How much and what to feed snails

  • #1
I have a 6.6g with 4 tricolor horned nerites (+ 1 betta) and a divided 10 gallon with 4 tricolor horned nerites and 1 zebra nerite (+ 2 betttas).

I definitley want the snails to keep the glass and the plants in general clean and so far they do a good job. There's some algae on a few leaves that are pretty close to the light and hard to reach. And one or two leaves of my crypt wendtiI with a lot of brown algae.

- Is it safe to assume that as long as there are some algae the snails won't starve?
- I usually give them a piece of zucchinI or cucumber over night about every 3 days. Is that sufficient? Too much while there are algae around?
- What other veggies (or fruit?) would they enjoy?
- Do they need anything else? My water is pretty hard, so I guess I don't have to add calcium, but I do have a cuttlebone ready, just in case. Are there any obvious signs that would let me know when it's time to supplement? I added a bit cuttlebone in the past, and it was ignored.
- My tanks are fairly heavily planted, low in nitrates, so I guess I won't be plagued with too much algae growth in general. I leave the ligths on for about 12 hours. Is the amount of snails about right or could/should I get some more?
- I would love to add a blue or purple mystery snail to each of the tanks. Do they need to be fed non-vegeterian food as well? Problem is the bettas would stuff themselves on algae wavers and food like that.
- One of the nerites recently spend one day to eat one leave of the crypt squeaky clean. But why do the snails ignore the other leaves? Are there enough easier to reach micronutrients on the glass or gravel? Do they have clear food preferences? I would think a nice large leaf covered in algae would be like a smorgas board and in high demand. Apparently not.

I'm looking forward to your answers. Thanks!
  • #2
I am waiting for the answers too. I have only one snail, the one that devours driftwood, and I also don't know what to feed her.
  • #3
Typically most snails are detritivores, and will eat decomposing materials, plants, and food alike. zucchinI or cucumber once every 3 days as a treat isn't too bad.
  • #4
I have nerite and I don't feed them specifically. I see them on every surface in the tank, eating away. I'm not sure how to feed them since I don't think they'd know to come quickly when food hits the substrate. Pretty sure my piggy mollies would finish anything I put in there before the snails found it (except for a slice of fresh veggie, it's just too much for even them!).

I do try to remember to give them a cucumber or zuch slice when I have them. But that hasn't been reliable on my part. If I leave one in there for 12-24hrs the snails do find it and chow down. I do see mine enjoying my IAL (Indian Almond Leaf) quite a lot and they have done a good job of undressing the first ones I put in the tanks.

The nerite in my shrimp tank get fed a bit more frequently, but that is because of how I feed my shrimp compared to the fish tanks. I don't know if this was at all helpful. I'm kinda wondering if I'm not doing enough for them, but since they keep themselves busy all day, I hope they are getting what they need.
  • #5
I always have some sort of food available to my snails... I feed a mix of barley pellets, algae wafers, fresh veggies and some fruits, sinking shrimp pellets, and shrimp souffle made by rapshody (they love this the most)
Rohit 25
  • #6
Snails can eat whatever that is at the bottom of the tank.Snails are omnivorous.My friend gives them boiled lettuce and zucchini.I think nerite snails like's to eat algae compared to other snails.
  • #7
I know its technical but sorry to shoot you down, snails aren't omnivores, they do not hunt down other live flesh (other than those of the assassin snail and such) nor typically good live plants, they are detritivores, they do hunt for sick and decaying flesh and plant matter, a sick fish, dying/dead fish, cucumber that has been cut from the stalk or zucchinI for that matter.
  • #8
Good morning,

Nerite Snails may or may not eat prepared foods. I have 4 Nerites in my 33g long tank (4') and I feed my Pleco a slice of raw zucchinI every morning. I have only seen 1 Nerite on the slice once in almost 2 years. I do not feed specifically for Nerites. I do not have algae issues in my tank. What are they eating? I'm not sure but they are thriving and have grown so much!

Note: I do not vacuum this tank since it is heavily planted. Too, I do not clean my driftwood. I do not clean the back or side glass panels. I let the snails do it. Perhaps there is micro algae of some sort that they feed from. Nor do I clean any terracotta in this tank (miniature pots)

You can place aquarium safe rocks and ornaments in a bucket (a glass jar or clear acrylic may be better, but be careful!) of water and set the bucket outside in full sun to grow additional algae, then place it in the tank for the snails to feed from. I'm getting ready to do this myself in the near future. I'm going to use miniature terracotta pots that I can buy at WalMart, place them in an old acrylic wet/dry filter, in water, outside. This will also be good for my Plecos.

I let my snails do their thing without intervention from me and everything has been just fine.

  • #9
The only thing I intentionally feed my snails is a tums tablet every few days However, I don't have nerites, but rather bladder, ramshorn, malaysian trumpet, mystery, and assassin snails. They seem to get enough from cruising around the tank

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