Snail and Betta Fish – Can they Live Together

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Whether you’re a beginner aquarist or a seasoned pro, one question you may have is “Can snails and betta fish live together?” The answer is yes, but there are a few things you need to take into account before adding these different species to your aquarium.

This article will give you an overview of what you need to know about keeping snails and betta fish together. We’ll discuss their compatibility, the best way to set up your aquarium, and what to watch out for. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can reap the benefits of having both of these animals in your tank!

Why Would You Want To Put Snails and Bettas Together?

There are a few reasons why you might want to keep snails and bettas together in your aquarium.

For one, snails can help keep your tank clean. They eat algae and other detritus, which helps to keep the water quality high. This is especially beneficial if you have a betta, as they are particularly sensitive to poor water quality.

Another reason to keep these animals together is that they can provide companionship for each other. Bettas are social creatures and do their best when they have tankmates to interact with. Snails can help to fulfill this need, as they are often active during the day when bettas are awake and swimming around.

Lastly, having both snails and bettas in your aquarium can add some visual interest. Bettas are brightly colored and have long, flowing fins, while snails come in a variety of colors and patterns. Adding both of these animals to your tank can create a lively and beautiful display!


many betta fish with black background

Now that we’ve looked at some of the reasons why you might want to keep snails and bettas together, let’s discuss their compatibility. Generally speaking, snails and bettas get along well together. However, there are a few things you need to take into account before adding them to your tank.

Make Sure Your Bettas Don’t Eat The Snails

It’s not common for bettas to eat snails, but it can happen.

If your betta is particularly hungry, it may go after a snail. That said, there are a few things you can do to discourage your betta from eating snails:

  • Make sure you’re feeding your betta a high-quality diet. A healthy betta is less likely to be interested in eating snails.
  • Provide plenty of hiding places for your snails. If they have places to hide, they’re less likely to be eaten by a betta.
  • Monitor your bettas for signs of stress. A stressed betta is more likely to eat snails (or other tankmates). If you’re concerned about your betta-eating snails, it’s best to err on the side of caution and not put them in the same tank.

Choose The Right Size Snail

Not all snails are created equal! There are many types of snails, and they come in various sizes. Choosing the right size snail is important if you want to keep them with bettas. Generally speaking, it’s best to opt for midsized snails that wouldn’t be able to fit into a betta’s mouth.

Freshwater snails ampulyarii. Laying eggs on the wall of the aquarium.

Some good examples of mid-sized snails include:

  • Mystery Snails (Pomacea diffusa): Originally from South America, mystery snails are one of the most popular snail species due to their wide availability and beautiful colors. These snails grow to be about 2-4 inches in size and have a lifespan of 2-5 years.
  • Nerite Snails (Neritina natalensis): Nerite snails are another popular choice for aquariums. They’re small, only reaching about 0.5 inches in size, and they have a lifespan of 1-2 years. One of the characteristics of snails under this breed is that they are excellent algae eaters and are very easy to care for.
  • Japanese Trapdoor Snails(Cipangopaludina japonica): Japanese trapdoor snails are a fantastic breed suitable for larger aquariums. They grow to be about 2-3 inches in size and have a lifespan of 5-7 years. They can be excellent algae eaters and help to keep the tank clean.
  • Ramshorn Snails: Another exciting breed of snails for smaller aquariums. They only grow to be about 0.5 inches in size and have a lifespan of 1-2 years.
  • Assassin Snails(Clea helena): Assassin snails are a good choice for aquariums with pest snail problems. These predators will hunt and eat other snails in the tank. Assassin snails grow to be about 1-2 inches in size and have a lifespan of 2-3 years.

As you can see, there are many types of snails to choose from. When selecting a snail for your tank, be sure to choose one that is a suitable size for your bettas.

Consider The Tank Size

When keeping any type of pet, it’s important to consider the size of their enclosure. This is especially true when keeping multiple animals together. Snails and bettas can live in the same tank, but you need to make sure the tank is large enough to accommodate both species.

A good rule of thumb is to choose a tank that is at least 10 gallons in size. This will give your snails and bettas enough room to move around and stay healthy.

Be sure to also consider the size of your snails when choosing a tank. Larger snails like the Japanese Trapdoor Snail will need a larger tank to accommodate their size.

Provide Plenty Of Hiding Places

Snails are not the most active animals in the world. They spend a lot of their time hiding away in shells or under rocks. This is one reason why they make such good tank mates for bettas.

