What Eats Nerite Snail Eggs: (3 Effective Fish Species)

What eats nerite snail eggs in the tank? Nerite snails are popular aquarium pets known for their ability to keep fish tanks clean by consuming algae. However, these small and unassuming creatures are also prolific egg layers, often leading to an explosion in their population if not kept in check.

Many aquarium owners find themselves tasked with managing nerite snail eggs, as they can quickly clutter a tank and lead to overpopulation. 

While there are various methods for removing and managing snail eggs, one effective and natural solution is introducing fish species known for preying on these eggs.

baby nerite snail

Adding the right fish to your aquarium can help control the nerite snail population and reduce the overwhelming presence of their eggs.

In this article, we will discuss the best and most effective fish species that prey on nerite snail eggs, providing insight into how to maintain a healthy balance in your aquarium and keep the snail population under control. 

What Do Nerite Snail Eggs Look Like?

Nerite snail eggs are small, white, and oval-shaped. They are often clustered on hard surfaces such as rocks, glass, or aquarium decorations. The eggs are hard and typically difficult to remove from surfaces once laid.

Each egg is only about 1mm in diameter, making them quite inconspicuous to the naked eye. The color of the eggs can vary slightly depending on the species of Nerite snail, with some being more translucent than others.

Nerite Snail Babies

Despite their small size, Nerite snail eggs are quite resilient and withstand various water conditions.

They require brackish water to hatch, so if laid in a freshwater tank, the eggs will not hatch. In the wild, the larvae will need to be able to move into salty water to survive and grow into adult snails. 

Removing Nerite Snail Eggs: Why It’s Important For Your Tank

While Nerite snails are fantastic algae eaters and generally peaceful tank inhabitants, their prolific egg-laying habits can sometimes become undesirable. Here’s why removing Nerite snail eggs might be important for your tank:

1. Aesthetics: Nerite snail eggs are small, white capsules scattered across surfaces like glass, rocks, and plants. While some find them harmless, others dislike their appearance and prefer a cleaner look for their aquarium.

2. Population Control: Nerite snail eggs require brackish water to hatch and survive. In freshwater aquariums, the eggs remain inert indefinitely. However, many snail eggs can be aesthetically unpleasant and contribute to organic waste as they decay.

3. Potential Ammonia Spike: If a large number of eggs accumulate and decay, they can contribute to an ammonia spike in your tank, harming your fish and other livestock. While the impact of individual eggs is negligible, excessive accumulation can be problematic.

4. Predation: Even though the eggs won’t hatch in freshwater, some fish species might mistake them for food and attempt to eat them. This can damage the eggs and create unnecessary waste.

5. Filter Clogging: If eggs detach from surfaces and fall into the filter, they can clog it and reduce efficiency. Removing them proactively prevents this issue.

However, removing Nerite snail eggs is not always necessary, and several factors should be considered:

  • Tank size and population: A moderate number of eggs likely will be fine in larger tanks with established biofiltration.
  • Personal preference: Ultimately, deciding to remove eggs depends on your aesthetic preferences and tolerance for their presence.

Methods for Removing Nerite Snail Eggs (if desired):

  • Manual removal: Use a soft toothbrush, a sharp algae scraper, or a razor blade (with caution) to gently scrape off the eggs.
  • Trapping: Place a piece of slate or another flat surface in the tank. The snails will lay eggs on it, making removal easier.
  • Predators: Introduce fish known to eat snail eggs, like mollies or guppies. This method requires careful research to ensure compatibility with your existing tank inhabitants.

Remember: Always prioritize the well-being of your entire tank ecosystem when deciding on egg removal. Choose safe methods for your snails, fish, and other organisms.

Will Fish Eat Nerite Snail Eggs?

Yes, some fish can eat Nerite eggs. Nerite snails are known for laying eggs on various surfaces, such as aquarium glass, rocks, and plants. The eggs are small, round, and usually dark in color. While Nerite snail eggs have a tough outer layer, some fish species have been observed to peck at or consume them.

However, it’s important to note that not all fish will eat Neritidae eggs. Some fish species may ignore the eggs, while others may show varying interest. Additionally, the availability of other food sources in the aquarium can influence whether fish will consume the snail eggs.

