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My friend’s fish tank has a betta fish and yesterday when I last saw him, he said that there are two snails in his fish tank.* I am worried about the fish in there. Do you know how to handle the snails and what species are the snails? Thanks!

*the two small dots there are the snails

  • So they are Nerites? Well, since they are yellow and black, you all said Nerites. They are also spotted. Are those still Nerites? – user14410 Mar 4 '19 at 13:00

I can't tell from the picture, but if you have live plants in the tank, snails will often be attached. For future reference, when you buy live plants at a shop, rinse and run your hand across the leaves to detach any snails and eggs back into the plant tank.

Snails multiply easily and quickly, so I would remove them now if you don't want lots of snails. They shouldn't harm the betta, but they can overrun the tank. This tank already looks like it's under 5 gal (the recommended minimum size for a betta), so take that into consideration if you want to keep them or not.

Snails are not all bad. They are good for eating decaying plant matter and such things, keeping your aquarium clean. (I tried a zebra snail for a while, but my betta hated him and chipped his shell. Back to manual algae cleaning for me!) The more food the snails have, the quicker they'll grow and reproduce. To keep the snails, you'd have to be very careful with tank maintenance (no overfeeding, manually clean up decaying matter, etc.).

  • Thanks! By the way; their shells are coloured yellow and black. – user14410 Feb 28 '19 at 20:29
  • Zebra Nerite snails are black and yellow striped but I'm not sure how frequently those are found on plants (and their average size is ~1 inch). They usually don't reproduce since I've heard the larva don't survive in freshwater. I think a common one on plants are the Ramshorn, which are fairly small (dime size at the largest) and often considered a "pest" snail because they reproduce quickly because they're hermaphroditic, so any two snails can breed. – Gwendolyn Feb 28 '19 at 21:06
  • They are spotted – user14410 Mar 4 '19 at 13:07
  • Nerites are common, but usually are striped. I'm not familiar with any spotted snail. I'd need to see a more clear/close up picture of the snails. Edit: I just googled and there are a spotted nerite snail variety - Ruby Nerite Snail – Gwendolyn Mar 4 '19 at 17:28
  • Based on the Ruby Nerite, I searched up the species and I only saw red shells – user14410 Jun 28 '19 at 14:49

Bettas generally enjoy snails; they will patiently wait for the snail to come out of its shell, then - lunch. In the US the most common are Ramshorns (dark brown to red) and pond (black). Live bearing (Vietnamese?) are getting common, fish can't seem to eat them and the shells are very hard to crush. I crush the pond and live bearing for the fish to eat. I have not found any of these snails to be a problem for plants and they do clean up debris.

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    Bettas love eating snails. They'll clear a tank out pretty quick! – GrandmasterB Feb 28 '19 at 21:07
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    Most snails seem too big for bettas to eat. My betta is only ~2 inches, and my nerite was 1 inch. My betta couldn't have eaten him unless maybe he took a little nibble off his foot (but the snail was too fast.) – Gwendolyn Feb 28 '19 at 21:14
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    I am not American. – user14410 Mar 4 '19 at 13:08

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