I have heard this question from hundreds of ghost shrimp keepers. Most ghost shrimp keepers fear that snails will try to eat their ghost shrimps, or vice versa. But that’s not the actual case.
Yes, you can definitely keep snails with ghost shrimps. In fact, it is beneficial to keep snails with ghost shrimps. Both benefit each other.
In the rest of the article, I’ll explain what types of snails you can keep with ghost shrimps and what are the benefits of keeping snails. So, let’s get started!
What Snails Can You Keep With Ghost Shrimps?
Actually you can keep many types of snails with ghost shrimps. Almost all of them are safe to keep except for a couple of types such as Assassin snails. Assassin snails can harm the baby shrimps. So, I will not recommend keeping them with your ghost shrimps.
The 3 most popular snails to keep in shrimp tank are: Nerite snails, Mystery Snails, and Malaysian Trumpet Snails.
Let’s learn about each of them.
Nerite snails are one of the most kept snails these days. You can find them in almost every fish store. There are many varieties of nerite snails. Most of them are freshwater varieties such as horned nerite snails. Some are saltwater as well.
Nerite snails are widely appreciated for their awesome tank-cleaning ability. They are also very excellent algae eater. If your shrimp tank is suffering from an algae outbreak, then just throw in a couple of nerite snails. They’ll take care of most of the algae.
Nerite snails are very peaceful in nature. They won’t cause any harm to the ghost shrimp or their babies. Also, it is extremely easy to take care of them. Nerite snails can do well in a wide range of water parameters and temperature.
Just keep in check the level of ammonia, nitrate and nitrite. It is also recommended for keeping any type of shrimps. Lastly, make sure you don’t add anything to the tank that contains copper.
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Mystery Snails/Apple Snails
Mystery snails, also commonly known as apple snails are widely appreciated for their golden yellow color! Mystery snails are mainly kept for keeping the aquarium glass clean. If your aquarium glasses are green with algae, just keep a couple of mystery snails. They’ll take care of all the algae.
Mystery snails are very peaceful and they don’t need any extra care. You can keep them in any type of setting. I have never heard mystery snails attacking shrimps or any other fishes.
If your tank has live plants, then the snails can try to eat some of the leaves. However, I have seen them only going for the dead leaves.
Keep the ammonia, nitrate and nitrite level as low as possible. Also, make sure there is no copper in the water. If you can ensure these, your mystery snails will do just fine!
Also, while buying Mystery Snails, choose the ones that are actively moving in the tank or attached to a surface. Never buy a snail with cracked shell.
Malaysian Trumpet Snails
I love Malaysian trumpet snails for my shrimp tank. In fact, owner of Flip Aquatics, Rubert Lupton recommends them too! If you are providing the right condition, these snails can prove to be an asset for your shrimp tank.
Malaysian trumpet snails are great for eating debris, uneaten food and plant materials. So, they can be an excellent clean-up crew for your shrimp tank. They are also good at eating soft algae which can be really beneficial for the tank.
Caring for these snails is extremely easy. In fact, they don’t need much attention at all. With some basic care, they’ll reproduce like crazy. That’s why many aquarists often treat them as pests to keep their population under control.
Malaysian Trumpet Snails prefer a tank with lots of live plants. This coincides with the interest of shrimps too! Ghost shrimps also prefer lots of plants and moss in their tank.
Like the other two, these snails don’t like ammonia, nitrate or nitrite in their tank. Also, avoid any type of medication or fertilizer that contains copper.
How To Control Snail Population?
Though there are many benefits of keeping snails in a shrimp tank, it can be a problem if the snails overpopulate the tank. Whenever the snails overpopulate the tank, they become a pest.
Snails can breed very easily if the find a favorable environment. So, don’t get surprised if you find yourself with too many snails after a few months. Fortunately, there are ways to control the population of snails. Mainly, there are two ways: Assassin snails and snail trap.
The name explains it all. Assassin snails are kept for their ability to control snail populations. If your tank is infested with snails, just keep a few assassin snails. They’ll kill and eat the snails within no time. That’s why assassin snails are appreciated by hobbyists all over the world.
However, there is a downside to keeping assassin snail. They can go after the baby ghost shrimps. Though I’ve never experienced that myself, I’ve heard stories about assassin snails killing baby shrimps from many hobbyists.
So, if your tank has baby ghost shrimps in it, I’ll suggest not to use this option for controlling the snail population. On the other hand, if a few baby shrimps getting eaten doesn’t matter that much to you, then you can surely keep assassin snails to keep the number of other snails in check.
If you need Assassin Snails, check them out. You’ll get high-quality snails at the cheapest price. You’ll also receive additional care information for these shrimps.
This is a DIY method to make a snail trap. Many people have got good success from it. Making the trap is very straightforward too!
Just take a piece of plastic bottle. Make sure the cap is closed off! Now, make holes all over the bottle. When making the holes, ensure both of these:
- the holes should be large enough for the snails to enter inside the bottle
- the holes shouldn’t be so large that shrimps can fit inside too.
Now put a bait inside the bottle. The bait can be an algae wafer, a piece of cucumber or whatever snails like to eat.
Place the trap inside the shrimp tank just before you go to sleep. In the next morning, you should see hundreds of snails trapped inside the bottle.
Will Ghost Shrimps Eat Snails?
I’ve never seen ghost shrimps going for live snails. Yes, if the snails are dead, then the ghost shrimps can try to eat the dead snail. This is in fact beneficial for the aquarium too!
However, in the online forums, I’ve seen some shrimp keepers writing about ghost shrimp attacking their snails. But I think this is very rare and you shouldn’t be worried about that.
Will Snails Try To Eat Ghost Shrimps?
Nope, I’ve never seen that in my entire shrimp keeping life. Snails generally go for live plants, leaves, etc. in the tank. However, if the snails are properly fed, they won’t go for the live plants too!
Do Ghost Shrimps Eat Snail Poop?
Yes, ghost shrimps eat snail poops. In fact, snail poop is good for ghost shrimps. Their poop contains good bacteria. Ghost shrimps eat these bacteria which is extremely good for their digestive system. This way, the poop also get cleaned up and don’t create ammonia in the tank. This is a win-win situation for everybody!
Benefits Of Keeping Snail In A Shrimp Tank
There are many benefits of keeping snails in a shrimp tank. Here I am mentioning some that I can remember on top of my head:
- Snails clean algae, keep the tank healthier and create a balanced eco-system with the shrimps
- If the snails get high in number, you can take some & crush them. Offer the crushed snails as food to the shrimps. This is a very good natural protein source.
- Some snails, like mystery snails, produce infusoria which is shrimp’s favorite food.
- Snail poop is a natural source of good bacteria for the shrimps. These bacteria are beneficial for shrimp’s digestive tract.
- Some snails (Malaysian Trumpet Snails) are really good at digging. They dig the substrate and prevent the formation of any gas pocket. These gas pockets can be very dangerous for the shrimps as well as other inhabitants of the tank.
So, now you know that it is absolutely safe to keep snails with ghost shrimps. You can keep any of the snails mentioned in the article. The good thing is, snails do not require any extra attention from you.
Moreover, both ghost shrimps and snails benefit each other and establish a balanced eco-system. So, you can definitely keep some snails with your ghost shrimps.