Suppose you specifically want to protect the Nerite snail eggs. Consider separating them from the main aquarium and placing them in a separate breeding box or container until they hatch. This way, you can ensure a higher survival rate for the eggs.

Why Is It Hard For Fish To Eat Snail Eggs?

It’s hard for fish to eat snail eggs because of the tough outer coating that protects them. This coating makes it difficult for the fish to break through and reach the nutritious yolk.

In addition, snail eggs are often laid in hard-to-reach or enclosed areas such as underwater plants or rocks, making it challenging for fish to access them. Unlike other small prey such as zooplankton or small insects, snail eggs are specifically adapted to withstand predation by fish.

The tough outer layer and hidden placement protect the eggs, increasing the chances of snail offspring survival. This also means that snail eggs are a valuable food source for other aquatic organisms, providing a high-energy meal once successfully consumed.

Overall, the combination of protective adaptations and strategic placement makes it hard for fish to eat snail eggs successfully. 

What Eats Nerite Snail Eggs in Aquariums?

What fish eat nerite snail eggs? While Nerite snails are beneficial algae eaters in aquariums, their eggs can become quite unwanted due to their prolific laying habits. Unfortunately, most aquarium inhabitants don’t specifically target Nerite snail eggs. Here’s a breakdown of your options:

Fish that might occasionally eat Nerite eggs:

  • Omnivorous fish: Some fish, like loaches, puffers, bettas, Cory catfish, zebrafish, and lizard catfish, may occasionally munch on snail eggs, including Nerite eggs. However, relying solely on them for control isn’t reliable as they might not eat them consistently, and some, like puffers, are only suitable for some community tanks.
  • Invertebrates: Amano shrimp have been known to eat snail eggs occasionally, but it’s not a guaranteed solution. Assassin snails specifically target other snails, but they won’t eat Nerite snails and might even harm them.

Certain fish species can be highly effective at eating their eggs from driftwood when controlling the population of nerite snails in an aquarium. 

Several fish species are known to eat Nerite snail eggs, especially when attached to driftwood. While no fish will exclusively feed on Nerite snail eggs, some species are more likely to consume them as part of their natural diet.

Here are a Effective secret weapons of fish that are known to eat Nerite eggs:

1. Dwarf Loach (Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki)

Dwarf Loaches, also known as Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki, are small freshwater fish known to eat Neritidae eggs. These loaches are peaceful and active, making them popular for aquarium enthusiasts. They are native to Southeast Asia and are best kept in groups of at least six individuals to thrive. 

2. Betta Fish (Siamese Fighting Fish)

Betta fish, or Siamese fighting fish, are popular aquarium fish for their vibrant colors and long, flowing fins. They are carnivorous and have been observed eating the eggs of nerite snails, making them unsuitable tankmates. It’s important to carefully consider the compatibility of different species before introducing them into a shared environment. 

3. Dwarf Planaxis Snails: Reef Safe

Dwarf Planaxis snails are reef-safe and can be a beneficial addition to a saltwater aquarium. However, some species of fish are known to eat the eggs of Nerite snails, including dwarf Planaxis snails. It’s important to consider the compatibility of these snails with other tank inhabitants before introducing them to your aquarium. 

Ways To Prevent Nerite Snails From Laying Eggs

Unfortunately, completely preventing Nerite snails from laying eggs is a tricky proposition, as they are prolific breeders, and their eggs are designed to withstand harsh conditions. However, there are a few strategies you can try to control or minimize their reproduction:

Keep only one Nerite snail:

Nerite snails have separate sexes, so keeping only one eliminates the possibility of mating and egg-laying. However, sexing Nerite snails accurately can be difficult, so there’s a chance you might end up with a breeding pair even if you buy just one.

Manually remove egg capsules:

Nerite snails lay oval, hard-shelled capsules on aquarium surfaces above the waterline. Regularly scan your tank for these capsules and carefully scrape them off with a stainless steel spoon or credit card. Be gentle to avoid damaging the surfaces. However, this method is time-consuming and will only catch some eggs.

