When you have an aquarium, you want to provide those pets with nutritious food. Do fish eat slugs? It might be your concern when it comes to this shellfish-like nutrition source.
There are different types of slugs, and so do the fish. Some fish are more sensitive, while others are robust and can digest almost everything.
This article has the answer to your question. Plus, we’ll give you some tips to control the growth of slugs in your aquarium.
- 1 Do Fish Eat Slugs?
- 2 What Fish Eat Slugs?
- 3 How Do Slugs Get Into Your Aquarium?
- 4 Control Slug Population Options
- 5 Conclusion
Do Fish Eat Slugs?
Yes, in general, fish eat slugs. However, since these two species have various types, this source of protein is not always a favorite treat for some specific types of fish. Panfish or loach species will be glad to have snails as their food, while the slug slime is a deterrent for the minnow to enjoy.
Most of the time, slugs are safe for fish to consume since are not poisonous. Just one thing to remember is that the mucus (the thicker or more fibrous one) produced when they’re frightened may make them unappetizing or difficult for fish to digest.
What Fish Eat Slugs?
The first candidate for our freshwater pet that eats snails is the Yoyo loach. They consume slugs and are a good solution to control the slug population. Plus, their small size makes them suitable for the aquarium.
Striped Raphael Catfish
The next great option to eliminate the infestation of the snails is the striped Raphael catfish. They are tiny enough to fit in any tank and can eat anything, including slugs.
Like those above, clown loach is a peaceful and effective choice when you don’t want to go for a larger option. They eat snails and can do the elimination job well.
Another snail eater on our list is rainbow fish. Its comprehensive diet allows it to take in almost everything. Adding this warm-water pet into your aquarium helps control slugs’ quantity.
Gouramis is one of the slug-eating fish. Thanks to their digestion ability, these small prey can’t be challenging for the Gouramis. Plus, it lives quite quietly, causing no harassment to others.
Zebra Loach comes as an excellent option to regulate the number of slugs without adding large species. This schooling pet can do its job quite well and make your tank more noticeable.
Green Spotted Puffer
Green Spotted Puffer is well-known for consuming slugs. Its sharp spine makes it a real killer.
Like the Green Spotted Puffer, this aquarium pet is also suitable as a pest dispatcher. In addition, you don’t need to pay much attention to them as they are quite docile.
The next popular slug eater goes to the Cory Catfish. It has a big mouth, allowing it to swallow any prey items without difficulty. It’s also quite peaceful and causes almost no trouble to the tankmates.
Goldfish can eat slug eggs. However, since it feeds on other plant and animal matter, having it to control the slug overpopulation is not a good idea. Just use it when you have no other option.
Dwarf Chain Loach
Dwarf Chain Loach can not only eat snails but other species as well. If you use it as a slug regulator, be more attentive, as it can be out of control and lead to injury or death.
Bala Shark is not a typical snail eater as its favorite target is not live food. However, its giant mouth can stomach large prey items, including slug eggs.
How Do Slugs Get Into Your Aquarium?
You accidentally put them there is the only way this pest can appear in your aquarium. While transferring gravel cultures or placing plants inside the tank, you may unintentionally leave some slug eggs as they hitchhike on those decorations.
Some snails can live long and are ready to replicate on any new surfaces, even if you wash the gravel or decorations carefully before reusing. Malaysian Trumpet snails are an example. They can attach to the stone, rocks, driftwood, plants, etc., and start their new life in a new home without you knowing.
Plus, it’s not easy to see the snail eggs as some are transparent and hide under the leaves. Take red ramshorns and pond snails as examples. The fine-leaved plants are the favorite places for these small juveniles to get away from your eyesight.
Control Slug Population Options
Not all snails are bad, but when they cover your tank walls and decorations too much, it signals some control options should be applied. There are two safe, natural methods to use.
The first one is adding some of the eating snail fish listed above to your aquarium. These new crews will enjoy their feeding party without harming other tank members.
The second way is manually removing the slugs, yet not plucking them out one by one with your bare hands. All you need to do is put a piece of lettuce in hot water and then leave it in your aquarium for one night.
The decaying plant attracts the snails. The next day, you will see lots of these species gather there. Throw the lettuce leaves, and your mission is completed.
Remember not to rush for some chemical solution at first since it can do more harm than good. It may help eliminate the snails but also kills other invertebrates. Plus, good bacteria can vanish, resulting in an unwanted drop in water quality.
Do fish eat slugs? Now you know slugs are suitable for most fish. This type of pest can be both good and bad. If you see a sign of infestation from them, add some fish specialized as the snail population controller or regulator into your aquarium to address the problem.
Miley is a managing editor with more than five years of experience. As the Senior Editor of Koiusa.com, Miley oversees the day-to-day operations of the site. She also works closely with the editorial team to ensure that all of the content is of the highest quality.