Cannibal Mystery Snails

Amber Eakin

Feeder Fish
Oct 4, 2017
I have a betta sorority, and had purchased 2 snails for the tank. 20gal, 3 girls (my fourth was an older betta, and passed a few weeks ago.) The girls were picking on a particular snail, and I moved it to another tank. I prefer purchasing baby bettas, due to the fact that I get to watch them grow, and keep them longer. I recently got a baby a few months back, and have kept it in a 5gal (with the large snail) until it was large enough for the big girl tank. The tank is filtered, planted, and has an airstone bubbler for oxygen. I regularly check my water quality, and have never had an issue with that. Yesterday morning, I saw my once thriving baby betta being eaten by the largest snail. The fish was fine the night before, swam up to eat, everything was normal. I know snails will eat dead or dying animals, so I had assumed something had happened with the fish and the snail did what nature does. Last night, I went to sprinkle in some fish flakes, and an algae tab for the snails, and the large snail was attacking a smaller snail that came in on a plant, wrapping it's body around her shell, similar to what I observed happening to the dead fish. I quickly removed him from the tank, and the small snail returned to eating and moving around normally, so she was not dead or dying. Also, every time the female lays a clutch this larger snails eat it. Why is this happening, and what do I do? I can find no information online.


Canister Man
Staff member
Global Moderator
MFK Member
Aug 17, 2005
The snail ate a dead fish, as you suspected. I'd say you interrupted them mating. And you may have low hardness of your water if the snail sees the calcified eggs as nutrition.

Just my guess.