Do Catfish Eat Snails? (Know The Fact)

An omnivorous species, catfish enjoy eating foods like small fish, worms, and water insects. They are also detritivores, which consume dead fish, and are often thought of as opportunistic feeders. However, many people were curious to know, do catfish eat snails?

Yes, catfish consume snails, and it is one of their favorite foods. Snails contain a variety of nutrients, such as proteins, vitamins, carbs, and many more, that keep their bodies healthy and enable them to fight disease.

Is Snail Good For Catfish?

Yes, snails are safe for catfish to eat. In the context of snails, they have a protein composition comparable to pig and beef, but snails have a far lower fat content.

can catfish eat snails, do catfish eat snails

Moreover, snails are a reliable source of Iron, calcium, Vitamin A, and a variety of other minerals, in addition to being high in protein and low in fat.

Vitamin A strengthens the eyes and helps the immune system battle sickness. It also promotes the growth of cells in the body.

With all that, calcium in snails helps the body’s bones stay strong and reduces the risk of getting any bone-related issues.

Whereas Iron helps the blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body. Catfish can eat snails for a limited time since they need to be fed a variety of flakes, pellets, and frozen foods designed specifically for their dietary needs to maintain their health.

Even if you consider the benefits of the snails, you cannot overfeed them to catfish.

Excess food in their aquarium may cause the catfish to strangle or become unduly bloated, posing a health danger to them and contaminating the water in the tank.

Do Catfish Like Snails?

Yes, they do like to eat snails. Catfish commonly eat snails as an alternative to their preferred meal, such as flakes and pellets

On the other hand, larger snails cannot be eaten by catfish until they have died. Because the fish eat a lot of the same things, they are an excellent alternative for getting rid of snails in your aquarium.

Catfish have an ideal digestive mechanism. However, catfish can eat snails in small amounts, which would only help bring change to their taste and temperament if they become tired of their daily diets.

As a result, snails should be fed to catfish as a complement to their diet rather than as a requirement.

What Catfish Eat Snails? (Catfish That Eat Snails)

The variety of aquatic animals and other foods that catfish can eat gives the conclusion that these fish species have an impressive digestive system.

But still, some types of catfish are choosy about their foods. Such as there are large catfish species, such as the Mekong catfish, which will not eat snails or shrimp.

The enormous size of these catfish species needs larger diets, and it will take hundreds of snails to satisfy the hunger of Mekong catfish. The types of catfish-eating snails are mentioned below.

Striped Raphael Catfish

The Striped Raphael Catfish diet consists of invertebrates in the wild. So, they usually eat shrimp, snails, and insects in the wild too.

Also, the fish eat a lot of the same things in captivity, making them an excellent alternative for removing snails from your tank.

Cory Catfish

Cory catfish are among the types of catfish that eat snails but with a 50% contribution because they can eat small or dead snails.

But eating large or live snails is difficult for them. So, if you have small or dead snails in your aquarium, you do not need to worry about removing them from the tank, and Cory catfish can easily eat them.

Bandit Catfish

Snails may be killed and eaten by the bandit catfish, and the bronze cory catfish and pepper crayfish may do the same.

However, smaller catfish, such as the pygmy and skunk, may be unable to take on mature or strong snails.

Bumblebee Catfish

Bumblebee catfish foods are not different than other catfish diets. They can also eat snails whenever they feel hungry and get an opportunity to feed on snails. But snails are not a part of their primary foods.

Albino Catfish

Albino catfish are omnivores in nature, and Albino will eat a variety of living, fresh, and flake foods, including flakes, pellets, fruits, vegetables, and meat.

Feed them a high-quality, balanced diet daily to maintain a healthy balance. The albino cory catfish has the potential to kill and eat snails on occasion. This is because it is one of the larger cory catfish species.

How To Feed Catfish Snails?

Feeding snails to catfish is not such a challenging task to do. You need to put snails or snails’ eggs in the tank, and after that, all the task is upon the catfish to remove them from the tank.

Sometimes, you are worried about many snails in the tank. But there are catfish in the tank, and they will make sure to remove them all from the tank.

But you need to take care that they do not eat them in large amounts. So, the snail-eating process usually consists of three stages.

