Do Koi Eat Snails? Are They OK For Them To Eat?

Are you planning on adding snails to your koi fish tank or pond and are wondering do koi eat snails?

Is it ok to add them, will they get on? Will the snails survive?

Do Koi Eat Snails?

Koi fish will feed on snails if they fit into their mouth. You can keep larger snails in the same tank as your koi fish, and rest assured as they are safe with them.

Do Koi Fish Eat Snails

Do Koi Fish Eat Pond Snails?

Koi will eat pond
snails if they can fit them in their mouth. As soon as the snail is bigger than the kois mouth they are no longer seen as food and the koi will ignore them.

Koi fish will not eat your pond snails and will live peacefully with them. Koi fish will feed on other food or live food like insects, smaller fish, etc.

Can Snails Live with Koi Fish?

Koi fish are peaceful fishes and will tolerate a wide range of tankmates. Snails will make peaceful tankmates of koi fish. Koi fish will not eat your snails when placed in the same tank.

How Did Snails Get in My Pond?

You might be wondering how snails got into your pond. Snails do not originate in ponds; they get introduced into the tank through various means. Here are some of the ways they get introduced into the pond;

  • Plants : Plants are one of the most common ways snails get introduced into the pond. Snails and their eggs sometimes get stuck to plant leaves and stems. You might be unable to notice them on the plants when putting them in the pond.
  • By Themselves : Snails are mobile animals; they do not get stuck in a position. They can move into your pond of their own free will. It occurs when you have a nearby fish in a river, stream, or other water bodies nearby.
  • Fish and Tankmates : You can add snails to your pond when introducing fish or other aquatic animals to the pond. Snails can stick to an animal for a long time until they find a suitable place to drop down. Their sedentary behavior allows them to perform their attaching and dropping off whenever they please.
  • Pets and Humans : During your daily quest or adventure, snails can get stuck to your body, waiting for the right moment for it to get to your pond. It is also applicable to your pets like dogs, cats, etc., especially if they run in the wild.

Do not be surprised when you find snails in your pond when you did not add them. If you take part in the above scenario, you can be sure to have snails in your pond.

When you add the plants into the pond, the snails or eggs dislodge into the pond water. The snails begin another journey of their life while the eggs start to develop and hatch into snails. Koi fish do not have much interest in snails, giving them much chance to live.

How to Get Rid of Pond Snails

Some aquarists do not like to have snails in their pond. If you are part of them, how do you intend to get rid of these snails? Here are some effective ways to get rid of pond snails;

  1. Collect them Manually : Collecting the snails manually with your hands is one of the cost-effective but stressful ways to get rid of snails from your pond. It involves handpicking the snails and their eggs. This method is not very effective as you cannot pick all of the snails and their eggs from the pond.
  2. Trap the Snails : Another way to get rid of them is to trap them. You will have to make use of lettuce leaves. Place it in the tank and check back after some hours; you will find them all trapped in the leave. This method does not get rid of all of them, and it will leave out the eggs. But it is an effective method.
  3. Introduce Predators : Introduce fish or other aquatic animals that feed on snails and their eggs. These animals will feed on them as food whenever they come across them. They will help you get rid of the snails.
  4. Chemicals : You can also use chemicals or compounds that will help you eliminate snails. This can be dangerous to the health of the fish if you use it in excess.
YouTube video

Are Snails Good for Koi Ponds?

Not all types of snails are suitable for koi ponds. In general, snails are able to find their own comfort and space to operate within your pond’s ecosystem without disrupting other living creatures within it.

They will keep busy by focusing on the algae growth that is naturally developing in your pond. Some species are more desired than others. A pond snail for example, is the most common type of snail that would focus solely on raising algae in your pond.

These snails are helpful in the nutrient cycling of your pond because when they are feeding on the detritus, they’re also releasing nitrogen from sediment.

Will Koi Eat Bladder Snails?

Koi fish do not necessarily make the top 10 lists based on most people’s experiences with keeping them in ponds with snails and hoping that they would eat them.

The more common bladder snail eaters include:

  • loaches
  • betta fish
  • pufferfish
  • assassin snails
  • crayfish

Koi fish can and will eat snails if they can fit them into their mouths under conditions where they are feeling curious or hungry. Usually koi fish are well fed in ponds and do not necessarily help to control snail populations.

Bladder snails are one of many types of snails that a koi fish may attempt to fit into its mouth once in a while. Do not expect a bladder snail problem to get any better because you are keeping koi fish in the same pond with them.

Will Koi Eat Ramshorn Snails?

Since Ramshorn snails are one of the smaller size snails in their community, it is easy for a koi fish to open its mouth and try to consume it.

You may actually see koi fish rummaging through the substrate and trying to detach a Ramshorn snail from its shell. Koi fish are not the most voracious eaters of snails.

The shortlist would include:

  • puffers
  • loaches
  • gouramis 
  • crayfish

The members of the list above are more adept to eating Ramshorn snails compared to koi fish. Apple snails and assassin snails also enjoy eating Ramshorn snails because of their diminutive size.

Will Koi Eat Snail Eggs?

Koi fish will eat snail
eggs if the opportunity arises. These fish are not as picky as you would believe. If there are snail eggs in their way as they are swimming through the bottom of the substrate, they may open their mouths and attempt to eat some.

Koi fish do not actively hunt or pursue snail eggs as their next meal. There are plenty of other fish that enjoy eating snail eggs more than koi fish.

Nerite snail eggs for example, are very sticky as they clump together and are very hard to pick off or chew. Koi fish will generally leave Nerite snail eggs alone.


Koi fish will not eat snails if you put them in the same tank or pond. If you want to get rid of the snails in your pond, you will have to look for other means. And if you intend to preserve your snail, you can do that with koi fish in the same pond.


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.