Tropical Fish that Eat Snails in Tank

There’s something magical about having a tank full of tropical fish, particularly when it comes to the overall population that you’ve got in place. If you’re on the hunt for the right combination of inhabitants, though, you’ll want to consider what jobs you need done.

Specifically, pest control. You’ll want a few tank cleaners of course (see below), but you also have a responsibility to deal with snails. Do you know which tropical fish are going to be best for snail eating? Do you know which ones are going to be best for your actual tank and experience? Take a look.

The Best Tropical Fish that Eat Snails

The good news is that there are plenty of options. You just have to choose the best ones for your level of experience, your space, your time, and your visual interest as well. Here are the top 10 options when you want tropical fish that eat snails.

1. Assassin Snail

First-off, what a cool name, right? This is like the mafia of snail killers. A snail itself, this little dude is going to be great for chowing down on your pest snails and then breeding to produce more snail killers to help you keep the population under control.

A lot of newbies make the mistake of pairing snails eating fish with assassin snails, though. A snail eating fish will also eat your assassin snail, so keep this in mind!

2. Bala Shark

These guys are admittedly rather large. If you’ve got a tank big enough to keep them safe and happy, however, bala sharks are great for taking care of even a large and problematic snail infestation. Grab a pair of them at least and they’ll make your snail woes disappear.

3. Betta Fish

While a little pickier than some of the other tropical fish that eat snails, betta fish can be a great addition to your tank. The problem is, as mentioned, they’re a little fickle. Not all betta fish are going to eat snails and you’ll need to almost teach them that snails are better food than other options. Once they get going, however, you’ll have great feeders on your hands.

4. Clown Loach

One of the best eaters of snails, the major con that a lot of tropical fish enthusiasts run into is that they often get large in size. As in, up to a foot long! These snail-lover scavengers are great when you’ve got the space for them, but you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got an aquarium that’s at least 100 gallons.

5. Cory Catfish

If you find yourself with a snail problem that’s more tiny guys, a cory catfish could be a great addition. While they often don’t bother with the larger snails, these ones do enjoy a nice snack of the smaller ones that the larger fish may not bother with.

Remember, too, that these are wonderful fish to have around, too, for keeping up with maintenance and cleaning. A double plus.

6. Goldfish

While a goldfish is not considered a tropical fish (and you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a colder tank in order to keep him happy and healthy), the answer to your question of “do goldfish eat snails?” Is an empathetic yes! In fact, goldfish are great when you’ve got an overpopulation.

If possible, go with a bigger goldfish as opposed to a small one, as he’ll have more capacity in his munching.

7. Gourami

Are you interested in a bit of a gamble? If so, gourami additions make great candidates. While there are some that will enjoy snails without a problem, these are problematic fish in terms of their behaviour. Not all of them will eat snails and it can be a great pet project for those that really want to get invested in tropical fish.

8. Green Spotted Puffer

If you’ve got a green spotted puffer then you need — not want — snails. Snails and their crunchy shells are what allow these puffers to keep their bony mouths trimmed properly and without proper feeding on these shells, they can be uncomfortable as well as damaging to their health, particularly in their developing years.

9. Yoyo Loach

Continuing along the loach train, a yoyo loach is going to be a wonderful option if you find yourself wondering whether or not a yoyo loach eats snails. The only catch, however, is that these guys tend to enjoy living in small packs.

In this case, you’ll want a crowd of 6 or more, which means that you should have a larger aquarium to give them ample room. The advantage, however, is that these loaches tend to have a large appetite for snails!

10. Zebra Loach

Looking similar to the kuhli loaches that eat snails as well), a zebra loach is also a wonderful option for snail eating. A perk to this kind of loach is that they tend to be smaller, too, so they can be great when you have a smaller fish tank. Distinctive and impressive in colourings, these are great additions to your fish tank.


Understanding which tropical fish eat snails is one thing, but then choosing which one is best for your home and your own comfort can be quite another. These top options will give you a boost to make sure that you’ve always got the right information at your fingertips.

Don’t be afraid to experiment a little if you aren’t finding success with gourami, for instance. Just like other animals or even people, fish can be individualistic and will not always behave according to plan!

The perhaps best option for a slam dunk would be an assassin snail — especially since they’re small and are exceptionally good at their jobs. However, if you’re more experienced and have a larger tank, perhaps a clown loach or a bala shark would be another option to consider.

Whatever you need to rely on for snail control, these little beauties — including a classic large sized goldfish if you’ve got a colder tank to start out with — could be an awesome addition to your bustling aquarium.

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