Freshwater aquarium snails are a great way to add diversity and life to your tank, and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.
In this definitive guide, we’ll provide you with a complete list of rare and common aquarium snail types, along with detailed care guides, enclosure setup tips, and more.
With this knowledge, you’ll be able to better decide which type of snail is best for your tank and take the necessary steps to ensure your pet snails are healthy and happy.
So, let’s begin our journey into the wonderful world of freshwater aquarium snails!
What Are Freshwater Aquarium Snails?
They are usually much smaller than most terrarium snails, ranging from a few millimeters to a few centimeters in size.
Aquarium snails come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and can be found in many different parts of the world.
They are generally peaceful creatures that can be quite beneficial to a tank’s ecosystem.
Purpose Of Snails In Freshwater Aquariums
Aquarium snails are beneficial to a tank’s ecosystem in a variety of ways.
They help keep the aquatic vivarium clean by scavenging for food, aerating the substrate, and eating algae and debris.
Additionally, they can help oxygenate the water by creating tunnels and other structures throughout the soil.
This helps to circulate oxygen throughout the tank, which is essential for the health of all aquatic life.
In addition to their cleanup duties, aquatic snails can also help to control the population of other aquatic life by eating their eggs or young.
Finally, many aquarium snails are just really attractive and can be a great addition to any tank.
Best Types Of Freshwater Aquarium Snails
When it comes to selecting aquarium snails, it’s important to consider certain factors.
Some aquatic snails are better than others when it comes to tank maintenance, such as those that consume excess algae and debris.
On the contrary, some snails are better at dealing with water parameters and tank temperatures than others.
Lastly, some snails are simply more attractive and can add a nice touch of color to the right setup.
By being mindful of these factors, you can choose the perfect snail for your aquarium.
Mystery Snail (Pomacea bridgesii)
Mystery Snail is a popular aquarium snail native to South America.
These snails are easily recognized by their large, colorful shells, which come in a variety of hues such as yellow, brown, green, and blue.
They are generally peaceful and non–aggressive, making them great additions to any community tank.
Mystery Snails are also known for their ability to consume excess algae and debris in the tank, helping to maintain a healthy and clean aquarium.
As a bonus, these snails are highly active and entertaining to watch, often seen moving around the tank and exploring their surroundings.
If you’re looking for more specifics on this aquatic snail, here’s a full care guide on the Mystery Snail/Spike-topped Apple Snail (Pomacea bridgesii).
Great Pond Snail (Lymnaea stagnalis)
The Great Pond Snail is a type of aquatic snail native to Europe and Asia.
This species of snail has an elongated, conical shell, with a unique pattern of yellow, brown, and black stripes.
They are a peaceful species, often seen slowly grazing on algae and other debris around the tank.
Great Pond Snails are a great addition to any freshwater aquarium, as they help keep it clean and their interesting shells can be a nice addition to the aesthetic of the tank.
They are fairly hardy and easy to care for, making them a solid choice for those new to keeping aquarium snails.
If you’re looking for more specifics on this aquatic snail, here’s a full care guide on Great Pond Snails (Lymnaea stagnalis).
Rabbit Snails (Tylomelania sp.)
Rabbit Snails (Tylomelania sp.) are popular aquarium snails native to Indonesia.
They are often identified by their distinct cone–shaped shells and long, conical siphon.
Rabbit Snails are very hardy and active, and they make great for aquariums. They are interesting to watch as they move around the tank and explore their environment.
They consume algae and plant matter and can be helpful in controlling algae growth in a tank.
Rabbit Snails are an excellent choice for those looking for an unusual looking aquarium snail.
If you’re looking for more specifics on this aquatic snail, here’s a full care guide on Rabbit Snails (Tylomelania sp.).
Assassin Snail (Anentome helena)
Assassin Snail is a popular aquarium snail found in many tropical tanks.
It is a carnivorous snail that feeds on other snails, such as pests snails, making them excellent for population control.