First Step

The first stage is for the catfish to locate the snails. This is something they usually perform as part of their ordinary hunting. They next assess the snails’ size to determine whether they are large enough to kill and eat.

Second Step

The catfish will then dig the snails out of their hiding places in the second step. Catfish can dig with their tongues.

Snails normally hide in the substrate beneath the water. The catfish may dig into the substrate and extract the snails. 

Third Step

In the third step, the catfish then break the shells of the snails to get to the snail flesh. This is frequently the most difficult aspect of the entire process.

Avoid overfeeding your fish. Overfeeding the fish could cause serious health concerns for them. Furthermore, the stomach of a catfish is small. They do not have much room in there.

Snails that have previously been dead and crushed are eaten by catfish most of the time. Due to the smallmouth of catfish, live, and large snails are difficult to consume for catfish.

In this scenario, the catfish eats the snails merely by sucking at the meat (from the crushed shell). It is something that all catfish will enjoy.

How Often & How Much To Feed Catfish Snails?

It has been reported that catfish will only consume snails when they are hungry. However, suppose the catfish have a taste of the snails in such conditions. In that case, they are likely to start hunting and eating them whenever they can.

Even when they are well-nourished. Moreover, catfish eat snails when the snails are killed and crushed for them.

All catfish will happily eat on the snails after they have been killed and crushed. However, the snail is a good source of protein for them to consume, and they enjoy eating it.

However, serving them snails only will be inequitable to them. So, you need to ensure that they are getting all the necessary nutrients from their food.

An adult catfish is recommended to be fed snails once or twice a week. With that, you should feed a newborn catfish two to three times per week due to their higher hunger and early development.

As a result, solely feeding them snails as a form of meat will harm the catfish’s health. Keeping this in mind, you need to make sure your catfish gets 5 to 10% of their diet from meat.

The most important thing to remember is to feed your fish only as much as they can consume in a few minutes.

Food that goes bad soon rots and pollutes the water in the tank. Make sure to get rid of them as well.

Do Catfish Eat Snail Eggs?

Most catfish will concentrate their efforts on eating smaller snails as well as their eggs. They are excellent at removing snails that hide in the substrate of your aquarium.

While they hunt, they use their barbels to find snails. To control the snail population in your tank, adding catfish into the tanks is one of the best options because catfish can easily get attracted to the snnail eggs.

Moreover, snail eggs are easy to consume by them rather than adult snails as they can not move and are tiny in size.

Can Cory Catfish Eat Snails?

The answer to the question is not that simple cory catfish can eat dead or small snails, but Cory Catfish can not eat large snails.

Cory Catfish’s attitude and physical features would prohibit them from eating large snails.

Most cory catfish do not consume large snails, and it is difficult for them to eat due to their small mouths.

But they can eat small snails. So, if you are thinking of adding some Cory Catfish to your tank, do not be worried about your snails. However, after the snail dies or its shells are crushed, they will eat the dead snails.

Do Hoplo Catfish Eat Snails?

Yes, hoplo catfish can eat snails. Hoplo catfish is not particularly competitive or hostile, although it will feed on anything small enough to fit in its mouth, such as tiny fish, dwarf shrimp, snails, and fry.

Feeding the Hoplo Catfish is quite simple. It mostly feeds on tiny shrimp, snails, and other invertebrates in the wild.

However, it will also eat most live, frozen, and dried carnivorous foods in the aquarium, but some vegetable matter is also recommended. It is a demanding eater, so be careful not to overfeed it.

Do Pictus Catfish Eat Snails?

They are omnivorous by nature; thus, they will eat both meat and plant things. They will eat worms, small fish, shrimp, baby snails, and other stuff.

When giving chase, they use their speed and powerful largemouth, as well as their extra-long facial whiskers, to track prey even in murky water.

Their whiskers are long enough to reach their tails, providing them with a tactile sense in addition to their outstanding eyesight and sense of smell.

Pictus Catfish are not picky about what you provide them, and this makes them snail eaters too. They will be found eating insects, snails, tiny fish, and algae in the water.

Last Thought

As we know, catfish can eat snails, and whenever you let them eat snails, they’ll love to eat them because they’re opportunistic feeders.

Snails are enriched in proteins but should be crushed and killed whenever you serve them to catfish.

Also, avoid excess feeding, as this can upset their diet and can cause bloating and other types of major health issues.

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