Have you been stamping ground with your friends? Had fun? Sure, it was.
Well, if you have a betta aquarium, don’t you wish your betta fish to have some friends to roam around? Though I assume you have heard the rumor that “Bettas prefer to rule alone,” still Bettas can have pals around him.
So, who are the pals? Betta fish can swim in an aquarium tank with fish, plants, and exceptionally snails. Snails! Is it even possible? This is true, snails are a good companion to bettas.
Now you might ask, what snails can live with bettas? No worries, I’ve got your back to answer that, and many more essential findings of snails – basically every nitty-gritty between snails and bettas.
Does Betta love companions?
Before I begin unveiling the whole package, let’s tell you a bit more about bettas and their companions. Starting with the male betta, they don’t even love their own kind – a harsh truth indeed. But that doesn’t happen with the female bettas, they get along with each other quite well.
Male bettas are the tutelary of their domain. Even when a female enters a particular territory, they don’t love any other bettas coming in the way. Sometimes male bettas are offensive to the female ones if their matting conditions don’t go in the order, or already if the male one has a spawn.
A male and female betta should be kept in a tank when the purpose is only breeding. Despite that, when the female has already unveiled the eggs, if she’s not shifted to another aquarium, the male kind will fall on her. Totally crazy!
Types of Snail You Can Add to Your Betta Tank
Snail comes in vast species, not just one for your tank. The number is countless with additional and fantastic breeds. In that case, it’s crucial to pick the right one for your betta because a few snails struggle a lot to survive. Eventually, your tank will get a decaying body if you can’t take care of the snail properly.
Let’s check out some of the types I got for you.
Mystery snails come first on the list to add to your betta tank. Though mystery snails don’t keep any more mysteries, they haven’t left their sorcery and charm looks. Not only will your betta get a mate to play with, but it also will add a beautiful look to your aquarium tank.
Among famous aquarists, these mystery snails are on their top choices, and top favorite, to say. Because they are good for removing algae, but they don’t touch the plants. So, your aquarium will be in top-notch looks along with multiple color variations of mystery snails.
Before you place the mystery snails in your betta tank, make sure the water pH stays around 7.0-7.5 and temperature around 68 to 82℉. That’s actually similar conditions of betta’s domain. I believe you won’t have to fuss a lot. Plus, they live in a similar night and day cycle as bettas do.
Nevertheless, it’s essential to keep in mind that you cannot let the mystery snail sail in the tank, which isn’t under 5 gallons aquarium size. It’s better you get a 10 to 15-gallon aquarium tank because mystery snails introduce vast waste and bio-load in the tank. And that would be horrible for smaller setups.
The mystery snails are easy to take care of because they grow in 2 inches, and live nearly a year. Only a good amount of food can be sufficient enough for the snail. You will notice that this type of snail is more active when you feed them and when they are exploring their new place with a sensation mood.
Last but not least, be sure to have proper tank lids, or else your snail might go out for exploring and accidentally jump out of your aquarium.
Japanese Trapdoor Snails
I enlisted the Japanese Trapdoor snail right after the mystery snail because they are also familiar with the Japanese Mystery Snail name. They are famous as well among the aquarium hobbyist for the beautiful color and shape.
The trapdoor name was actually invented from this snail’s operculum that stands basically as an oval corneous shell. This plate protects the snail from an unlikely betta fish, and that’s what makes this snail be a suitable mate for betta fish.
This kind of snail will be an ideal choice if you are looking for a substitute to clean the algae and keep your tank spick and span. Though this snail doesn’t dare to eat plants or fish, it might go for it if you don’t provide enow food. For instance, you can look for algae pellets to keep them busy.
As a plus, I loved to name these kinds as “fortune tellers” because they won’t return to the shore if they notice something is off with the water and retreat to their shell. So, it’s a win-win situation for you to acknowledge water’s condition before your betta fish just bites the dust.
