Are Breeding Nerite Snails Good or Bad in 2024?

Are you thinking about how to keep your aquarium well-maintained, so you don’t need to clean it each week? You can breed Nerite snails! Breeding nerite snails is one of the most effective ways to keep your tank free of dirt.

Breeding nerite snails are among the most effective options to keep your tank fresh, whether saltwater or freshwater. They are most likely to spend their time in the tank, consuming any algae within their path.

Snails are a great choice for those who are just beginning because they’re likely to make mistakes. They are extremely easy to maintain and require little effort after they’ve been added to your tank.

They’re also easy to breed, meaning your snail population will quickly grow.

With a length of less than one inch long, they won’t worry anyone who is space-conscious and they could be housed in tank sizes that are smaller.

In this guide, we’ll provide you with everything you should learn about the nerite snails and their various types, their diet, and the best tank arrangement.

Type of Nerite Snails

Nerite snail is one type of snail that exists and, as you might expect there are many kinds of Nerite snails. Here are a few that you can select for your tank right now!

1. Zebra Nerite Snail (Neritina birthensis Zebra)

It comes with a shell sporting its golden-to-yellow and light brown and green to yellow color This snail species is an attractive tank cleaner that you must possess. It is characterized by uneven strips which makes it noticeable when it is placed in the tank that is filled with water. With its large, small ridges that are visible on the shell of this snail, it’s a distinct snail species.

A mature zebra nerite snail can grow to 3 centimeters. It is frequently mistaken for it is referred to as Neritina coromandeliana or as Vittina coromandeliana However, closer inspection will show the difference in how distinct its stripes differ distinctly from the other two.

2. Tiger Nerite Snail (Neritina turrita)

Its name is Tiger Nerite. Tiger Nerite snail comes in dark amber shades with small markings in black on its shell. The hallmarks could be the tiger stripes. A mature tiger nerite snail could grow up to 1 inch.

3. Olive Nerite Snail (Neritina reclivata)

It is also known for its black marble snail. The species is well-known among aquarium owners. The smooth and round shells of olive nerite snails range from brown to green. It’s simple and natural, but many tank owners love it and can add elegance when it is placed in a tank. It is less than an inch.

4. Horned Nerite Snail (Neritina Clithon corona)

A Horned Nerite Snail is known under other names like sunny and bumblebee. It is easy to tell if it is one of the horned snails with its protruding spikes on the front side of the shell. The spikes are dark in color and look similar to the appearance of a horn which is why they are called horned’. The spikes can be broken but it isn’t damaging to horned snails even if their horns have been broken. The species is also smaller than one inch.

5. Red Racer Nerite Snail (Neritina pulligera, Vittina waigiensis)

The distinctive groove of this snail’s shell as well as its gleaming ebony made it one of the most unique species of the snail nerite. The groove extends along with the back aperture in an equilateral line. Its shell is typically stained with dark grey or black or gold. The fastest form of nerite snail because it is able to crawl at speeds that no other snails could – hence why its nickname is “racer”.

A mature red racer snail can be as large as 3 centimeters or 1 inch.

Nerite Snails Facts & Overview

Care Level:Easy
Colour Form:Species dependent
Lifespan:1-2 years
Size:1 inch to 1 inch
Minimum Tank Size:5 gallons
Tank Set-Up:Freshwater: driftwood and rock
Compatibility:Peaceful community

The snails belonging to the Neritidae family include more than 200 species. The majority of these species originate from brackish oceans, as well as seashore waters but there are a few that live in streams and rivers. That means some species can be utilized to make freshwater tanks and others in saltwater setups.

The ones employed to make freshwater tanks originated from brackish waters in Eastern Africa, so they typically live in a mix between salty seawater and fresh river water. Saltwater species are typically located along regions along the Pacific or Caribbean coasts.

A large number of the snails have evolved to live in freshwater and are ideal tank companions to your water aquarium. They can live up to 1-2 years and grow up to 1 inch.

