When I got my first aquarium, I faced the problem of algae buildup. Cleaning these algae every few days was becoming very hectic for me. This was when a friend suggested that I get some nerite snails for my tank.
Now you may ask, why get snails if you have algae problems? At first, I had the same question. Then my friend explained to me that these snails eat algae and act as natural tank cleaners, and getting them would reduce the algae buildup and save me a lot of time.
Since then, I have had nerite snails in all of the fish tanks. Not only have these snails saved me a lot of time and hard work over the years, but they have also enhanced the beauty of my fish tank.
Over the years, I have learned a lot about these snails, and today I will be sharing this with you people. So read till the end and learn how to properly take care of your nerite snails and how many you should add to each fish tank.
Difference Between Male And Female Nerite Snails
Identifying the gender of your snail is one of the most difficult things to do. This is because they don’t have any distinctive features that differentiate a male snail from a female. There are some features that can be used to differentiate between the two genders, but these are very hard to spot.
One of the easiest ways to identify if the snail is female is when it lays eggs. Snail eggs look a lot like sesame seeds; they are white, have a hard texture, and are oval.
Another way to differentiate between the two genders is by having a look at their eyes. Male snails have a small fold over their eyes, whereas female snails do not.
Another common hypothesis about the gender of these snails is that females are slightly bigger compared to males. But I believe that this is not a very valid hypothesis as I have personally seen male snails that were much bigger compared to their female counterparts.
Nerite Snail Tank & Water Requirements
Nerite snails are very easy to take care of. Their water and tank requirements are not very extraordinary, either. These snails come from warmer coastlines, so one of the basic requirements for their tank water is a warm temperature.
These snails like to live at a temperature of around 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that you will have to install a heater in your tank to maintain this warm temperature in your fish tank. This also means that it is best to keep your nerite snails with tropical fish, which also require warm temperatures.
Another important thing that you need to take care of in your fish tank is the pH of the water. These snails like to have a pH range between 7 and 8. This means that a bit of alkalinity will be good for your nerite snails.
Another reason to keep your water a bit alkaline is that snail shells are made of calcium. Acidic water would react with their shells and strip calcium off them, causing their shells to become weak.
Although snails can live in freshwater, they can not breed in it. For this, you will have to move them to a tank that has salt water.
For your saltwater tank, make sure that the salinity remains in the range of 1.020 SG and 1.028 SG. Anything above this harms the snails and their eggs, which can affect their breeding.
Nerite Snails Behavior And Temperament
The first impression that you will get after looking at a nerite snail is that it is very lonely. This is because they do not like sitting around in groups and prefer to stay alone. These snails are very peace-loving creatures, and once they adjust to their new environment, they completely blend into it.
One thing that these snails are famous for is that they tend to escape from their tanks. They are known as great escape artists and will try to climb out of the water. Nerite snails climb the walls of the fish tank and will jump out of the water and get out of the tank.
Snails getting out of water is not a major issue because they can stay out of water for hours, but often these snails land on their backs and are unable to get back up, and this can cost them their lives. For these reasons, I would suggest not filling up your tank to the top.
Another noteworthy behavior of these snails is that they can stay up for up to 30 or more hours without any sleep. But once they go to sleep, they can sleep for up to 15 hours in a single stretch.
How Many Nerite Snails Per Gallon?
They often think that the number of nerites in a tank is mainly determined by the size of the tank, just like it is for other aquatic animals.
Yes, tank size does have a significant role as well, but that is not the most important factor when determining how many nerites should be put in one tank.
How many nerites you can add to your tank depends on the amount of algae production in your tank. As you know, nerites feed off algae, and food is very important for the survival of snails.
If there aren’t enough algae, then these snails will starve to death. To assess the situation of algae buildup first and decide how many nerites you should add to the tank.
But even if you have a severe algae production issue, there are still some guidelines for how many snails you should add per gallon.
The recommended amount is 1 snail per 5 gallons. But if you have very high algae production, then you can add 1 snail per 2-3 gallons. Adding more snails to a small area may not cause much trouble initially but will cause issues in the future.
Your tank will be flooded with snail eggs. Although these eggs would not hatch in freshwater, they will cause clutter in your tank, and after some time, there will be a shortage of algae for these snails to feed on.
Nerite Snails Life Span
On average, a nerite snail can easily live up to 2 years. But there are some factors that can affect the lifespan of a nerite snail. These factors can shorten the lifespan as well as extend it to 4 or 5 years.
Like any other animal, snails also have some ideal living conditions, and if those conditions are provided, these nerite snails live a very healthy life and have an extended lifespan.
