Do Bettas Eat Snails? Why?

Regardless of the debate about whether betta feels lonely or not, as an aquarium pet lover, I believe your betta needs a companion. However, there comes certain confusion with ensuring peace in the tank as betta has a more complex and fiercer attitude towards other fish. Therefore, in this article, we are going to discuss whether bettas eat snails or not.

Bettas can eat snails as they are considered carnivores. They are mostly attracted to the fleshy part of the snail. Therefore, you should buy adult or big snails as they are better at defending themselves from the attack of the bettas.

A lot of betta owners have recommended that before adding the snail to the tank you should introduce the snail to the betta. That includes keeping them in different tanks for a while but the tanks need to be close as much as possible.

Also, there are other factors that play an important role in whether your bettas will eat snails or not. We will discuss it in the later part of this article. Therefore, I urge you to read it to the end of this article.

Why Do Bettas Eat Snails?

Well, Bettas can eat snails and there are a lot of reasons behind it. The reasons are mainly related to the behavior of the bettas. Because bettas have a more complex attitude which is why their behavioral change makes them eat snails. There are different reasons behind these behavioral changes and they are explained below:

If They Find The Snail Is Small And Weak

It is entirely true that if any carnivore finds that its prey is small and docile enough then it will surely attack them. Therefore, it is suggested by the experts that, if you go for small and weak snails that have long eyes which basically look like the worm (the favorite food of bettas), then it is imminent that the bettas will eat the snails.

If They Are Starving

Your bettas can eat the snails if they are starving. One thing you will need to keep in mind is that there is a big difference between starving and being hungry. If your bettas are hungry then they might not eat the snails but if they are starving then they will certainly eat the snails. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if your bettas are hungry or starving but you should give them meals in a timely manner.

If The Snail Is Roaming In The Marked Territory

The bettas are known for their fierce personalities and it can get much worse when it comes to protecting the territory. You might know that the bettas are much more overprotective of their territory and if anything comes in between them then surely the opposite one has to suffer. Therefore, if the snails are found roaming in the territory of the bettas then the bettas will surely attack the snails and eat them.

If The Snails And Bettas Don’t Get Along

When it comes to getting along with the bettas peacefully, we all know that not many fish have the ability to do it. Because it is not that easy to get along with bettas as they have complex personalities. In addition, the bettas also love to live and rule alone which is why it makes the task more difficult.

As a result, if the bettas don’t get along with other fish and if they feel the fish are a threat to them then they will attack them. It is also the same in the case of snails. Because, if the snails don’t get along with the bettas then the bettas will attack them and eventually eat them.

If There Are Fewer Hiding Places In The Tank

It is imminent that the bettas can attack the snails and will eventually eat them. Therefore, the experts suggest that there needs to be a sufficient amount of hiding spots in the tank. If there are fewer hiding spaces in the tank then there are fewer chances for snails to survive.

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Will Bettas Attack Snails?

Bettas may attack your snails as they have a fierce temperament as well as they are fond of flesh. Most bettas will not attack the snail but if they are docile enough then they might surely do. Also, if you keep over-aggressive bettas with a weaker snail then there is a high chance that the bettas will attack the snail.

In addition, if you don’t provide your bettas properly balanced diet food and if you let them roam hungry enough then they will certainly attack the snails. Because the physical shape of the snails resembles almost like the worms which are indeed the favorite food of the bettas.

Bettas also can attack your snails if they feel the snails are roaming around their territory. As we all know snails have a shy nature and love to roam around the bottom of the tank, but sometimes they can roam on the upper part of the tank.

Bettas are over-aggressive when they feel that any fish that is schooling around their territory. In this type of situation, it is guaranteed the bettas will attack your snails.

Therefore, make sure you have given properly balanced diet meals mixed with fish pellets and other necessary nutrients. Also, you have to maintain a strict feeding time schedule for your bettas. Betta fish will go mad and start eating the other fish in the tank if you leave them hungry for a long enough period of time.

These are the things that decide whether your bettas will attack the snails or not. It is recommended to take experts’ advice when you are planning to add snails to the betta’s tank.

I have discussed these important factors in detail in the next part of this article. Please go through it if you want to have a clearer idea.

Factors That Ensure Peace Between Snails and Betta fish

I have given insights about some factors that you will need to keep in mind if you want to ensure peace between snails and betta fish. These factors fully decide whether your betta fish will be a good tankmate with your snails or not.

