Will Dwarf Puffers Eat Malaysian Trumpet Snails? (Explained)

Dwarf Puffers, also known as Pea Puffers, will readily eat Malaysian Trumpet snails as well as Ramshorn Snails, Pond Snails, and Bladder Snails. Dwarf Puffer will eat almost any snail small enough. They will also eat bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia.

Eating Daphnia
Eating Daphnia

The popularity of freshwater pufferfish has rocketed in recent years. Whether the rise in their popularity is thanks to the increase in the number of fishkeeping YouTubers or due to the availability of more species thanks to the internet, there are now more species available to hobbyists than ever before.

I have been keeping, and trying to breed, pufferfish for over 10 years. I currently have a number of different species in my fish room including a Fahaka Puffer, a Congo Puffer, and a Hairy Puffer.

My tank filled with Dwarf Puffers is by far one of my favorite aquariums. These tiny little characters spend their entire day, looping around the aquarium looking for either food or trouble. They usually find one or the other!

Do Malaysian Trumpet Snails Break Dwarf Puffer’s Teeth?

There is a lot of talk on the internet, especially on forums, that Malaysian Trumpet snails are so hard they will break a Dwarf Puffer’s teeth.

In my experience of feeding hundreds, maybe thousands of Malaysian Trumpet snails to dozens of Dwarf Puffers, Malaysian Trumpet snails DO NOT break Dwarf Puffer’s teeth.

Although it may be true that Malaysian Trumpet snails have very hard shells, Dwarf Puffers don’t actually bite through the snails’ shells. What they do instead is physically suck the snail out of its shell.

Unlike many of their larger cousins, Dwarf Puffers do not need to bite through hard shells in order to keep their teeth trimmed. I have never had a Dwarf Puffer whose teeth grew excessively, and I feed mine a lot of bloodworms, which are not hard to bite through at all.

What Other Snails Do Dwarf Puffers Eat?

Dwarf Puffers will eat pretty much any small snail you put in the aquarium with them. Over the years I have fed my Dwarf Puffer Ramshorn snails, Bladder Snails, tiny Mystery snails, and so-called ‘pest’ snails which I pull out of my pond.

One thing to be aware of is, don’t put too many snails in with your Dwarf Puffers. It may seem like a good idea to throw a whole load in and then let the Dwarf Puffers eat them as and when they are hungry.

From first-hand experience I can tell you that what will happen is your Dwarf Puffers will eat 3 or 4 snails, then motor around the tank simply killing the other snails and leaving them to rot in your aquarium, which quickly spoils the water quality.

What Else Will Dwarf Puffers Eat?

Although Dwarf Puffers love to eat snails, It is still important to offer them a varied diet. I like to feed my Dwarf Puffers a mixture of Bloodworms (live or frozen), Brine Shrimp, Daphnia, and Mosquito Larvae.

I have heard of other aquarists getting their Dwarf Puffers to accept dried foods like VibraBites from Hikari, but I haven’t managed to convince mine to try it yet.

In Conclusion

Dwarf Puffers love to eat snails, and that includes Malaysian Trumpet Snails. The internet is full of stories about how Malaysian Trumpet snails will break Dwarf Puffer teeth. In my experience, this is not the case.

There are a large number of people on the internet, especially on forums, who just regurgitate incorrect information they have read elsewhere. Anyone who has genuinely kept Dwarf Puffers knows they don’t bite through the shells, they suck the snail out!

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

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