A freshwater tank usually means guppies – they’re easy fish and look great. However, a tank with only guppies can look a little boring. Trust me, I’ve done it before and it’s boring.
Snails, if done right, are a great addition to a fish tank. They clean the tank, add some character, and reduce algae.
To answer the question, guppies are peaceful fish and do not eat snails. But guppies will sometimes eat snail eggs if they’re hungry.
I know, you’re probably thinking something like, “Snails are annoying. Who would want a snails in a freshwater tank?”
Well, not all snails are bad. There are plenty of snails that are beneficial to a fish tank because they eat algae and other junk that falls into the substrate. The only thing is you must manage the snail population to prevent them from overrunning your tank.
Alternatively, you could add snails that do not reproduce in saltwater.
Best Snails for a Guppy Tank
This section will cover the most popular snails for a guppy tank. Most snails will be fine in a guppy tank. But some snails might be a little too fine in your guppy tank.
That means the snails will completely overrun your tank – that’s no fun and one of the more common complaints of planted tank owners.
Nerite snails are a popular snail for freshwater tanks. They eat algae, keep the substrate clean, reduce waste, and don’t eat plants.
The best part of nerite snails in a freshwater tank, though?
They only reproduce in salt water. You will not have the problem of nerite snails overrunning your guppy tank because guppies are a freshwater fish.
That’s always convenient.
Mystery snails are another snail compatible with guppies. And just like Nerite snails, Mystery snails will not reproduce in freshwater.
The only thing to keep in mind before adding a Mystery snail to your tank is that they can get big. You can expect them to grow to about 1.5″ to 2″ in shell diameter, which can be a little big if you have too many in a 10 or 20 gallon tank.
Mystery snails are available in many different colors. We like the golden color, but take a look at your local fish store to find a color that works in your tank.
Ramshorn snails are another option for a guppy fish tank. However, the problem with a Ramshorn snail is that it will reproduce.
These snails can easily overrun your tank, which is something that you probably do not want in a guppy tank. This is where guppies eating snail eggs is actually useful.
Unfortunately, guppies do not eat enough snail eggs to completely eliminate a snail problem, but it does help a little bit if you only have one snail laying eggs.
Personally, I would give Ramshorn snails a pass unless you have fish or snails that actively target snails…
The Assassin snail sounds scary – it’s an assassin!
Fortunately, snails have a reputation for being slow movers and will not bother fish. The Assassin snail gets its name because it eats other snails!
This makes it the perfect snail to pair if you have a snail problem in your tank (pond snails, ramshorn snails, etc.).
We only recommend one or two Assassin snails in a tank, though. These snails are great at hunting down other snails, so you do not need that many in your fish tank unless you want to completely remove snails from your tank.
Will Snails Eat Guppies?
No, snails will not eat guppies. Snails are simply too slow to eat guppies or any other fish.
However, snails will eat dead guppies that sink to the bottom of the tank, which is convenient if you forget to remove a dead guppy from your tank.
Removing Snails from a Guppy Tank
If you have a snail infestation in your tank because you didn’t use one of the above mentioned snails, then don’t worry. There are ways to remove snails from your tank.
The best method is to decrease your feeding. If you have a snail infestation, then you’re probably feeding too much. The reason is simple:
Snails only reproduce if they have enough food.
Cutting back on your feeding is the best way to reduce the snail population in my experience.
Alternatively, you can purchase a snail trap or add assassin snails to your tank, but feeding your fish less should eliminate most of your snail problems.
To summarize, guppies will not eat snails. Guppies are one of the most peaceful fish you can have in an aquarium, so this should not be too surprising.
There are reports of guppies eating snails eggs, but even this seems rare.
As for good snails to add to a guppy tank, we recommend either Nerite snails or Mystery snails. Other snails will overrun your tank too quickly to be of much use. Now, if your tank is already overrun by snails, then one or three Assassin snails can clean up the snail problem pretty quickly.