I am getting a betta fish on Friday and I have a question. My mom has a tetra tank with some snails in it. I find that they help maintain a good water quality in her tank and I was wondering if I could put a few in with my betta. I have heard that bettas eat snails, which would be fine for keeping the population down. I would never have a huge amount of them in there with the fish, just a few to take care of the crumbs. Would the snails be okay with the betta?
Depends on what kind of snail you have. They will often eat tiny snails like pond snails, one of my girls rips them right out of the shell and eats them!
But Most bettas won't bother a mystery snail or a larger snail like that. An important thing to know:
SNAILS WILL NOT CLEAN THE TANK! (Sorry for the caps, just making sure you all get it LOL) They will eat some algae, but that's about it, You must feed them veggies and algae wafers. They can't just survive off the things in your tank usually. My Mystery snail does a lousy job at eating all the algae she just eats little bits when she wants to. The only way they "Clean" is they will eat left over food on the bottom of the tank.
All in all, there are quite a number of cons with a snail. For me, cons outweigh the pros (but I still consider them anyway, ha).
Snails don't really maintain water quality nor make it better... They add onto your bioload, making it worse if anything (but all fish do that anyways). Like above, they're not good algae cleaners, save for some including the nerite. Some snails do this, some snails do that. Mystery snails seem useless unless you don't mind adding something that could take the bioload of another fish (am I overexaggerating?)...although they're cute.
But in the sense of just being a tankmate (and not being used for a tank-cleaner or anything like that), snails seem to work out well. THere are always exceptions as well. Go ahead and try ... and importantly - what type of snail are you going to add (OP)?
Hmmm... I am really not sure what type of snails my mom has. They are tiny and cute though. I would never negate changing tank water because of them. I don't want anything to harm my fishies, most of all my tank water.