Utilize a natural Snail-Eating Fish Into Your Aquarium:

Certain fish species, like Yoyo loaches and Clown loaches, enjoy snacking on snail eggs and young snails. However, be mindful of their compatibility with your existing tank inhabitants and their potential impact on the snail population.

Additional considerations:

  • Diet: Overfeeding can contribute to faster snail reproduction, so ensure your fish receive only the food they need and avoid excess waste.
  • Habitat: Providing hiding spots for Nerite or mystery snails may encourage egg-laying in those areas, making removal easier. However, too many hiding spots can also make it harder to find all the eggs.
  • Alternative solutions: If controlling snail reproduction remains a significant concern, consider alternative algae-eating options like Siamese Algae Eaters or Amano shrimp.

Remember, eliminating Nerite snail reproduction without harming the snails themselves is challenging. These methods can help manage the population, but be prepared for some egg-laying activity regardless.

Alert: (Zebra Turbo Snails): Not [Typically] Responsibly Reef Safe

While some reef aquarium hobbyists have succeeded with these snails in their tanks, many others have reported that the Zebra Turbo Snails have a voracious appetite for corals and other sessile invertebrates.

The snails can quickly and efficiently graze on the surfaces of live rock and can potentially cause harm to the delicate balance of a reef tank.

It’s important to note that individual snails may exhibit different behaviors, but overall, caution should be exercised when considering adding Zebra Turbo Snails to a reef aquarium. It’s also recommended to closely monitor and promptly remove their activities if they show any signs of reef destruction. 

As with any new addition to a reef tank, it’s crucial to research and consider the potential impact on the existing ecosystem before introducing Zebra Turbo Snails. 

Who eats Nerite eggs?

What fish eats nerite snail eggs? Several fish & inverts enjoy snacking on Nerite eggs: clown loaches, pufferfish, zebrafish, & even some shrimp-like Amano! Avoid these in Nerite breeding tanks.

How do you prevent Nerite snail eggs?

To prevent Nerite snail eggs, remove adult snails from the tank, maintain a male to female nerite snails ratio of 1:1, and adjust water parameters to discourage egg laying.

What kills aquarium snail eggs?

Aquarium snail eggs can be killed by removing them from the tank, using chemicals like copper-based medications, or freezing them for a few hours.

Will assassin snails eat Nerite snails?

While rare, assassin snails might attack young or weak Nerites. Large, healthy Nerites are usually safe, but avoid overcrowding assassins to prevent ganging up. Consider alternative pest control for Nerite tanks.

How to remove snail eggs from aquariums?

Scrape gently with a tool (card/brush) or vacuum with a siphon. For stubborn eggs, try a thin blade (razor) carefully. Target new clutches before hatching for easy removal.

How to stop nerite snails from laying eggs?

To prevent nerite snails from laying eggs all over the place, keep the water temperature below 75°F, reduce the available food supply, and remove any visible eggs promptly.

Will goldfish eat nerite snail eggs?

Yes, goldfish love snail snacks! They’ll gobble down Nerite eggs, leaving none behind. Keep other tank mates for egg survival.

Do amano shrimp eat nerite snail eggs?

Amano shrimp may nibble on Nerite snail’s eggs, especially if food is scarce. Consider other tank mates like fish or other snails for better egg survival.  

Will nerite snail eggs disappear?

No, nerite snail eggs will not disappear on their own. They need to be physically removed from the aquarium to prevent hatching.


So, what fish will eat nerite snail eggs? In conclusion, a few potential culprits could be eating nerite snail eggs in a home tank. One possibility is other tank inhabitants, such as fish or shrimp, who may view the eggs as a tasty snack. Another potential predator is the snails themselves, as they have been known to consume their eggs. Certain types of bacteria or fungi could break down the eggs before they can hatch. To protect the eggs, consider separating the adult snails into a breeding tank, where they can lay their eggs peacefully without being eaten by other tank inhabitants.

You could also create hiding spots for the eggs within the tank to help keep them safe from predators. In short, Understanding what eats nerite snail eggs and Regularly monitoring and maintaining the tank can help to ensure a higher likelihood of the eggs successfully hatching without being eaten. 

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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