Can snails and betta fish live in the same aquariums?

In this article we will discuss  snails and betta fish.We will also discuss their relationship and other tank parameters which are suitable for them to survive together in aquarium settings.

Overview 

  • Can snails and betta fish live in the same aquariums?
  • Key specifications of snails and betta fish
  • Where are snails and betta fish found?
  • How long do snails and betta fish live?
  • What tank size do snails and betta fish need?
  • Are snails and betta fish aggressive in nature?
  • What do snails and betta fish eat?
  • Are water parameters same for snails and betta fish in aquarium conditions?
  • Do snails and betta fish need the same aquarium plants in their tanks?
  • Do snails and betta fish need the same light intensity in their tanks?
  • Do snails and betta fish need similar substrates in their tanks?
  • Is it easy to care for snails and betta fish togethers in the same aquariums?
  • Are snails and betta fish both perfect community fish?
  • Are snails and betta fish beginner friendly or for experienced aquarists?
  • Summary
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Reference 

Can snails and betta fish live in the same aquariums?

Snails can be a great tank mate to not just bettas but any aquarium fish because of their peaceful and sociable behavior.

Snails keep the tank clean by eating dead plants,tank waste,animal waste and rotting vegetation.

Bettas are aggressive fish and can intimidate smaller fish in their vicinity.Snails remain mostly silent in tanks and rarely get noticed by bettas.

But if they get noticed or invade bettas’ space then they might get hurt by bettas.

Key specifications of Snails and Betta fish

Key specificationsSnails Betta fish
Scientific nameTypes





Family 
GastropodRed rimmedNerite snailsSpike topped snailRed ramshorn snailsRabbit snailsNew Zealand mud snailChinese mystery snailGastropodaBetta splendensDragon scale bettaButterfly bettaMarble bettaKoi bettadumbo bettaDifferent tailed bettas
Osphronemidae
Temperament Sociable and silentAggressive
Diet Omnivore / detritivoreCarnivore
HabitatWide range of habitats.Southeast Asia

Where are snails and betta fish found?

Snails are cosmopolitan,they are found in soil,beneath rocks,beneath leaves,trees,rivers,lakes,oceans,gardens,fields,agricultural areas,river streams,suburbs,forests and swamps.

Apple snails come from America.Whereas bettas come from Southeast Asia, especially Thailand.

They are considered as the national aquatic animal of Thailand.Bettas come from areas with good vegetation.

How long do snails and betta fish live?

Aquarium snails can live between 3 to 5 years,depending upon the type of snails and water parameters.Snails are very sensitive to higher toxin levels in aquarium water.

Higher toxin levels and organic pollutants can kill snails.It is recommended to do water changes in snail tanks.

  • Rabbit snails can live Up to 3 years
  • Mystery snails can live between 3 to 4 years
  • Nerite snails can live between 3 to 5 years

Bettas have a very small life span of 3-4 years due to their poor genetics.They are very sensitive to poor water conditions.They do well in spacious tanks with good oxygen circulation.

Bettas need a good and nutritious diet to maintain their finnage colouration and longevity.Smaller or cramped tanks will reduce their lifespan.

Already their lifespan is shorter and if they are kept in smaller and overcrowded tanks,the stress will kill them.

What tank size do snails and betta fish need?

Tank size for snails

  • Minimum tank size for snails is 5 gallons.
  • 1-2 snails can easily accommodate a 5 gallons tank.
  • Assassin snails need a 30 gallons tank.
  • Mystery snails do well in 5 or 10 gallons tanks or even larger established tanks.
  • Mystery sails can be kept in nano tanks too.
  • If these snails are kept alone,they can fit into smaller or nano tanks.

Tank size for betta fish

  • Minimum tank size  3 gallons.
  • Additional tank size for each fully grown bettas is 1 gallons.
  • Ideal tank size for single male or female betta is 5 gallons.
  • Bettas do well in spacious tanks.
  • Prefer tanks with more length than height.
  • A horizontal tank will provide more swimming space to them.

Are snails and betta fish aggressive in nature?

Snails are very peaceful and docile creatures.They look a bit scary but they don’t hurt their tank mates.They only carry parasites on them which could cause infections.

Mystery snails are specifically very peaceful,calm and docile.They are very cooperative tank mates and keep the tank clean by feeding on detritus.

Betta fish are aggressive in nature especially male bettas.Its very difficult to keep male bettas with other tank mates in the aquarium.

Male bettas fight with each other to death,if too many male bettas are kept together which out numbers females in the tank.

Female bettas are less aggressive than male bettas and can co-exist with other tank mates in the aquarium.Overcrowded tanks is one of the major reasons for bettas aggression.

What do snails and betta fish eat? 

Snails are omnivores,herbivores,carnivores and detritivores.They have evolved nicely.They eat dead and decaying plant matter and animal waste.

Food preference for snails:

  • Worms
  • Nerite snails are great algae eaters
  • Vegetation
  • Rotting vegetation
  • Animal waste
  • Fungus
  • Other snails
  • Soft leaved tank plants when food is not available.

Bettas are not picky eaters and happily accept whatever you give them but don’t start eating immediately after putting them in the aquariums.

