Do Goldfish Eat Snails? (And Can Snails Live With Goldfish?)

Image of goldfish searching for food

Goldfish are one of the popular pet fish among all aquarists throughout the world. Goldfish are known as voracious eaters. They munch on everything that is in sight and are not fussy eaters. Being omnivores, goldfish relish on numerous food sources. Some believe that goldfish are not capable of breaking snails’ shells and eating them. So, do goldfish eat snails?

Yes, goldfish do eat snails. Goldfish eat everything that fits in their mouth. So, if goldfish find a small snail and are hungry, they will eat it. Bigger snails are safe from goldfish as they won’t fit in goldfish’s mouth. However, goldfish will eat dead snails regardless of their size.

Now that you know goldfish can eat small snails, let’s understand which type of snails your goldfish won’t eat, and is it safe to keep snails with goldfish.

Do Goldfish Eat Large Snails?

Goldfish are opportunist eaters. They generally eat everything that fits into their mouth.

However, if you have large snails, your goldfish is not a threat to them.

Your goldfish will not look at the large snails as their food because the large snails won’t fit in their mouth.

So, your goldfish will not attempt to eat them.

If you feed your goldfish regularly and they are not starving, then they will not eat the other smaller snails too.

In other words, your goldfish will stay away from the snails as long as they are big enough to not fit in their mouth, and your goldfish are not deprived of food.

You can always feed your goldfish with nutritious food such as leafy greens, broccoli, corn, shelled peas, and live food such as bloodworms and brine shrimps so that they are not hungry for long.

Okay! Now let’s see if goldfish eat baby mystery snails.

Recommended Further Reading:

Do Goldfish Eat Baby Mystery Snails?

Goldfish tend to search their food by size. If they find anything small, they will undoubtedly attempt to bite and eat it.

So, if the mystery snails are big, your goldfish will not harm them.

On the other hand, your goldfish will look at baby mystery snails as potential prey and eat them.

Alright! Goldfish have a habit of snacking on small snails that fit in their mouth.

So, the next thing that you might be wondering is, can snails live with goldfish?

Can Snails Live With Goldfish?

Many aquarists like to give a different and varied look to their aquarium.

So, they experiment with keeping fish and other species together.

Often, hobbyists keep snails and goldfish together to give a distinct look to their aquarium.

Goldfish and snails can co-exist peacefully in the same habitat. However, not all snails can live in harmony with goldfish.

Small snails are often considered as a food source by goldfish.

So, if you choose a little snail as a tank mate for your goldfish, it will not survive for too long.

On the other hand, big snails are a good option. As they are large, your goldfish will not attempt to eat them.

Goldfish usually eat only those things that can easily fit in their mouth.

Nerite and Mystery Snails are two of the most suitable tank mates for your goldfish.

Both of them eat algae a lot and help in keeping the tank clean.

Nerite snails do not reproduce in freshwater, and so breeding them is out of the question.

Besides, both these snails are giant, and therefore your goldfish will not eat them.

Related Further Reading:

Snails That Goldfish Won’t Eat?

Given below are the top 5 types of snails that you can keep with your goldfish:

  1. Nerite Snails: Nerite snails are known for their algae-eating capabilities. They will eliminate the algae in your aquarium. You will be surprised to know that nerite snails eat algae accumulated on the tank glass too. Besides, they do not reproduce in freshwater, and so their population explosion is out of question. They are peaceful, and therefore safe to keep with any fish. At the same time, they are big enough not to get eaten by goldfish.
  2. Ramshorn Snails: Ramshorn snails are available in various pretty colors. Along with your goldfish, they can liven up your tank with their fancy look. Ramshorn snails are a handful for your tank as they not only eat the algae but also the waste and debris. This helps to keep your tank clean and healthy for your goldfish. The only drawback of these snails is that they reproduce a lot. So, keeping their population in control is a task. However, these snails can be used as a food source for your goldfish. Your goldfish will eat these small snails once they find them. Also, your snails will eventually die on their own if they do not get food to consume.
  3. Mystery Snails: Mystery snails come in several colors and are an attractive addition to your goldfish tank. Just like nerite snails, mystery snails are also algae eaters. Along with algae, they love to eat leafy greens, spinach, and cucumber. Mystery snails also reproduce a lot. However, you can control their population by removing the eggs that they lay on the aquarium sides and lid.
  4. Apple Snails: Apple snails are one of the most common snails that are available in pet stores. They are an excellent tank mate for your goldfish as they thrive in freshwater, just like goldfish. Their hard shell is a plus point, as goldfish won’t be able to eat them. They are also large and will not fit in goldfish’s mouth. The best time to introduce apple snails into your aquarium is when the goldfish are young. This way, your goldfish will look at the snails as their tank mate and will get along with them.
  5. Melantho Snails: Melantho snails adapt well to cold temperatures. So, they are a good tank mate for your goldfish. People prefer to keep these snails as they eat algae. Therefore, they help in maintaining balance in the aquarium. Melantho snails have sparkling shells that lit well in the lights to give a beautiful look to an aquarium along with goldfish. Besides, they adapt well to a wide range of temperatures and survive in the chilly winter of an outside pond.

Now that you know goldfish and snails can be kept together, the next question that arises is, can they transmit any diseases to goldfish?

Can Snails Transmit Diseases To Goldfish?

Snails can transmit diseases to goldfish.

So, you should never introduce a snail immediately to your goldfish tank after buying it from a store.

The transmission of diseases can be prevented by quarantining your snail.

To quarantine a snail, you need a glass jar filled with water.

You can then put a stem of a fast-growing plant-like hornwort in the glass jar.

After that, place your snail in the jar and keep it in it for the next 28 days.

The plant helps to keep the water oxygenated and provides some tiny food particles for your snail to survive.

This quarantine procedure helps if the snail is harboring any parasite that is harmful to goldfish.

The parasite will die on its own in a few days without a host.

You can then introduce your snail in the goldfish tank without any fear of transmitting diseases.

Note: You should dechlorinate the glass jar with copper removing conditioner as copper is not suitable for snails.

Interesting Further Reading:

Related Questions

Do goldfish eat snail eggs? Yes, goldfish do eat snail eggs. It is challenging for snail eggs to survive in a goldfish tank. As snail eggs are small, they can only survive until they are out of your goldfish’s sight.

Do snails destroy plants? Snails will destroy live plants in the tank only if they are starving. If snails get enough food like algae or left-over and uneaten food of your goldfish, they will eat that food and not harm the tank’s plants.

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