Angelfish in freshwater aquariums eat baby snails and nibble on snail eggs. Angelfish belong to the Pomacanthidae family, are omnivores, and feed on mollusks in tropical areas. Bred for captivity and raised in fish tanks, angel fish’s life expectancy drops, and their diet is dried flakes.
Angelfish is one of the easiest freshwater fish to adapt to a fish tank. The controlled tank environment with a gravel floor bed for scavenging and plants simulate underwater marine life. The variety of edible underwater life is absent unless added in. It is worthwhile seeing how adaptive Angelfish are with their snail diet.
Will Angelfish Eat Snails
Our fascination with pet Angelfish in a fish tank lets one wonder how these tall, pointed-fin aquatic fish adapt and survive. Watching angelfish nibble and graze as they glide between plant life is relaxing.
Yet, life in this mini-aquatic world is far away from the tropical fishes’ natural marine habitat, where they feed on mollusks.
In the tropics and natural habitats, Angelfish are predators of the cichlid’s type and feed on a range of small fish and macroinvertebrates, which includes hundreds of snails that belong to the mollusk species.
In a fish tank, the Angel fish’s foraging options are limited though these fish are omnivores. Their diets are limited by what’s put into the tank for them to guts on.
The artificial micro aquatic world depends on the types and kinds of snails bought and put there and the size of these snails that are not naturally grown there.
In fact, many exotic fish fanciers who’ve put mini snails in tanks before the Angelfish was brought in say how quickly the snails are guzzled up, especially baby ones. Snail sizes matter and those in tanks are often too large for the small-mouthed Angelfish.
The mouth of an Angelfish is not a wide-open one but a set of almost tightly pierced lips with a comparatively tiny aperture for feeding. That’s why it’s commonly argued that Angelfish do not eat snails. But this is not the case, as Angelfish will feast on baby snails.
In fact, Angelfish are thought to look for tiny pest snails, and it’s commonly known that Angelfish will eat anything under three inches long. But will not eat the Malaysian Trumpet Snail or the Ramshorn Snail.
The drawback of being artificially reared for the domestic glass tank means that the Angelfish have lost their snail needs.
In tanks, Angelfish are not guaranteed that the snails will be small enough for their relatively small mouths. In the captivity of a tank, unlike the size or vastness of the marine areas, the Angelfish’s foraging ability is curbed.
Angel Fish Snail Diet
In tropical South American marine areas and the Amazon River system, Angelfish are known to feed on mollusks (snails) and small fish.
Angelfish is one of the easiest freshwater fish to adapt to a fish tank, which is why these are so popular. The fish are best kept in upright freshwater aquariums like ornaments in a room, and give hours long of joy by just sitting and watching them forage.
Angelfish diets in tanks are commercial feeds dropped in at set intervals. Fish tank hobbyists try to make the tank environments for Angelfish close to those of the tropics.
They’ve even added in snails that these predator fish can forage for. By the way, snails keep the tanks clean too.
Snails Angel Fish Will Eat
So, snails keep tanks clean but are also at the mercy of predators like the Angel Fish.
Most commonly, it’s the snails that Angelfish devour that are chosen, like these:
- Nerite snails
- Assassin snails
- Golden Inca snails
- Pond Snail
The Nerite snails are freshwater snails with striped shells that are just under an inch long. They are some of the best to keep in a tank and are algae eaters.
These snails mostly hide, and as Angelfish are ambush predators, they prey on baby nerite snails. In the tropics, Angelfish eat small fish and macroinvertebrates.
Breeders of assassin snails say that Angelfish will eat the tiny assassin snails. At the same time, many believe the two species actually get along peacefully.
The eco-stasis elements of tank life for the Angelfish take effort. Hobbyists struggle with getting the proper balance between the feeds they give as commercial supplements to support Angelfish diets.
Furthermore, the temperament of Angelfish isn’t predictable, and some fanciers say it’s best to keep Golden Inca Snails out of harm’s way.
The friendly snails with bright yellow coloring are chosen in tanks for their ability to eliminate algae. But keep them out of your Angelfish’s way.
Pond snails are on the Angelfish’s predator list, especially after the egg stage. Pond snails increase quickly, and Angelfish feast on the young.
Snails Angel Fish Won’t Eat
In the fish tank’s cleanliness matters more than the Angelfish’s mollusk diet.
The types of snails Angel fish don’t have an appetite for:
- Malaysian Trumpet Snail
- Apple Snail
- Sulawesi Snail
- Ivory Mystery Snail
The Malaysian Trumpet Snails are prolific in breeding (even getting out of control). They are the most eager of snails to have to stop the growth of algae at the base of an aquarium.
In some instances, snails also threaten Angelfish, and keeping snails in a tank can be complicated. Commonly, snails will feed on sick Angelfish.
Freshwater Angelfish are an exotic for a tank choice that provides endless beauty and joy. The fish also pose challenges to home aquarium fanciers. Balancing the marine ecology at home is complicated. In nature, the balance follows laws humans cannot get right, especially considering the relationship between snails and Angelfish.
Snails are essential to the Angelfish diet in a natural tropical setting.