Can Axolotls Eat Snails?

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When it comes to feeding the axolotls, there are many choices that we can offer them. You should already know that axolotls are carnivores, so they’ll only eat meat-based foods.

This, unfortunately, includes all the smaller fish and the smaller snails that you might have in your tank. You’ll have to be wary with that, as axolotls will actively pray on your fish and also the snails in your tank.

But that might not be a bad thing. Many people opt to feed the axolotls snails as a part of their diet. The question is, will axolotls eat snails?

Yes, they will eat snails. In fact, it’s one of their favorite types of food, but you’ll have to be careful what types of snails you feed them. Beside snails, axolotls will also eat fish food.

It’s recommended that you do not feed the axolotls any snails at all; they might find themselves eating the smaller snails that they can fit in their mouths. But you should avoid feeding them snails, as they will also consume the shells.

The shells will then clog up their digestive system, which will inevitably lead to impaction. And this is something that you don’t want to deal with.

What Snails Can You Keep with Axolotls?

Keeping snails with an axolotl in the same tank should be done with caution. That’s because axolotls will actively prey on the snails. When choosing the snail types for the tank, you’ll have to consider this.

That’s why it’s better to choose snails that have rounder or softer shells, in case the axolotl will consume them. In fact, it’s almost inevitable that they will consume them, especially if it’s smaller snails that you keep.

In any case, larger snails should be avoided, as axolotls will possibly consume them, and that can lead to impaction, and the connected health problems. Harder exoskeletons or shells should also be avoided. If axolotls will eat these shells, it can lead to digestive problems.

Some of the best snail species to keep with your axolotl include:

  • Apple snails
  • Ramshorn snails
  • Bladder snails
  • Other snail types that have softer shells.

If the exoskeletons are sharp, it can cause many problems for an axolotl. First, it can cause impaction due to congestion in the gut. Secondly, if the shells are too sharp, they will damage the gut of the axolotl, which can lead to health problems and even death.

Why Should You Keep Snails with Axolotls?

Many people think that snails are only kept for decorative purposes, but that’s just not true. Snails can play a very practical role in your tank.

Firstly, they will clean the excess algae and other residue that will inevitably occur in your tank. They will actively eat or nibble on the algae and on the plants that will prevent the water quality from staying on a high level. So, they can play a role of a natural filter for your water and as cleaners for your tank.

Secondly, snails will keep your substrate clean at all times, especially if you have the finer types of substrate that are harder to clean otherwise. Snails can be very handy in these cases, as they will eat leftover foods and other types of debris that can collect in the substrate.

But they do come with various problems and they do have their cons. Firstly, some snail species will result in health problems if the axolotl eats them, especially the species with sharper shells.

Secondly, snail population can get out of hand very quickly. Some snail species will reproduce at crazy rates, leading to overpopulation and second-hand problems with it. You’ll have to keep the population in check, and you’ll want to control it if it gets out of hand.

Can Axolotl Eat Malaysian Trumpet Snails?

Malaysian trumpet snails are certainly not the best snail species to keep with your axolotl. Why? Because their shells are very sharp and there is a big shell around their bodies.

Therefore, it’s not recommended to keep Malaysian trumpet snails with axolotls. They will consume them, and that will definitely lead to digestive problems. The sharper shells will damage the gut of the axolotl, which will lead to various health problems.

Don’t keep Malaysian trumpet snails with axolotls. Instead, look for other options.

Although these snails are one of the best snail species that many owners like to keep, I strongly recommend looking towards other snail species.

Can Axolotls Eat Rabbit Snails?

Rabbit snails have a very similar structure to the Malaysian trumpet snails. The shells are of a very similar structure, and they are relatively sharp. This is a problem, especially if you want to have them in an axolotl tank.

If the axolotl consumes the rabbit snails, it will inevitably cause problems for their digestive systems. As the shells are hard, they will create a lot of stress on their gut, and might even damage it. That’s why rabbit snails should be avoided.

I know that rabbit snails are a popular choice, but there’s another reason why you shouldn’t keep them with axolotls.

It’s very simple: rabbit snails require very different water parameters and conditions than axolotls do. Rabbit snails are more of a tropical type of snail, and they will require much higher temperatures than axolotls. The ideal temperature for rabbit snails is from 76 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit (from 24 degrees Celsius upwards), so that alone is a reason not to have them with axolotls.

Pair it up with their shell structure and you get a result: rabbit snails should be avoided for axolotl tanks.


Axolotls will happily nibble on snails. However, that is not the best way to feed your axolotls, and can become a problem if you own an axolotl tank with snails in it.

Certain snail types will have sharp shells, and that can cause the axolotls to get gut problems. If the shells are too sharp, the gut of the axolotl will get damaged. That’s why you have to be selective when it comes to snail types you own.

Updated: September 3, 2022

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