I found it strange to see my guppies surrounding a recent snail infestation. Do guppies eat snails?
Can you keep guppies and snails together? Which snails would be best for this?
In this article, we’ll find out if snails will survive or be eaten by guppies.
Do Guppies Eat Snails?
Guppies will eat just about anything when they get hungry enough. It is highly unlikely that snails will eat guppies. Guppies are peaceful fish and do not eat snails.
Guppies are not going to eat full sized snails. Baby snails and snail eggs may get eaten, but if you keep your guppies well fed, they can coexist peacefully.
What Do Guppies Eat?
Guppies are omnivores and love to eats insects and larvae in their natural habitat. These tropical freshwater fish are found in shallow streams where it’s easy to eat:
- plant matter
- small insects
If you would like to keep guppies in your tank, offer them the following foods:
- brine shrimp
- shelled peas
Every type of food you offer should be crushed down to tiny bits in order for your guppies to devour them. If there are many leftovers that sink to the substrate, you may notice a growing population of snails.
Can Guppies And Snails Live Together?
Snails are great at cleaning up debris in your tank. They are a peaceful and welcome addition to most community tanks. Guppies cannot fit most snails into their mouths. Guppies are highly unlikely to eat snails.
Some snail species procreate quickly and spread all across your tank. Guppies are not interested in snails for the most part. They can get curious with young snails or snail eggs.
They may try to eat snails if you are not feeding them their favorite foods with a variety of meaty proteins, flakes, pellets and vegetables.
Which Snails Can I Keep With Guppies?
There are over 40,000 types of snails in the world. We can try to narrow it down to our 5 favorite snails to keep with your guppies:
- Ramshorn snails
- Assassin snails
- Nerite snails
- Golden Mystery snails
- Black Devil snails
1. Ramshorn Snails
Ramshorn snails will brighten up the substrate with their red, blue and silver colors. Make sure to prevent them from spreading their population too much if they don’t have any predators.
Shiny Red Ramshorn snails are our personal favorites because of how they make your gravel or sand more vibrant.
2. Assassin Snails
Assassin snails like to be the only species of snails that survive in your tank. They will actively pursue other snails and control their population. They will leave your guppies alone and vice versa.
3. Nerite Snails
Nerite snails are popular in many freshwater aquariums. They are great algae eaters and tank cleaners. The best part is that they will not reproduce in freshwater because they need salty or brackish water to do so.
4. Golden Mystery Snails
Golden Mystery snails liven up a tank with their bright golden color. They are peaceful and will not disturb your aquatic life which includes your guppies. Try to keep their population under control because they grow up to 3 inches and take up more space than guppies.
5. Black Devil Snails
Black Devil snails cover much ground, remain active and do a great job at cleaning a tank. If your gravel is dark, they will blend in well and go unnoticed by your guppies. Some of your plants may get nibbled by these hungry snails that grow between 2-3 inches.
Why Do Guppies Eat Snails?
It is uncommon to find guppies attempting to eat snails. Sometimes you may see your guppies making contact with a snail’s shell out of curiosity or hunger.
Your guppies might discover diatoms, algae bits or other edible debris that is stuck on the snail’s shell and they may try to nibble it off. Guppies may group together and discover baby snails or snail eggs.
If they are curious or hungry enough, they’ll look to fit them into their small mouths with some success. Snails multiply rapidly and a few eggs or babies being eaten by guppies or other fish in your tank will not be so terrible.
Can I Feed Snails To My Guppies?
The protective shell of a snail would make it very difficult to become the next meal for your guppies. You may have to crush them, but it’s best to remove the shells because they release extra ammonia into the tank. Remove the snails and cut their meat into tiny pieces.
Your guppies may develop a taste for snails and with time, they may pursue more baby snails or snail eggs as a result. Focus mostly on crushed flakes as their staple diet and introduce a variety of meaty or veggie food sources 2-3 times a week.
Can Snails Eat Guppies?
Snails will not be able to catch a fast moving guppy. If an guppy is sick, dying or already deceased, the body could be consumed by these opportunistic scavengers. It’s best to discourage this by removing the guppy that has died.
Keep in mind that some snail species like Mystery snails can grow large enough to eat small fish. They may have to group together to attack an injured, stressed, sick or dead guppy.
This should not be much of a concern. Snails and guppies occupy different spaces in your tank and they shouldn’t get in each other’s way.
Can Endlers Reduce The Snail Population?
Loaches and cichlids will do a better job at hunting down and eating snails. A guppy will not help you control the overpopulation of snails. If you would like to bring down their numbers or eradicate them completely, the following suggestions may interest you:
- Snail traps
- Snail killing chemicals
- No Leftovers
- Assassin snails
- Tank cleaning
You can purchase snail traps and chemicals to kill them in most pet stores with fish. Keep in mind that copper based chemicals to kill snails may also harm your fish. We would recommend snail traps over chemicals every single time.
If you see that your guppies are not eating all of their food, you need to remove the leftovers before your snails eat them and multiply. Assassin snails will hunt down other snails. A tank cleanup and vacuuming the substrate will also be helpful to remove the snail population.
Snails are safe with guppies. Baby snails or snail eggs may get eaten, but if you have enough hiding spaces, plenty of varied foods for guppies and enough room in your tank, they will mind their own business and leave each other alone.