What do snails eat? Do they eat other snails? Know now!

What do snails eat? Do they eat other snails? Know now!

Before knowing what does a snail eats for the living, let us get to know a little about them.

Snails belong to the phylum MOLLUSCA and are GASTROPODS (one that are most diverse groups of animals, both in form, habit, and habitat). Which means you can find them in different sizes, colors, and shapes. Snails eat using their tongue like extension having thousands of small microscopic teeth. This organ is called the Radula. They use their Radulae (plural) very differently while they eat different types of food.

First off, some snails are carnivores, and some are herbivores.
Second off, some snails live above the water, and some snails live inside the water.
Next, some snails live in the freshwater, and some snails live in the seawater.

That’s the basic categorization of snails. Now, let us dig into what they eat.

So,

What does a snail eat in general?

Snails can go eating anything from algae/plant/vegetable to eating other snails.

Garden snails eat pests, leaves, fruits, and vegetables. They also feed on dead animals and dead plant material. It plays a significant role in the natural food cycle as a decomposer.

Few aquatic snails are also herbivores as they feed on floating plants on the surface on ponds, rivers, and lakes. They also eat algae that grow on rocks using their Radulae to scrape them up.

Carnivore sea snails, as well as aquarium snails, feed on live worms, and insects, and even other snails.

What does a baby snail eat?

Newly born snail larvae eat algae and bacteria they find in columns of water. As they start to develop their shells, they begin to need more of what they used to eat plus plants.

Shockingly, they eat more often than how much an adult snail does. If you want to feed them as your pet, they eat cooked kale, lettuce. They can also be given with snail shells as their calcium requirements.

What do aquarium snails eat?

Aquarium snails are generally Freshwater snails. They include,

  • Nerites
  • Mystery snails
  • Apple snails
  • Assassin snails

They eat algae, plants, bacteria on the rocks, and detritus. Few snails use their mucus to trap random particles to filter them and eat. Very handful of them is carnivores.

When you keep snails in your aquarium, you must provide them with either a reasonable amount of plant and algae or stock your aquarium with loads of aquatic plants by growing them. Or in case if you are not able to provide a lot of natural algae, you can feed them with alginate or supplement algae tablets.

They also love to feed on vegetables like lettuce, cucumbers, and kale. These will help them in their fats and carbs requirements.

Pellet food and tablets are mandatory to fulfill their protein and calcium requirements. Choose pellets and tablets that sinks slowly to reach the bottom to give all the snails in your aquarium a chance to eat them.

Carnivore snails like Assassin snails must feed on live worms like bloodworms and shrimp.

When it comes to when you have to feed your snails, it depends on the type of food. When you feed them veggies, continuous feeding benefits them. When you feed them live prey, it is advisable to feed them 1 or 2 times a day.

What do Nerite snails (aquarium snails) eat?

Nerite snails eat floating algae found on the tank surface. They eat cooked veggies like zucchini and lettuce.

Alginate and algae tablets can be given as a supplement too.

You can trust these snail not to eat plants because they majorly feed on algae. That is the reason they are also known as algae cleaners.

What do Apple snails (aquarium snails) eat?

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What do Mystery snails (aquarium snails) eat?

Just like Nerite snails, they feed on algae and also considered as algae cleaners. They also eat dead animal matter, so they are decomposers and nutrients cycles too.

Alginate and algae tablets can be given as a supplement as well.

Food recommendations for freshwater aquarium snails (Herbivore):

  •  Raw or cooked lettuce
  • Raw or cooked kale
  • Raw or cooked, blanched cucumber
  • Raw or cooked, blanched zucchini
  • Submerged vegetation; water hyacinth elodea, water lettuce, floating weeds
  • Natural-forming macroalgae
  • Benthic microalgae and cyanobacteria
  • Algae tablets and alginate
  • Slow-sinking fish pellets
  • Commercial snail mixes

Food recommendations for freshwater aquarium snails (Carnivore):

  • Bloodworms
  • Brine shrimp 
  • Feeder snails

What do Pond snails eat?

Lymnaea stagnalis is a very well known pond snail. It is also called the Great pond snail.

Just like aquarium snails, they eat algae, plants, bacteria on the rocks, and detritus. Few snails use their mucus to trap random particles to filter them and eat. Very handful of them is carnivores.

Herbivore snails feed on water lettuce, water hyacinth, duckweed, bladderworts, garden vegetables. So it is to be advised to grow vegetables alongside your pond. Cooked vegetables can also feed your snails as a supplement food.

Carnivore snails feed on insects, insect larvae, worms, and the prey that are naturally on the wall of your pond. They also eat other snails. Because of this reason, they are to be one of the best pest control for your garden.

FYI: Higher the temperature, the higher they eat food. So during summer, you must provide them outside food supplements.

Food recommendations for freshwater POND snails (Herbivore):

  • Lettuce, Cucumbers, Zucchini, Kale
  • Berries and berry leaves
  • Aquatic freshwater plants: anacharis, floating weeds, water hyacinth
  • Naturally-forming macroalgae
  • Benthic microalgae and cyanobacteria
  • Large-leaf foliage
  • Terrestrial flowers

Food recommendations for freshwater POND snails (Carnivore):

  • Bloodworms
  • Brine shrimp
  • Feeder snails
  • Water fleas

What do Sea snails eat?

These are saltwater snails. Few of them are,

  • Limpets
  • Abalones
  • Cowries
  • Triton
  • Whelks
  • Cone snails
  • Oyster drill

Herbivore sea snails depend on algae over rocks and reefs as their crucial food source. Algae eating snails are Limpets, Abalones, limpets, and cowries.

Carnivore sea snails eat dead and dead animal matter. They also feed on invertebrates. Few examples are Cone snails, triton, and whelks.

Triton eats even the starfish with full of thorns on them.

Oyster Drill is a sea snail that drills a hole through the oyster’s shell to eat them. Cone snail produces a very deadly poison which can even kill humans.

If you have collected shells from the seashore, they belong to snails under this category. You cannot deny the fact that those shells will be bewitching to look. These snails have such attractive shells, which are also made sturdy by eating shells of other snails and few aquatic animals.

Food recommendations for sea snails in your Aquarium (Herbivore):

  • Algae
  • Alginate and algae tablets
  • Crushed shells
  • Calcium supplements

Food recommendations for sea snails in your Aquarium (Carnivore):

  • Live clams
  • Brine shrimp
  • Feeder snails
  • Slow-sinking fish foods

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