One of the most dreaded things to happen to most goldfish aquariums is the overrun of unwanted algae. Whether green, black, red, or brown algae, it can cause your beautifully aqua-scaped goldfish tank to slowly become ridden with this plant-like protist. A set of panic can set in from being unable to see your goldfish clearly. So, at a loss of what to do, we hope this article can give you some encouragement and guidance on helpful algae eaters that can comfortably live with your goldfish.
When we think of algae eaters, we commonly think of plecos or catfish, who cannot comfortably live with goldfish due to the biowaste production and temperature requirements. What we do not think of is the cute little shelled creatures crawling around the tank.
Snails are by far one of the most positively reviewed algae eaters available on the market. Commonly known as a pest in the aquarium industry, these little creatures are not all too bad. We have compiled a list of our top five algae eaters who have received the most positive reviews!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2022
The 5 Best Algae Eaters for Goldfish Tanks Are:
1. SevenSeaSupply Zebra Nerite Aquarium Snails – Best Overall
Hands-down one of the most recommended algae eaters is the zebra nerite snail. Aside from their appealing look with black and whitish-yellow stripes as the name suggests, the nerite snail readily devourers all types of algae growing on your goldfish’s tanks. A common worry among aquatic snail owners is that they are well known for their ability to rapidly reproduce and quickly overrun your aquarium, hence their label as tank pests. For the zebra nerite snail, they can only reproduce sexually, unlike most aquarium snails who can reproduce asexually. Nerite snail eggs can only successfully hatch in brackish water, and not your goldfishes preferred pure freshwater conditions.
Nerites of an adult size get along well with goldfish and cohabit peacefully in the tank. Nerites are on the smaller side of aquarium snails. SevenSeaSupply includes a group of five snails when you make a purchase and have a guaranteed live arrival with a 100% guarantee policy. If you open your package to some dead or poorly snails, they will happily refund or replace them with image or video proof. The group of five ensures your algae-ridden goldfish tank will have enough mouths to consume the algae faster than it has a chance to grow.
2. Kazen Aquatic Ramshorn Snails – Best Value
A colorful addition to your goldfish’s tank, the ramshorn snails from Kazen Aquatics. Known as the gems among aquatic snail keepers, ramshorn snails consume algae at a rapid pace. Arriving in a multi-colored group of 10 or more, Kazen Aquatics ensures 100% live healthy ramshorn snails upon arrival with a refund or replacement guarantee. This makes it the best algae eater for money in 2021.
The colors produced are enticing, from blues to purples. The juveniles will not fit in a larger goldfish’s mouth and peacefully live amongst one another. Ramshorns rapidly reproduce in good conditions, although this is undesirable to some. Goldfish tank owners with constant algae growth may welcome the breeding. However, breeding may be kept in check by your goldfish, who will happily eat the eggs and young if they remain in the tank.
The ramshorn’s shell does not have the same stand-out spiral as other snails; instead, it has a flattened side profile with spiralling grooves turning towards the middle. They are excellent at keeping algae growth in control and can even reach narrower spaces due to their flattened shell growth.
3. Awesome Aquatics Poso Sulawesi Rabbit Snails – Premium Choice
The instantly recognizable Poso Sulawesi rabbit snail is an amazing algae eater, rare among aquarium keepers but prized for its delightful orange body coloration. They are one of the larger growing aquatic snails available and will consume a greater deal of algae in a shorter period than their smaller counterparts.
Polo Sulawesi rabbit snails have an interestingly long snout, almost resembling an elephant. Growing to an average size of 3 to 4 inches long, these aquatic snails as both juveniles and adults are too large to fit in goldfish’s mouths. These snails are peaceful and do not seemingly entice goldfish, this lets them munch away at their primary diet, algae.
Consuming nearly all types and colors of algae, even showing an interest in black beard algae, which some snails do not touch. Awesome aquatics sends out a package of five Poso Sulawesi rabbit juvenile snails per shipment, with a guarantee they can handle and survive in a wide range of water conditions and longer shipment than other aquatic snails. A bonus is that these snails reproduce relatively slow and steadily, so you will not have an over-bearing number of snails taking over your goldfish’s tank.
4. Toledo Goldfish Live Trapdoor Snails
The hardy trapdoor snail is well known for thriving in a variety of tank and pond conditions, making them an excellent outdoor goldfish pond cohabitor. Peaceful in nature and a moderately fast algae eater, you will find your unwanted algae growth diminishing in just a few weeks. The tranquil snails display a cone-shaped spiralling shell. Although they are not the most attractive snail out there, they add a natural-looking addition to goldfish vegetation-based ponds or tanks.