The very first thing that you need to take care of is food. Always make sure you are not adding too many nerite snails to a tank because it may cause a food shortage, and these snails will die because of it.
The next thing that you need to keep in mind is the size of your tank. The recommended amount is 1 snail per 5 gallons. Make sure that you are following this.
As I have mentioned earlier as well, these snails are escape artists and often try to climb out of the tank and sometimes end up falling upside down and losing their lives. To avoid this, make sure that your tank is covered from the top and that the water isn’t filled till the top.
Do Any Fish Eat Nerite Snail Eggs?
Although there are many fish that like to eat nerite snails, there aren’t any known fish that particularly eat nerite fish eggs. These aren’t that easy to eat as, well. They are hard and very sticky and tend to stick strongly to the surface on which these eggs are laid on.
But there is a type of snail that eats the eggs of other snails. These are called assassin snails, and you can definitely understand why they have this name.
They eat the eggs of other snails and are mostly used to control the growing snail population. But they usually prefer eating softer eggs rather than the hard eggs of nerite snails.
Nerite Snail Care
Nerite snails are very easy to take care of. They can easily adapt to their surroundings, but to keep them at the top of their health, there are some basic conditions that need to be taken care of.
Some of the things that need to be taken care of are the conditions of the water, such as water temperature, water quality, pH, and hardness of the water. I have explained previously in the blog what these conditions are, but let me give a quick recap.
These snails need a water temperature of about 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You might need to install a heater to maintain this temperature. Make sure that the pH of the tank remains between 7 and 8. because acidic water can harm the shells of nerite snails.
One thing that you need to take special care of is that baby snails are very light and small in size. So make sure that there are no uncovered air pumps or filters in your tank. These baby snails may get sucked into these filters and die.
Also, make sure that the top of your aquarium is covered so that these snails can not climb up and fall out of the fish tank.
- How Long Do Snails Live? Here’s What We Know
- How To Get Rid of Snails In Aquarium Easily?
- What Do Snails Eat? (Best Diet For Your Pet Snail)
- How Do Snails Reproduce? (Their Mating Rituals)
So, in order to conclude today’s topic, how many nerite snails should be added to a tank? Well, the answer is to add 1 snail per 5 gallons. Adding more snails can cause some problems for you as well as the snails.
These problems can be anywhere from a shortage of food for these snails to your fish tank overflowing with snail eggs. Adding more snails may cause your fish tank to get crowded.
These snails are very easy to take care of and don’t have any high demands. These are low maintenance and can be very useful tools to overcome the issue of excess algae production.
Just make sure that you follow the basic tank requirements and basic care guidelines for nerite snails to make sure that they stay healthy and at the top of their health. I hope you guys got to learn some important points about snail care.
Frequently Asked Questions
#1 – Can I have 2 Nerite snails in my tank?
Yes, you can have more than one snail in a single tank. The number of snails that you can have in a snail depends on the size of your tank and the number of algae in your tank.
#2 – Can Nerite snails live in a 1-gallon tank?
Although they can live in a 1-gallon tank, I would not at all recommend keeping a nerite snail in a tank that is less than 5 gallons in size, as this can cause issues for the snail.
#3 – How many snails can be in a 5-gallon tank?
A common guideline for how many snails can be kept in a tank is 1 snail per 5 gallons. So a 5-gallon tank is good enough to hold only one snail. But if the tank has very high algae production, then you can add 2 snails to the tank.
#4 – How long does a Nerite snail live?
These snails can live up to 5 years if ideal conditions are met, and they are well taken care of. On average, they usually live for about 2 to 3 years.
#5 – Is one Nerite snail enough?
Well, this really depends on the size of the tank. If the tank is small and has a capacity of around 5 to 6 gallons, then 1 snail would be enough. For larger tanks, you can add more snails.
#6 – Do Nerite snails need an air pump?
I personally recommend that you use an air pump in your tank. This provides fish and other animals with oxygen. If the tank size is less than 10 gallons, then an air pump is necessary. Otherwise, you can also do without it.
#7 – Do Nerite snails produce ammonia?
Well, Nerite snails do not produce ammonia on their own after eating algae, but sometimes when you feed them, they will not eat everything, and that will be left behind and decompose, resulting in ammonia production in the fish tank.
#8 – Will Nerite snails lay eggs in freshwater?
Yes, the nerite snails can and will lay eggs in freshwater. But these eggs will not hatch. If you wish to breed and hatch your nerite snail’s eggs, then you should keep them in salt water, not fresh water.
#9 – Do Nerite snails eat hair algae?
Nerite snails love to feast on algae and will eat any type of algae. They are a great solution to the excess algae production in fish tanks. They keep your fish tanks clean and will save you from hard labor.