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What Do Freshwater Snails Eat? - Good Feeding Guide

What Do Freshwater Snails Eat? - Good Feeding Guide

If you care a lot about snails and are carefully watching over your zoo, then you are probably aware of the fact that there are a variety of species of snail that need to have various kinds of food in order to survive. Snails have a number of dietary needs, depending on the specific species of snail in question.

In this article, we'll round up some of the types of food that freshwater snails use in their diet, and discuss the nutritional benefits and drawbacks of each type. We'll also help you come up with a strategy for food preparation so your snails get everything they need to thrive.

Feeding Guide For Freshwater Snails

The feeding of the snails in your aquarium doesn't have to be as tough as you think. Here are some general facts that will help you to get started.

Determine The Type Of Snail You Have

For those who have not recently been keeping a garden, it can be rather hard to predict which species of snails you have—even between the domesticated species. Before you begin feeding your snails, you must know which kinds of snails you have. Additionally, only the relevant types of snails consume specific kinds of food.

There are three main types of freshwater snails: carnivorous, herbivorous, and omnivorous.
  • Carnivorous aquatic snails tend to eat other animals like insects and worms. So, if you house a dissertation snail, assassin snail, or moon snail, then you will also have to look after these snails with live food, such as brine shrimp or earthworms. This will need to be done for the duration of the snail's life expectancy.
  • Herbivorous snails are often found near water, such as ponds or lakes, and they can typically eat certain types of plant matter. If you find plants that have snails that get great pleasure from eating, such as nerite snails, then try to give them some blanched vegetables or algae wafers as a food source.
  • Omnivorous snails, which are generally freshwater snails, are apt to eat both plant and animal products. So, you can provide them a wide variety of different apparents and repeatable sustenance so you can channel their imperativeness. Some examples of omnivore snails include mystery snails, elephant snails, apple snails, and the common mud snail.

Snails At Different Life Stages Have Different Nutritional Needs

Snails, like all living things, have distinct nutritional needs depending on their stage of maturation.

For example, newly-hatched baby water snails (those that have just been released from their snail eggs) must have a high protein to survive. As they mature, you can slowly alter their diet by increasing the plant matter and decreasing protein. On the other hand, adult aquarium snails don't need as much protein and can in fact benefit from a diet that is high.

Those who are at this stage in their lives may need to be given different feeding guidelines than others. This is especially important for apple snails, which often refuse to eat at a considerable age.

Variety Is The Key To A Complete Diet

While it's true that most snails are able to survive on a diet of rotting plant matter, that kind of diet won't provide them with the necessary nutrients that they need to thrive. Instead, you should be feeding your snails a wide range of food products, including both plant and animal materials.

You can choose to feed your snail several different foods from the list below. For example, you can give them blanched veggies one day, then give them a bloodworm treat the next.

What Do Freshwater Snails Eat?

What Do Freshwater Snails Eat?

Now that we've covered the fundamentals of snail nutrition, let s take a look at some of the specific types of food that freshwater snails eat.

Plant-Based Foods

Herbivorous snails and omnivores such as them require plant-based foods in their diets. Here are some examples of plant-based foods that you can feed your snails.

Live Aquatic Plants

Snails often feed on live aquatic freshwater plants, such as water lettuce and water hyacinth. Snails are also eager to feed on these types of plants since they provide a good source of both moisture and nutrients.

Snails can eat live plants, but they prefer dead or decaying plant matter. Freshwater snails in an aquarium will consume a lot of live plants quickly, but they are unlikely to devastate your plants permanently. If you have delicate plants in your tank, be sure to get rid of snails first. Plant atmospheres matter, especially in a snail tank!

Of course, some aquarists may choose to feed their snails with live plants. A popular way of doing so is by using the leaves of stem plants. Doing so, be sure to use only those that are safe for snails to eat. Some plants, such as the lily family, are toxic to snails and can kill them. Of course, you should only introduce healthy plants that are free of pests.

Dead Plant Matter

Snails can absorb fallen leaves or buds from plants that have died in the aquarium's tank, using them as an easy-to-find food source. Left uneaten, the bacteria that these decaying plants create can pose a health hazard in your aquarium.

It is important not to neglect how much rotten plant matter your reservoir has gathered, as this can lead to problems such as algae blooms. If you notice that your reservoir has become overgrown with rotting plant matter, you can use a gravel vacuum to remove it. You should try to figure out what is leading to your plants to die so you can fix the problem.

Snails can be tempted by aquarium plants, even whether alive or dead. Just be sure to use plants that are healthy and disease-free.

Tree Bark

We can hear your tree snails hissing Weymouth? already. Yes, some snails consume tree bark. In most cases, tree bark is a resource for freshwater snails, as is the diet of many. It's a source of high-quality food for snails, as it is both high in fiber and low in protein.

If you have a pet snail that is known to consume tree bark, you can provide this type of food by either leaving a piece of wood in your tank or securing a chunk similar to the cork surface of your aquarium. Such bark may include mulberry tree bark, which is favored by apple snails, or oak tree bark, which is favored by ramshorn and Malaysian trumpet snails.

In some cases, tree bark can be blended with other leaves from other types of vegetation. Berry leaves, for example, are a typical delicacy of ramshorn snails. So long as you stay away from the poisonous leaves of poisonous plants, your snails should be fine.


Aquatic snails are not limited to just a diet of plant life. In fact, several types of snails enjoy eating Fruits. This food is beneficial for them as it helps to keep their digestive tract functioning properly. The natural food cycle for snails includes plant and fruit and vegetable matter.

If you would like to give your snails acidic fruits, you may feed them by either dropping a piece of fruit into your tank or attaching it to the side of your aquarium with some twine. Some popular types of fruit that snails enjoy eating include apples, lemons, pears, and oranges, among others.

