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will molly fish eat snails?

Will Molly Fish Eat Snails?

I am a big fan of molly fish. They have amazing colours, are active, difficult to do any damage to, and they make a great tankmate in a community tank. Whilst they are fine around other fish, the question I want to look into today, is, will mollies eat any snails in your tank?

It is highly unlikely that molly fish will eat snails if you place them together in a tank. Mollies are too small to eat snails and have a gentle temperament, so they won’t attack them. However, it is possible that your molly fish may be tempted by a tiny baby snail, or even unprotected snail eggs.

If you ensure that your tank accommodates both molly fish and snails, they should be fine living together. Mollies make good tank mates with other tank animals, as long as they aren’t bullied or hurt by those fish.

In this article, I will discuss best practises for ensuring that your mollies and snails live happily together and which snails are best in a community tank.

molly fish

Do Mollies Eat Snails?

Mollies are friendly fish and are very easy to take care of. However, because they are fairly small, finding other creatures to keep in a tank with them can be challenging. Some large fish could hurt your mollies because they are so small. This is where snails can make a great addition to your tank, as snails keep themselves to themselves..

Luckily for the snails, being put in with molly fish is safe for them, as they are highly unlikely to become lunch. Molly fish are fairly small and have mouths way too tiny to eat a snail. In addition, mollies have a gentle temperament, so they won’t attack your snails unless they feel threatened. Snails are not known for their threatening behaviour! Furthermore, mollies aren’t too nosey, so they’ll likely leave your snails alone.

Keeping a few snails in a community fish tank is generally a good idea because the snails eat all the leftover fish food. This keeps your tank clean, prevents the water from becoming toxic, and ensures your fish are happy and healthy. They are also practically ninja level at eating algae, which is always a bonus! If you have ever wondered what causes algae in your tank, this article will help you with that.

One problem that can occur when housing mollies and snails together in one tank is that the mollies can become stressed if the tank gets very dirty. While the snails help clean the tank by removing leftover food, they also contribute to waste because they poop often.

Therefore, cleaning the tank and replacing the water often is crucial so your mollies don’t become stressed or ill. This shouldn’t be an issue as we are all responsible fish people who regularly carry out partial water changes to keep our tanks clean, aren’t we?!

snail in a fish tank
On cleaning duty

Another potential problem of housing snails and mollies together is that the snails can overpopulate the tank if they are allowed to breed unchecked. Every living thing in your tank needs space and oxygen, so you should always check you have enough space to accommodate any snails and their potential offspring. Therefore, we recommend regularly monitoring the number of snails in your tank.

While mollies won’t eat snails, they may be partial to a snail egg or two. This is especially true if the snail eggs are left unprotected. If you want to increase your snail population, this might be a problem. However, it can also be a helpful trait in some circumstances, as the mollies help keep the snail population in check.

If you notice your mollies eating snail eggs or baby snails, monitor their condition carefully in case they develop stomach problems. You can use certain chemicals that kill the snail eggs to prevent the snail population from overcrowding the tank. This will also prevent your mollies from eating any eggs.

mystery snail
A Mystery Snail

Which Snails Can You Keep With Mollies?

While you can keep most snails in a tank with mollies, some snails are better tank mates than others. Ideally, you don’t want snails that grow too big or can easily overpopulate a tank.

As I mentioned earlier on, consider the size of your tank and determine how many snails and mollies you can have in it. Note that most snails will reproduce at a fast pace. Therefore, you should carefully consider which snails you add to the tank and how much space you have available.

Consider also, that some snails manage to sneak into your tank, which can cause some confusion at first. I have written an article about where random snails come from when they appear in your tank.

These are some of the best snails to house in a tank with mollies.

1. Golden Mystery Snails

Golden mystery snails add a beautiful pop of color to your tank. They can grow big in size, so you must consider how many snails you add to the tank. However, these peaceful snails are excellent at cleaning a tank and will pair well with guppies.

2. Nerite Snails

nerite snail
This is one of the nerite snails in my tank.

Nerite snails are the perfect snails to house with mollies because they only reproduce when kept in salt water. mollies are freshwater fish, so your Nerite snail won’t reproduce in your tank. Nerite snails are beautiful with their markings and add an exciting element to your fish tank.

I have 2 nerite snails in my tank. They do an amazing job of eating the algae. I have 2 mollies in with them (along with other fish), and they all live peacefully together.

3. Ramshorn Snails

Another great snail species to add to your tank is ramshorn snails. They are some of the most beautiful snails available. These peaceful snails have a shell that resembles a ram’s horn, hence the name. They are efficient at cleaning your tank and don’t grow too big. However, they can reproduce quickly, so you must monitor their population.

ramshorn snail
Ramshorn snail

4. Assassin Snails

Assassin snails can attack and prey on other snail species. However, they don’t attack fish, making them a safe addition to your tank. These snails have a striking striped shell and look brilliant when added to a tank with guppy grass or other greenery.

This video shows their version of the 5 best snails for your freshwater tank. It includes 3 species I haven’t mentioned, but which would be safe with your mollies.

Do Snails Eat Mollies?

Although mollies will not attack or eat snails, you might be a bit worried in case the snails eat your mollies. However, there is no need to worry as snails are too slow to eat fish. Most snails aren’t aggressive, so they’re unlikely to attack their fishy tankmates.

If mollies laid eggs, you would have reason to be worried because the snails would probably eat the eggs. However, this isn’t a concern since mollies give birth rather than laying eggs. This is another reason why they can be good tank mates.

Snails are opportunistic eaters, though, meaning they will eat anything and everything that comes across their path. Therefore, if one of your mollies dies and sinks to the bottom of the tank, the snails will crowd it and eat it. This is just a part of their character and another way they help to clean the tank.

Fortunately, if you have healthy mollies, they are safe, and your snails won’t eat or attack them.

molly fish in tank


Mollies are highly unlikely to eat snails because they are too small and have a gentle temperament. Mollies also like to keep to themselves, so they won’t bother your snails. However, your molly fish may eat unprotected snail eggs. This helps to keep the snail population in check.

Snails are too slow and mild-tempered to eat living fish, too. However, snails will eat dead fish if they sink to the bottom of the tank. You can keep almost any snail with mollies. Some great snails to consider are golden mystery snails, nerite snails, ramshorn snails, and assassin snails.

More Molly Fish Related Articles:

Do molly fish change color?

Are molly fish aggressive?

Why is my molly fish staying at the bottom of the tank?

Is my molly fish a bully?

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