Does your snail population have you up at night in worry? Do you constantly dread waking up to find a snail feast on your water plants or even worse, your prized fish tank? Fear not, because there is a simple solution: Yoyo loaches!
Yoyo loaches are small, bottom-dwelling fish that are native to Eastern Asia. They are known for their voracious appetite and aggressive nature, making them the perfect solution for snails.
In this article, I’ll take a look at how Yoyo loaches eat snails, what kinds of snails they target, and how you can add these feisty little fish to your tank.
Do Yoyo Loaches Eat Snails?
Yoyo loaches are amazing snail-eating fish that can pretty much decimate a population of snails overnight. They love to dwell in the bottom of the tank and will eat any snails they find, including those pesky little pest snails.
When the snails start to multiply and take over your tank, this can lead to algae outbreaks and other problems in your tank. For example, if there are too many snails, they will begin to eat your plants, disturbing the natural balance of your tank and affecting the health of your fish.
Although adding fish-eating snails can seem like an aggressive approach to your snail problem, using Yoyo loaches will help you get rid of those snails quickly and effectively.
Do Yoyo Loaches Always Eat Snails?
More often than not, Yoyo loaches will gladly munch on snails. If you notice that your Yoyos seem to be ignoring the gastropods, give them some time to adjust and figure out the new food source. This might take several weeks or even months. However, eventually, the loaches will find the snails and start devouring them.
If you’re worried, try giving your Yoyo loaches smaller portions or missing a meal every once in a while. This might make them more interested in other food sources like snails and eventually get them to start eating the snails.
But be careful! Avoiding pellets could result in your Yoyo loaches eating more snails. However, keep in mind that snails should only be a part of their diet. They will still need proper nutrition.
Can Yoyo Loaches Eat Mystery Snails?
Yoyo loaches enjoy eating snails and can even eat mystery snails. To look for snacks, they search throughout the tank and suck them out of their shells when they find one. If the mystery snail is the larger size and your Yoyo loach is smaller, then it might survive for a while.
However, this combination is still risky, as the loaches could accidentally swallow a mystery snail whole and potentially harm its health.
So even though the baby Yoyo loach hasn’t shown much interest in the mystery snail, that could change. Remember, it might eventually get curious and start poking its mouth around the mystery snail’s shell.
Do Yoyo Loaches Eat Nerite Snails?
The Nerite snail is a difficult meal for the loach to catch and eat because of how tightly they hold onto their shells. The act of the Nerite snail burrowing into the substrate also discourages predators.
If well-fed, Yoyo loaches may not see the need to go after these stubborn snails. However, Yoyo loaches will eat nerite snails if they are famished enough. They will rummage through their hideouts to find them.
In addition, some Yoyo loaches have learned how to get rid of these pesky snails by continuously sucking and nibbling on their shell until the snail finally gives up.
Furthermore, younger nerite snails may be easy for Yoyo loaches to eat. Yoyos will dig into the shells of younger nerites and pull them out for their meals.
For younger Yoyo loaches that are inexperienced in hunting, nerite snails might not be the best option to satisfy their appetite for snail eating.
Will Yoyo Loaches Eat Large Snails?
Typically, Yoyo loaches eat big snails too as they are snail-eating fish. Sooner or later, they will learn how to consume the large snail.
If a loach can’t eat a big snail because of its size, it will still try to harass and pick on the snail. Here are some large snails that you should keep away from your loaches:
Apple snails are only slightly bigger than adult loaches and reach a maximum size of 2-3 inches as adults. Unfortunately, this is about the only good thing apple snails have going for them. They move slowly and peacefully, making them easy prey for predators.
Because of the round, narrow shape of its carapace, this snail has a pretty weak grip. Also, because they have long antennae, apple snails are vulnerable to loach attacks.
Even if the snail is large, loaches can easily nibble on its antennae and flesh until sometimes the fish can rip off chunks of the snail’s body and it succumbs to its injuries.
This type of snail is typically 2-4 inches long and has a thin, elongated shell. Rabbit snails can pose a challenge for loaches to eat because of their size and shape, but like most snails, they are peaceful and defenseless.
Even if loaches can’t swallow them whole, they will still be able to kill and consume them. This can result in the snail being hit and its body being ripped apart slowly piece by piece. Obviously, this is a painful experience for the snail.
To avoid further injury, bullied snails will go into their shell. However, loaches might keep bumping and flipping the snail until it gives up completely. Unfortunately, it’s not rare for snails to hide away until they eventually die from hunger.
Can Yoyo Loaches Consume Any Type of Snails?
As a general rule, Yoyo loaches will eat any type of snail. They are classified as snail-eating fish because they have been known to figure out how to suck the snail out of its shell regardless of size in most instances.
Do Yoyo Loaches Eat Dead Snails?
Yoyo loach is not a picky eater and will consume anything in its path. As scavengers, they love meaty foods, but fresh things are always the best treatment. Unfortunately, they’re not excellent hunters so sometimes they have to eat rotting items or dead animals. Their diet consists of dead snails, shrimp, and other small fish.
If you have dead snails in your aquarium, loaches are more than likely going to clean up the mess for you. However, this might not be the best idea. If you’re unsure as to why the snails died, you could be dealing with a disease or toxic water conditions.