When startled, these snails quickly zip into their shell, avoiding the prying mouth of a hungry goldfish. They grow to about 2 inches, with the females being larger than males. They can easily acclimate into a variety of goldfish homes, from indoor or outdoor ponds to your small fancy goldfish tanks. Toledo goldfish ensures a healthy arrival of five trapdoor snails with fast shipping. They may take a while to come out of their shell after arrival, but once they do, they will be quick at diminishing that algae!
If you're new to the world of goldfish or are an experienced goldfish keeper that loves to learn more, we recommend you check out our best-selling book, The Truth About Goldfish, on Amazon. From diagnosing illnesses and providing correct treatments to ensuring your goldies are happy with their setup and your maintenance, this book brings our blog to life in color and will help you to be the best goldfishkeeper you can be.
If you're new to the world of goldfish or are an experienced goldfish keeper that loves to learn more, we recommend you check out our best-selling book, The Truth About Goldfish, on Amazon.
From diagnosing illnesses and providing correct treatments to ensuring your goldies are happy with their setup and your maintenance, this book brings our blog to life in color and will help you to be the best goldfishkeeper you can be.
5. WorldwideTropicals Live Nerite Snails
A fast algae eater, the nerite snails from Worldwide Tropicals is easily able to adapt to your well-maintained goldfish’s freshwater tank. Although they are on the smaller side and at risk of being eaten or injured by larger goldfish, they do an amazing job at keeping algae at bay. In the packaging you will receive a mix of six nerite snails in total, all varying in coloring and type. With nerites only being able to reproduce successfully in brackish waters, you will be able to keep the numbers low, ideal if you have a smaller tank or do not want an overrun goldfish tank.
The suppliers advise keeping an eye on water parameters for these snails, as they are susceptible to high levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates in your goldfish tank. Due to goldfish’s large bio-load, these parameter spikes are common, so it is best to stick to regular water testing while keeping these algae eaters. Worldwide Tropicals ensures fast shipping with an email and tracking number, so be sure to have your nerite snails at your door in no time.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Algae Eater for Goldfish Tanks
What makes a Good Algae Eater?
The SevenSeaSupply zebra nerite aquarium snails make an excellent algae eater. Readily available and appealing colorations, we recommend them for stubborn and rapid algae growth. The pros outweigh the cons, and they are not classified as pests in goldfish tanks, due to their ability to only reproduce in brackish water conditions.
What Type of Snails Do You Need?
If your goldfish’s tank is becoming increasingly covered in algae no matter what your try, you may require larger snails that reproduce at a steady rate to produce enough snails to take care of your algae problem. If you have an occasional outbreak of fast algae growth, smaller snails such as nerites will suffice to maintain the algae growth.
Types of Algae-eating Snails
You mainly get two primary types of algae-eating snails, ones that can comfortably live-in brackish water that has higher salt content in the water, or those from pure freshwater that has little to no salts in the water.
The Cost Factor
Depending on how fast you want your snail shipping to take place, as well as the rarity and reproducing rate of the snails, you may find some to be more expensive than others. Although they are reasonably priced, and you are paying for the quality and benefits of keeping this type of snail. A larger number of snails of a mixed variety in coloration with be on the pricier end than common, dull-colored snails in small groups.
|Small growing snails under 1.5 inches||Large growing snails over 1.5 inches|
|Reproduce quickly||Reproduce slowly|
|Young and some juveniles can fit in goldfish’s mouth||Consume more algae in a short duration of time due to their larger mouths|
|Can live in a smaller tank||Need a larger tank to support their size potential|
|Smaller bio-load||Larger bio-load|
We hope to have helped you make an informed decision on what snails are right for your goldfish’s tank’s algae problems. Out of our top five algae eater reviews, we highly recommend the Poso Sulawesi rabbit snails (our premium choice.) These snails seem to offer the most benefits for their duty as an algae eater in your goldfish tank as well as reproducing at a slow and steady rate.
Being able to grow to the potential size of 4 inches, the Polo Sulawesi snail is excellent for goldfish tanks and maintaining your algae growth problems, as their large size makes them unable to fit in your goldfish’s mouth. Being the best value for money, we agree they are worth every cent at controlling algae problems in your goldfish tank without causing an over-population of these snails.
Featured Image Credit: Awesome Aquatics, Amazon