Aquarists fondly keep snails due to their ability to eat algae and other organic matter.
However, snails are prolific breeders. So they can overrun your tank in no time.
The best way to keep the snail population under control is by keeping fish that consume their eggs before they hatch.
Snail eggs are also a delicacy for many fish species.
So let’s learn more about the numerous fish species that eat snail eggs.
Goldfish are the most popular aquarium fish. Their striking coloration and peaceful nature make them a favorite among aquarists.
Snail eggs being tiny, are difficult to survive in a goldfish tank.
They can stay in the tank only until they are out of the goldfish’s sight.
These fish are friendly and easy to care even for beginner aquarists. They are also not fussy about diet and accept any food in captivity.
A carbohydrate-rich diet is recommended for goldfish as it helps their growth and reproduction.
Koi are colorful ornamental fish species native to Japan.
These fish are extremely popular and are often kept in outdoor ponds to provide a scenic landscape to outdoor properties.
Koi fish eat snail eggs if they come across them while swimming through the bottom of the substrate or are hungry.
However, they don’t actively seek out snail eggs like some other fish species.
You can also scrape the eggs and feed them to your koi.
If they aren’t interested, you can starve them for a day and feed them snail eggs the next day.
Koi fish will be more than happy to gobble up anything that fits into their mouth.
3. Clown Loaches
Native to Indonesia, clown loaches are tropical freshwater fish belonging to the Cobitidae family.
They are popular in the fishkeeping hobby for their stunning colors, dynamic behavior, and pleasing personality.
Clown loaches are the top choice for controlling nerite snail egg infestation.
These fish are very fond of snail eggs and will happily consume them.
Clown loaches quickly gobble up snail egg clutches as these eggs are a good protein source for them.
The only challenge in keeping these fish is that they grow large and can reach up to 10 inches in length.
Hence, a large tank with ample space and hiding places is required to keep them happy and healthy.
4. Yoyo Loaches
Yoyo loach, also known as Pakistani loach or Almora loach, is a freshwater fish belonging to the Botiidae family.
These fish originate from the slow-moving rivers of India and Pakistan.
They primarily inhabit waterbodies with rocky substrates and where there is plenty of aquatic food and vegetation.
Yoyo loaches are handy in controlling the snail population because they enjoy eating snail eggs.
These fish dig into the substrate to search for edible food.
Hence, they consume all sorts of tiny organisms, including snail eggs hidden in the tank.
Snail eggs are an easy meal for yoyo loaches as these eggs are defenseless and easy for them to consume.
5. Dwarf Chain Loaches
Dwarf chain loaches are tiny eye-catching fish with lively personalities.
They are endemic to the Mae Klong basin in Thailand and the Ataran river on the Thai-Myanmar border.
As the name suggests, these fish grow up to a maximum of 2.5 inches in length.
Their tiny size offers them great flexibility while searching for the small snail eggs in the tank that aren’t visible easily.
They also actively look out for snail eggs that are dispersed throughout the tank.
Small fish eat the scattered eggs more than bigger fish because big fish have difficulty locating them.
Dwarf chain loaches are one of the most effective species to control the snail population in aquariums.
They are best suited for smaller tanks with ample space to swim freely.
6. Dwarf Pufferfish
Dwarf pufferfish, also known as pea pufferfish or Malabar pufferfish, is a small freshwater fish endemic to Kerala and southern Karnataka in Southwest India.
They are famous for their bright colors, tiny size, and ability to control the snail population.
These fish devour snail eggs and also tiny snails.
Being carnivores, dwarf pufferfish snack on snail eggs to meet their protein requirements.
You need to keep a group of at least 5 to 6 dwarf pufferfish in a tank to ensure that a considerable amount of snail eggs get consumed.
Dwarf pufferfish mainly eat snail eggs that are easily accessible to them.
Being bottom-feeders, these fish prefer to eat eggs lying at the tank’s bottom on the substrate or under plant leaves.
They will not eat snail eggs laid at the water surface as they don’t swim to the top for feeding purposes.
7. Cory Catfish
Cory catfish is a freshwater fish species belonging to the Callichthyidae family, native to South America.
These fish are social and ideal for community aquariums as they get along well with other fish.
They are omnivores and feed on both plant and animal matter. Cory catfish are also known to eat snail eggs.
They usually don’t hunt for food. Instead, these fish are excellent scavengers and will often dig into the substrate to search for food.
Cory catfish primarily eat pond snail eggs and other eggs that are soft and tiny.
These eggs are nutritious and can be a good snack for them between regular meals.
Cory catfish usually don’t eat eggs of nerite and mystery snails as they are hard and too big to fit into their mouth.
Plecos, also known as suckermouth catfish, belong to the Loricariidae family. They are native to South America.
Plecos are also primarily found in northeastern Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guiana.
These fish are called janitor fish due to their unique ability to clean the tank.
They are popular for their unique appearance, characterized by heavy plates on their bodies and sucker-shaped mouth.
Plecos can eat snail eggs if they are accessible.
Being bottom-feeders, they will eat snail eggs laid on the substrate, driftwood, plant leaves, or on the tank’s glass surface.
However, they will not swim to the tank’s surface to eat the snail eggs.
For example, apple and mystery snails lay large clumps of eggs above the water’s surface.
So the chances of plecos consuming these eggs are minimal as they aren’t top feeders.
Gouramis are one of the most attractive and fascinating tropical fish in the aquarium hobby.
They are sought after for their vibrant colors and beautiful patterns.
These fish are renowned for their intelligence in recognizing their owners and responding to them.
In the wild, these fish feed on worms, insects, snails, crustaceans, algae, and other plant matter.
Snails are an essential part of their diet. Alternately, gouramis also feed on snail eggs as they are a rich food source.
Gouramis being top-feeders, usually won’t hunt for snail eggs at the tank’s bottom.
They don’t actively hunt for eggs but eat them whenever they come across snail egg clutches.
Guppies are one of the most widely distributed tropical fish popular among aquarists for their striking coloration, peaceful nature, and easy maintenance.
Guppies originated from Northeast South America but have now spread worldwide, except in Antarctica.
Although guppies don’t eat snails, they are fond of their eggs. They mainly consume snail eggs if the eggs are unprotected.
Hence, housing guppies with snails isn’t a good idea if you wish to breed snails.
However, if you don’t want the snail population to explode, guppies are an excellent fish to keep with snails.
Guppies will continuously graze on the tiny eggs and can help keep the snail population under control.
11. Cardinal Tetras
Cardinal tetras are freshwater fish belonging to the Characidae family.
They are native to the upper Orinoco and Negro rivers in South America.
Cardinal tetras are known to consume snail eggs.
They need a well-balanced diet consisting of vitamins, protein, fat, and carbohydrates to thrive.
Snail eggs are healthy for these fish as they contain the essential vitamin B12.
It also prevents cardinal tetras’ gills from rotting, thus keeping them healthy.