What Aquarium Fish Eat Snails: The Ultimate List

There are aquarium fish that eat snails. Why do aquarium fish eat snails? Aquarium fish feed on snails to keep their tank clean and fresh. In the wild, they are a natural predator of snails, who help control pest populations in gardens and crops. Snail removal can have positive impacts on aquatic ecosystems and human health.

In this article, we are going to discuss the reason why do not want snails to overpopulate your aquarium as well as provide you with an ultimate list of fish that eat snails that you can put inside your aquarium.

Why You Need Snail-Eating Aquarium Fish

Snail populations in aquariums can do a lot of harm to your ecosystem. When they are not controlled, snails cause expensive damage because they eat plants and algae species which provide food for the fish fry. In addition to looking unsightly, the snails leave behind mucus that harms various aquatic habitats including water clarity. Even if you have supplements that contain snail control compounds when overzealously applied, it will be problematic since many snails don’t respond to the anti-cavitation chemicals.

The introduction of snails can cause problems with fish and plant health as well as your aquarium greenhouse environment. When you have a lot of snails, it means other microorganisms will reduce in number so living conditions in your aquatic world would be tainted from any point around.

What Aquarium Fish Eat Snails?

Dwarf Botia/Dwarf Chain Loach (Ambastaia sidthimunki)

Dwarf Chain Loach Jaguar Loach Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki in fishtank

Dwarf botias are the ideal choice for aquariums that do not have enough fish since they can survive even with a small amount of food. These dwarf chain loaches can grow up to 2 inches (though an adult size would be around 2.5 inches). This species feeds primarily on snails, slipper limpet shellfish, crustaceans, and insect larvae.

Clown Loach/Tiger Botia (Chromobotia macracanthus)

Clown loach tiger botia catfish Botia macracanthus aquarium fish

The Clown Loach was originally from Indonesia and is a popular choice for the beginner as they are peaceful, hardy, and quite easy to keep. These fish will eat almost anything that falls into their mouths including but not limited to flakes, pellets, live foods such as worms or small crickets. Some people do have issues with them eating snails which can hinder your snail population (which is not similar in your case if you want to lessen the snail population) but these fish typically shy away from human interaction so it should be fully fine to add them into your tank without causing any issues. Clown Loaches are very popular in Asia where the popularity has spread throughout other countries because of their cool personality combined with beautiful markings and cold water demanding heritage making them a great choice for beginners seeking an easy way to keep a fish.

Dwarf Crayfish (Cambarellus patzcuarensis)

Aquarium white dwarf crayfish

The dwarf crayfish is a freshwater crayfish that can be found in Mexico and the Southern United States. These minuscule creatures are typically kept as pets but have also been used for food production. The dwarf crayfish feeds on insects and small invertebrates which it captures by secreting a slime-like substance onto its back. They tend to grow anywhere between 1.6 to 2 inches long.

Cory Catfish (Corydoras)

Cory Catfish swimminging in tank

The Cory catfish is a popular aquarium fish. It can grow to lengths of up to 2.5 inches, but the average size for one in the home tank is around 1 inch. The Cory catfish has a dark body with light stripes running down its sides and across its back. These stripes give it an appearance that helps it camouflage against its surroundings when eating prey like snails.

Convict Cichlid (Amatitlania nigrofasciata)

Convict Cichlid, Female protecting eggs in a flowerpot. Amatitlania Nigrofasciata.

The Convict Cichlid is a popular fish in home aquariums. They can reach lengths of up to 5 inches and can be found in many different colors, including yellow, black, silver, gold, and red. The Convict cichlid has a streamlined body with stripes running down the sides of its body. Their dorsal fin is tall and pointed, while their anal fin is shorter but fatter. Their overall appearance gives them an elongated body. The Convict Cichlid is a carnivore that primarily eats crustaceans such as bloodworms, hermit crabs, and shrimp but will also eat aquatic invertebrates like insects, mollusks, and other small fish.

Polka Dot Loach (Botia kubotai)

Burmese border loach catfish polka dot loach Botia kubotai aquarium fish

The Polka Dot Loach is a small, slender fish with a smooth, black body. They have large round eyes and long barbels that stick out of their mouth. There are several white markings on their head and body which give them their name – polka dots.

Green Spotted Puffer (Tetraodon nigroviridis)

Spotted green pufferfish, Dichotomyctere nigroviridis, a fish in the tetraodontid family, one of the few species of freshwater pufferfish

The Green Spotted Puffer is a small fish with an olive-green body and large spots on its sides. The Green Spotted Puffer is an omnivore that feeds on small vertebrates and invertebrates.

Goldfish (Carassius auratus)

The Goldfish is a popular choice for beginner fish keepers because of its low maintenance requirements and easy adaptability to various aquariums. These omnivorous fish can be kept in any area of the aquarium provided they have enough swimming space but are typically placed in the middle or lower levels due to their tendency to jump out of water when excited.

