What Will Eat Fish Poop?

Fish waste contains toxins which are toxic to aquarium water, but many organisms exist to eat and break down waste in order to eliminate toxins from it.

Freshwater snails, shrimp, Plecos and Corydoras make great cleaners of freshwater tanks, munching happily away at algae blooms, decaying plant matter, sand and gravel, uneaten food items or any other organic debris floating about in the tank.


Snails make great additions to a fish tank and help to keep it clean by acting as part of its cleaner-up crew. Snails eat all sorts of organic material that would otherwise decay and pollute water quality, including algae, dead plants and uneaten food – they even eat some of their own waste! However, there is a common misunderstanding that snails consume fish waste too; while this may happen from time to time while foraging around an aquarium’s substrate or items – fish waste provides no nutrition so they spit it right out as it would likely provide no nutrition.

Snail poop is rich in essential minerals and vitamins needed for plant health and may make an excellent fertilizer in aquarium environments. Aquarists will often utilize snail poop as part of their aquarium care routine; many aquarists use partially digested snail waste as fertilizer in order to feed their aquarium plants with the essential minerals and vitamins required for good growth.

As an added benefit, snails will often eat their own waste, since it comes from eating similar items in their tanks. This helps reduce organic build-up in the substrate that may otherwise require vacuuming to clear away.

Note, however, that leaving uneaten food to accumulate in your fish tank can be harmful, as this will rot and increase ammonia levels in the water. Incorporating snails can help in this regard by eating any uneaten food before it has time to spoil and raise ammonia levels in your aquarium.

Mystery snails in particular feed on organic material and plant matter found in fish tanks, leading to the buildup of stringy skunk-like waste in its substrate and other surfaces. If you decide to add these peaceful creatures to your tank, regular cleaning with a gravel vacuum and regular water changes are still recommended to maintain optimal conditions in it.

Bottom Dwellers

Though it is a popular misconception that bottom feeder fish such as Corydoras and Plecos will consume waste, they don’t. While they may graze on feces accidentally, this activity usually does not constitute intentional feeding as these nutrients lack essential vitamins that make up an adequate diet for these species of fish.

As their name implies, these fish spend most of their time on the aquarium floor eating algae, decaying plant matter and leftover food that has settled at the bottom. Additionally, they will eat dead fish and any smaller living creatures found within your aquarium tank – providing another method for keeping it clean! Therefore they make an ideal addition as they will effectively clear away debris in your tank.

Unfortunately, snails won’t eat fish poop in your aquarium. Many people add snails as scavengers because of their reputation of devouring algae and other waste material from the tank, but since they won’t consume fish poop it will build up at the bottom of your tank and become a breeding ground for bacteria that will affect water quality as well as other aquatic plants in your tank.

Feces is another important thing that you should be aware of as it decomposes, changing color as it decomposes and becoming discolored with age. This could include greenish, brownish or even white colored feces which could affect other fish gills as well as human digestive tracts. White colored feces should always be reported immediately to a veterinarian as this indicates serious malnourishment or illness and should be reported promptly to them.

If your tank has an abundance of fish poop that no one is eating, there are various other methods you can employ to remove it. These include using a gravel vacuum, increasing and optimizing water flow within your aquarium and adding live plants to absorb some of its nutrients from fish poop. These solutions may prevent buildup in your aquarium. It’s essential that any buildup be addressed promptly as otherwise it can pose major health hazards to other inhabitants within it.


If you own a fish tank, you may have heard that its cleanup crew consists of small invertebrates known as cleaner shrimp to consume the waste produced in your tank and keep its waters clear. While this is true, there are some key facts you need to remember about these creatures: first of all, most are harmless creatures who simply consume organic matter or bacteria on it rather than actually eating the waste themselves – something which benefits both animals and plants in your tank and helps reduce smell while making the water healthier overall.

There are certain species of fish which consume other fish’s feces as food, for instance the Oscar fish which needs additional nourishment from other sources to survive in its environment. It is particularly vital for this fish as its diet does not consist of many natural sources in nature.

At times, aquarium fish may ingest poop as food or as an experiment, often mistaking it for another source. Once they recognize that there are no nutritional benefits attached, most often they spit it back out immediately.

Pleco and corydora fish, in particular, will consume waste products in order to relieve waste build-up in their tanks. Not that it matters much nutritionally; rather, these bottom dwellers often eat whatever is on the substrate of their tanks – whether that means eating their waste directly or eating something they find on it from time to time. While not providing nutrition themselves, eating waste simply helps rid of waste efficiently.

Although this method can help your fish tanks, it is essential to remember that most of the poop will decompose over time and become natural fertilizer for use by plants in your tank. Organic material will break down and be absorbed by soil bacteria while ammonia produced from breaking down proteins will be converted to ammonia by bacteria which then finds its way back into your aquarium as nutrients for plant life to absorb.

Other Fish

Fish and other tank inhabitants produce biological waste in the form of uneaten food, feces and dead leaves or organic material that rots to release harmful toxins into the water. Regular gravel suctioning to help avoid waste buildup is recommended.

Some fish species are commonly misunderstood as being “poop-eating”, however this is untrue. While fish may occasionally mistakenly consume waste when floating through an aquarium, when this occurs they usually expel it once realizing it’s not food. Instead many will eat algae or detritus that accumulates on the substrate as these items provide important nutrition sources.

Plecos and Corydoras fishes are widely believed to consume fish poop; however, this happens by accident rather than deliberate consumption. Being bottom dwelling species that primarily consume algae for sustenance, they spend their days searching through sand and gravel for any potential detritus like worms, leftover food items or other detritus – often including their waste that settles there; however they will avoid eating this waste as it lacks nutritional benefits.

Other fish, like otocinclus and loaches, will occasionally taste fish poop that floats around in their aquarium before discarding it as non-edible. In contrast, plecos and corydoras will consume any algae or detritus that settles onto the substrate of an aquarium’s substrate.

Although many believe fish to be capable of eating fish poop in aquariums, this myth and misconceptions regarding these supposedly “poop-eating” fish exist only in their imaginations. Fish don’t actually eat the waste produced in an aquarium as it doesn’t contain essential nutrients that they require for survival; thus it is the responsibility of aquarium owners to remove any build-up of waste in order to keep their tanks healthy and vibrant.