Bettas are referred to as the “Siamese Fighting Fish” because they are very aggressive. Male betta fish will often fight each other to the death.
Despite this, Bettas can tolerate other aquatic creatures such as fish and snails in the same enclosure. Betta fish do need plenty of room for swimming, ideally 5 gallons for single occupants.
Upgrade the tank to 10 gallons if you add another fish in there.
This raises a popular question: can betta fish live with snails?
Can Betta fish live with Snails?
The TL;DR version of this answer is – Yes, Betta can live with Snails
But you have to look into the types of snails because not all are compatible. It isn’t uncommon for betta fish to harass snails due to various reasons.
With that said, snails are some of the hardiest creatures ever. They can resist being around like rag dolls by currents and oceans.
Plus, their shells are very durable and provide a comfy space for them to hide.
Snails don’t have many natural predators in the wild, except for the roach clownfish. Betta fish don’t have the predatory skills needed to attack and kill snails.
This makes the two perfect companions.
Most species of snails will live in peace with betta fish. However, you will have to do a bit of research to find a good tank mate.
Most hobbyists prefer to keep a snail or two because of their excellent ‘janitorial’ skills. Snails feed off waste, algae, and foliage to keep the tank clean.
Some species of snails prefer to eat meat. You’ll have to supplement their diet with other snails.
Care Sheet for Bettas and Snails
The good news is that bettas and (most) snails have overlapping care requirements.
For obvious reasons, the tank conditions should be closer to the preferences of betta fish.
Below are the water requirements for bettas:
- pH: 6.8 and 7.5
- Tempter: 75° and 84° F
- Water Hardness: 5-20 dH
Do Betta Fish and Snails Live Peacefully?
Most betta fish and snails will stay out of each other’s way. There are a few things to keep in mind. Male bettas can be very territorial and some won’t tolerate snails in the same space.
It isn’t uncommon for males to bump into snails to show them who’s in charge. Snails, for the most part, will hardly notice and get on with their routine.
Female bettas couldn’t care less and aren’t predisposed to aggression like their male counterparts.
Will Bettas Attack and Bite Snails?
Will your betta fish take a bite-sized chunk out of your poor snail? This isn’t common and betta fish do not have a strong bite force.
But if you do notice bettas trying to bite snails, it’s best to separate them. With that said, snails are hardy creatures and will make a quick recovery.
Did you know that snails can regenerate an eye in a matter of 3 weeks?
If your snail doesn’t recover from its flesh wound, give it a few more days. Snails have the word ‘survival’ written all over their DNA. They’ll eventually recover.
List of Snails That Are Suitable for Betta Fish
It is recommended to select snails that are known for getting along with betta fish.
In the section below, we’ll round up our list of the most compatible snails:
Nerite snails go by several common names such as zebra snail and tiger snail. They thrive on foliage, making them an excellent addition to your clean-up crew.
Nerite snails grow to a little over one inch in diameter. The small size of the Nerite snail makes it the perfect companion for Bettas.
Nerite snails can’t get enough of algae. You should supplement their diet with algae wafers if the tank doesn’t produce enough algae.
Pro tip: Nerite snails can escape their enclosures. This necessitates a lid on the tank at all times.
In short, Nerite snails are a great choice for betta fish. They can thrive in a range of water conditions and very docile.
Mystery snails are larger than Nerite snails and can grow up to 3 inches in diameter. They are not as hardy as Nerite snails and often require additional food sources to survive.
Mystery snails can be found in a wide range of colors, from gold to purple. In the wild, they’re often a combination of black and gold.
Feeding Mystery snails can be too much of a chore for most hobbyists. They prefer food sources that are rich in calcium and protein. You can feed them on a steady diet of algae pellets and blanched veggies.
Betta fish and mystery snails will stay out of each other’s way.
Japanese Trapdoor Snail
These snails are often sought after by hobbyists due to their beautiful appearance. The trapdoor snail does not eat fish or plants.
All they need to survive are algae wafers and will keep your tank clean. In case your tank has no source of algae, you’ll have to provide algae pellets.
Trapdoor snails often retreat into their shells if the water quality deteriorates. If this happens, you’ll know it’s time to take care of the issue.
Rabbit snails go by several names such as White Spotted Rabbit Snails and Yellow Rabbits.
They are larger than most snails on this list and grow up to 5” long. Don’t keep them in smaller tanks because bettas will become territorial.
You can, however, keep them in large tanks with betta fish.
Ramshorn snails grow up to 1 to 1.5 inches long. They require nearly the same water conditions as bettas.
This makes it easy to care for both creatures without running into complications. Ramshorn snails can sustain themselves on a steady diet of old food and algae.
However, these little guys are voracious eaters of plants. So if your tank has lots of plants, you should avoid keeping these snails.
Pond snails are really common and you may not even have to buy them. In fact, you might accidentally introduce them into your tank with live plants.
Pond snails fondly eat algae, old food, as well as dead plants. It is worth pointing out that their population can quickly spiral out of hand.
As long as there are enough resources in the enclosure, they’ll reproduce rapidly.
Assassin snails are known for killing off other snails if their population grows too big. They will gladly eat other snails if there isn’t anything for them to eat.
However, they will just as easily eat dead plants as well as algae. Do toss in meat every now and then. If the assassin snail doesn’t find any meat, it uses ‘other ways’ of getting protein.
It isn’t uncommon for assassin snails to go after bettas for their meat. This makes them a bit hard to recommend, but this behavior is very rare.
As long as your enclosure is in favorable conditions, there won’t be a problem.
Pro tip: Use a bigger tank for bettas and assassin snails. These snails are large enough for bettas to view them as threats. If you don’t your bettas constantly harassing your assassin snails, use a big tank.
How to Deal with Dead Snails
As a rule, you must remove dead things from your tank on a priority basis. However, snails often decay much faster and could be bad for your betta’s health.
Here are a few things to know about dead snails:
- You’ll know it’s dead if it has been motionless for over 24 hours.
- Use a net to safely remove the snail without creating any disturbances in the tank.
- Dead snails often give off a pungent smell when removed.
- Their shells are empty – probably because your betta ate the snail.
- Advanced hobbyists often allow snails to rot in the tank because they add nutrients.
- If you allow the snail to rot, watch out for the ammonia and nitrate levels.
The Ideal Tank Size for Snails and Bettas
Use a 5-gallon tank if you only plan on adding a couple of snails. For more snails, it’s better to upgrade to a 10-gallon tank.
You may also notice an increase in the population of snails. That’s because your snails are reproducing and you may have to do something about it.
Wrapping Up: Will Bettas Live With Snails?
To wrap things up, snails are excellent tank mates for bettas. But you’ll have to make sure your betta isn’t too aggressive.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing snails for bettas:
- Your betta may view snails as food if they’re not well-fed
- Most snails will be beneficial for your tank and all your species
- If you want a snail that can clean up algae more efficiently, choose Nerite snails
- If the snail population grows out of control, introduce the assassin snail
- Snails produce their own bioload, so you’ll still have to change the water
- Remove dead snails as soon as you spot one because they decay really fast
- The minimum tank size for snails and bettas is 5 gallons
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