Last Updated on January 14, 2022 by cmoarz
Missing fish eggs in your aquarium? Your first suspect is probably the common pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. Do pond snails eat fish eggs? Is it possible that’s why some of them have gone missing? This article will answer some of your questions about the pond snail and their behavior in an aquarium when it comes to their dietary preferences and whether or not they eat fish eggs.
Will Pond Snails Eat Fish Eggs
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I have many pond snails in my aquarium with my corydoras who spawn regularly.
I’ve seen the pond snails do many strange things over the years, and they are certainly not shy when it comes to climbing over the eggs and slimming them up, but will pond snails eat fish eggs?
No, not that I’ve ever seen. While I have witnessed them crawling over the eggs quite a few times, I’ve never seen them actually try to eat the fish eggs.
And neither have any of my aquarium buddies who have pond snails as well.
In fact, it’s been suggested that they may even protect the spawn from some predators by climbing over it and deterring other fish from eating the slime-covered fish eggs.
However, this probably causes more harm than good. Eggs are very susceptible to fungus growth (especially corydoras eggs), and snails climbing over them could inadvertently speed up the fungus contamination process and potentially harm, or even kill your fish eggs.
It should also be noted that pond snails will eventually start to eat the unfertilized eggs after a while.
They may also attempt to graze any algae that have stuck to the eggs and accidentally damage the egg itself.
So is it safe to have pond snails around your fish eggs? Well, yes and no. They shouldn’t hurt them on purpose, But they won’t make it any easier on them either.
It’s always best to move eggs to a breeding chamber or breeding aquarium specifically designed for the species of fry you’re trying to raise.
This will give you the best survival and hatch rate while keeping the fry safe from larger fish and even their own parents.
What Eats Fish Eggs in a Pond
So you still have an issue with missing eggs, And just because pond snails are unlikely to eat them doesn’t mean other snails wouldn’t take the opportunity.
Most snails are opportunistic feeders and will eat anything that’s stationary. Eggs are definitely stationary, and they’re probably pretty delicious too.
So if you have any other snail species in your tank, they may eat the eggs as well.
This is especially true if you have black ramshorn snails (Marisa cornuaris) who will eat almost anything and are very adept at hiding.
Same with apple snails, Which will ‘Hoover’ up anything they see that might look tasty. They’re really bad for it too.
But snails aren’t the only culprits either.
Many fish will eat eggs if they come across them, and many of the larger tropical community tanks will contain a few species that fit this criterion (especially goldfish and livebearers).
Even the egg’s own parents won’t hesitate to take a little nibble here and there. The animal kingdom is cruel after all.
So this means you either need to monitor your entire tank or keep your eggs in a breeding chamber or aquarium dedicated to raising fry, which is the recommended thing to do.