Will Cichlids Fish Eat Snails? {Only These Ones}

Are you looking to mix Cichlid fish and snails in the same tank?

If yes, you will want to know will cichlids fish eat snails?

Let’s explore some lists and qualities of what makes a cichlid or snail compatible with each other and which are not going to work out.

Please Note : We Are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, We earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Will Cichlids Fish Eat Snails?

Yes, Cichlids will eat small snails on rare occasions.  Cichlids fish will not actively hunt and eat snails, but they might do if they are very hungry.

Although the cichlid family is not well recognized for eating snails, numerous species do it sometimes. The fish that eat snails most frequently are probably African cichlids.

Will Cichlids Fish Eat Snails

Can Snails Be Kept With Cichlids?

Yes you can keep snails with cichlids but you need to be careful which snails you select.

Generally larger cichlids will eat all snails, it doesn’t help that the snails antennas look like tasty worms. They will also swallow them whole.

It is recommended to only keep snails with smaller cichlid breeds.

Which Cichlids Can Be Kept With Snails?

The following cichlids are known to be safe to be kept with snails:

  • Convict cichlids
  • Bolivian Rams
  • Apsitos
  • Krib
  • South American Dwarf Cichlids
  • Apistogramma cichlids

I recommended to get a fish that will not grow larger than two inches if you want them to leave snails alone.

snall cichlids

What Cichlids Can Not Be Kept With Snails?

The following cichlids are known to actively seek out and eat snails if they are hungry.

  • African Cichlids
  • Malawi Cichlids
  • Chocolate Cichlid
  • Red Devil Cichlid
  • Peacock bass
  • Jaguar cichlid

It is not recommended to keep large cichlid fish if you also want to keep snails.  They will try to eat snails no matter the size of the snail. Also do not introduce the snails to the tank when they are young as they will most likely be eaten.

What Snails Can Be Kept With Cichlids?

If you are looking to select snails to keep with your cichlid fish it is best to get a larger snail.

Snails that can be kept with cichlids are:

  • Zebra Nerite
  • Large Mystery
  • Rabbit
  • Tiger Nerite
  • Black Devil
  • Ramshorn
  • Malaysian Trumpet

Below is a Malaysian Trumpet snail.

Malaysian Trumpet

Do Convict Cichlids Eat Snails?

If you are looking to keep snails with convict cichlids fish you will need to know if the snails will get eaten?

Convict cichlids are not aggressive fish, but they will eat snails that are small enough to fit in their mouth.  They will swallow the snails whole if they can.  Snails make a perfect snack for the convict cichlids fish.

Tips For Preventing Snails Getting Eaten

There are a few things that you can do to prevent your snails from getting eaten which are:

  1. Buy Large Snails – If you buy large snails the fish are less likely to see them as a source of food
  2. Hiding Places – Give them places that they can hide away from the fish
  3. Feed Your Fish Regularly – Your fish are more likely to be full and not need a top up meal
YouTube video

Can Snails Live with Oscar Fish?

No. A particularly energetic and combative fish species is the oscar fish. Anything that fits in its mouth is food for this fish. Oscars can reach a length of 18 inches.

Snails are therefore undoubtedly incompatible with Oscar. However, you may maintain snails with young Oscars.

Snails will experience more stress and they will eventually perish. Oscar might then devour the snails after that. Therefore, I wouldn’t consider to maintain snails in an aquarium if you have Oscars.

Can I Put Snails With Bolivian Rams?

Yes. Small-sized cichlid fish include Bolivian rams. This fish is around 3.5 inches in length. Therefore, it is practically impossible for a Bolivian ram to eat snails.

However, Bolivian rams may quickly consume young snails. Bolivian rams won’t be bothered by the snails if the tank is large enough. Snails can therefore coexist alongside Bolivian rams.


Are snails compatible with cichlids? Smaller sized cichlids yes, larger ones, no. Cichlids do not often eat snails. A large cichlid will, however, bite the antenna of a small, weak snail or consume it entirely if it comes in contact with it.

It is preferable to maintain adult snails and newborn or smaller cichlids in the same aquarium.

Thanks for visiting HelpUsFish.com for this article. Check out our home page and search bar with hundreds of aquatic or marine life articles to choose from. Bye for now!


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