However, these snails grow more than two inches in size, and they can explode breeds in your aquarium if you get one male and a female snail. As they grow large in size, I’d just recommend you end up with one for your tank.
Not to mention, they love to wander around. So, make sure to land a lid on the betta tank.
Well, before you land them in your new tank, get your water’s pH level around 7.0 to 8.0, the water temperature around 64 to 84℉, and a minimum tank capacity of 15 gallons. Most bettas live in these conditions – going to be a piece of cake for you.
If you love colors variations, not to surprise, the Japanese Trapdoor Snails come in various color, including green, dark brown, white, golden, and many more.
Pond snails are often the unwanted guests of your tank because they can come with live plants without you knowing. Though they are sometimes like uninvited guests, if you need them, you can easily pick them without spending a dime, which is really fun.
They are pretty fantastic as algae eater, and by eating dead plants, old food, they can do a severe duty of keeping the tank spotless.
Pond snails usually thrive the best in pH 7.5, and 70-78°F temperature. But they can do quite well in 7.0 pH. So, you will have no problem keeping them in your betta tank.
They grow up to 1 inch and have a lifespan of 1 year. Within this time, they can breed at a horrible rate. They will take no time to proliferate if the water and food are okay. So, keep them in check.
Having pond snails is such a good deal considering their availability and benefits. So, surely you can have them if you want.
Turret snails are also widely known as Malaysian trumpet snails. They bring a thin conical long shell with them, which looks like a unicorn horn.
They quest 70 to 78°F water temperature, and the pH should be around 7.0 to 7.5 to swim in the aquarium. These are the same conditions as bettas crave for. Based on these, you can quickly put them in your betta tank. In fact, they can be your first choice.
Also, they are perfect for beginners as these snails do not take that much upkeep. They have a 1-year life span and can grow 1 to 1.5 inches approximately. So, as long as the water is good, you can enjoy a good experience with them.
Turret snails usually show a standard set of behavior. They like it to forage on the gravel. This is why make sure that you use gravels with no sharp edges and in the correct size.
These snails live on leftover foods of your bettas, algae or other debris, or dead plants. This means, with them in the tank, you will have a spiffy water quality for a longer time.
But you must have a close look at these snails if you do not want to have a tank full of baby snails. Well, they breed like crazy and darn impossible to kill as well – practically imperishable in a sentence. So, keep them in check.
Lastly, these snails can survive in 5 to 10 gallons tanks or even larger than that. The care is nearly effortless and easy for them. Peace!
Likewise, to the turret snails, ramshorn nails live about a year in similar sizes. Plus, they crave for similar water temperature and pH level as your bettas need. So, say goodbye to your worries about changing tanks, or doing hassle to meet the specific requirements.
Ramshorn snails are famed as the best tankmate for bettas, and suitable for plant-less tanks. Though they naturally clean away food from the ground, they may scavenge your plants too. A token of good news is if your aquarium tanks don’t hoard any plants, especially live plants, ramshorns will do a better job at consuming old food and algae.
These are the oldest kind of snails to play a part in the aquarium hobbies than any other snails. They are taken in action for various jobs like some aquarium hobbyists prefer them to keep tanks clean, whereas others want to throw them out as pests at what cost.
These snails are fantastic at cleaning dead plants, food leftovers, soft algae, and guzzle soft-leafed plants. But in despair, they can breed too quickly, specifically in aquariums which includes much organic detritus.
Ramshorns love to breathe air, and that’s why they leave for the surface always to breathe. Mostly, ramshorn snails come in two species for the aquarium taste: Planorbella Duryi, aka Red Ramshorn, and the other one Planorbarious Corneus, aka the Great Ramshorn.
Red Ramshorn species come in red color as the name speaks, whereas Great Ramshorns bring olive, brown, and yellow with engraved stripes. Plus, other color variations like pink, blue can be pickable.
Moreover, Great Ramshorns are introduced in the aquarium tanks to clean off the algae and keep your tank neat and clean. But this similar case doesn’t happen with Red Ramshorns, they tend to appear off the cuff.
