Freshwater Aquarium Snail: Everything You Need To Know

Freshwater Aquarium Snail can be a fascinating inhabitant in your fish tank. Their unique appearance and characteristics of a freshwater snail provide an appealing addition to your fish tank.

Most of the Hobbyist add freshwater snails as the tank cleaner’s crew. They can keep your aquarium clean as they feed on algae, dead plants, and excess fish foods that sink to the bottom of your aquarium.

The most common aquarium snails are apple snail, nerite snail, assassin snail, mystery snails. And taking care of aquarium snails is much easier than caring a hardy fish like guppies if you provide them with the right water parameter.

In this article, I will be talking about how you can pet a snail in your aquarium and how you can care for them. I will be describing major and minor traits of snails in topics and subtopics below.

Aquariums snails are the beauty of any aquarium and are second-most prominent being in the tank after your aquarium fish. A calm and solemn creature in the water world is snails. Some are quite smart and effective for our tank as well. They are much more like a guard to the building, a cloth for wiping the glass of your aquarium. But the literary meaning behind all this is that snails are the one and only protector of the fish tank, and they are the best at their job, which they don’t ask salary for.

Origin of Aquarium Snail

In a fish tank, it is a common thing to have one snail or two. They are the most prominent species around the world. They are found from small pools to huge lakes and from small seeps and springs to major rivers. Most of them have a hardcover behind their back (shell) with only a few in an exception which does not have a shell.

Freshwater Snail Care

Snails aren’t that demanding as fish. They do not require a huge aquarium to swim being said that you should not house them in a small glass jar. Or keep them in extreme conditions. So, here I have described what water condition they require and what you need to feed in detail.

Water parameters

The one thing that affects your snail is the ammonia level in your tank. Increasing ammonia also means that you have an imbalanced water condition in your tank.

Shallow and alkaline water (pH level of 7 to 8) is the best water environment for snails to thrive. Succeeding attributes as such the minerals and the nutrients in the water helps them keep going living a happy life.

The one and only trait of this species to help us recognize are their shells. And the water properties are vital in the process of making shells for snails, just like the calcium for our bones.

The hardness of water does not have that coarse impact on snails as they are inhabitants of fresh, calm water as well as turbid and hard water.


Freshwater aquarium snails are at their best at the minimum temperature range of 18 – 28℃. This range of temperature helps them to survive and be potent in reproduction. Snails are really good at maintaining body temperature as they are both lungs and gills breather. By nature, their body is compatible with any environment around them. But being in a tank and calling it their little world is not quite easy for them. So, the temperature range should be maintained throughout the time they crawl in our tank.

Feeding the snail

Snails eat decomposing plants and algae that would otherwise foul the water and kill fish. Adequate food is a must for any living being. Snails are very much a sleeper being. But while they are slow and sleeper in nature, they eat a whole lot of food.

The most common mistake that a hobbyist makes is feeding a high amount of food for snails. We should pay attention while we feed them. The food we provide then should not settle in the aquarium base for very long. Fish food will disrupt the ecosystem as it gets decompose in the tank. A little is enough for them to survive.

Their primary diet depends on the algae of your tank, dead plants and uneaten foods

Role of Aquarium Snail in Your Tank

Aquarium snails are interesting shellfish that provide a natural and effective means of cleaning your aquarium. A tank cannot be clean 24-7. As a result, your tank water condition slowly gets toxic due to uneaten food and organic deposits. They have this natural habit that cannot be acted upon by us in the thinking of punishment. So, this is where your snail comes to action. Snails are the master at cleaning services. They have this brilliant attribute of keeping the tank fresh and tidy by eating leftover foods, dead plant matter, and algae.

Freshwater Aquarium Snails to Avoid in Your Tank

Flamingo Tongue – They feed upon corals. So, house them, and if you have corals in your tank, your corals are at risk.

Bumble Bee Snails – This is fauna creeper, which is not a good choice for a tank with plants.

Murex Snails – All of the snails in this family are predatory, and will feed on herbivorous snails, leaving your tank with algae. Again, not a good choice of snail for your tank.

Crown Conchs – These are cannibalistic in nature and are really dangerous cause they might eat small fries and even fishes.

Keyhole Limpets – Not all limpets are the same. Owning a limpet is like owning a snail, the species really matters. Many of the keyhole limpets are known predators, some of which feeds on coral. If you keep coral, only keep species limpets that are herbivorous.

Olive Snails – These snails have been popping up in the hobby, and it is a shame. They are predatory and use a hardened “harpoon” on their front probe to attack and kill bivalves and other snails. When they can’t find a live meal, they will feed on microfauna and scavenge.

