Can Snails Get Ich? – The Final Answer For Curious Aquarists

If you are looking for a hardy, affordable, and highly available species to add to your aquarium, you cannot go wrong with snails! Not only do they come in various sizes and colors, but they are also resilient and do not require much care.

However, this does not mean that snails are immune to diseases and parasites. So, can snails get ich – the most common disease for aquatic animals? If you wish to learn more about these invertebrates, scroll down to find out!

Can Snails Get Ich?

snail in aquarium

No. Fortunately for snail lovers, these animals cannot be infected with ich. But be aware, since snails can definitively carry ich around.

This is because ich can attach itself to the snail’s shells and bodies, then end up being spread out to the entire tank.

Therefore, while ich is not a problem for snails per se, you would still have to ensure that snails do not spread the parasites whenever they have the chance.

What Is Ich? – Everything You Need To Know

Ich is arguably the most common parasite for aquatic pets. If you want to prevent ich from infecting all of your community tanks, it is essential to learn about its causes, symptoms, and potential treatment.

First off, ich can be caused by polluted water and unhealthy conditions inside the tank. If the water fluctuates significantly and the toxin buildup gets serious, chances are ich parasites will thrive in no time.

Another reason contributing to ich is how you fail to feed your fish properly. If fed with unhygienic or infected food, fish and other aquatic animals will surely fall prey to ich. Furthermore, should the food not be consumed completely, the waste left behind will be the catalyst for more ich parasites.

Contaminated water filters or decorative pieces can also be the origin of problems here. Sometimes, if these pieces are not cleaned beforehand, they may accidentally carry unwanted parasites and organisms. Thus, your water would soon be a feast for ich.

Now, the most telltale sign of ich is the white spots scattering on the snail’s body. Still, they are not always visible. And since snails are immune to ich, you cannot tell the physical symptoms based on snails alone.

Rather, you will have to rely on other fish to see whether ich is in place or not.

If you happen to come across lethargic fish who refuse to eat and choose to stay hidden most of the time, you can be quite sure that these animals have been infected. Moreover, ich-infected fish will spend lots of their time rubbing their entire body against the glass wall, since ich causes infuriating itchiness.

Should you look at the tank, you would see how the body mucus released from the fish in an attempt to defend themselves will darken the water. White, slimy spots will appear in certain places inside the tank, signaling how the water has been filled with ich parasites.

Once you are positive for ich infection, it is time for some timely treatment. The easiest way to treat ich is to mix some sea salt with the tank’s water.

Make sure the salt is thoroughly dissolved first, then gently pour it inside the aquarium. Change the water and remix the salt. Repeat the step until all of your fish are cured.

If ich proves to be more serious than anticipated, consider switching to commercial ich medication. Consult with the seller about these products carefully, since not all doses are recommended for instant ich treatment.

If you think the medication is a bit too much, stop immediately or you risk harming your fish even more.


What diseases can snails carry?

Snails can carry plenty of diseases, some of which include paragonimiasis, clonorchiasis, opisthorchiasis, and so on. Most of these can end up being fatal, especially if their victims are defenseless fish.

Thus, many aquarists are concerned about bringing snails to the aquarium. They fear that all it takes is one misstep before snails accidentally kill off the entire tank.

Can snails get parasites from fish?

Not really. Snails tend not to get parasites from fish. However, the opposite is true for fish. If they are seen within the same vicinity as snails, they are likely to be infected with parasites.

small fish in tank

This is because snails have a hard shell to protect themselves from external factors. Even if parasites get past the shell, the slimy, mucus-filled bodies of snails make it much harder for parasites to firmly cling to the surface.

How do you get rid of parasites on snails?

Getting rid of parasites on snails means you will have to subject them to a course of medication. First off, you will have to remove the snails from the community tank. Then, place the snails inside another tank, and slowly pour the medication in.

Being exposed to this chemical substance will eliminate most of the parasites on the snails.

Can you get sick from touching snails?

It depends on what kind of parasites your snails are infected with. Usually, if it is mostly diseases reserved for aquatic animals, chances are you will come out safely.

Still, if your snails come down with serious parasites that might be fatal for you, make sure you put on your gloves before touching them.


Can snails get ich? No, they cannot. However, they could still spread the parasites around if you fail to contain the disease. Therefore, you must keep an eye on your snails and see whether they are a hidden danger for other fish.