What Snails Do Dwarf Puffers Eat? (Quick Read)

Dwarf Puffers are hardcore carnivores and will quickly devour any snail small enough for them to tackle. Dwarf Puffers will eat Ramshorn Snails, Malaysian Trumpet Snails, Pond Snails, and even small Mystery Snails.

Eating Daphnia
Eating Daphnia

In recent years the availability and popularity of freshwater pufferfish have rocketed. We now regularly see up to 10 different species available on lists, and that number creeps up every year. Dwarf Puffers are now available from most local fish stores as well as some of the big box stores.

I have been keeping and researching freshwater pufferfish for over a decade. I have a number of different species in my fish room, and my small Dwarf Puffer community tank is by far one of my favorite aquariums. These little critters never fail to entertain.



What Snails Do Dwarf Puffers Eat?

Over the years I have fed countless different snails to my Dwarf Puffers. Some of the species I feed on a regular basis include;

  • Ramshorn Snails
  • Malaysian Trumpet Snails
  • Pond Snails
  • Bladder Snails
  • Mystery Snails
  • Land Snails

RamshornSnails

I put Ramshorn Snails on top of my list for two reasons. Firstly, they are probably the easiest snail to breed at home, and secondly, Dwarf Puffers go crazy for them.

I keep a 10-gallon aquarium in my fish room which I use solely for reproducing Ramshorn Snails. All I do is drop some food in for the snails a couple of times a week, and they produce, what has so far been an endless supply of fresh, juicy Ramshorn snails for my Dwarf Puffers.



Malaysian Trumpet Snails

Unlike many other species of snails, Malaysian Trumpet Snails spend their days buried in the substrate.

Only when the lights go out do they venture out of the substrate into the aquarium. This can be useful as the Malayasian Trumpet Snails can live and reproduce in the substrate, and only occasionally does one get picked off when they venture out during daylight.

One question to address is ’Don’t Malaysian Trumpet Snails break Dwarf Puffer’s teeth?’ The answer is no, Malaysian Trumpet Snails don’t break Dwarf Puffer’s teeth.

Whilst they undoubtedly have thick shells, Dwarf Puffers don’t actually need to bite through the shell, they usually just suck the snail out of its shell. I wrote a whole article titled Will Dwarf Puffers Eat Malaysian Trumpet Snails?

Pond Snails

If, like me, you have a pond in your backyard, throw a handful of pond snails in there and leave them for a year or so. You will soon find you have a rich source of snails you can pull out whenever you need to feed your Dwarf Puffers.

Only feed your Dwarf Puffers the smallest Pond Snails, as they won’t be able to eat the large ones.

Bladder Snails

Bladder Snails, which are also referred to as pest snails, often appear in our aquariums after we add new plants or move decorations from a friend’s tank into our own. Bladder Snails reproduce quickly and are another great snail to breed in a dedicated ‘snail breeding’ tank.

Mystery Snails

When you think about Mystery Snails, you don’t naturally think ‘Dwarf Puffer food’. However, if you find yourself in a situation where your Mystery Snails are breeding, the baby Mystery Snails make great food for Dwarf Puffers.

A couple of times over the last few years I have bred Mystery Snails. Both times, I was inundated with small snails, so I fed some to my Dwarf Puffers.

Land Snails

Dwarf Puffers will happily eat small land snails from your yard. Providing you can guarantee the snails have not been affected by chemicals or pesticides, they make a great food source. I don’t feed my Dwarf Puffers land snails very often, but I have done it and they will eat them.

What Else Do Dwarf Puffers Eat?

Unlike most other species of pufferfish, Dwarf Puffers don’t have to eat hard, shelled foods to keep their teeth trimmed.

I vary my Dwarf Puffers diet by adding live or frozen bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp, and mosquito larvae.

Other Dwarf Puffer keepers have reported that their Dwarf Puffers will eat Vibra Bites from Hikari (see more about Vibra Bites here). Vibra Bites is pellet food but in the shape of bloodworms. I guess the Dwarf Puffers are fooled into believing that the food is actual bloodworms.

I have to be honest, my Dwarf Puffers won’t touch it!

In Conclusion

There are a wide variety of snails Dwarf Puffer will eat. The size of the snail is more important than the species. Because Dwarf Puffers are so small, and they prefer to ‘suck’ the snail out of the shell rather than bite through it, whatever type of snail you feed to your Dwarf Puffers, just make sure it is small enough that the Dwarf Puffer can actually eat it.


About the Author

I’ve been keeping, breeding, and showing tropical fish for nearly 30 years. Over that time I’ve done it all! I’ve had great success and I’ve made some really foolish mistakes (like the time I bought an Asain Walking Catfish). Read more…
Richard James
Editor