The main reason why people choose to add snails to their tanks is due to the fact that they’re among the top algae eaters on the market. This can help keep tanks in good shape, so long as they’re not overstocked. Snails don’t seem to be very active, but they’re calm creatures that shouldn’t cause problems for the rest of your fish.

They could become easy prey though, so they’re not a good choice for the tank filled with big, aggressive fish that might need a meal.

Snails are available in a lot of pet stores and being among the most sought-after species, they are readily available.

They’re also affordable and one snail costs about $4 however, you’ll find them at a lower cost if you purchase many at once. Some species could be a bit more expensive because they’re more difficult to reproduce when in captivity (such as horned snails).


Snails don’t do much. However, they’re peaceful and shouldn’t pose any issues for your other fish.

They’ll move slowly about consuming the algae within your tank. They’ll never bother your fish.

Sometimes, your snail has been thrown over, but their muscle foot is very flexible and they will usually reverse themselves. You may want to offer assistance even if they don’t!

Snails also need sleep as we do, however, their sleep occurs in 2-3 day cycles rather than the 24-hour cycle that we observe. That being said, how long does a snail sleep for?

They are believed to have approximately seven bursts of sleep over a 13-15 hour period and they are then able to enjoy approximately 30 hours of activity.


The anatomy of a snail comprises a hard coiled shell that sits on top of a muscle “foot” which moves side to side in order to push the snail forward. There are also four delicate tentacles.

Nerite snails can grow in size to 1 inch if kept healthy. Different species have distinct colors and markings, however, they have the same shape and shape.

Zebra Nerite snails are characterized by stripes on their shells that are oriented towards the middle of their coil. The stripes generally are colored yellow and black however the shades can be different.

Tiger Nerite snails are like Zebras, with significantly more vibrant oranges. The stripes are much more jagged which gives each snail a distinctive appearance.

Olive Nerite snails are typically used in aquariums. Their name reveals their color, but the majority of them lack an image on their shell. The black stripe of the coil is noticeable against the olive hue and creates a simple, yet attractive appearance.

Horned Nerite snails are different from the other three. They are covered in thick yellow and black stripes and on one side is an array of dark “horns”.

Habitat and Tank Conditions

Marine Habitat

They’re usually discovered in coastal habitats such as estuaries and mangroves, which contain plenty of rocks as well as other surfaces that algae develop on. If they can replicate within the tank the algae will thrive.

Saltwater setups require hiding places They can be constructed by using live rock. Live rocks allow your snails to benefit from the algae that form on their surface.

The snail’s body has four tentacles that are extremely sensitive. A fine-grained sandy substrate decreases the possibility of scratching. calcium substrate is the best choice since it guarantees that snails will always be able to access a healthy quantity of calcium essential to build a sturdy shell.

The parameters of water are identical for saltwater and freshwater snails. They are accustomed to an extreme pH that ranges from 8.1-8.4 and temperatures of 72-78degF. Saltwater tanks must be maintained at a salinity that is 1.020-1.028sg.

Freshwater Habitat

The majority of freshwater creatures live in natural habitats like mountains and forest streams. As we have mentioned earlier, some species of marine or brackish snails can be adapted to live in freshwater. Saltwater and freshwater tanks share identical setups.

The driftwood and rocks are perfect in freshwater tanks. Be sure to have lots of caves to serve as hideouts even though the majority of the time they will be in the open.

Similar to saltwater setups, your freshwater tank must also be equipped with a fine-grained and sanded substrate.

They’re not essential, but they’re a good method of making a tank look natural and colorful. The snails will not eat them, as well, so it’s a good idea to choose slower-growing plants (such as the small-sized temples).

The level of water in coastal habitats changes with the tide tide, which means that the snails aren’t completely immersed all the time when they’re in nature. In the evening the nerites are known to reach the top in the ocean. A drop in the water’s level of about an inch or so allows them to escape the water for a short time.

In terms of climbs, snails are very proficient at climbing. It’s worth getting a tight-fitting lid for your tank If you don’t have one in place already.