However, you have to make sure that these factors are not maintained forcefully, or else the situation might turn in the opposite direction. If you observe that your bettas are getting along quite well with the snails in the first phase then there is no need to follow these factors. The factors are described below:

Choosing The Breed Of Snail

It is really important to choose the right species of snail. Because the bettas will not get along with most species of snails except a few. Bettas will get along with some of the snails like Ramshorn snails, Malaysian Trumpet snails, Nerite snails, Assassin snails, etc. These snails can become big enough to defend themselves from betta’s attack and also will properly get along with the bettas.

However, you have to make sure that after you add a snail to the bettas’ tank if the situation gets worse, you have to immediately separate the snail. Because the wounded body of a snail can contaminate your tank highly.

Choosing The Right Size Snail

The first and most important factor that you will need to keep in mind is that you choose the right size snail. Because the size actually matters when it comes to living peacefully with bettas. As if the bettas feel that the snail is small and docile enough then there is a high chance that the bettas will attack the snail.

Therefore, you have to make sure that you go for the right size of snails. It is recommended by the experts that you should go for the adult snails as adult snails are big and strong enough to protect themselves from the attack of bettas.

Coping Up The Snail

The next thing you have to make sure that you don’t put the snail inside the tank immediately after buying it from the store. You will need to introduce the snail to the bettas by keeping them separately. The best way to do it is by keeping the snail in a separate tank and keeping them close as much as possible.

In this way the bettas will get introduced to the snail as well as the snail will cope with the bettas.

Do Not Keep The Bettas Hungry

This is one of the important factors that you have to follow strictly. You have to make sure that you never keep the bettas hungry. Because the bettas can go crazy when they starve for a long time. In addition, being a carnivore the bettas will get highly attracted to the flesh of the snails.

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Therefore you have to make sure that you follow a round-up routine for the meals of bettas. The meals should contain properly balanced diet food including fish pellets and live food.

Observe The Situation Carefully

After putting the snails in the tank of bettas, the next important factor you have to abide by is that you have to observe the tank situation in the next few days. Because after adding the snails with the bettas, it is really important to study the environment of the tank. If you see the situation is peaceful and the two fish have maintained a peaceful relationship with each other then you don’t have to worry about anything.

If the situation goes the opposite, then you have to immediately separate the two fish because the wounded body of the snail may contaminate the tank. In addition, you have to accept the fact that your bettas will not get along with the snail.

Are Female Bettas Snail Eaters?

Yes, female bettas are certainly snail eaters. Similar to the male ones, they get attracted to the fleshy part of the snail.

Female bettas have a vicious nature and a taste for meat, so they could attack your snails. Additionally, there is a good risk that the aggressive female bettas will eat the snail if you keep them with a weaker snail. Your female bettas will eat the snails if you don’t feed them a properly balanced diet and if you let them roam about without food for a long enough period of time.

Since worms are the preferred diet of bettas, the physical form of snails is virtually identical to that of worms. If you let your female betta fish roam without food for a long enough time, they will go crazy and start devouring the other fish in the tank. These factors determine whether or not your female bettas will eat the snail or not.

Can Bettas Eat Baby Snails?

The betta’s temperament and level of hunger will determine this. Bettas are carnivorous creatures that enjoy eating any size of snail and other small creatures. If the bettas are hungry enough then they will surely attack the baby snails. Most importantly, if somehow they get the taste of baby snails then there is no turning back for the bettas.

They will constantly attack the baby snails whenever they are hungry. Also, the shells of the baby snails are thinner so it will be easy for the bettas to devour them easily. Therefore, it is recommended by the experts that whenever baby snails are born in the tank you should keep them in an extra tank.

Tips For Reducing The Chance Of Betta Fish Eating Snails

Well, if you find that your bettas are less welcoming to the snails then certainly you should be somewhat worried despite the fact that this is typical. We have discussed some of the factors that can ensure peace between bettas and snails in the previous sections. Now to guarantee that the Betta fish becomes least interested in the snail, there are some tips you can follow:

Make Sure The Snail Doesn’t Get Into The Territory

This is one of the most important things that you will need to keep in mind while keeping snails and bettas together. Because most fish gets attacked by the bettas when they start to roam in the territory of the bettas. Bettas have a fierce temperament and they can be triggered by any sort of activity in their territory that can enable their attack mode.