Will Yoyo Loaches Eat Snail Eggs?
Yoyo loaches will eat snail eggs if they are hungry enough. These guys spend their time searching for food, and eggs would definitely be on their list.
Even if the eggs are hidden in the substrate, loaches will work to find and consume them. This will help to keep the population under control and prevent a snail infestation.
Do Yoyo Loaches Eat Snail Shells?
Yoyo Loaches don’t digest snail shells well because the shells are made of calcium carbonate, which is difficult for most fish to digest. Additionally, loaches only grow up to 2.5 inches and lack both the suction and teeth needed to eat large snail shells.
When loaches eat snails, they preferentially go for the soft bits by sucking the snail out of its home. They’ll leave the carapaces behind, which you’ll need to remove manually.
Occasionally, they will crush the shell of larger snails prior to consuming them. Also, they might try to suck up small snails entirely but usually spit broken shells back out while chewing.
How Many Snails do Yoyo Loaches Eat a Day?
Yoyo loaches typically feast on snails, but not every loach is an expert hunter. The number of snails they consume per day can depend on the Yoyo’s size, the snail’s size, and how experienced your fish is in capturing its prey.
Usually, a Yoyo loach will eat 1-2 large snails before it feels satisfied. However, if the snails are tiny (under 1 inch), a loach could devour 3-5 of them at once.
For example, if the loaches eat twice a day, each fish will get rid of 4-10 snails daily. It may not sound like much, but it quickly adds up when you keep 6-8 fish together (as you should). A small school of loaches 20-80 snails every day! This way, you could eliminate a snail infestation in just a couple of weeks.
Will Adding Yoyo Loaches to My Tank Get Rid of All the Snails?
Yoyo loaches will prey on any type of snail, as well as their eggs. So if you have an infestation, these bottom-feeding fish can help you get rid of the pests with ease. Of course, it might take some time to see results – depending on the severity of the infestation and how many Yoyos are in your tank.
Lastly, remember that Yoyo loaches will only go after snails when they are hungry. If you overfeed the fish, their appetite for snails goes down.
Which Other Loach Species Eat Snails?
Despite being dubbed as “small loaches”, these fish can get pretty sizable. Appropriately, you’ll need an aquarium that’s at least 40 gallons to house them comfortably.
Also, the tank should be roomy enough to allow for several other fish companions since they’re social creatures by nature.
If you’re specifically looking for small loaches that eat snails, below are some options:
The adult Kuhli loach grows up to 10 inches long and has a lifespan of around 10 years. It does well in water that has PH levels of 6-6.5, temperatures of 24-30 Celsius, and hardness ratings of about 5dGH. At night, Kuhli loaches are quite active, but during the day they like to lounge in a hidden spot in the tank.
This zebra loach has an adult size of more than ten inches and a lifespan of above ten years. It is famous for its stripes that even cover the fins, making it one of the most unique-looking fish in the aquarium community.
Also, it is relatively small among other types of loaches, which makes it ideal for community fish tanks.
Wild clowns can grow up to 15 inches (40 cm), while aquarium clowns usually max out at 12 inches (30 cm). So, if you’re thinking of getting a pet clown loach, you’ll need a large enough aquarium to accommodate them.
Also, it’s worth noting that these pets do best in groups of 4-5, as they are social animals by nature.
Though wild clown loaches certainly enjoy eating snails, they don’t usually have much of an impact on high snail populations in fish tanks. In fact, if there are too many snails in your aquarium, it can result in a lot of waste that will ultimately affect the clown loaches negatively.
To ensure your pet is getting all the nutrients they need, include a variety of aquatic invertebrates, insects, worms, and crustaceans in its diet.
Plus, you should avoid flake feeds that lose nutrients when soaked in water. Instead, opt for granules and pellets that contain plant matter and shrimp to meet the dietary needs of clown loaches.
Do Baby Loaches Like to Eat Snails?
Baby loaches will eat all types of snails, as well as their eggs. However, it’s important to note that your Yoyo loach may not be large enough to consume larger and more mature snails right away.
Will Yoyo Loaches Eat Malaysian Trumpet Snail (MTS)?
Yoyo loaches will happily eat MTS snails – both the adults and their eggs. However, you may need to provide them with a few days of acclimatization before they start chowing down on the snails in your tank.
Will Yoyo Loaches Eat Assassin Snails?
Yoyo loaches will eat assassin snails. They are very small snails that typically grow up to only 1 inch in size, making them an easy snack for your Yoyo loach.
Can Yoyo Loaches Live with Snails?
Yoyo loaches cannot live with snails. They will eat them and can quickly deplete your tank of these slow-moving pests.
What Do Yoyo Loaches Eat?
They’re not too choosy about what they eat and will consume flake, frozen, or freeze-dried foods. Also, they really enjoy live foods like bloodworms and brine shrimp though.
You see, Yoyo loaches are voracious eaters and will happily gobble up any type of snail that crosses their path. So, if you’re dealing with an infestation of these pests in your tank, the Yoyo loach is definitely a great option for getting rid of them.
Just keep in mind that it may take some time before your Yoyo loach is large enough to take on snails of all sizes.
I hope this article has answered your question. If you have any other questions about whether loaches eat snails, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always happy to help!