Before you add snails Before adding snails to your aquarium, be sure that the parameters of your water are in the right range. They are attracted to a high pH that ranges from 8.1-8.4 and temperatures of 72-78 degrees F.

The water should be free of ammonia and Nitrites. The nitrate content must be lower than 20 mg/L.

There is no need for any specific equipment to keep these conditions. All you need is a good filter and heater.

It’s recommended to start with a small number of snails and then regularly monitor for any impact on the remainder of the tank. Two or three snails could be sufficient in the setting up of the 10-gallon tank.

The number of snails you’ll find in your aquarium is contingent upon how many fish you plan to keep the snails with. For a rough estimate, you should include about 1 snail per 5 gallons.

They can be housed in any aquarium bigger than 5 gallons.

Tank Mates

The most important criteria for tank companions is that they should be small and tranquil, and beyond the limit of keeping these snails together with most fish.

Usually, it is steering away from cichlid tanks and more towards tetras, barbs, and guppies.

They can be found in tranquil communities, however, this doesn’t only mean fish. You can also keep them alongside shrimp (such as ghost shrimp) ghost shrimp) and even other species of nerite.

Maintaining them in a mix of shrimp and fish shrimp is especially rewarding as it allows you to observe diverse behaviors, and every section of the tank is a source to be interested in.

Keeping and Breeding Nerite Snails Together

Different types of nerites can be kept in a group without issue, and even the intimidating horned species is peaceful. 1 or 2 snails in the 10-gallon tank will avoid overstocking.

It is possible to use 1 snail per 5 gallons of water. This isn’t an exact ratio but if you place too many in a tiny space they will not have enough algae to consume.


Snails have to compensate for their slowness by scavenging vegetation using the sensory tentacles as well as radula the structure that is used for scraping food.

They feed primarily on algae that develop on the surfaces of your tank. If you have stocked your tank appropriately, they should be capable of living off of the algae.

If algae aren’t growing fast enough, then you need to add other food sources.

Algae wafers make good substitutes particularly since they are placed in the bottom tank until the snails come across them.

Another alternative is to add fresh green vegetables from your kitchen into the tank. The two are inexpensive alternatives to store-bought food items and help ensure that snails are eating a varied diet. DIY recipes are also a good option.

Keep in mind that wafers and other vegetables are only necessary for the event that there are insufficient algae within your tank. If you’re required to scrape algae off of the glass on occasion and then, the snails are perfectly fine without feeding.

It is important to be aware of how much you provide your snails by feeding them. Overfeeding and sub-feeding both have their own effects on the health of aquatic snails (more on this in the future). Nerites aren’t fussy with regard to food. They’re very easy to provide for and won’t eat your plants, which is a plus.


Like other living creatures, snails can experience a number of health issues. Some of them are simple to prevent with proper care, while some are more difficult to prevent.

The shell of snails is a typical cause of concern. Sometimes, the growth of the shell can be stunted. It shouldn’t be a problem when they’re in a healthy habitat since two of the most common causes of stunted growth are a lower temperature or eating too little.

The over-eating of food can be an issue for the snail’s shell. It is usually discolored due to the energy that the food makes the shell grow at a greater rate.

In the wild, nerite snails are known to have dark-colored shells due to the fact that there’s not any food available. The shell is dark since they grow so slowly.

Snails require calcium in order to ensure their shells are strong and strong, therefore a deficiency of calcium could result in the shell becoming weaker and cracking. If you observe this, you can try including calcium supplements, such as calcium sulfate, or the calcium substrate.

Also, check for white spots on your shells because they’re usually parasites that have snagged onto them. It is difficult to determine when your snails are affected by an intestinal parasite however both types are fatal, depending on the type of parasite.

Senior snails have a higher chance of developing an illness known as “oedema”. The body of the snail can swell and fill with fluid making it more difficult for snails.

In the end, it is important to keep in mind the fact that copper is poisonous to the majority of invertebrates which is why you should keep all the liquid in the tank free of it. Keep an eye out for medicines that contain copper. Even a tiny trace can cause death.

