10 Types Of Aquarium Snail (And How To Look After Them)

Whether you are new to keeping an aquarium or closing in on becoming an expert, everyone needs some help when looking for the right additions to your tank. This article will provide you with 10 of the easiest and most attractive types of aquarium snails for anyone interested in a great algae eliminator. 

We will take a deep dive into the world of mollusks perfect for any tank and give you all the information you need in order to make a knowledgeable decision on which snail is best for you. 

Here we are going to give you a rundown on what these snails eat, the type of environment they thrive best in, and which ones make the most peaceful roommate.

Types Of Aquarium Snails

  • Assassin Snail
  • Mystery Snail
  • Black Devil Snail
  • Apple Snail
  • Tiger Nerite Snails
  • Zebra Nertire Snails
  • Japanese Trapdoor Snails
  • Rabbit Snails
  • Trumpet Snails
  • Ramshorn Snails

What Are The Different Types Of Aquarium Snail?

Here is a list of 10 great snails for any type of indoor aquarium.  They are all easy to care for and will add an array of color and uniqueness to your tank.

If you are looking for someone to keep your tank clear of algae and debris as well as add a little pizazz, check out these great mollusk options below. 

Assassin Snail

The Assassin Snail originated in Indonesia and is a very useful creature to keep in your fish tank. These little guys are great for illuminating unwanted mini-snail and other snails that are their size or smaller.

They are carnivores and will eat tiny snails, dead fish, blood worms, and even fish flakes. 

Although the Assassin Snail will eat other snails, they are actually calm creatures that will not pose a threat to the fish or plants in your tank. 

These are very attractive mollusks with black and yellow strips, similar to the appearance of a bumblebee. And their shells are spiraled, the forms the shape of a cone. 

To get around the tank, these snails use their mouth-like appendage to suction themselves to a surface, then pull their body behind.

Your Assassin will be very happy in an aquarium with a sandy subsurface, as they enjoy burring themselves in it. 

  • Scientific Name: Clea Helena
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Hardness: medium hardness
  • Temperament: calm
  • Compatibility: Will eat other snails
  • Lifespan: 2-3 years
  • pH: 6.5-8.0
  • Temperature: 75*-82*
  • Size: 1-2 inches long
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons

Mystery Snails (Gold Snail)

Mystery Snails are an interesting addition to fish tanks of all sorts. Although these snails are pretty small, they have very large appetites. The Mystery Snail’s diet consists of all types of food types, including algae, food particles, fish, and blanched vegetables. 

This type of snail is perfect for anyone looking to have an abundance of baby snails, as they are professional maters, and females will lay a cocoon consisting of around 100 eggs at one time.

Not interested in babies but still considering the Mystery Snail? These snail eggs will take between 2 weeks to a month before hatching. Simply remove the sac of pink eggs from the side of the tank before the babies are due to arrive.

If you want a unique and kind of odd-looking snail for your home aquarium, this is your guy. They come in a few different attractive colors, iridescent bodies, and long tentacles that sway and drop down past their shells.

  • Scientific Name: Pomacea Bridgesii
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Hardness: 150—300 ppm
  • Temperament: Calm and peaceful
  • Compatibility: Friendly with other snails
  • Lifespan: 4-years
  • pH: pH: 6.5—7.5
  • Temperature: 68*-82*
  • Size: 1 ½ to 2 inches
  • Tank Size: 5 gallons 

Black Devil Snails (Lava Snail)

The Black Devil Snail is a peaceful and docile creature that will co-exist with most other snails and aquarium residences. They are also fairly safe with live plants, as they prefer to eat anything closest to the substrate of the tank.

These omnivores are known to be little scavengers that will eat leftover fish food, shrimp, frozen food, etc. Black Devils do enjoy their fair share of algae but don’t expect them to keep the tank clean and clear.

Due to their heavy weight, moving around the glass isn’t a frequent activity. You may even see them at times climb to the very top only to slid back down again.

Their shells are black to a dark brown color and are long,

If you are considering a Back Devil Snail for your aquarium, provide a coarse sand or soil substrate at the bottom for them to dig into, as this is their favorite pastime. 

These snails are dark brown to black in appearance with a long funnel shell that comes to a point at the end. They are very hardy snails and will thrive in many types of aquarium environments.

  • Scientific Name: Faunus Ater
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Hardness: 10 – 25 dKH
  • Temperament: peaceful
  • Compatibility: Easy going
  • Lifespan: 6 years
  • pH:7.0 – 8.0 pH
  • Temperature: 71° – 82° F
  • Size: 2-3 inches
  • Tank Size: 10 gallon

Apple Snails 

The Apple Snail carries a large spiral shell that is usually greenish-brown and has a dark-colored body, commonly black. Although, some have been seen to have lighter cream bodies.