Despite its carnivorous diet, it is relatively peaceful and can live happily among other fish and invertebrates.
It is a hardy snail and can tolerate a wide range of tank conditions, making it ideal for beginner aquarists.
It is also known for its striking bumblebee appearance, with a black and yellow striped shell adding a pop of color to any aquarium.
If you’re looking for more specifics on this aquatic snail, here’s a full care guide on Assassin Snails (Anentome helena).
Nerite Snail (Neritina natalensis)
Nerite Snail is a popular choice for aquariums due to its signature and unique shell patterns.
This aquatic snail is native to Africa and parts of the Mediterranean, and can be found in both brackish and freshwater environments.
It has a hard, smooth shell and is relatively hardy compared to other snail varieties. The Nerite Snail is a great addition to any tank as it is an excellent scavenger, helping to keep the tank clean and free of algae.
They are also active and can be seen zipping around the aquarium, grazing on algae and other food sources.
If you’re looking for more specifics on this aquatic snail, here’s a full care guide on Nerite Snails (Neritina natalensis).
Malaysian Trumpet Snail (Melanoides tuberculata)
The Malaysian Trumpet Snail is a medium-sized and hardy freshwater snail of the Thiaridae family.
It is an excellent incorporation to any aquarium environment as it is an effective scavenger and algae eater.
It is not a fussy eater and will happily consume any leftover fish food or decaying matter in the tank.
It is also quite active and can often be seen traveling around the tank, climbing up decorations, and exploring its environment.
It can reach up to 3 inches in size and has a distinct conical shell which is usually yellow or brown in color.
If you’re looking for more specifics on this aquatic snail, here’s a full care guide on Malaysian Trumpet Snails (Melanoides tuberculata).
Bladder Snail (Physella acuta)
Bladder Snail is an aquatic snail native to freshwater habitats in North America.
It is a popular choice for aquariums due to its easy-to-find and low–maintenance lifestyle. It has a cylindrical, yellowish–brown shell that is easily distinguishable from other aquarium snails.
This species of air-breathers prefers to inhabit the substrate of aquariums, often burrowing and coming up for air from time to time.
Bladder Snails are also known for their ability to clean up excess food, algae, and debris, making them a beneficial species for any aquarium.
If you’re looking for more specifics on this aquatic snail, here’s a full care guide on the Bladder Snail (Physella acuta).
New Zealand Mud Snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum)
New Zealand Mud Snail is a small, freshwater snail native to New Zealand and Australia.
It is an extremely hardy species, capable of surviving in a wide range of temperatures and water conditions.
This makes them an ideal snail for beginner-friendly aquariums, as they do not require much maintenance or special care.
They are also very active and can often be seen scuttling around the tank, cleaning up debris, and helping to keep the tank clean.
In addition, New Zealand Mud Snails will also eat algae, making them excellent algae eaters.
If you’re looking for more specifics on this aquatic snail, here’s a full care guide on the New Zealand Mud Snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum).
Ramshorn Snail (Planorbarius corneus)
Ramshorn Snail is a common species of aquatic snail found throughout Europe and North America.
Its shell is coiled into a flat spiral shape, giving it its namesake Ramshorn shape.
This hardy species is often used as an aquarium cleaner, as it will happily consume excess algae, leftover food, and decaying matter.
As well as being an effective cleaner, Ramshorn Snails are also an attractive and interesting addition to any aquarium.
They flawlessly add a splash of color to any tank with their bright yellow, brown, or red shells.
With their hardy nature and ease of care, Ramshorn Snails can make a great extension to any aquarium enthusiast‘s collection.
If you’re looking for more specifics on this aquatic snail, here’s a full care guide on the Ramshorn Snail (Planorbarius corneus).
Freshwater Aquarium Snails For Sale
If you are ready to get a set of aquarium snails of your own, check out the link below.
Just make sure that you carefully consider the type of snail you are looking for, as some species are more difficult to care for than others.
