Fish Health

Do Kuhli Loaches Eat Snails: What To Know?

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I was planning to pet some Kuhli loaches in my community fish tank. That’s when I searched for suitable tankmates for Kuhli loaches. It was just to check if my fish are compatible with it or not. To my surprise, some lists included snails too. But I had heard some say, just avoid it. Thereafter, I was more curious to know if Kuhli loach eats snails. So, I searched to find out more on do Kuhli loaches eat snails? Whether you want to control the snails in your tank or protect them, this article will help you with both.

Yes, Kuhli loaches eat snails. They eat the snails that are smaller than them. Kuhli Loaches don’t contribute much to control the snail population in aquariums. But they eat the snails to some extent.

Do Kuhli Loaches Eat Snails?

Loaches are opportunistic feeders. And the Kuhli loach is no different. They even love to devour the smaller fish. Hence, eating small snails is not a big deal for them.

There was a survey conducted in 2010 on whether Kuhli loach eats snails. Among the respondent aquarists, 67% of them voted on; they had heard that Kuhli loach eats snail but they had not seen it. The percentage of people who told that they had seen Kuhli loach eating snail was 33%. People who said, “Kuhli loach does not eat snails” were null.

This slightly tilted my assumption towards yes Kuhli loach eats snails. Many of my friends told me, the snails and Kuhli loaches do not even touch each other. They said they had not noticed the change in the number of snails in the aquarium. This was exactly opposite to the results of the survey.

The only way I could confirm was to bring a school of Kuhli loach at home and see it by myself. So, I bought 5 of them and kept them in my aquarium.

I had to observe for a while till I found the result. The Kuhli loaches are shy creatures and spend most of their time hiding. This made my observation more difficult.

One day, I found a Kuhli loach whipping back and forth with a white substance in its mouth. When I moved closer to see what it was, I saw the snail shell at the substrate.

But I have not seen them eating large snails.

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Do Kuhli Loaches Eat Snail Eggs?

Many times we see people use loaches for controlling the snail population in the aquarium. But, they still find the number of snails increasing in the aquarium. That is because the loaches eat snails not their eggs.

Since the Kuhli loach does not eat the snail eggs, the eggs will hatch and the snail population will increase eventually. So, if you want to control your snail population in your aquarium Kuhli loach is not so helpful. Yoyo snails can help you.

If even that does not help, then you will need to remove it manually or put snail traps.

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What Do Kuhli Loaches Eat?

Kuhli loaches are bottom level dwellers. They are scavengers. They eat the food that falls at the bottom of the tank. When you drop food to the tank, the other fish eat it before and they may even finish it before it falls on the ground. So, it is better to feed the Kuhli loach at night.

Kuhli Loach prefers to eat the following:

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Other Ways To Control Snail Population In The Aquarium

Are you stressed by numerous snails in your aquarium? Have they been creeping on your tank walls? Have they been eating the live plants? Moreover, do you want just a few numbers or none of them in the tank?

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Well, not only you but a lot of people worldwide want so. Don’t worry. There are lots of ways you can overcome this problem.

If you are searching for ways to control snails, you probably did not buy it yourself. They are your uninvited guests who promised to move into your tank to produce its kids and grandkids.

Before trying any chemical or artificial ways of snail removal, let us try natural ways first. These steps are comparatively easy and have 0 side effects.

Natural Ways

Take these easy and quick steps into consideration:

Hand Picking

You can just pick up the snails that are creeping and crawling in your fish tank. You can swipe them off. A single snail is enough to produce dozens of other snails. So, handpicking the snails can also help to control the snail population.

Keep Snail Eaters

There are varieties of fish that eat snails. Loaches are one of them. Even though Kuhli loaches eat small snails, they are not enough to control the snail population in the aquarium.

Other loaches like Yo-Yo Loach and clown loach can help you do so. Loaches can go deep inside the substrate and find the hiding snail. And eat them eventually.

The labyrinth fish, bettas, and gouramis also eat snails.

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Snail Traps

This is one of the clever ideas you can use for snail control. You will just need to stick a lettuce leaf in the tank (snails love the lettuce leaves by the way). First, boil the lettuce leaf. Then, place that leaf at the tank before going to bed.

The next morning you will find a bunch of snails over the leaves. Just take that leaf out (along with the snails attached of course) and dispose of it off. As simple as that!

This won’t clear 100% of the snails in the tank but this helps to some extent. Do this for consecutive 3 to 4 days. This will help in the massive reduction of snails in your tank.

Chemical Remedies

We recommend you to use chemical remedies as the last option for snail control.

Copper Sulphate is the most commonly used snail controlling chemical worldwide. But make sure you use it as per proper direction only.

Many chemicals not only harm the snails but can affect other tank mates as well. Therefore, be wise and read all the details and instructions given.

Protecting The Snails In The Tank

Snails are beautiful creatures and excellent cleaners. There are a lot of beautiful snails that you would want to decorate in your aquarium.

Rabbit snails, Gold Inca snails, Apple snails, assassin snails, and Nerite snails are some of the best snails you will ever find. And, of course, you wouldn’t want them to get hurt by other fish.

Since the Kuhli Loaches eat snails to some extent we advise you not to keep the snails with them.

These are few fish that you will need to avoid in the tank with snails:

  1. Loaches
  2. Puffer Fish
  3. Trigger Fish
  4. Large Goldfish
  5. Blennies
  6. Cory Catfish
  7. Bettas
  8. Red-tailed sharks

Wait! This list is not over yet! You will be surprised to know that snails eat snails too. Yes, you heard it right. Assassin snails eat other snails. So do not keep assassin snails with other small snails.

The fish mentioned in the above list are caught eating snails. However, these fish may not always act the same. In some aquariums, the fish may not even touch snails at all. But why take the risk?

Snails are such beautiful and helpful creatures in the tank.

Frequent Asked Questions

Are Snails Good For Your Aquarium?

Snails help to keep the tank clean. They eat algae, dead fish, dead plants, etc. They also eat uneaten fish food, preventing it to form ammonia. Get to know more about “What is Ammonia Poisoning in Fish Tank And How to Get Rid of It?”.

You will need to select the best breed of snails if you want the best for your tank. They will decorate and clean your tank. Ensure that your snails do not reproduce like crazy.

However, too many snails in your tank are harmful. Not only do they become a pain in the eyes, but many snails can also start eating your aquarium plants as well. Some small snails can even enter the filter tubes which clogs and affects the proper functioning of the filter.

Can Kuhli Loaches Jump Out Of The Tank?

Yes, Kuhli Loach can jump out of the tank. Though they are shy creatures, they move actively when they are in a group. Many people may not believe it but there are a lot of people who share their experience of their Kuhli jumping out of the tank.

When loaches do not like the water parameters, they try to jump out of water.

Related article: Why Do I Need A Lid For My Fish Tank? Here Are My 5 Reasons

Last Words

Kuhli Loach eats snails that are smaller than them. So, if you love your snails and you want to protect them do not keep them together. But if you are having pest snail infestation then Kuhli Loach may help to some extent.

Most of the snails are good for the tank whereas pest snails just multiply and pollute the tank. You would want to protect good snails and remove the pest snails. Kuhli loach can help you with these to some extent.

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