Fish to Keep far From Aquarium Snails

Clown Loach

The clown loach is a well-known snail eater and is really not a choice for a tank with your favorite snails. For one thing, they get really big, with some individuals topping a foot in length. They even tend to eat other fishes too.

Betta Fish

They are the evildoers of the tank with snails. Bettas are opportunistic feeders in the wild. Therefore, if you are planning to keep snails in your betta tank, you need to be extra careful.


One of the most common bottom dwellers fish in fishkeeping hobby is catfish. They are scavenger by nature and are highly frightful as they feed upon snails and are likely to damage snail eggs cause of their behavior.


The holy gold and the beauty of all of our tanks are goldfish. Little did I know they are a good thing in the tank. But now I must make you aware of the choices of fish and snail you keep. Apple snails are quite common in the tank and goldfish attack on goldfish. Not a sublime environment in a tank.


Many people complain that gourami(s) will eat snails. I’ve kept dwarf gourami(s), three-spots, and, if memory serves, I once had ornery kissing gourami. I never noticed any of them eating snails, or having any impact on the resident pest snail population. However, if you intend to have them anyway, keep an eye out and see how they do. I’d be interested in hearing more information on whether or not they’ll do the job.

Bala shark

I mean c’mon, why would a fish eat a silent creature like a snail? Snails are the most lovable creatures in the water world. Maybe it’s just me but a fish eating a snail? I can’t stand that. Once, I planned to get some bala shark in my tank that had apple snails; they almost wiped all my snails before they even grew their shells. It hurt me really bad. Later, I learned they are unpredictable in nature and need a huge size tank, most probably the size of 250 gallons of water. So, avoid keeping the bala shark with snails.

Green spotted puffer

If you’ve ever owned a green spotted puffer, you know how important snails are. Puffers have bony plates in their mouths that will overgrow if they don’t eat hard foods to grind them down. Common pond snails are an important part of their diet, especially when they are young. Puffer is the most dangerous of all, as Dwarf pufferfish are really cheap and are quite natural in color and attracts the customer. However, they aren’t good tankmates for your snails. Please SAVE SNAILS! WE DO NOT NEED A “GREEN PUFFER” sharing the tank with snails.


Throughout my experiences of aquarium enthusiasm and all, I have been questioned many times about the procedures and maintenance of the tank. My hobby has got me into fish keeping and snails breeding. I even took a training course at the aquarium sales house a few months back about being a pro at doing these activities and maintaining an ecosystem in my home.

The extravagant beauty of them dancing around the so-called planet of water, sea salt, some seafood, algae wafers, nutrients and fish families along with snails is an amazing source of bliss for me. I keep watching them float, slip, and roll all around the tank. Just like skydivers do in high altitude where they meet birds and clouds. They make my day blissful and surprise with the changing beauty of their nature-driven design.

I suggest you to pet fishes and snails to maintain the decorum of your house and the interior architecture. The level of satisfaction and plain beauty causes every one of your visitors and guest to draw a smile on their faces.


I here have included some questions asked me during a visit to a mate who was interested in petting freshwater aquarium snail.

Are you sure an aquarium snail is a must for a tank?

Yes, snails are must for a tank because they are the holy grails of the aquarium and are notably the most important aspect of a tank ecosystem. They are the caretaker, the plumber, and also the guardian of the water world.

How do snails survive in the winter?

Their heart rate slows to where it hardly beats at all, and the snail’s blood contains chemicals that prevent it from freezing, similar to many insects and other invertebrates, like frogs and other animals. The snail seals the opening of its shell with a thick membrane of mucus for further protection before it takes a long winter nap.

Inside the tank, we need to maintain their rejuvenating temperature while considering the room temperature. Since you need compatibility and comfort, so do our lovely little snails.
Remember, their shell is not enough. You need to take good care of them.

Is it tough to maintain snail and their lifecycle?

No, but yes would be the answer. As we all know, the living being’s most important thing is to survive and continue their race for eternity. But, as for snails, they have a tendency to grow huge in population and are good at reproduction. They produce hundreds and thousands of eggs in one go. But, with protective chemical and lucrative use of methods of tank cleaning and maintaining, we can control their pace of growth and keep the tank healthy and fresh.

How would you choose snails in between the mixtures of fishes to maintain the abstractness of the tank?

It is all about the color composition and the choices you make while picking fish and their types. All the snails, including Nerite snails and apple snails, fits in a tiny aquarium. You can keep them with small fish, whatever be the choices, but what should be taken care of is that snails would not become vindictive.

How many aquarium snails are good?

The number is also another choice of the one who wishes to control or cultivate their population. But in all honesty, I would maintain the 3:9 ratio in a tank where the snails are 3, and your fishes are 9 in number. But they tend to grow up faster, and overfeeding can result in overpopulation and aberrance in the water world. Watch out!