Like many other snails, these creatures prefer to stay hidden during the day and can be seen moving around the bottom of the tank at night searching for food or a mating partner. 

If your aquarium is full of beautiful underwater vegetation, the Apple Snail is not the mollusk you want in your tank. These herbivores are not the best at clearing out unwanted algae build-up but can clean house in just days on all of your aquatic plants.

Apple Snails are a great snail for beginning hobbyists as they are hardy and easy to take care of. 

  • Scientific name: Pomacea canaliculata
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Hardness:6-12dH
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Compatibility: Friendly with other snails
  • Lifespan: 3 years
  • pH: 7.0-8.0 pH
  • Temperature: 64*-82*
  • Size: up to 5.9 inches
  • Tank Size: 10 gallon

Tiger Nerite Snails

Another easy to care for aquarium snail is the Tiger Nerite Snail. These are beautiful snails with an amber base color and black markings, making them an attractive addition to all tanks. These little mollusks are popular with many aquarium owners. 

These beauties are algae eliminators and are sure to keep your aquarium’s glass walls crystal clear. The Tiger Nerite is an herbivore that not only enjoys munching on algae but will also eat calcium-rich veggies such as kale and spinach.

The Tiger Nerite is an easy to care for and hardy snail that can live in salt water or fresh water tanks. They are pretty friendly mollusks, happy to live amongst other snails, fish, and other aquatic animals.

These guys are one of the largest of the Nerite snail family, although they are still very small, only needing a tank of about 1 to 2-gallons per snail. 

It is important to keep your tank water-line well below the top of the tank as these snails are known for climbing up high and can get free.

  • Scientific Name: Neritina natalensis
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Hardness:5 – 12 dKH
  • Temperament: peaceful
  • Compatibility: friendly with other snails
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • pH: 6.5 – 8.0 pH
  • Temperature: 65° – 85° F
  • Size: ½ -1 inch
  • Tank Size: 2 gallon

Zebra Nerite Snails

Another popular Nerite species coveted for its eye-catching appearance is the Zebra Nerite Snail. These snails are pretty small but easily seen thanks to their unique black and yellow striping. 

Like their Tiger relative, these little guys enjoy the taste of algae and will keep your tank clean, consuming algae build-up from your aquarium walls, rocks, plants, etc.  But will also eat snail food containing vegetables.

Because these snails require salt water to reproduce, you do not have to worry about these snails over-populating your tank. They are very hardy and great for those new to the aquarium hobby. 

Other types of popular Nertie Snails include Tiger Nerites, Black Racer Nerites, Zebra Thorn Nerites, Tiger Eye Nerites, and Sun Thorn Nerites. They are all attractive and unique breeds of snails.

  • Scientific Name: Neritina Zebra
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Hardness:12-18 kHz
  • Temperament: Docile and tranquil
  • Compatibility: friendly with other snails
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • pH: 6.5 to 8.5 pH
  • Temperature: 65° to 85° F
  • Size: ¼ – ½ inch
  • Tank Size: 5 gallons

Rabbit Snails (Elephant snail)

The Rabbit Snail originated in Sulawesi, Indonesia, and has only just recently become a highly sought-after aquarium snail. People are attracted to their vibrant colors and unique and interesting markings.

These snails are not like many other snail species when it comes to daily activities. These guys enjoy wandering about the tank during the day, grazing, and exploring their homes. 

The Rabit Snail is a very social creature and gets along well with most other aquatic animals and plants in aquariums. 

Being omnivores, they will mainly feed on algae build-up and wilting or decay plants and vegetables. 

Another rather unique quality of the Rabbit Snail is that they do not lay eggs, carrying embryos inside their shells, giving birth to live babies.

  • Scientific Name: Tylomelania
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Hardness: 2 to 15 dKH
  • Temperament: peaceful, non-aggressive 
  • Compatibility: stays to themselves
  • Lifespan: 1-3 years
  • pH: 7.3 to 8.5 pH
  • Temperature: 68°F to 86°F
  • Size: 3 inches
  • Tank Size: 20-30 gallons

Japanese Trapdoor Snails

These little omnivores are a great addition to any aquarium. They are a hardy species, laid back, and keep a tidy home. If you are lucky enough to have one of these snails in your tank, you are going to notice you won’t have to clean it as often.

Japanese Trapdoor Snails come with black, tan, and sometimes aqua-colored spiral shells. The colors will change with each whirl of the spiral, giving them a great appearance.

