Snails and Betta Fish – Can They Live Together?
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So what is the alternative to buying more fish tank mates for bettas? The answer is snails.
Many people are worried that because bettas are territorial and will eat just about anything, they will also eat their snails. Well, it is not that simple to eat snails that are larger.
There are some snail species that go better with the bettas than others, and we will take a look at them later.
However, you still need to be careful with snails in your tank, as they might get attacked by the bettas, or you might see the population grow uncontrollably.
Let’s take a look at everything about bettas and snails.
Snail Types You Can Keep with Bettas
As we already mentioned, some snail species are more suited for living with the bettas than others.
Generally, it is recommended to keep larger snail species with the bettas to protect themselves against possible betta attacks. Some snails are also better suited in terms of behavior.
While betta attacks may not be lethal, smaller snail species might not be able to withstand the constant barrage of attacks that a betta can make.
Well, it is not attacks in its common meaning of the word, but it is more like curiosity that bettas display towards new things in the tank. Here are some of the best snail species to keep with bettas.
This species is a good option for betta tanks, as they can grow to about 1.5 inches in size, meaning that the betta will have a hard time attacking them. The best thing about these snails is that they require roughly the same tank conditions as bettas.
What is more, Ramshorn snails are perfect for tanks that don’t have too much vegetation in it. If you are keeping your betta on its own, then it is highly likely that it will be the case.
Ramshorns are known for eating live plants. If you have plastic plants, they will be perfectly fine, and the snails will feed on algae and the leftover foods. Another thing to be mindful of these snails is that they can reproduce very fast if they are allowed to do so.
Although nerites are some of the smallest snails you can get (they can grow to only about half an inch), they are also one of the most beneficial snail species for many tanks. That is because of their ability to clean your tank of algae very effectively, which makes them a very popular species.
Plus, they have a very interesting appearance with their colors ranging from black to yellow most often, with interesting patterns on their shells. There are also other variations. You can get nerite snails for your betta tank, but they will also reproduce quite a lot.
Malaysian Trumpet Snail
Malaysian trumpet snails are also one of the most popular snail species out there. That is because they are available in almost every pet shop, and they are also known for their ability to clean up the tank, as they will scavenge around for leftovers and algae.
They have long, cone-shaped shells, and they come in many variations. The problem with these snails is that they can overcrowd your tank if they spread too much, leading to them becoming pests rather than pets.
Don’t allow them to spread too much, or you will be forced to take measures to cut down their population.
The rabbit snail is one of the more unique-looking snail species on this list. There are many variations and types of rabbit snails, ranging in color and appearance.
Rabbit snails will eat any leftover food from your betta fish, but will also chew on plants, so watch out for that. You can feed them vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, cauliflower or greens.
Don’t worry if your rabbit snail goes missing, because often they will bury themselves into the substrate. So keeping a sand or other light substrate into your betta fish tank is the best choice for these snails.
Rabbit snails like warmer water temperature, just like betta fish. So, they are perfectly suited to the conditions that the bettas live in, so they are a good addition to the tank.
Apple snails are interesting-looking snails that can make your betta fish tank more lively and interesting. Your betta fish might attack the snail’s long tentacles and eyes, but the snail can regrow it over and over again.
The apple snails are hungry snails and they like eating greens and vegetables. They also consume soft algae, which is good to keep your aquarium algae free. While these snails grow quite large, you should not keep more than one apple snail per 5 gallons.
Can Betta Eat Snails?
Some bettas, especially the male bettas or the more aggressive ones, might try to eat the snails in your tank, especially if they are hungry or if the snails are small. But don’t worry, you can easily prevent this by feeding the bettas enough in the first place.
Another way to prevent this is by getting a snail species that are too large or have too strong shells that the bettas can crack. All the snails on this list are perfectly fine with bettas, as long as they don’t spread too much.
Will Betta Fish Eat Snail Eggs?
Yes, bettas are very likely to eat the snail eggs in your tank. Sometimes this is desirable in order to prevent the snails from spreading.
Well, a good solution to prevent this from happening is by allowing the bettas to eat the snail eggs. Just like some other carnivorous fish species, bettas are very keen to eat the eggs and the fry of other species in the tank.
How to Reduce Snail Population in Betta Tank?
Snails can become an unpleasant thing once they start to spread too much. Luckily, there are some things that you can do to reduce the population of snails in your tank easily.
One thing you can do is to manually remove them from the tank. It might also be a good idea to place snail traps into the tank, which will catch the snails and you will be able to remove them.
Assassin snails can also be considered for hunting down the unwanted snails in your tank. Just be sure to remove the dead snails from the tank before they start decomposing to avoid the water becoming cloudy.
Bettas and snails can coexist in peace. Although bettas might sometimes try to eat the snails, it will generally not occur with the snail species we have on this list.
Hopefully, you will be able to create a nice environment of bettas and snails together.