Now and then, ramshorns leave tiny eggs or individuals to peep on plants, driftwood, rocks, gravels, or ornaments. You’ll never know when the population explosion happens due to organic waste and residues. So, be sure to clean the aquarium if you get a ramshorn snail.
If you have snails that are overriding your tank and leaving no space at all, assassin snails are the solution. They don’t breed madly and don’t care above one meal. Well, as the name tends to be ferocious, they can gulp other snails. Scary, right?
Well, no worries if you aren’t putting it with other snails in your betta tank. These snails can live off food leftovers, dead plants, and algae. It’s mandatory to feed your assassin snails meat. So, if you don’t have any other snails inside the tank, you can try to provide them some dried worms, or some other meat in small batches. Your betta will enjoy the food sessions too!
These snails are the most challenging ones to play with, but it doesn’t mean you can’t own one. As long as the water parameters on the right track, you won’t be at your wit’s end.
To ensure better water parameters, consider taking aquariums water pH level to 7 – 8 and the water temperature around 75 to 80℉. These are some predominant facts you should look at before putting an assassin snail to assassinate in the water.
They explore a life of 2 years and grow around 3 inches. But the size is kinda threatening to bettas, and eventually attack them too. Well, this shouldn’t be a problem if they get along.
Do you wish to bring a simple yet gorgeous looking snail to your tank? If it’s so, look no further than Ivory snail, which many aquarists adore and is known as a lovely freshwater species. They come in a beautiful white-colored shell and body.
Easy to take care of, and low-maintenance are special qualities these creatures bring. They’re incredibly compatible with bettas and other species if you have.
These ivory snails are more vigilant during the night. If you want your friends to observe how they look or what they do, you’ve to hold your horses until the evening howls. When they move around, they produce an enticing amount of energy, and walk around by covering a spacious area.
They require water parameters of 68 to 82℉, and pH level 7.2 to 7.5. Some say lower pH can do the job too. With normal fish lighting, you can make your tank friendly for the ivory snail.
Well, it’s not surprising if you see the ivory snail is dead just right after putting it in the tank. The ivory snails die because of the shock they absorb from being transported. Anyway, they can live a lifespan of one year or so.
Ivory snails live off the life by eating dead plant matter, and food residues. These kinds also eat soft algae that grow on aquarium glass, rocks, decoration, power filter intakes, etc. Eventually, they are good tank cleaners, and scavengers.
If you aren’t bothered to give a little guy some extra care, the nerite snail can live up to your choice. They are the most renowned and appreciated freshwater aquarium snails for the exceptional algae cleaning capability – the best snails for removing algae so far.
Well, it’s not quite promising to think they’ll do all the hassle for you, but they surely help. And you’ll need around 5 of them to create effective algae cleaning. As they don’t reproduce in vast, you shouldn’t worry too much.
Sometimes algae might run low. In that case, you can fill their tummies with algae wafers – an excellent substitute for algae.
Though they come in small sizes, around 1/4 or 1/2 inches, you shouldn’t overlook them. Instead, you have to be more careful while introducing them new tank. Considering a 7.5 pH level and 72 to 78℉ water temperature, you won’t face any dreadful situation.
Well, they’re true explorers and escape artists. Confirm that all holes are closed in the lid, otherwise, they’ll go out of the water if they find water isn’t in ideal condition.
However, nerites come in multiple color variations and look to add hue to your tank. Just try them out.
You’ll have a hard time while differentiating the male and female nerites though they have evident genders. You won’t know until a female one lays eggs. But laying eggs don’t always indicate reproduction.
Well, the eggs never get to the hatching situation. You can remove those by applying a razor blade from the aquarium.
Nevertheless, they get along with bettas exquisitely while keeping antennas exposed. Most of the time, the nerites lay low, hidden in the substrate, so no chances of your bettas damaging them. Even though the nerite snails get hit by betta and lose antenna, they will reproduce in a matter of few weeks.