They take their own sweet time to adjust in the tank.A Protein rich diet is very important for your bettas.

Food preference for betta fish:

  • Protein enriched floating pellets 
  • Frozen or dried brine shrimp
  • Frozen Bloodworms (small pieces)
  • Small insects
  • Larvae

Are water parameters same for snails and betta fish in aquarium conditions?

Snails are very sensitive to toxins and organic pollutants ammonia,nitrite and nitrate.Their spikes can kill snails.

They are sensitive to water temperature and abrupt water temperature fluctuation can be detrimental to snails.

Snails need hard water with calcium in their tanks for their shell growth.Assassin snails do well in water temperatures between 68-74F.

Bettas prefer calm water in their tanks.They do well in optimum temperature conditions. If these parameters are not maintained then they will become inactive and can become sick.

The levels of ammonia and nitrite should be 0ppm and nitrate should be <20 ppm in their tanks.

A good quality heater attached with a thermometer will help to maintain the internal environment exactly like their natural habitat

Water parametersSnailsBetta fish
Water typeTemperature Breeding temperaturepHWater hardness
Water movement
Freshwater 80F (warm water)80F-82F6.8-7.8 (acidic)3-8 dKH
Slow moving
Freshwater 75F-80F78F6.8-7.53 to 4 dGH and 3 to 5 dKHCalmer water

Do snails and betta fish need the same aquarium plants in their tanks?

Tank plants for snailsMidground and foreground plants.Small plants with short and broad leaves.Duckweed Anubias nana
Tank plants for betta fishLive and overhanging plants are best for your bettas as they act as a natural oxygen purifier and can help them to conceal themselves to avoid aggressive tank mates or predators.Live plants can provide good hiding space for your bettas when they feel threatened or stressed.Hydrilla aka waterthymes can be used in bettas aquariums because it gives bush like views in the tanks. Indian almond leaves are recommended as they can keep their immune system strong.

Do snails and betta fish need the same light intensity in their tanks?

Snails definitely need light in the aquarium but keep them away from direct sunlight.Too much bright light will not be good as they tend to shy away with too much brightness in their tanks.Snails prefers subdued lighting in their tank.

Betta fish like both Natural and artificial light in their tank and they need enough light during day time and proper dimness during night time.Exposing them to direct sunlight can increase algal growth in their aquarium.

Do snails and betta fish need similar substrates in their tank?

Snails are burrower and they have the habit of digging substrate in their tanks.So it would be better to have a soil substrate like coir and peat for them.

They eat detritus and algae in their tanks.The soil substrate will provide them with natural bacterias to feed on.They keep the tank clean by removing phosphates from the tank.

You can even use hard substrate like pebbles and gravels as their substrate.

Bettas don’t need substrate,as it doesn’t really matter in bettas tanks.

They don’t interact with the bottom that much.

Some sand or gravel substrate would be fine.Black gravels make them look beautiful by enhancing their colouration against a dark background.

Is it easy to care for snails and betta fish together in the same aquariums?

Snails are easy to care for specially cerith snails.These snails will improve oxygenation in the aquarium.Snails keep the tank clean by cleaning the doctors and substrates and keep them free from algae.

Snails need ideal water temperature and water pH in their tanks.Too much water temperature fluctuations can be detrimental to them.

Bettas are not so easy to care for,since they are very aggressive and intimidate other species alongside similar tanks.They need a spacious tank to swim freely.

Need proper tank filtration,warm water,lots of hiding space to hide when they feel threatened,nutritious food to maintain their colors and tank maintenance practice.

Are snails and betta fish both perfect community tanks?

Pond snails are best for community tanks.Snails are great algae eaters and feed on detritus,these activities keep the tank clean and makes snails a great asset to community tanks.

Bettas can be a good community fish but they cannot live with brightly coloured species, finnippers,aggressive fish and multiple male bettas together.

Female bettas are more sociable than male bettas.Male bettas get aggressive with one another and fight with each other to death.It is very important to have male and female bettas ratio maintained in tanks to avoid clashes.

Are snails and betta fish beginner friendly or for experienced aquarists?

Few aquarium snails like nerite snails and ivory snails are absolute beginners friendly.But snails are overall for both newcomers and experienced aquarists.

Bettas are good for both newcomers and experienced fishkeepers. They are very attractive,especially male bettas.

These have specific water parameters and food habits to maintain their finnage colourtion.

Summary

  • Snails and bettas are very sensitive to toxins and ammonia,nitrites and nitrates spikes in their tank.
  • Snails and bettas can live together in the same tanks.
  • Substrate preferences are totally different.
  • Both are suitable for beginner and experienced fishkeepers.
  • They can live together,but monitor them everyday as bettas are aggressive and they can attack snails if they want.

Frequently asked questions

Can we keep mystery snails in cold water?

No,mystery snails need a water temperature between 68 to 82F and water pH between 7.0 to 7.5.They cannot live in cold water conditions.

Which snail is low maintenance and easy to care for?

Ivory snail is low maintenance and easy to care for and also beginner friendly.

Reference

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siamese_fighting_fish#In_the_aquarium

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