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Freshwater Snails

includes mystery, inca, apple, nerite and rabbit snail species

The unique characteristics and wide variety of Freshwater Snails provide an appealing addition to your aquarium. Freshwater Snails feed on nuisance algae and are great for keeping your tank clean.

Freshwater Snails

Freshwater Snails Facts

average adult size: depends on species
average life span: depends on species
diet: omnivore
minimum aquarium size: 5+ gallons, depending on species
water temperature: 72-82°F


A well-balanced Freshwater Snail diet consists of:

  • Typically feeds off algae and excessive food or debris in aquarium.
  • Can be supplemented with algae discs.


Things to remember when feeding your Freshwater Snail:

  • Feed daily or twice weekly, depending on species.


  • Keep in an appropriate size aquarium; a tight fitting lid is necessary, Snails can climb out of the tank. Snails need calcium to grow their shells and don't like soft water.
  • Stable water quality, water temperature, and pH levels are critical to the health of the invertebrate. If you are unsure of your water quality or pH levels, Petco provides free water testing.


  • Snails leave a slime trail as they move on their muscular foot.
  • Use of copper-based medications can be toxic to invertebrates.

Habitat Maintenance

Daily:check filter, water temperature and other equipment.
Weekly:check water quality at least once a week.
Monthly:change 10-25% of the total volume of water every 2-4 weeks, or as needed.
Introduce new inhabitants to the aquarium gradually.


Compatible with most freshwater fish. Do not keep with aggressive fish that may try to eat Snails.


Signs of a Healthy Invertebrate

  • Active movement
  • Healthy appetite
  • Even coloring
  • Clean in appearance

Avoid overcrowded conditions; they are a major cause of stress and disease. Maintain good water quality with regular water changes and adequate filtration.

Red Flags

  • loss of color or appetite
  • spots or fungus on body or mouth
  • listlessness
  • retreats into shell most of time

Common Health Issues

Health Issue Symptoms or Causes Suggested Action
Health IssueLittle is known about diseases that affect invertebrates; as long as environmental conditions and food supplies are adequate, invertebrates are fairly resistant to disease.


Ask an associate about Petco's selection of books on Freshwater Snails and the variety of Petco Brand products available for the care and happiness of your new pet. All Petco Brand products carry a 100% money-back guarantee.

Because all aquatic life are potential carriers of infectious diseases, such as Salmonella, always wash your hands before and after handling your aquatic life and/or habitat contents to help prevent the potential spread of diseases.

Pregnant women, children under the age of 5 and people with weakened immune systems should contact their physician before purchasing and/or caring for aquatic life and should consider not having aquatic life as a pet.

Go to the Centers for Disease Control for more information about aquatic life and disease.

This care sheet can cover the needs of other species.

Note:The information on this Care Sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care. If you need additional information, please refer to the sources on the following page or contact your veterinarian as appropriate.

Developed with and approved by a qualified veterinarian.