Breeding Nerite Snails

One reason that the snails are so well-liked for freshwater aquariums is the fact that stores selling fish often inform people that they can’t be able to reproduce inside freshwater tanks. It’s not always true.

Although snails have the ability to live in saltwater, freshwater, and even on the ground, they can only reproduce in saltwater. If you wish to create a nerite snail that is successful then place them in the tank filled with saltwater, or let them go into brackish water. They will produce when they are in their natural environment.

If you’ve set up a tank or aquarium that has saltwater, put in the snails known as nerite snails (5-6 groupings at minimum for greater probability of success). Since it is impossible to tell whether you’re looking at an adult or a female nerite snail in one group, having multiple groups will give you the greatest chance of reproducing successfully.

If your snail has found a suitable partner and mating started then the female snail will begin seeking out driftwood or leaves in which it could lay eggs. It may even lay eggs on another snail’s shell. Its egg capsules are yellow and become dark when it grows into a young snail.

Nerite Snails will breed and lay eggs however they do not hatch since the larvae require brackish water to live. In this case, you could attempt to get rid of these snail eggs using a scraper to get them away or, if you wish to continue breeding, move them to suitable conditions of the water.

The egg of a snail can be as large as 1.5mm (length) x 1mm (width) and is the shape of an oval. A thin membrane is used to protect eggs from damage. Each egg capsule is home to the equivalent of 69 eggs. The most abundant is 106 and the lowest number is 32.

The egg capsule changes into larvae in 96 hours (3 days at most). The larvae develop into baby snails within seven days. The baby snails are small and may be taken in by filters if they have one. So be cautious in the event that your tank is equipped with filters. If you’re using a sponge filter then there is no need to be concerned about this.

You could allow the snails to reproduce in freshwater before moving the eggs, or begin the process with snails who are acclimated to the salty environment.

The majority of snails reproduce sexually, however, the nerite snails are a rare exception. Females will lay eggs that males can fertilize, just like fish. The eggs will be dispersed across the tank and develop into larvae if provided with brackish conditions for the water.

After hatching, the babies become very small, to the point that they could be sucked into the inlet of the filter. A sponge filter makes this almost impossible.

If the breeding of snails is your goal Moving them to the brackish water setup will give the greatest chance of being successful (this can be the natural environment they prefer). If you’re moving the snails out of a freshwater setting, it is recommended to gradually adjust them first. There are a variety of methods for doing this.

Another option is to get rid of the snails by removing some of their previous tank water. Then slowly add water to the new tank over the next few hours until the level has increased by three times.

A good breeding tank should contain at least as many snails as you can with a fairly equal ratio of males and females.

The size of the group will depend upon the dimensions of the tank you own, however, five people in a small number are sufficient. The fish will begin to reproduce after they’ve become confident within the tank.

To ensure maximum safety for your baby snails, put the baby snails in the marine tank. Be sure the tank is stocked with algae or an area of algae for feeding the newborn snails. For a month, leave them within your aquarium’s marine tank until you can move them into your aquarium. Freshwater fish tank.

Are Nerite Snails appropriate as a pet for an Aquarium?

Nerite snails can be kept by anyone with all abilities in fishkeeping since they’re easy to maintain.

The most important things to think about prior to purchasing a new tank are what tank is a tranquil community aquarium and whether the parameters of your water are within the right range.

They can be kept along with other freshwater fish however they will become prey if the fish are large and aggressive.

If you’re able to consider it, try Nerites at some time. They’ll help keep algae levels at a minimum while offering an entirely different appearance to fish that swim around them.

Breeding nerite snails is done with a minimum of effort. It’s difficult to come up with any reason not to include these in your tank.

Have you ever kept the Nerite snails? Share your experiences in the comments section below…


Dibyajyoti Bordoloi is the creator and author of, a third-generation experienced fish keeper and owner of a successful pet breeding farm. He is also a member of the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation And Conservation (Assam), the Marine Aquarium Societies of North East India, and the Kaziranga Nature Conservancy of Assam.

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