Rabbit snails are quite promising nowadays and getting famous as an aquarium favorite among aquarium hobbyists. Due to the large size of 3 to 5 inches, they come with a lovely looking size, and with the rabbit face, it becomes cuter and more adorable to watch.
They will live in your aquarium for more than 3 years. So, a long-time journey partner for you and your betta.
In a tank size of 20 gallons, they can explore the most and live wildly. Or you can get your hands on even larger tanks for massive space.
They prefer to live in warm temperatures like 76 to 84℉, and a bit alkaline water of pH 7.8 to 8.4. Some hobbyists mix up corals, crushed corals inside the gravels or substrates in the filter to succeed a better water chemistry level.
Rabbit snails are suitable to feed on dead plant matter, detritus, soft algae, other foods such as algae wafers, pellets, and so on. There are some reports show that these snails nibble on Java Fern.
These snails add wonderful color to your aquarium, available in various types, including white-colored rabbit snails, and yellow rabbits. They produce at a shallow rate, which is 4 – 6 weeks, to prevent a population explosion.
If you don’t love the large size, nowadays small breeds are produced. You can take a look at those.
Now, let’s give you some essential facts and considerations you’ve to know when getting a snail for your betta. In case, you can kill two birds with one stone.
Do Bettas Eat Snails?
This is a famous yet horrific question every aquarium hobbyists face. Let’s make it simple for you.
Bettas do not discriminate when eating if they get the chance. So, they will eat snails too. It is better to keep larger snails, like rabbit snails, in your aquarium as they are not easy to eat. A bigger snail will have a better chance at defending itself when your betta tries to eat your snails’ fleshy parts.
It is also not the case that the betta will always try to eat the snail in your tank. Many have been petting snails in their aquarium tank for years without having any problems.
Also, you can do some things to reduce the probability of the betta wanting to eat the snails. The crucial thing to do is to give the betta one balanced diet. Give them proper pellets combined with live food.
Snail have their defense mechanism to stop getting eaten by other fish. Something similar of a trap door, that is used to stop predators and not get eaten if they are able to shut it quickly.
That means even though there is a possibility of getting eaten, you can minimize the possibility.
Things to Consider Before Placing Snails in Your Aquarium Tank
Below are the aspects you need to know and consider when adding new tank mates to the betta’s home.
As you may know, different bettas will show different attitudes. All fish are different. Bettas are generally a passive fish, calm but they are also called ‘Siamese Fighting Fish’, and there is a good reason for it. Many times, you will see the bettas attack and kill the other fishes if they resemble even slightly like a betta. For instance, if they are colorful, have large fins, and bright.
- Living Space
There needs to be enough room for multiple inhabitants. There will be more excrement with more creatures in the aquarium. That means the chance of ammonia buildup is high, and the water quality might get poor.
Will Snails Clean Your Fish Tank?
Snails are good for fish tank cleaning, which you may already have known. But it is not the whole truth. They eat any material from the bottom of your tank, which may need to clean. However, they produce the same amount of waste as they clean.
If you wish to have snails, then you will need to keep the tank clean yourself. Otherwise, the condition of water will worsen, and that will kill the snails eventually. Also, your betta will be sick from deteriorated water.
In short, snails will clean waste and algae from your aquarium, but they leave their own waste.
- Snails and Plants
If yours is a planted tank, then you might be worried about them getting eaten by snails. But it does no often as you may think. Rather if you feed the snails enough, then they won’t even look at the plants. There are also aquatic plants containing toxins that deter snails.
There are more tank mates for your betta, learn about 30 of them in this HUGE list of betta tank mates!
- Snails and Algae
All snails do not like algae, but some snails may like it even more than others. If you just want to put snail for removing algae the put nerite snails. They love algae more than other snails and clean the bottom of your tank.
It does not mean other snails will not clean up algae. Mystery snails and ramshorn snails also are snails that eat algae sometimes. They can also survive without live plants in your tanks if they are fed well.