To keep your snails safe from predation, it’s important to provide plenty of hiding places in the tank. This can be anything from rocks to driftwood to aquarium plants. As long as there are plenty of places for your snails to hide, they should be safe from curious bettas.

Hiding spaces are also incredibly important to bettas, as they help to reduce stress levels. So, by providing hiding places for your snails, you’re also helping to keep your bettas healthy and happy.

Setting Up Your Aquarium Tank With Snails

Now that you know a little bit more about keeping snails and betta fish together, let’s talk about setting up your aquarium.

under the stairs fish tank
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Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

The first step in setting up a tank with bettas and snails is gathering all the supplies you’ll need. This includes:

  • Aquarium
  • Aquarium filter
  • Aquarium heater
  • Gravel
  • Live plants
  • Decorations
  • Betta fish
  • Snails

Step 2: Choose The Right Location for Your Aquarium

When setting up any type of aquarium, it’s important to choose the right location. The tank should be placed in a room that is away from direct sunlight and drafts. The room’s temperature should also be stable, as fluctuations can stress fish and make them more susceptible to disease.

You should also look for a spot that is close to an outlet. Aeration is very important, so you’ll need to ensure the tank is close to an outlet so you can plug in the air pump. You can also add air stones to aerate the water, and introduce more plants to the tank to help with oxygenation.

Step 3: Add Gravel and Plants

Once you’ve chosen the perfect location for your aquarium, it’s time to start setting it up. The first step is to add gravel and live plants to the tank. Adding gravel to the bottom of the tank helps to create a natural look. It also provides a place for beneficial bacteria to live, which helps to keep the water clean.

colorful rocks in wooden box, art Aquarium Fish Tank Gravel Stones Color

After you’ve added the gravel, introduce your plants and decoration. You can cycle your tank with live plants, which will help to keep the water clean and provide oxygenation. Add enough plants so your snails and bettas will have plenty of hiding places. However, you should also leave enough space for the betta fish and snails to move around.

Step 4: Install the Filter and Heater

After the gravel and plants are in place, it’s time to install the filter and heater. These two items are essential for keeping your tank clean and comfortable for your fish and snails. Choosing a filter that is the right size for your tank is important.

You’ll also need to choose an aquarium heater that can maintain a stable water temperature in the tank. Bettas prefer water that is between 76 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, so be sure to choose a heater that can maintain this temperature range.

When in doubt, always consult your local fish store or a professional aquarium technician to help you choose the right filter and heater for your tank. Most fish store owners are happy to point aquarium owners in the right direction when they need help!

Step 5: Add Your Bettas and Snails

Has your tank been completely cycled? Are your filter and heater working properly? If so, then it’s time to add your bettas and snails to the tank.

Start by acclimating your bettas to the water. Slowly add some tank water to their bowl or container to do this. This should be done over about an hour. After an hour has passed, you can release your bettas into the tank.

Next, it’s time to add your snails. You can acclimate them to the water in the same way you did with your bettas. But, since snails are much harder to catch, you may want to add them to the tank and let them adjust independently.

Step 6: Monitor Your Tank

betta channoides tank
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Now that your tank is set up and all of your fish and snails are in place, it’s time to sit back and enjoy your new aquarium. But, don’t forget to monitor your tank closely for the first few weeks.

Check the water quality regularly, and keep an eye on your fish and snails to make sure they are adjusting well to their new home. If you notice any problems, be sure to address them right away.

Creating A Balanced Ecosystem for Bettas and Snails

Now that you know how to set up a betta fish aquarium, you can enjoy the beauty and relaxation that comes with owning your own little piece of the underwater world. However, creating a balanced ecosystem in your tank is essential for the health and happiness of your fish and snails.

The difference between simply setting up a tank and creating a balanced ecosystem is that a balanced ecosystem is self-sustaining. That means the tank’s plants, fish, and other creatures work together to keep the water clean and the environment healthy. Here are a few ways you can create a balanced ecosystem for your pets:

Betta Tumors
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  1. Add plenty of aquatic plants. Plants help create a naturalistic environment and provide hiding places and food for your snails. Java moss and soft algae are good plants to add to a snail/betta aquarium. However, they require some extra care, as most snail types do.
  2. Use a quality filter. A good filter will help to keep the water in your aquarium clean and free of harmful toxins. This is important for the health of both your snails and bettas.
  3. Avoid using sand as a substrate. Sand can be harmful to snails, as it can get into their gills and cause respiratory problems. Gravel or bare-bottom tanks are best for snail/betta aquariums.
  4. Minimize the risks of ammonia spikes by getting rid of snails that have died, removing uneaten fish food, and monitoring water conditions regularly.
  5. A sudden increase in snails could be a sign of excess waste in your tank. Snails will happily gobble up all forms of algae, so make sure you keep your the growth of algae under control. Use a gravel vacuum to remove fish waste and food leftovers.

