Nerite snails make a great addition to almost any freshwater aquarium. They are excellent algae-grazers, come in a wide variety of attractive color patterns, and don't produce baby snails so uncontrollably as other snails do. Another good quality that nerite snails have is that they do not eat aquarium plants. This, and their excessive urge to eat algae, makes them very desirable aquarium inhabitants.
Appearance and varieties
Nerite snails are very round in appearance. They have smooth shells, which vary greatly in color and pattern. They grow to a maximum size of about 1" long. There are many varieties, including, racers, tiger nerites, zebra nerites, and many others.
These snails are very popular, and are available in most fish/aquarium stores. However, some of the less common varieties (such as red and gold racers, for instance) may have to be mail-ordered. If you are buying from a store and have your choice of snails, choose ones that do not have any shell erosion, are active, and do not have any missing limbs or discoloration. Missing limbs will usually regrow, but the snail should be in optimum health when buying.
Housing and compatibility
Nerite snails, like other aquatic snails, will climb out of the tank if given the chance. A tight-fitting lid is essential.
These snails are peaceful towards all other tank inhabitants, but large fish or crayfish may pick at them. Their main food is green algae, so they should not be added to non-established tanks.
Nerite snails will breed in freshwater, and lay eggs all over the tank, but the eggs need brackish water to hatch and thrive. Nerite snails will lay their eggs on driftwood, rocks, substrate, tank walls, or decorations. The eggs can then be scraped off and transferred to a small brackish tank. Once the eggs hatch, and the babies reach the right size, they can be converted into freshwater or placed into brackish tank.
Water parameters and temperature
Nerite snails prefer a PH of about 7.0, but can be kept in tanks with a PH of up to 8.8. They thrive in tropical temperatures, but also will do well in tanks that are as low as 68 degrees Fahrenheit. They need lots of minerals such as calcium in the water to build their shells properly.
Nerite snails eat mainly algae that occurs naturally in then aquarium, but their diet may be supplemented with algae/veggie wafers or blanched greens.
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