Therefore, you have to make sure that the snail roams on the bottom part of the tank. If they get up on the upper part of the tank then you have to move the snail from there. Basically, snails are bottom dwellers but sometimes they can get up to the upper part of the tank.

Completely Avoid Buying Small Snails

Purchase resilient snails that have a high chance of surviving an encounter. You really do need to probably stay away from combining a snail with a betta fish if it is a sensitive or easily stressed species. Additionally, you ought to refrain from putting newborn snails in your aquarium.

Ensure that the snails have matured sufficiently to be inedible. Inquire with your provider when purchasing snails about how the breed of snail in question relates to Betta fish in particular. You may then make more educated selections as a result.

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Build More Hiding Places In The Tank

As the snails are mostly bottom dwellers and slow fish, therefore, you will need to make more hiding places behind the stones in the tank. You have to cover up those hiding places with the help of live plants.

Being slow fish, the snails might not run quickly and most of the time they will protect themselves through their shells. But it is really important to offer them extra defensive elements which will be a plus point for the snails to defend against the attack.

After the above discussion, it must be clear how you can save snails from getting eaten by bettas. However, It is impossible to predict how a particular betta fish will act unless you witness it yourself, therefore this doesn’t really guarantee that it may not bother the tank’s snails.

Are Ramshorn Snails Eaten By Bettas?

Ramshorn snails can be eaten by bettas. Similar to the other breeds of snail, the ramshorn snail’s fleshy part attracts the carnivores the most. However, they can live compatibly with each other but you have to follow some of the guidelines.

As we have known from the previous sections, whether bettas will eat snails or not depends on their behavior. Since they are aggressive and enjoy eating flesh, bettas can attack your ramshorn snails. It’s likely that aggressive bettas will attack a weaker ramshorn snail if you keep them together.

If you do not feed your bettas a well-balanced diet and allow them to roam freely, they will most likely attack the ramshorn snails. Ramshorn snails can also be attacked by bettas if they believe they are invading their domain. Ramshorn snails tend to be timid creatures who prefer to explore the tank’s bottom, although they occasionally go up there as well.

If you can keep these things in mind then the ramshorn snails and the bettas can live together peacefully. However, there is no guarantee that these factors will ensure peace in the tank but certainly, you will need to try.

Are Bladder Snails Eaten By Bettas?

The bladder snails in their tanks will occasionally be eaten by betta fish, but as long as the tank is properly installed, the majority of bettas will normally allow them to roam freely. The issue is that because bladder snails can reproduce quickly, there is a higher likelihood that your betta fish may bite a bladder snail and discover that it could be a form of nutrition.

Although some betta fish do consume bladder snails, certain betta fish may well go several months without showing any real interest in the bladder snails in their aquarium before attempting one and eventually acquiring a taste for snails.

The bladder snails in your betta fish’s aquarium may go unnoticed if you’re lucky. They won’t ever give them any consideration since even if your betta will not really consume the bladder snails in their aquarium, they may frequently seriously hurt them.

Can Bettas Eat Snail Shells?

Well, the bettas can eat the snail shells if they are thin. Mostly they tend to do it because if there is a deficit of nutrition in the food of the bettas.

The snail shells contain calcium which is good for the bettas. Also, the snail shells are easy to break if they are thin. A betta may frequently tear pieces of a snail’s shell off and consume the snail if it so wishes because of the snail’s weaker shell and greater calcium demand.

Many newbies neglect to add calcium-rich sources to their bettas’ tanks, which frequently results in snails with extremely fragile shells that a determined betta fish can readily penetrate.

As a result, the bettas will not only eat the flesh of the snails but also the shells of the snail. Therefore, make sure you have added adult snails that have strong shells in the tank with bettas.

Final Words

It must be clear by now whether the bettas can eat snails or not. Most bettas are aggressive fish and in certain situations, they will attack other fish. However, they can also live with other fish peacefully if the other fish doesn’t bother the bettas at all.

In the case of the snails, they are mostly bottom dwellers and shy in nature which is why there is no chance that the bettas will be bothered by them.

In addition, if you follow some guidelines and keep the factors in mind then surely you can ensure peace between snails and bettas. However, there is no guarantee that the bettas will not attack the snails but the least you can do is try.

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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