Snails shouldn't be fed acidic fruits like this fruit that contains citric acid. This acid may be hazardous to the snails and might even kill them. Thus, avoid feeding yourself oranges, tomatoes, and other items which are high in acidity. Aquatic plants will sooner or later wither away, so you must remove them as quickly as possible.


Feeding your snail a steady supply of algae will ensure you stay happy and healthy. Algae can be found in both fresh and saltwater, making it easy for a snail to feast upon. Freshwater snails enjoy many different kinds of algae, including microscopic algae, or soft algae such as hair algae.

You may give your snail a source of algae by dropping a piece of algae into your aquarium or attaching it to your tank with some twine. If you have a lot of algae in your tank, you may not need to provide algae tablets to your snail. Microbes will also often form around the sides of an aquarium, providing the snails with an all-natural food source.

In general, herbivore snails and omnivorous snails will choose algae as their primary source of nutrition. There are even some types of freshwater snails that ordinarily depend on algae as their only source of nutrition! On the other hand, carnivorous snails seldom eat algae and will starve if they don't have access to more robust foods.

Animal Protein

Carnivores and omnivores that survive require animal protein, which is where our list comes into play. Here are some nutritious foods full of animal protein that your snails are sure to love.

Dead Animal Matter

Snails often referred to as detrivores, love consuming a host body of dead animal matter. Snails that are members of an aquatic species are often quite popular among fish hobbyists.

There are several ways to provide your snail with dead animal matter. One way is to leave carcasses or fallen fish in your aquarium for several weeks. Just make sure to check water quality before attempting it, because some decaying animal matter may introduce toxins into your tank, or contaminate your water.

There is a strong odor associated with decaying organic matter, and if you are not able to handle the smell, I would not suggest offering your snail with the food item. Let's take a look at some of the other options here below.

Shrimp-Based Protein

Brine shrimps are a valuable source of protein for water snails, as they're full of nutrients that snails find to be beneficial. The fact that they also enjoy living in the water also means that they're easy for snails to digest. You may also choose to raise your own brine shrimp using brine shrimp eggs if you are curious enough to go the extra mile!

Sometimes snails drop their shrimp into the tank so they can come into contact with it immediately. Make sure to only give them shrimp that your snail can consume in a short amount of time, or it might begin to rot before your snail gets to eat it all. You can recognize an unfavorable shrimp by its bad odor, so you should closely monitor the snail s feeding.

You've likely heard that brine shrimp last for only a few days, so you should purchase as much of it as needed for the week. If any of the leftover shrimp start to show signs of spoilage in your fish tank, dispose of them immediately. It's also possible to find shrimp pellets to be an excellent source of protein for your snail.

Feeder Snails

Considering that it might seem gloomy, some snail lovers offer their carnivorous snails with live diets of freshwater snails. This method is a great way to give your snail a healthy dietary regimen, as feeder snails have essential nutrients.

Feeder snails are available in many specialty pet stores, and it is best to thoroughly research reputable sources such as these. This is because there have been cases of parasites being transferred from feeder snails to pet snails, so it is essential that you take preventive steps.

You can also feed your snail freeze-dried snails, which you can feed to your snail as a supplementary food source if you like. This is a great choice if your aquarium has excess snails or if you have problems with feeder snail infestations. It's also essential that you vary your pet snail's diet.

Aquatic Snail Food

You can actually opt to feed your pet snail an aquatic snail food. The commercial snail mix you're buying is great for eating freshwater snails because they contain the right kinds of nutrients, including algae!

There are several varieties of snail food on the market, so I recommend researching to find one that fits the dietary needs of your snail. For instance, carnivorous snails will need a different type of food compared to herbivorous snails. Baby snail food is also made readily available, and it can be a great way to introduce young snails to the diet they will need as they grow.

If any aquatic snail food is dropped in your aquarium, your snails should have the ability to find it. Additionally, because this type of food is designed to attract snails, it will sink to the bottom of the aquarium and be readily visible to them.


Can We Feed Snails With Leftover Fish Food?

In general, we don't recommend feeding snails with fish food. While you can feed your snail with chunks of food meant for the fish, this is not the best choice for their diet. Fish food is meant to meet the needs of the fish, not snails. In addition, fish food can be quite high in phosphorus and nitrogen, which can be harmful to snails.

When feeding your snail krill, you should only give them a little. Krill leftover will pollute your aquatic environment, and algae will form in the water.

Do Snails Require Calcium Supplements?

Calcium supplements are not usually needed.

Snails are typically drawn to the calcium carbonate in their environment as their principal concentrate of calcium. To make sure they get enough calcium in their diet plan, you might want to include an extra calcium-rich resource in their regular diet.

If you observe that your snail s shell is beginning to dissolve or is brittle, cease offering it sustenance and get in touch with a veterinarian.

What Kind Of Water Do Freshwater Snails Need?

Freshwater snails are tough, but they can only survive if their water is clean. They rely on pores on their bodies to absorb water just like amphibians do. As a reaction to this, they need dechlorinated water to stay healthy. Chlorine can be harmful to their sensitive skin, and may even be fatal.

Snails also require additional water low in sulfates and nitrates. Elevated levels of such compounds are damaging to the snails and can cause them to experience health issues. pH levels should be kept at about 6.5 for snails, or slightly acidic.

Can Snails Have Tank Mates?

One of the great things about keeping freshwater snails is that they can easily move between ponds with other animals and plants. Most people tend to keep snails as pets because they're not burdensome to care for.

For example, some snails are known to make aggressive attacks on other snails. Many freshwater invertebrates also prey on freshwater snails.


In this article, we tried to cover the majority of the top questions related to freshwater snails' diet. If there's anything we left out or still need to clarify, we would be happy to answer your questions further.

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