Koi (Cyprinus rubrofuscus)

The Koi is a complex, highly valued ornamental fish that originated in China. They have been crossbred over many generations to produce almost every imaginable pattern and color scheme including more than 150 recognized patterns, as well as various body creams and metallic pigments available under different house names – pearl genetics are also popular. Any area of your aquarium they can swim around will be sufficient, they often prefer to stay in the mid or upper level of an aquarium. They will swim closer to the substrate when fry is around.

Assassin Snail (Clea helena)

Macro shot of assassin snail in aquarium. Anentome helena.

Clea helena is an assassin snail that feeds exclusively on other snails. It can be kept in any aquarium provided it has plenty of space to swim around. It uses the same diet as other snails and it can be kept in any area of the aquarium provided it has plenty of swimming space.

Striped Raphael Catfish (Platydoras armatulus)

Catfish. Pseudoplatystoma or barred sorubim, close up

The Striped Raphael Catfish is a tropical, scale-less fish that derives its name from the dark broad stripes running vertically down its body. The Striped Raphael is peaceful by nature and makes an ideal pet for beginner aquarists. A large tank or open water environment will do fine, but they can be kept in tanks as small as 20 liters.

Yoyo Loach (Botia Balmorhea)

The Yoyo Loach is a slender, fast-swimming tropical fish that ranges across much of Southeast Asia. It grows to a length of about 2.5 inches. The Yoyo Loach’s natural diet consists mainly of snails, insects, and small vertebrates, but it can be kept in an aquarium with other small fish provided they have adequate space.

Betta Fish (Betta splendens)

betta fish Aquarian fish swims in aquarium water

The betta fish is a tropical fish that originates in Thailand. It is a member of the Siamese fighting fish family and can reach lengths of up to 2.4 to 3.1 inches. The betta fish has evolved into many different colors and patterns, but the basic body shape remains unchanged. The betta Fish requires high oxygen levels for its tank environment, with a divider wall or two tapered swim ways to create an area where the fish can be found at all times. Many beginners find that their bettas pick friendly and self-sufficient habits; by hiding in these cracks, they rarely are seen when removed from the water.

Zebra Loach (Botia striata)

Zebra loach catfish Botia striata aquarium fish

The Zebra Loach is a beautiful and vibrant fish that can be found in the Western Ghats of India. It reaches lengths of about 3 to 4 inches. Zebra Loaches are sometimes mistaken as betta Fish due to their similar appearance; however, there are significant differences between the two. Whereas a betta looks long with its tail extended straight back, a Zebra Loach has an unusually short head that makes it look more like a barbel than a usual fish.

Bala Shark (Balantiocheilus melanopterus)

Burnt-tailed barb or Siamese bala-shark in fish tank

The Bala Shark is a large fish that can grow up to 14 inches long. It inhabits the open waters of Southeast Asia countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia. In the wild, its main diet consists of bony fishes; it is an aggressive predator and will target other fish. In captivity, however, Bala sharks have been known to eat snails and earthworms as well as prepared food such as frozen brine shrimp or bloodworms.

Dwarf/Pea Puffer Fish (Carinotetraodon travancoricus)

Pufferfish swims into image frame in an aquarium. Scene in artificial lighting.

The Dwarf Puffer Fish is a unique fish that can be found in Kerala and Southern Karnataka in the Western Ghats of Peninsular India. It reaches a length of 1.4 inches and its diet consists mainly of snails and small fish, but it can be kept with other types of pets provided they have adequate space.

Rainbow Darter Fish (Etheostoma caeruleum)

The Rainbow Darter Fish is a beautiful fish that can be found in many areas of North America, including the east and west coasts. It reaches lengths of about 2.2 to 2.4 inches. The Rainbow Darter’s diet consists mainly of small midge larvae, insects, snails, and copepods.

Pumpkinseed Sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus)

The Pumpkinseed fish (Lepomis gibbosus) in natural habitat underwater

The Pumpkinseed Sunfish is not a true sunfish as it bears little resemblance to other members of the family. However, like all sunfishes found in North America, it lives near shallow waters and preys on snails, sinking worms, and crustaceans.

Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster ialius)

Dwarf Gourami, colisa lalia

This species has a slightly long, narrow body which makes it look like a small BW fish. Its aligned pattern covers orange and black undercoat but turns into shades of yellow during adulthood.

Paradise Fish (Macropodus opercularis)

PARADISE FISH macropodus opercularis, ADULT

The Paradise Fish is a beautiful, hardy fish that can be kept in most environments with proper water parameters. It reaches a length of about 2.6 inches but is more commonly seen at 2.2 inches. The Paradise Fish’s diet consists mostly of snails and insects, but it can also survive on a vegetarian-based diet.

Spixi Snail (Asolene spixi)

The Spixi Snail is a small snail that is native to the warm, wet tropics of South America. It’s an excellent choice for aquariums as it requires little maintenance and can survive in even the most hostile environments.

Kuhli Loach (Pangio kuhlii)

Kuhli Loach Catfish Pangio kuhlii freshwater aquarium fish

Kuhli Loach is a hardy, peaceful fish that thrives in most aquariums. It reaches lengths of between 3 inches to 4 inches. The diet of the Kuhli Loach consists mostly of snails and algae, making it a great addition to your aquarium if you are looking to manage the population of snails and algae.