory Catfish Laying Upside Down?

This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addtion, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

No one wants to think that they’re doing a bad job caring for their fish. After all, you spend a fair bit of money to get fish and take care of them in your aquarium.

When you observe the fish tank and see that your cory catfish are laying down in funny ways, it can make you nervous. This is especially true if you see the fish laying upside down.

It’d be normal to worry about whether the fish has died. Is a cory catfish laying upside down a sign that it is dying or dead?

Read on to learn about cory catfish laying upside down, so you can figure out what’s really going on.

It’s Not Normal for Cory Catfish to Lay Upside Down

It’s definitely not normal for cory catfish to lay upside down. There could be a few different things happening that are causing the fish to do this.

You’ll want to do your best to solve any issues so that the fish can get back to normal. It might not be easy to tell exactly what’s wrong at first, but by learning about the possibilities, it’ll become easier.

Below, you’ll learn about some things that could be going wrong with the fish. This should help you to determine what you need to do to help the cory catfish.

Try not to fret too much because you might be able to turn things around. You’ll just need to determine what’s happening so that you can address the problem.

Swim Bladder Disease

The Swim Bladder of a Fish
The Swim Bladder of a Fish

Whenever a fish is upside down, it’s wise to consider whether swim bladder disease is to blame. Many types of fish possess swim bladders.

A swim bladder is an organ that helps a fish maintain and control its buoyancy. When the swim bladder malfunctions, it becomes harder for the fish to get around.

Some fish won’t be able to swim around properly at all. A fish might only be able to swim sideways, and some will swim completely upside down.

It’s possible that your fish is lying upside down because it’s experiencing swim bladder problems. Try to tap on the glass to get the fish to move if possible.

Observe how the fish swims to see what is going on. If the fish doesn’t appear to have good control while swimming, then that’s a sign that it has swim bladder disease.

Swim bladder disease can be caused by a few different things. It could be that the fish has an infection of the swim bladder that happened due to living in poor water conditions.

To get the fish better, you’ll need to give it medicine and address any issues with the water parameters. You might not be testing the water often enough, and it’s also possible that the water is too dirty.

Remember that you need to do regular water changes. If you haven’t been changing the water on a weekly basis, then this might have caused the fish tank to get too dirty.

Another cause of swim bladder disease has to do with overfeeding the fish. If you feed the fish too much, then it might become constipated.

Constipation is a big problem for fish since it can cause them to have swollen bellies. The swollen belly presses against the swim bladder and prevents it from being able to function normally.

This keeps the fish from being able to swim around properly. It might be lying upside down due to being severely constipated.

You can solve constipation issues by feeding the cory catfish a boiled pea. This will make it poop so that the constipation will clear up.

High Nitrite Levels

Measuring the pH in a Fish Tank

Another thing that can harm cory catfish is high nitrate levels. When you don’t take care of the water properly, the ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels will rise.

You’re supposed to keep these levels in check to protect the fish. Many types of cory catfish are very sensitive to high ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels.

Nitrite, in particular, is something that can kill cory catfish. If the water in your fish tank is not being kept in the right condition, then it will put the fish in danger.

Test the pH balance of the water and get a firm understanding of where the tank is at. Use chemicals to get things in the right range to try to help the fish.

Keep the fish tank clean by doing regular water changes. Try to avoid overcrowding the fish tank because that can make it tougher to keep the water quality high.

If you’re able to turn things around, then the cory catfish might get back to normal. Remember to monitor the water parameters closely in the future to avoid such problems.

Do Cory Catfish Sleep Upside Down?

Corydoras on Its Side

When you see your cory catfish laying upside down, it might appear to be sleeping peacefully. This might make you wonder whether this is just a normal way that these fish like to sleep.

It’s definitely normal for cory catfish to sleep and lay down. However, the fish are known to lay on their sides and not completely upside down.

Thus, if you see the fish sleeping upside down, it’s not going to be normal behavior. These fish do like to sleep, and they take naps quite often.

Generally, cory catfish sleep in five-minute intervals. They will sleep both during the day and during the night.

They’re considered to be diurnal fish that are more active during the day, but they don’t have a regular sleeping schedule. Instead, they sleep when they feel they need rest and just take short naps.

If the fish is sleeping upside down, then it’s a sign that something is amiss. It’s likely swim bladder disorder, but it could also be nitrite poisoning or issues with extreme stress.

Don’t ignore the cory catfish sleeping upside down like this. You should try to solve the problem if you want the fish to get back to normal.

Final Thoughts

You don’t want to see the cory catfish laying upside down since it’s a sign that something is wrong. It’s very possible that your fish will die if you don’t do something.

Swim bladder disease issues even have the potential to be fatal. Hopefully, you’ll be able to solve things by treating the fish with medicine or solving issues with constipation.

Do your best to keep an eye on the fish and try to improve the condition of the water in the tank. It’s very likely that you need to solve issues with the water parameters.

Remember that keeping the water clean is of the utmost importance. You should be testing the water regularly to ensure that things stay in the right range.

It’s also necessary to do weekly water changes for the sake of the fish. Failure to do regular tank maintenance will lead to more and more problems.

When feeding the fish, do your best not to overfeed them. Overfeeding the fish can lead to constipation, and this will cause the fish to suffer.

Although constipation issues can usually be cleared up by feeding the fish a boiled pea, it’s best to keep such issues from happening in the first place. Only feed the fish as much as you’re supposed to.

Cory catfish should be fed twice per day. You want to feed them as much as they can eat within three minutes.

Hopefully, this information will help you to get the fish back to normal. If the fish perishes, it might be due to nitrite poisoning.

Since these fish are so susceptible to nitrite poisoning, it’ll be important to pay attention to the levels and do regular testing. Monitor things closely moving forward and your fish will be fine.