Given their aggressive nature, they best cohabitate with submissive creatures like snails.
Yet, like humans, different bettas behave differently, so you need to consider their composure before adding any tank mate.
Plus, certain types of snails coexist better with bettas than others.
In this guide, you’ll find out everything about whether bettas can live with snails or not.
Can Bettas Live With Snails?
In most cases, adding a snail to your aquarium will not bother the betta or make it aggressive.
Some bettas will be indifferent about the presence of a snail, while others will occasionally nibble it.
If your betta is extraordinarily hostile, it won’t hesitate to eat the snail too. Hence, it largely depends on the behavior of your betta.
Many bettas will eat anything you add to the tank, and snails aren’t an exception.
However, this shouldn’t make you believe that bettas will most certainly eat a snail added to the tank. Numerous aquarium owners add snails to their betta tanks and don’t experience any hostility.
Plus, there are ways to reduce the chances of or preventing your betta from bothering the snail.
Providing your betta with a combination of live food and fresh pallets and ensuring that they get a balanced diet is a great tactic.
Choosing the right type of snail is another effective measure. Larger snails can protect themselves from being eaten as compared to smaller snails.
To protect themselves from predators, they work like a trap door. As soon as they sense danger, they hide in their shells.
To give you a better idea, we’ll now discuss the type of snails that get along well with bettas and those that should be avoided.
Types of Snails that Get Along Well With Bettas
Here are some of the snails that you can keep with your betta fish in a fish tank.
Nerite snails are among the best types of snails that keep up with betta fish. Since most of them eat only algae and biofilm, you should consider keeping them in well-established tanks.
Nerite snails come from brackish areas with tides, where they climb out of the water for a few hours every day.
Thus, to prevent the snail from moving out of the tank, make sure that your aquarium has a secure lid.
One great aspect of nerite snails is that they cannot reproduce in freshwater, so they won’t overpopulate your tank.
These snails have distinct female and male genders, but it’s extremely difficult to differentiate them.
You won’t identify a female nerite snail until you see it laying eggs. Laying eggs doesn’t necessarily mean reproduction.
Female nerite snails do lay eggs, but they never hatch. You can only remove the eggs from the aquarium surface using a razor blade.
As for their compatibility with bettas, you don’t have much to worry about because only their antennae are exposed.
They keep these hidden too most of the time, so your betta won’t be able to damage them. Even if a betta fish bites the antennae of a nerite snail, it will regrow in a few weeks.
Another type of snail that gets along well with bettas is mystery snails. These require calcium and protein supplements to thrive and tend to grow to the size of a golf ball.
Their calcium and protein needs are often fulfilled in the form of cuttlebone and shrimp pallets.
Cuttlebone, in particular, should be present in the tank to meet their calcium intake, and you can also provide them with kale, spinach, or other blanched vegetables.
Since mystery snails are primarily carnivorous, they must be given a protein-based diet. However, this doesn’t mean that they won’t eat algae at all; they do eat some forms of soft algae.
What’s different about these snails is that they pose no threat of overfeeding because they stop eating once they’re full.
Mystery snails come in a wide range of colors such as jade, magenta, gold, purple, ivory, and black.
The two most common colors include gold and black, and the gold variant is often referred to as Gold Inca.
Since the female mystery snail lays eggs above the waterline, removing them is extremely easy.
Mystery snails normally keep their eyestalks and antennae out. Like with nerite snails, their antennae regrow.
Unlike their name, mystery snails are peaceful creatures that get along well with most types of tank mates.
Pond snails are quite similar to the garden snails seen on land. They do a great job of eating algae and don’t usually harm the aquarium plants.
The only problem with them is that they reproduce quickly and lay jelly-like eggs on the glass.
Thus, if you do decide to keep them in your betta tank, avoid overfeeding your betta. This is because overfeeding means more fish waste, which is what pond snails feed on.
If they eat too much, they’ll lay more eggs, which in turn can impact your betta’s health. If you can maintain a balance, pond snails can be added to the tank with bettas.
An assassin snail is a unique type of snail. Instead of eating algae or plants, assassin snails feed on other snails.
As their name suggests, they’re typically added to tanks to assassinate or eat snails that have proliferated beyond limits.
One of the great things about assassin snails is that they reproduce much slower than other types of snails.
More importantly, they cohabitate smoothly with bettas, given your betta doesn’t take much interest in them.
Ramshorn snails are similar to pond snails in size but have a flat, rounded shell.
Since their pH and temperature requirements are the same as those required for betta fish, ramshorn snails make an ideal choice for betta tanks.
You can add them to your betta tank without any worry.
When overfed, these snails can reproduce a lot. Too many snails can create problems for your betta.
While ramshorn snails can thrive on algae and old food, they will eat up any live plants in your aquarium. Hence, they are more popular with tanks that don’t contain a lot of live plants.
Japanese Trapdoor Snail
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, large snails with trapdoor functionality are safer than small snails with exposed parts.
That’s exactly what makes Japanese trapdoor snails suitable for betta tanks.
They can grow up to two inches in length and will retreat to their shells when they feel threatened.
They may also burrow themselves in the substrate for protection. Yet, these snails like to wander around like nerite snails, so be sure to place a lid on your aquarium.
They eat certain forms of algae and are peaceful snail species.
Snails You Should Avoid Keeping With Betta
You can’t keep all types of snails with the betta fish.
Here are snail types that you should avoid keeping with the betta fish.
Pest snail reproduces a lot. Moreover, it should not be added to beta tanks because it doesn’t have an operculum, which leaves its head exposed, making it vulnerable to betta attacks.
Furthermore, pest snails can’t hide in the substrate as well to protect themselves.
Bettas that live peacefully with nerite and mystery snails will eat up pest snails immediately.
Apple snails should not be added to an aquarium with bettas.
Found in warmer parts of the US and Central and South America, apple snails are 6 inches in diameter.
This size is too large for a typical betta tank that normally measures 20-gallon or less.
On top of that, these giant snails are carnivorous, which means they can prove dangerous for a weak or slow betta.
Malaysian Trumpet Snail
These snails should be avoided for two reasons:
- Even though they spend most of their time hiding in the substrate, their exposed heads make them susceptible to bettas.
- They reproduce massively, giving live birth to a snail every few days. Plus, the babies take around two months to fully grow. This means they can totally invade your aquarium in a matter of months. This proves problematic for bettas as well as aquarium owners.
To sum things up, there’s no right or wrong answer to whether bettas can live with snails.
Bettas that remain unresponsive to certain types of snails can act outrageously with other types of snails.
While the behavior of your betta is an important factor, it majorly comes down to the type of snail you want to keep in your betta tank.
The best snail species for betta tanks include mystery snails and nerite snails, but you can also consider keeping pond snails, assassin snails, or ramshorn snails with them.
The types of snails you should avoid at all costs include pest snails, apple snails, and Malaysian trumpet snails.
Whenever you are adding new pets to your tank, make sure you do your research so that you don’t make any mistakes.
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