Will Snails Eat Fish Eggs? {Which Snails Won’t?}

Are you wondering if fish eggs are safe from hungry snails? Will they be eaten and should you remove them if you wish to breed them? In this article, we’ll look into the issue of snails eating fish eggs.

Will Snails Eat Fish Eggs? It really depends on the snail that lives in your tank. Apple snails will eat almost anything, including fish eggs. Nerite snails will focus on plants matter and algae. Choose wisely if you wish to protect your fish eggs.

Why Do Snails Eat Fish Eggs?

Snails are opportunistic feeders that may feast on anything that doesn’t move or is slow enough to be caught. Some fish fry may get cornered by certain snails like the Apple snail that grows larger with each meal.

Fish eggs are stationary, full of protein and some snails will find them appetizing. If the eggs are not protected by a parent fish or not hidden out of view, your snail might be able to investigate and try them out. Once they develop a taste for fish eggs, it might turn into a habit.

This is not a common occurrence with most snails. Eggs are meant to laid in safe spots and snails usually get plenty of food from detritus, plant matter, leftover food and algae.

How Do I Protect Fish Eggs From Snails?

Your aquatic fish will try their best to spawn and protect eggs in safe spaces. Heavily planted areas, rock or driftwood are some spots that a fish will lay eggs. A snail may get close enough to try and eat them. Here are some suggestions to keep your fish eggs safe:

  • Remove them and place in a breeder tank.
  • Use a breeding box.
  • Use a tank divider until they hatch.
  • Redecorate to protect the eggs.
  • Move your fish egg eating snails.
  • Offer more food sources.

You can protect the eggs yourself by hiding the area better or removing them altogether. A breeding box can hang on the side of the tank until the eggs hatch.

Tank dividers could be used temporarily, but most aquarists dislike their presence in the tank. Move things around or give your snails a distracting source of food to redirect their attention from consuming fish eggs.

Do Pond Snails Eat Fish Eggs?

Pond snails will be more inclined to eat infertile or rotting eggs. They are smaller in size and more interested in algae. You may notice a pond snail getting to the fish eggs, but only removing the algae that is near or on them.

Pond snails multiply quickly and could gang up on the eggs without intending to eat them. They are opportunistically looking to scavenge and may accidentally crush some fish eggs as a result. It is uncommon to witness a pond snail eating fish eggs.

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Do Ramshorn Snails Eat Fish Eggs?

Ramshorn snails are great to keep in a tank with fish that are breeding. They leave viable fish eggs alone and focus more plants and algae. Ramshorn snails have a reputation of disturbing plants, but not fish eggs.

If they are feeding off plants that are sheltering fish eggs, some of them will be crushed and they’ll rot as a result. Unviable or infertile eggs could be eaten by this common aquarium snail. Also they may crawl over them and leave a slime coating over the eggs as well.

Keep them well fed with a planted tank that has some algae growth. If a Ramshorn snail is hungry, it may look for a chance to eat anything that is not moving, but it’s very unlikely that they will actively hunt fish eggs.

Do Mystery Snails Eat Fish Eggs?

Mystery snails are very popular for their appealing look and healthy appetite to clean up the substrate. The mystery remains on whether or not your Mystery snail will eat fish eggs.

It depends on the temperament of each individual Mystery snail and its proximity to the fish eggs when there aren’t other food sources available.

If you are concerned about your Mystery snail getting too close to fish eggs that you wish to hatch, remove the snail for now, relocate it or move the eggs into a breeder box.

Do Apple Snails Eat Fish Eggs?

Yes! This snail is going to eat fish eggs for sure. The Apple snail doesn’t discriminate when it comes to eating anything and everything it can fit into its mouth.

The size of this snail grows up to 6 inches, but is more commonly found between 1.5-2 inches. Fish eggs don’t stand a chance.

The size of  larger Apple snails will deter its capability of reaching into safe spots where some eggs are located. A cave, tube, breeder box or densely planted area may not be accessible to the Apple snail which  will keep the fish eggs safe.

Do Nerite Snails Eat Fish Eggs?

No. Nerite snails are our personal favorite snails to keep in an aquarium. They are completely indifferent to anything going on with their tankmates and their desire to mate or spawn eggs.

Nerite snails are focused on algae growth on plants, tank walls, rocks, decorations and the substrate. They will leave your fish eggs alone! If you want to keep snails for tank cleaning purposes without stressing other fish or affecting fish eggs, this is your best option in our opinion.

Conclusion

Although we consider all types of snails to be opportunistic in their feeding behavior, some may eat fish eggs while others may not.

Infertile or rotting eggs have a better chance at being eating because they fall under the category of decaying organic matter. Dead fish, if not removed, may also get munched on. Snails have large appetites for their small frames.

If you wish to keep it safe and protect fish eggs, choose Nerite snails. Even better, relocate the eggs into breeder boxes or breeding tanks (hatchery tanks) for added safety from any potential predators.

 

Thanks for visiting HelpUsFish.com and we hope to see you again for another article on Snails or any other aquatic life that interests you. 

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.

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