What to Do If A Snail is Dead
It is bad for bettas to live with anything dead in the tanks as well as other creatures in the tank. So, you need to know how to spot and take out the dead snails.
- When you see your snails lying motionless, keep your eyes on the snails to see if the snail is there for a whole day. If it is, then take it out.
- Use the net for scooping out the snail.
- Dead snail generally has a pungent smell while removing it from your tank. You might even see the shell to be completely empty. Chances are your betta has already eaten it.
- Some like to keep the dead snail inside the tanks. The rotting shells add nutrients to the water.
- If you do this, then pay extra attention to the amount of ammonia and nitrate in the water.
Snails You Should Avoid Keeping with Betta
You cannot keep these snails with your betta because either they are taunting, or aggressive, or produces like crazy to blow your fuse.
- Apple Snails
Found in the US, Central, and South America in the warmer parts, they are 6-inches in diameter. As they are too for 20-gallon tanks or less than that. They are carnivorous, and so they will eat your weak or slow bettas.
- Pest Snails
They produce a lot, and they don’t have an operculum. It leaves their heads exposed and vulnerable to betta attacks. Also, they cannot protect themselves by hiding in the substrates. Bettas will gobble up pest snail, which otherwise lives peacefully with nerite and mystery snails.
- Malaysian Trumpet Snail
They should not be with bettas for 2 reasons:
- Although they stay hidden chiefly in the substrate, the exposed head puts them in a susceptible position to the bettas.
- Their reproduction is massive. Every few days a snail is born and the baby to grow entirely takes nearly 2 months. That means they can be invaded the aquarium in a month, which is an issue for your bettas and the aquarium owners.
What’s the Ideal Tank Size for Snails?
If you add only a few snails in your betta tank, then a 5-gallon tank is enough for you. But as the betta fish, snails produce their very own bio-load. For adding more snails, you will need a tank accordingly. For 5-10 snails or more, you will need the tank to be able to handle a sudden increase of snails when they begin reproduction.
So, for more snails, you will want to have a 10-gallon or more instead of a 5-gallon tank.
How to Care for Snails in a Betta Fish Tank
Usually, there won’t be a need to modify a betta fish tank for putting snails. The water quality needs to be good and live plants to promote algae growth naturally. Even if the algae look bad, you will not have to take them out. Rather keeping the algae as teaching material for your children, it leads them to know about caring for fish and understanding fish.
Do not breed the snails inside your betta tank! It will be tempting but as the tanks are small for the bettas, excess of snails will result in the water condition deteriorating. For more info about aquarium snails breeding, please refer to our article relating that.
Food Source for Betta fish and snails
Nerite, Mystery snails, and other snails similar to those are predominantly algae lovers. They will be diligent at excess waste, and eating algae. That makes them great as betta tank mates. But the tank will have to produce algae accordingly so that it can provide for the snails.
Per 5-gallon, add 1 snail to have enough algae for the snails to eat. The fish flakes leftover, and pellets that fall to the bottom of your aquarium tank will be eaten by them as they are not picky, they will eat anything. Just be sure that they feed on.
Temperature needed for snails in a Betta Fish tank
The information relating to temperature is varied. Snails are harder than the bettas. So, keep the tank at 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit for them to thrive.
In short, you will not get a definite wrong or right answer if the bettas will live with snails. Unresponsive bettas to some types of snails might act outrageously when put with other types of snails. But for that concern, I’ve mentioned above what snails can live with bettas.
The bettas’ behavior is a crucial aspect, but it all comes down to what kind of snail you will keep in the betta tank.
Above all, nerite snails, and mystery snails are the top-notch species to be your betta mate, but you should think about keeping assassin snails, ramshorn snails, or pond snails with them.
The kinds of snails which you need to avoid at any cost are Malaysian trumpet snails, Apple snails, and pest snails (discussed above).
When you add new pets to the tank, research about them beforehand to avoid making any mistakes. Happy petting!