The Different Types of Aquarium Snails Explained

aquarium snails

Scientists estimate that there are around 43,000 different types of snails in the world!

However, that doesn’t mean that all of them can live in your aquarium. In other words, don’t go and grab the first garden variety snail you find and plunk it into your tank.

Instead, make sure you know a thing or two about aquarium snails and find the perfect species for your miniature habitat.

Read on for more information on how to select the perfect snail for you!

Freshwater Aquarium Snails

Nerite snails, Golden Mystery snails, and Blue Mystery snails are all great choices for a freshwater aquarium system.

Nerite snails are large consumers of algae and can beat just about any other aquatic snail in that regard. They have a beautiful, decorative shell and grow up to 1 inch, maximum. Plus, they are only able to reproduce in brackish water, which means you won’t have to worry about a mass overpopulation of nerite snails in your freshwater tank!

Golden Mystery snails consume waste and organic matter, which can do wonders to help keep your sand or substrate clean. They are some of the larger aquarium snails on the market, so if you want some snails with substance, they should be your go-to!

Blue Mystery snails will also help to keep your substrate clean, as they are ground feeders. These little snails tend to blend in the background with their small size and dusty blue color. Keep in mind that Blue Mystery snails do need to surface often to breathe and you need to maintain a low to medium water-level in order for them to survive.

Saltwater and Reef Aquarium Snails

Bumblebee snails, Turban snails, and Cerith snails are fantastic saltwater snails that will work hard to keep your tank clean.

Bumblebee snails burrow into the sand or substrate in search of decaying food and organic materials. This disturbance of the substrate helps to prevent anoxic pockets that can produce deadly Hydrogen Sulfide if left alone. Bumblebee snails are also some of the smallest on the list, growing up to a 1/2 of an inch, max.

Turban snails are herbivores that will consume the algae growing on your rocks, decorative features, and the sides of the tank. Because they don’t burrow, it’s important to pair them with something like a Nassarius snail to maintain a clean, pocket-free substrate.

Cerith snails look at your aquarium as an all-you-can-eat buffet! They eat algae as well as biofilms and other decaying matter they may find along the rocks and in the tank’s substrate, including growth that could become noxious. The only thing to look out for with these little guys is that they can start to reproduce pretty quickly.

Boost Your Habitat With Snails

If you’re looking for a solution to keep your tank cleaner without adding more filters, aquarium snails are your best bet! Aquarium snails eat all of that yucky stuff your fish and other sea creatures won’t.

For more information on all things pet-related, check out some of our other posts!

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