Before purchasing your snails, make sure you have done the necessary research and that you are confident you can provide them with the care they need.
Freshwater Aquarium Snail Care
When caring for aquarium snails, it’s a good idea to consider their particular tank requirements, temperature, water parameters, and diet.
All aquarium snails need a tank that is adequately sized and equipped with a secure lid.
The temperature should be consistent, lighting should be on timed intervals and water parameters should be kept stable.
Additionally, it’s vital to keep the tank clean and free of debris and toxins.
Regular water changes and routine maintenance are essential for keeping your snails at their peak.
With proper care, even the most difficult snails will thrive in your freshwater aquarium.
Feeding Freshwater Aquarium Snails
When it comes to feeding your aquarium snails, there are a few things to keep in mind. Snails are scavengers and will feed on a variety of different food sources.
However, strive to provide a balanced diet that meets the nutritional needs of your snails.
A good rule of thumb is to feed them a variety of vegetables, proteins, and other sources of calcium.
Some common foods that aquarium snails can eat include:
• Vegetables: cucumber, zucchini, squash, spinach, bok choy, lettuce
• Fruits: apples, oranges, melons, strawberries, blueberries
• Proteins: cooked eggs, cooked shrimp, cooked fish, brine shrimp
• Calcium: crushed eggshells, cuttlebone, aquarium-safe coral fragments
If you’re more of an avid hobbyist like myself, be sure to check out my ultimate DIY aquarium snail food guide. I give a more in-depth explanation of the best foods and my personal favorite recipe.
If you’ve been thinking about adding freshwater aquarium snails to your tank, then this guide has hopefully provided you with the information you need to make an informed decision.
You have at least nine types of aquarium snails to consider, along with their care requirements and enclosure setup tips. With this knowledge, you can now choose the type of snail that’s best for your tank and build the perfect home for them.
So, don’t delay any longer, add some snails to that tank and enjoy the beauty, diversity, and life they bring to your aquarium.
Frequently Asked Questions
Snails often enter tanks as hitchhikers on live plants or on aquarium decorations. Overfeeding your fish can also lead to an increase in snails. Snails are attracted to excess food and decaying organic matter in the tank, so keeping your tank clean and performing regular water changes is key to preventing an influx of snails.
Here’s a short list of snails suitable for aquariums:
- Malaysian Trumpet Snails (Melanoides tuberculata)
- Nerite Snails (Neritina natalensis)
- Rabbit Snails (Tylomelania sp.)
- Assassin Snails (Anentome helena)
- Mystery Snail/Spike-topped apple snail (Pomacea bridgesii)
- Bladder snail (Physella acuta)
- New Zealand mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum)
- Great Pond Snails (Lymnaea stagnalis)
- Ramshorn Snail (Planorbarius corneus)
Yes, snails can be beneficial for a fish tank. They help to keep the tank clean by eating algae, detritus, and other debris. They can also help oxygenate the water.
Snails can be a problem in aquariums because they reproduce quickly and can quickly take over an aquarium. They can also cause damage to aquarium plants and other decorations, as well as clog filters and pumps. Snails can also carry parasites and diseases which can be spread to other fish in the aquarium.
To keep aquarium snails alive, it is important to maintain the correct water parameters, provide a variety of food sources, and ensure that the tank is well–aerated.
Yes, aquarium snails will eat fish waste, as well as other decomposing matter like uneaten food, algae, and dead plant matter.
The number of snails you should have in your tank depends on the size of the tank, the number of other snails and fish, and the type of snails you are keeping. As a general rule, you should have no more than one snail per gallon of water.
Common fish that eat snails in a fish tank include cichlids, loaches, puffers, and some species of catfish. Other tankmates like crabs and shrimp may also feed on snails.
Yes, if that species is an asexual hermaphrodite, meaning it has both male and female reproductive organs. Most snails reproduce by laying eggs.
Yes, bettas will eat snails. However, they should not be the sole source of food, as bettas need a variety of foods to stay healthy.