Guppies and Snails – Can They Live Together?

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If you own a freshwater tank, then there is a high possibility that you have guppies in it.

To liven up the tank, though, you want to add some crustaceans such as snails inside the tank, but you are not sure if they will go well with the existing population of guppies.

In this article, I will answer this question for you: can guppies and snails live together?

There are many safe options of snails that you can choose to have in your tank, and they are also very beneficial for your tank in many ways.

Not only can they make your tank more interesting, but they can also clean up your tank very effectively. This is why you often see snails in aquariums.

If you choose the right snails for the guppies, then you should be fine in general. However, there are some instances where the two species cannot coexist.

Namely, if you choose the wrong snails species that is too aggressive, or if you let your snails spread way too much and overcrowd your tank. In any case, here is the lowdown on the snail-guppy relationship.

Types of Snails You Can Keep with Guppies

Most likely, the guppies will get along with the majority of the snails out there. That is not only because of their friendly character but also because guppies tend to mind their own business most of the time.

However, some snail species work better with guppies than others, and here are some of the best.

Nerite Snails

Nerite Snails
Nerite Snails

One of the best ways to liven up your tank is to add one or two nerite snails to your tank, depending on its size.

Nerites are often desired in freshwater tanks, especially for their capability of cleaning the tank effectively and eating the excess algae.

Besides, nerites are completely safe to keep with the guppies, and will not get into each other’s way.

Another great thing about the nerites is that they won’t reproduce unless they are in salty water, so there is that.

Golden Mystery Snails

Golden Mystery Snails
Golden Mystery Snails

Next on the list are golden mystery snails. These snails are named after their appearance – their shells appear as golden, which can liven up your tank significantly.

What is more, these snails are very friendly and will get along well with your guppies.

They can clean your tank. The only downside could be that these snails can grow to be quite big, so you do need to care how many you put in there.

Black Devil Snails

Black Devil Snails (Faunus Ater)
Black Devil Snails (Faunus Ater)

While the name appears quite scary, these snails are entirely peaceful. They are known for their movement around the tank, as they will be quite active and move around a lot.

Their appearance is also unique, as they have bodies covered in black. They can eat live plants, though, which is something you should consider.

Ramshorn Snails

Ramshorn Snails
Ramshorn Snails

One of the most beautiful snail species, the colorful red Ramshorn snails, will bring some excitement to your aquarium.

Their shiny red shells can add a lot of energy to your tank. They can spread quite quickly, though, and you will have to keep their population in check.

Assassin Snails

Assassin Snails
Assassin Snails

Another fish whose name sounds scary, but it is not as frightening as you might think. They are named so for their ability to hunt down other snails, but they are friendly towards your fish.

They can be quite useful as they can keep your snail population down to check.

Other popular snail species for guppies are trumpet snails, rabbit snails, mystery snails, trumpet snails, and others.

Can Guppies Eat Snails?

No, that is quite unlikely considering the sizes of the guppies and their character. It is probably physically impossible for the guppies to eat snails and consume them, even if they try to do this in groups.

The thing is that the guppies won’t even try to do that. The only instance where you might want to be careful if the snails have spawned eggs, as the guppies can attack the eggs of the snails and eat them.

Then again, you might want to allow them to do so to keep your snail population in check to start with.

The snails have protective shells that are quite hard to break down, especially for the guppies. If the snails would be without the shells, then maybe the guppies would attack them.

But in this case, it is almost impossible for the guppies to eat snails.

Will Guppies Eat Snail Eggs?

It is possible that guppies can eat snail eggs, especially if those are unprotected. You might find this quite helpful for a reason, as you want to prevent the snails from spreading too much.

There have been reports from several users that their guppies ate the eggs of the snails. However, it is hard to say with certainty, but it is certainly a possibility.

Can Snails Eat Guppies?

A Group of Ramhorn Snails Eating a Dead Guppy
A Group of Ramhorn Snails Eating a Dead Guppy

Snails are really slow creatures, and there is no chance for snails to catch a guppy fish.

However, there are cases when snails will eat guppy fish. I had the chance to see how a group of ramhorn snails gathered over a guppy fish and started consuming its body.

This was a perished guppy fish, who died few hours before and I didn’t remove its body from the tank just yet.

So, snails are really beneficial in cleaning up the aquarium, though snails can overpopulate it quickly.

How to Reduce Snail Population in Your Guppy Tank?

One thing that too many snails can bring is a full tank, and you don’t want to have that. You can, however, do many things to get rid of the snails. Here are some of the best ways to get rid of snails in your tank.

  • Avoid overfeeding your fish in the first place
  • Use chemicals to kill snails
  • Use snail traps to catch the snails in your tank
  • Add an assassin snail into the aquarium that will take care of the snails
  • Clean your aquarium entirely from top to bottom
  • Do preventive measures such as cleaning the plants and equipment you put into the tank and avoid feeding your fish too much.

Conclusion

To conclude, snails and guppies can coexist in a tank together. Most of the time, they will not get in each other’s way and will do fine if they are in the same container.

If you care for them properly and avoid overstocking, they could have a great time together.

Updated: January 15, 2020

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