PetWave - Aquarium Snails Care Sheet

Author: Kristy Walker   Date Posted: 17 August 2019 

Aquarium Snails can be a beneficial addition to any aquarium, which are surprisingly interesting to watch and can even help out by nibbling on some algae within your tank.

PetWave carry a range of aquarium snails:

  • Black and Red Ramshorn Snails
  • Burrowing Snails
  • Gold and Tort Mystery Snails (Gold)
  • Singapore Spiral Snails

INTRODUCING SNAILS TO YOUR AQUARIUM
Once your aquarium snails arrive, you need to take care to introduce them to your aquarium slowly as there is a significant risk that they will drown if introduced too fast. Float them in a plastic container in your aquarium or put them on a ledge above your aquarium water and let them work their way into the aquarium in their own time. This allows them the time to collect an air bubble prior to submerging, which is essential for their survival. If snails are introduced into an aquarium without having the opportunity to slowly collect a bubble of air into their shells, they will sink to the bottom and then quickly drown. Dropping snails into an aquarium is a sure way to kill them. Snails will also need unblocked access to the water surface to collect new air bubbles from time to time. They will typically get this by climbing up the aquarium glass or accessories that protrude from the water such as driftwood.

LIFE SPAN
The life span of your snail depends on their species and of course having their parameters set up correctly! 

Black and Red Ramshorn Snails typically live for approximately a year. 

Burrowing Snails typically live for approximately a year.

Mystery Snails (Gold and Tort) are a little hardier, can commonly live one to two years, but can also live up to three with a little luck and ideal conditions. 

Singapore Spiral Snails typically live for approximately a year.

DIET
Your snails can perform the role of scavengers within your aquarium, which is why some refer to them as a “clean up crew”. They will feast on algae, leftover food and even decomposing food. However, despite their skills at cleaning up, they should not be relied on to keep your aquarium clean by themselves.

If you intend to keep snails in a dedicated aquarium, or want to supplement their diet, you can add an algae/bottom feeder wafer or algae tablet to ensure they don’t go hungry. Mystery Snails will thrive on algae wafers or blanched veggies such as zucchini. This will also help deter them from nibbling on your aquarium plants.

Depending on the fish you keep with your snails, they can fall prey if your fish are underfed. Common snail predators include angelfish, loaches and gourami. The best way to avoid your snails becoming a snack is to make sure your fish are adequately, but not over, fed. Loaches and goldfish are known predators of mystery snails and this pairing should be avoided. Other fish known to have aggressive traits - such as betta fish - can also hunt and attack your snails regardless of being well fed, so keeping a vigilant eye over your tanks and their occupants is always beneficial. 

WATER CONDITIONS
Temperature
Snails who live in an aquatic environment can’t regulate their own body temperatures, so having your tank at the appropriate temperature range of between 22-27°C can help your snails to thrive. If you intend to keep only one type of snail, you can further refine that temperature range:

  • Ramshorn Snails: 18-28°C
  • Burrowing Snails: 10-25°C
  • Mystery Snails: 24-28°C
  • Singapore Spiral Snails: 18-28°C

You can equip your aquarium with a heater and thermometer to regulate and monitor your water temperature at all times. 

pH Levels
Keeping your aquariums at the appropriate pH level for your chosen snail species will help them thrive. pH is the “weight of hydrogen”, the amount of hydrogen and hydroxyl ions dissolved in your tank water. Some species of snails have specific pH requirements, such as:

  • Ramshorn Snails: 7-7.5 pH
  • Burrowing Snails: 7-7.5 pH
  • Mystery Snails: 7-8 pH
  • Singapore Spiral Snails: 7-7.5 pH

You can monitor your pH levels using an aquarium test kit.

Copper
Aquarium snails are extremely sensitive to copper in their water. This can be problematic for existing aquariums because common sources of copper are tap water, stones and rock (for example, decorative rocks), anti-fungus/bacterial treatments and products designed to rid your tank of snails. A key guide to dangerous levels of copper are:

  • Snails - 0.10mg per litre
  • Shrimp - 0.03 per litre
  • Algae and bacteria - 0.08 per litre

Given snails’ sensitivity to copper, you should never use a plant fertiliser or other treatments that include copper. 

The presence of copper is especially prevalent in tap water sourced through copper pipes. If you are concerned about the copper content in your tap water or your aquarium, you should use a copper test kit regularly. 

TRANSPORT
Transporting and introducing snails correctly can help increase their likelihood of survival. Once your aquarium snails arrive, you need to take care to introduce them to your aquarium slowly. Float them in a plastic container in your aquarium and let them work their way into the aquarium in their own time. This allows them the time to get an air bubble prior to submerging, which is essential for their survival. 

During transportation and arrival, your snails should be kept warm, but out of direct sunlight. 

When placing a live order through PetWave, you can relax knowing that our live goods come with a 100% Live Guarantee.