Having Japanese Trapdoor Snails in your tank will never cause problems with any other life form, as they are very peaceful creatures and have no interest in harming or irritating other aquarium occupants.

This specific species of snail is an omnivore and will thrive best in freshwater supplied with rocks and wood. They feed off of the algae that grow on the tanks, plants, and decorations in their homes, as well as eating any food or decaying plant debris that drops to the floor.

  • Scientific Name: Cipangopaludina
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Hardness: 7–9 dKH
  • Temperament: peaceful
  • Compatibility: friendly with all snail
  • Lifespan: 5-10 years
  • pH: 6.5 to 8
  • Temperature: 68°F to 85°F
  • Size: 2 inches
  • Tank Size: 10+ gallons

Trumpet Snails

The Trumpet Snail is one of the most common snails found in many aquariums. They are easy to find and cheap to purchase. You may notice your local pet shop having large discounts or even throws extras into your purchase for free because of the over-abundant stock.

These snails have long cone-shaped shells that swirl. They are usually seen in brown, cream, and grey shades, and some have reddish spots sprinkled about. They are very small snails and need plenty of calcium to maintain a healthy shell. 

Feeding these mollusks is pretty simple as they are most happy when eating leftover fish food debris, soft algae, and decaying plants. These guys are nocturnal and will spend most of their days digging under the substrate, only coming out at night to scour the tank for food.

The Trumpet Snail is popular for burrowing into the substrate, turning it up, and keeping gases from building up.

  • Scientific Name: Melanoides tuberculata
  • Care Level: Very Easy
  • Hardness: 6 to 15 KH
  • Temperament: Docile and peaceful
  • Compatibility: Can live with other peaceful roommates
  • Lifespan: 2- 3.5 years
  • pH: 7.0 – 7.5 pH
  • Temperature: 70 – 78 F
  • Size: 2 to 4 cm
  • Tank Size: 1-5 gallons

Ramshorn Snail

As you have probably already guessed, these snails got their name due to the shape of their shells. Their light-colored shell spirals inwards, thinning as it closes into the center, looking very similar to a ram’s horn.

These mollusks are very adaptable to most environments and are easy to care for. They enjoy roaming around their tank, hanging out on the leaves of aquatic plants, and exploring their space.

Although these little critters will eat live plants, you shouldn’t have any problems with them destroying your tank unless they have nothing else to eat. Their daily diets include decaying plants, algae, and leftover fish flakes that fall to the bottom of your aquarium. 

Not only do Ramshorn Snails keep the algae off the tank, but they, will also keep your decorative rocks clean and vibrant and the substrate the color it should be.

  • Scientific Name: Planorbidae
  • Care Level:  Easy
  • Hardness: 5-15 DH
  • Temperament: Peaceful and active
  • Compatibility: Friendly tank mate
  • Lifespan: 1-3 year
  • pH: 7.0 – 7.5
  • Temperature: 70°F – 78°F
  • Size: 1 inch
  • Tank Size:1-10 gallons

FAQ

What Is The Best Snail For An Aquarium?

Most aquatic snails are great additions to any aquarium. When looking for the best snail for your aquarium, you need to consider water conditions, tank size, and the other creatures living in the tank.

The majority of aquarium snails play an important role in your tank. They will feed on algae, dead plants, and left-over fish food, keeping the water clean and clear for your favorite fish.

What is The Largest Aquarium Snail?

Most snails will only reach around 2-3inches max in most aquariums. However, the Giant Sulawesi snails can grow to around 4-inches long. 

These snails need plenty of room in the aquarium, so getting an extra-large tank or adding fewer plants and accessories is best. These are hardy creatures and can live in many types of aquatic environments. 

Can Snails Kill Fish?

The average aquarium snail will not eat a healthy, alive fish. They will, however, feed off of the dead ones.

You may also notice your snails nibbling on dying or weakfish as well.  That is because they have easy access to the dead skin as these fish will not be moving around. 

Is Snail Poop Bad For An Aquarium?

Snail poop can make your tank quite dirty and will require you to clean it every so often. However, on the other hand, snail poop can also be beneficial to your aquarium.

Have a few snails pooping in a tank of plants can actually fertilize these plants, keeping them healthy and alive longer. 

Recap

There are many benefits to having aquarium snails co-existing inside your tank, whether it is with fish, other snails, or even just aquatic plants. They are great for keeping algae at bay and cleaning up the tank from leftover food and rotting plant debris.

Snails can add an array of vibrant colors and decorative looks to any aquarium and are relatively easy to care for, not looking for much maintenance or attention.

For anyone looking for a simple mollusk that is hardy and peaceful, taking a look at the snails above is a great place to start.

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