Do Goldfish Eat Snails? {Can They Live In The Same Tank}

If you are thinking to add snails to your aquarium and are wondering do goldfish eat snails?

Do they eat all snails or only select breeds?

Find out below.

Do Goldfish Eat Snails?

Yes, Goldfish will eat any
snail that is small enough to fit inside their mouth. In the wild some goldfish will actively search for snails to eat, expect the same behaviour in your aquarium.

Having said that is it possible to keep snails with goldfish in the same tank. I will go through the details of what you need to do below.

do goldfish eat snails

Can Snails Live With Goldfish?

Snails can live peacefully with goldfish but there are a few things you need to consider when selecting the snail such as size. Small snails are not suitable because they can easily be eaten by the goldfish.

You will need to keep larger snail breeds in your aquarium as these wont be seen as a nice snack by your goldfish.  It is also important to keep the snails in a separate tank if they are young / small.

Goldfish will actively seek out food when they are hungry and they are not very picky,  so feeding them regularly (twice a day) will help them to not see the snails as a food source.

Are Small Snails More Likely To Be Eaten By Goldfish?

Small Snails

Goldfish will generally eat anything that is big enough to fit in their mouth and this includes snails.  Generally goldfish will not seek out snails to eat unless they are hungry.

Your fish will prefer to eat fish flakes, pellets and frozen foods over snails.  It is important to feed your goldfish a balanced diet, I have written this article on what you should feed your fish.

Are Big Snails Safe To Keep With Goldfish?

If the snail is bigger than the mouth of the goldfish it will be safe to keep the snail with the goldfish. It is recommended to keep larger snails with goldfish such as Nerite or Mystery snails.

If the goldfish are really hungry they might try to nip at the snails, But the snails will be able to hide in their shells and get away from danger.

The larger snails are generally ignored by fish as they are not considered food as they are to big.

5 Snails That are Safe to Keep With Goldfish

Nerite or Mystery snails are the popular choice to keep with goldfish because they are easy to acquire and are large in size.

Snails that are safe to keep with goldfish include

Nerite Snail

Nerite Snail

These snails are a popular choice to keep in aquariums due to there stunning looks.  They are also one of the best snails for eating algae which keeps your tank nice and clean.

They also do not reproduce in fresh water so you are not at risk having a tank overrun by snails.

They have a lifespan of up to four years.

Mystery Snail

Mystery Snails

Mystery Snails are another popular choice because they are good looking snails which come in many different colours.

They can grow up to three inches in size.  They also are great algae eaters and have a lifespan of up to five years.

Japanese Trapdoor Snail

Japanese Trapdoor Snail

The Japanese Trapdoor Snail is known for being a very hardy snail and can be kept in indoor aquariums or outdoor ponds.

They can grow up to four inches in size and have a lifespan of up to five years.

Ramshorn Snail

Ramshorn Snail

Most snails are rounded like a soccer ball, The Ramshorn Snail is skinny and tall like a bike tyre shape.

These snails will grow up to two inches in size and will live for up to four years.

Melantho Snail

Melantho Snail

The Melantho Snail better known as the pond snail is the hardest snail you can get as they can survive in very low temperature’s.

This snail will also eat algae and not your plants.

Can Snails Transmit Disease to Goldfish?

A snail can transmit a disease such as ich to a goldfish.  This can be prevented if you isolate your snail in a separate tank for 28 days before mixing with your goldfish.

28 days will be enough time for the disease to die off from the snail.  In fact you don’t even need to put the snails in a separate tank, you could put them in a tub or drinking glass as long as there is enough space for them.

You can also put the tank on the windowsill as the sun light will help to kill and germs or parasites that might be on the snail.  Make sure you change the water frequently.

Do Goldfish Eat Snail Eggs?

Goldfish will eat anything they come across and this includes snail eggs.  Snail eggs make the perfect treat for goldfish because they are tasty and easy to access.

Usually snails will lay their eggs above the waterline in the tank so predators can not get at them.


Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.