Will Dwarf Gouramis Eat Snails? {Will They Kill Them All?}

Are you wondering if Dwarf Gourami fish eat snails? Will they hunt them and eliminate them from your tank? In this article, we’ll find out if Dwarf Gouramis eat snails.

Will Dwarf Gouramis Eat Snails? Dwarf Gouramis don’t usually swim down to the gravel to hunt for snails. If they can fit pond snails or baby mystery snails into their mouths, they will eat them. This is uncommon, but it will happen more often in smaller tanks with hungry Dwarf Gouramis. 

Can Dwarf Gourami Live With Snails?

When searching for a tankmate for snails, a dwarf gourami can be a good choice for the following reasons:

Dwarf Gourami are:

  • Generally peaceful
  • Top to mid-level swimmers
  • More interested in floating food
  • Unable to fit most snails into their mouths


A dwarf gourami may get territorial, but they do not defend any positions on the gravel where snails reside. They want to protect their bubble nests at the surface and attract mates. They are social and great for community tanks.

Top To Mid-Level Swimmers

It isn’t common to witness a dwarf gourami digging into the substrate to hunt down snails. They have adapted in the wild to swim up to the surface of the water to hunt for larvae and insects instead.

Floating Food

Bottom dwellers require sinking pellets and other foods that make it to them quickly. If they don’t find enough to satisfy their needs, they will start to eat up snails or shrimp around the substrate.

Dwarf gourami are looking for floating flakes, floating plant matter and anything in their general vicinity that doesn’t include the substrate where snails are usually found.

Small Mouths

Most adult snails with hard shells are not going to be primary food source for dwarf gouramis. They might be able to fit young snails or pond snails into their mouths, but they must develop a taste for it.

The effort required to suck out a snail from its shell or to crunch the shell outright is outweighed by the ease of foraging and gulping down readily available food from the surface or mid-level of the tank.

Can I Keep Mystery Snails and Dwarf Gouramis Together?

Mystery snails are a good tankmate for dwarf gourami. They are larger in size and their shells can handle the occasional nipping from a dwarf gourami who ventures to the bottom of the tank out of curiosity.

A mystery snail will help clean up the leftovers from a dwarf gourami who feasts up above. They should not cross paths too often. It’s best to keep bottom dwelling marine life with your dwarf gourami.

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Will Dwarf Gourami Eat Pond Snails?

If you have a pond snail problem in your tank, don’t expect dwarf gouramis to be the primary option to eradicate them. Keep in mind that these social and curious fish may take a nip at the pond snails who are vulnerable and they might enjoy their taste.

Dwarf gouramis love to eat and are not very picky. Labyrinth fish like bettas and gourami are definitely able to eat snails, but they haven’t adapted to doing so in the wild where their primary attention rests of capturing food from the surface.

Which Snails Do Dwarf Gouramis Eat?

A dwarf gourami is unlikely to make snails its primary option for a meal. Certain snails that are smaller may face the possibility of becoming dwarf gourami food if they are small enough to fit into their mouths.

  • tadpole snails
  • baby mystery snails
  • pond snails

You may notice your dwarf gourami poking at a snail and leaving it alone, especially if they are being fed well. If a dwarf gourami notices a fresh batch of baby snails, it can develop an appetite for these mollusks.

This is going to be an argument with other fish keepers who may attest one of two arguments:

  1. My dwarf gouramis will never eat snails. They are great tankmates.
  2. My dwarf gouramis eat up so many little snails and help me control their population.

How Do I Get My Dwarf Gourami To Eat Snails?

  • 10 Gallon Tank
  • Remove the shells and feed it to them.
  • Crush the snails.
  • Place a lettuce leaf in the tank.

Small tank

A dwarf gourami is more likely to find snails small enough to eat in a 10 gallon tank. They will have less room to swim at the top level and will routinely swim down to see if there is more food available down below. If the snails are small enough, they can be eaten.

Feed It To Them

You can deshell the snails, cut them up if you wish and offer them to your dwarf gourami. They are not picky eaters. They may develop a taste for snails and discover more of their own once they decide they enjoy eating them.

Crush Them

Some snails are just too big for a dwarf gourami to eat. If you want to crush a few snails in your tank, the bits of snail meat will make its way into the mouths of dwarf gouramis who will be happy try them out.

They may enjoy them so much that you will continue doing it. Be aware that crushing snails in your tank releases ammonia that will harm your water quality.

Lettuce Leaf

The simple act of leaving a lettuce leaf in the corner of your tank may attract many snails over to it. This will become a presentable location for dwarf gouramis to notice the snails and try them out.


The debate rages on. Do dwarf gouramis eat snails? Ours don’t, but we know other fish keepers who say that theirs do. It all depends on the tank size, the size of the snails and the size of your dwarf gourami’s curiosity or appetite.

The smallest snails may stand no chance if your dwarf gourami is interested in swimming down to eat them. Let us know what happens!


Thanks for visiting HelpUsFish.com and see you again soon for another article focusing on any of the marine life you wish to keep in your aquarium!

Brian Arial

Brian Arial has kept fish for leisure and worked with fish stores for most of his life. He enjoys writing and caring for aquariums and ponds.