You can find snails in almost every fish tank. They’re great cleaners, they’re peaceful and some species are very beautiful. If you’re wondering whether your Cory Catfish and snails will make good tank mates, you’ve come to the right place.

Will Cory Catfish eat snails?

Cory Catfish do not eat alive adult snails. Only if these fish are starving, they will try to eat alive snails. Depending on the snail species, Corydoras might eat the snail eggs or very young, baby snails because their shells are softer. Cory Catfish do enjoy eating crushed snails so that they can access the meat easily.

As stated above, there are many types of snails. Depending on the size of the snails, how old they are, and how hard their shell is, Cory Catfish might take a shot at eating them.

Only small snails of 0-3mm are in potential danger for Cory Catfish. If the snails are bigger, Cory Catfish just won’t be able to eat them because their mouth is too small.

Also, the size of your cory catfish matters. Very small species like dwarf cory catfish can’t eat snails, because their mouth is too small. Cory catfish fry also won’t eat snails. 

Will Cory Catfish eat snail eggs?

Cory Catfish do occasionally eat certain types of snail eggs. Primarily pond snail eggs are other small and soft eggs. Mystery snail eggs or nerite snail eggs are left untouched because they are too big and too hard.

It’s easy to see why Cory Catfish might eat snail eggs: it’s a nutritious, easy meal and Cory Catfish aren’t too picky about what they eat (they even eat their own eggs!). 

So, if you’re planning on breeding these snails or growing the population, Cory Catfish might not be a good fit. Even though they don’t eat the adult snails themselves, their eggs are a great snack for Corydoras.

Best snail species to keep with Cory Catfish

So, Cory Catfish and snails go pretty well together. But considering there are so many different species, I’ve created a list with my 5 favorite snail species to keep with Cory Catfish.

1. Mystery snail

The mystery snail is one of the most popular species of snails in the aquarium hobby and it’s easy to see why. 

Mystery snails are very peaceful, are great algae eaters, and are much fun to look at. Because of their relatively big size, Cory Catfish will not be able to eat them. Even their babies are quite big, making them a safe choice to put with your cories.

Cory Catfish might eat snail eggs, but in this case, that isn’t a possible problem. Mystery snails lay their batches of eggs above water level, safe from possible predators. They also developed a special breathing tube, which allows them to take in aire without leaving the water.

Care level: easy

Size: 2 inches

Diet: plant-based, waste material

2. Nerite snail

Nerite snails are another beautiful and peaceful addition to your tank.  Adults grow to a solid one inch, making them impossible to eat by Cory Catfish.

This snail isn’t an active species though. They’re a great addition if you want some calmness, but if you want an active snail, you should take a look at the other species on this list. Did you know snails sleep in so-called sleep cycles of 2-3 days?

Care level: easy

Size: <1 inch

Diet: plant-based, waste material

3. Assasin snail

This my personal favorite snail. At first, they might look like nerite snails, but don’t be fooled. They are called assassin snails for a reason. 

This snail species will actually hunt for other snails, killing them by injecting venom with their special tentacles. After this, they suck out the meat out of the shell of the snail.

Even though this might seem like a dangerous choice, they’re actually very friendly towards fish and will never harm your Cory Catfish.

This species will also reproduce in your aquarium. They will lay square like eggs, spread throughout the aquarium.

Care level: easy

Size: <1 inch

Diet: carnivore, other snails

4. Malaysian trumpet snail

Even though some people see this species as a pest, it can be a great addition to your tank. Just as most other species, this is a really peaceful snail making them perfect to live with Cory Catfish. 

This species is pretty remarkable because it likes to dig. Most of the time, you’ll find them looking for food in the substrate, and digging through it.

As stated above, this species can become a pest quite easily. Cotnrolling the population by feeding less is recomended.

Care level: easy

Size: <1 inch

Diet: plant-based, waste material

5. Rabbit Snails

This is certainly the most special-looking snail on this list. The rabbit snail or bunny snail is an active, relatively long-living, and big snail species. 

This species thrives in warmer water, making them a great tank mate for f.e. Corydoras sterbai.

We talked before over how the trumpet snail and nerite snail are passive snails; this species is quite the opposite. It fills its day by wandering through the aquarium, looking for a snack or meal. This makes them very fun to watch. Don’t worry though if you see your snail laying on the bottom of your tank: everyone needs sleep ;).

Care level: easy

Size: <1 inch

Diet: plant-based, waste material

 

How to feed snails to Cory Catfish

As we discussed earlier, Cory Catfish might eat some small snails or their eggs, but they won’t be able to eat adult snails or naturally control a big population.

So, if you want Corydoras to eat your snails, you will have to prepare them first.

The best way to do this is by crushing the snails so that the Cory Catfish easily get access to the meat of the snail. If the snail is big, you can cut the meat into smaller parts, making it easier for the Cory Catfish to consume. 

Alternative fish that do eat snails

1. Kuhli loach

Kuhli loaches are one of my favorite species (apart from Cories of course ;)) to keep. They’re very lively, beautiful, and just a bit… odd, which makes them amazing to observe.

But did you know they are great snail-eaters too? Their mouth is pretty small, so they can’t eat big adult snails. Still, they can play a significant role in controlling the snail population in your aquarium!

2. Dwarf Puffer Fish

Dwarf puffer fish is a very iconic fish species. Their appearance speaks for itself, with their plump body and cute face. Still, they can cause the death of many snails!

In the wild, pufferfish will feed almost entirely off of snails. This makes them the ideal snail-eater for your tank, too (at least if your tank is suitable).

3. Zebra Loach

The third and final species we are going to cover is the zebra loach. This species has to be kept in groups and is like most loaches an exceptional snail eater. 

Keep in mind that they do need quite a big tank to thrive, so they’re not a good fit for every setup. They can also be somewhat territorial causing conflicts with other bottom dwellers such as Cory Catfish or plecos

Conclusion

Cory Catfish do eat snails, but only in limited amounts and the small specimens. They aren’t able to eat adult snails because they are too big to fit in their mouth. 

Cory Catfish will eat snail eggs since these are the ideal snack for them. This depends on what species the eggs are coming from. They won’t eat mystery snail eggs for example but will eat the eggs from pond snails.

If you are looking for the best snail species to keep with Cory Catfish, these are my top picks:

  • Mystery snails
  • Nerite snails
  • Assassin snail
  • Malaysian trumpet snails
  • Rabbit snails
Lastly, if you really want a species that is a great algae eater, here are three alternatives to Cory Catfish:
  • Kuhli loaches
  • Dwarf pufferfish
  • Zebra Loach