Once you’ve created a balanced ecosystem in your aquarium, you can sit back and enjoy watching your bettas and snails thrive. Creating a thriving underwater world is a fun and rewarding experience that will bring you years of enjoyment.

Feeding Snails In Betta Tanks

If you want your snails to thrive in your betta’s tank, you need to give them a proper diet.

freshwater snails in the aquarium

What you should do:

  • Provide them with algae. This can be done by adding algae tablets or wafers to the tank. You can also grow algae in a separate container and add it to the tank as needed.
  • Give your snails with high-quality snail food. This food is specifically designed for snails and contains all the nutrients they need to stay healthy. Calcium-rich food can do wonders for their strength and overall health. You can find these food options at most pet stores or online.
  • Supplement your snail’s diet with vegetables and fruits. Some good options include cucumbers, zucchini, and spinach. You can also offer them frozen or live foods, such as brine shrimp or bloodworms.
  • Algae pellets can make excellent substitutes for the real deal if your algae control efforts are too successful. Otherwise, you may find your aquarium snails searching for leftover food on the bottom of the tank! You want to minimize interspecies altercations as much as possible.

By following these tips, you can ensure your snails get the nutrients they need to stay healthy and happy.


Do Snails Produce A Lot of Waste?

Yes, they produce a lot of waste, and their bio-load is just too high for smaller setups. You will need to do weekly water changes to keep the ammonia levels in check.

What Can Go in A Tank With A Betta?

Bettas can live with guppies, and they can actually be pretty compatible tank mates.

Other possible tank mates for bettas include:

  • Mystery snails.
  • Ghost shrimp.
  • Feeder guppies.
  • Moss balls.
  • Some types of tetras.
  • Harlequin rasboras.
  • African dwarf frogs.
  • Small Corydoras species

How Do You Tell If Your Snails Are Dead?

Your snail is probably dead if:

1. It is lying there completely motionless. If so, you should remove the snail from the tank. This can be done with a net to scoop the snail out of the tank or simply use your hand.

2: You catch a whiff of a pungent stench. Under these circumstances, you should clean the area where the snail was. This will help prevent the spread of disease. Testing the water will also give you an idea of whether or not you need to perform a water change (Hint: The answer is most likely yes!)

3. The insides of the shell are empty. Nine times out of ten, this happens because an opportunistic betta has consumed the insides of the dead snail. If this is the case, you should remove the snail from your tank, and dispose of it safely. Leaving an empty shell in your tank will wreak havoc on your water parameters, so make sure you dispose of your dead snail’s remnants!


Can Your Betta Fish Live With Snails? A Quick Recap

So, can your betta fish live with snails? Yes! But here are the major takeaways to remember:

  • Your Betta might try and eat the slimy creatures if he is feeling sick or hungry (or just wants some seafood), so it may be best not place them in his tank without supervision
  • Though snails may be good tank cleaners, they have a high bio-load, which means they can quickly pollute the water if too many are in the tank. It is important to do regular water changes (weekly or bi-weekly) to keep the ammonia levels in check.
  • If you see a dead snail in your tank, remove it! Dead snails can spread disease, so it’s best to get rid of them as soon as possible. The best way to dispose of a snail is to bury it in your backyard.

The Takeaway

To summarise, snails are good betta tank mates. They are both peaceful creatures that can co-exist peacefully in the same aquarium. As long as you keep our pointers in mind, you’ll have no problem keeping your betta and snail friends happy and healthy!

We hope this guide has been helpful in teaching you about taking care of betta fishes and snails. Please feel free to share it with other betta enthusiasts or aquarium hobbyists!

Happy fish keeping!

Wanda is a second-generation aquarist from the sunny tropics of Malaysia. She has been helping her father with his freshwater tanks since she was a toddler, and has fallen in love with the hobby ever since. A perpetual nomad, Wanda does her best to integrate fish-keeping with her lifestyle, and has taken care of fish in three different continents. She loves how it provides a nice break from the hustle and bustle of life.

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