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Beginners Guide

4+ Best Freshwater Aquarium Snails

by Catherine Tran 07 Jun 2023 0 Comments

4+ Best Freshwater Aquarium Snails

Freshwater snails can be an important part of your aquarium. Not only do they keep the water and tank clean, but they're also very eye-catching. Some of them look good, and they also exhibit very interesting behaviours.

There are many types of freshwater snails that you can include in your aquarium. When choosing freshwater snails, many more factors go into choosing the type of Snail that's right for you. This article will look at the five best freshwater ornamental snails.

Nerite snail

Nerite snails can be a beginner's best friend – they are great for those just starting in the aquarium business because they are easy to care for. They are very effective if you want to eliminate algae and fish waste.

What makes them good for beginners is that they are very controllable regarding reproduction. Another advantage of nerite snails is that they are very friendly and will go along with any fish, shrimp or other animal in your tank. It is interesting to observe their behaviour, as they tend to move around a lot, especially on the walls of tanks where algae are present.

They are also very easy to see with the stripes on the case. You need to take care of having enough calcium in the tank. So, if you are a beginner or an advanced aquarist, the nerite snail is one of the best snail species to keep in your aquarium.


Ramshorn snail

The name describes these snails - their shells look like the horns of a ram. There are more subspecies of Ramshorn snails – you can find black and red Ramshorn snails. They are beautiful with a spiral shell with black stripes.

Not only that, but they are also very effective at cleaning algae, dead animals, rotten leaves – anything you want to remove from your tank. Some people keep Ramshorn snails as pets.

They can reproduce without a mate, so you won't be able to manipulate that. Your best bet is to prevent it from happening in the first place. You must ensure you don't overfeed your snails; this is the fastest way to create a large snail population. If that doesn't work, you must consider snail removal options.

READ MORE: TOP 9+ Helpful Snails For Your Next Freshwater Aquarium

Ramshorn Snail Package 1 (1 Red, 1 Leopard, 1 Blue)

Mysterious Snail

There are more mysterious subspecies of snails, depending on their shell colour. There are mysterious blue, yellow, black and purple snails. In essence, they are all the same. They will effectively clean your tank, just like other snails.

They are very peaceful and will get along well with other living things in your tank, but they will hide in their shells from more aggressive fish.

Blue Mystery Snail

They are herbivores. They live up to a year and are adaptable – they will do well in a moderately planted aquarium, but they will adapt to their circumstances. As for the size of the aquarium, the mysterious snails can be placed in a 20-litre and even larger aquarium, especially if you want to put more of them inside.

Brown/Black Mystery Snails

Malaysian trumpet snail

Besides the nerite snail, this species is one of the most common types of Snail you will come across. You can also get some for free with your aquarium purchase.

The good thing about them is that they are universal, very effective in tank cleaning, and easy to care for. It is a type of Snail that is considered very good for beginners. Since they are quite small, they can live in smaller tanks. It lives for about a year.

Make sure you don't give them too much food, or you'll end up with a family (large group) of Malaysian trumpet snails. That's why snails are often preferred over Malaysian trumpet snails.

Fresh Water Mussel

Fresh Water Mussel 5-10 Cm

Freshwater mussels are equally comfortable in tropical or cold water.

They are not fussy about the type of water they live in; they have a wide temperature tolerance as long as it is relatively unpolluted and oxygen-rich.

Freshwater Mussels are an interesting natural way to help filter the water in your aquarium or fishbowl. Mussels feed by filtering the water, removing tiny particles such as detritus and single-cell algae ("green water"), helping keep the water clear and clean.


Feeding and breathing is accomplished by sucking water and micro-organisms through openings between the shells. This results in extremely clear water, as the mussel acts as a living filter. The gills are located inside the bivalves.

There are many species of Freshwater mussels, and they make interesting aquarium subjects. They are protected by two shells (Bivalves) hinged by a tough, elastic membrane. They move about by protruding a broad, tongue-shaped muscle (the foot) into the sand, then pulling themselves slowly forward. This process may dislodge plants in newly set up aquariums.

They are best known in the aquarium hobby for their role in protecting and incubating eggs of the popular Bitterling, which lays their eggs in the breathing opening of the mussel.

They are not fussy about the type of water they live in, as long as it is not tarnished - anything your fish are comfortable in should be fine for a Mussel.

Mussels partially bury themselves in the aquarium substrate, leaving themselves only partially exposed. Therefore, using fine sand or gravel is preferable to using a coarse gravel substrate.

Baby Fresh Water Mussel

How to care for freshwater snails?

You must maintain your tank in a way that is suitable for snails and other animals in it.

The first thing you need to take care of is water quality. Make sure it has enough minerals to keep the Snail healthy. Also, try to keep the pH of the water close to neutral.

Choose good, peaceful companions that go with your snails and ensure you put the right substrate in your tank. Ensure you don't put too many snailfish in the tank or have no snails.

Water quality

The key factor is water quality. Snails prefer hard water rich in dissolved minerals that help build their shells. The ideal water temperature varies depending on the type of Snail. If you live in a cooler climate, you may want to invest in a good heater. Always use a lower concentration of dissolved minerals as it helps control snail reproduction.

What do freshwater snails eat?

Unlike most fish, snails are scavengers. They will eat algae, detritus and decaying food particles. Occasionally, you can supplement their diet with a bottom-feed pellet to ensure they get enough food.

What is the ideal temperature for a freshwater snail?

Snails are very picky about temperature. Most types thrive in temperatures between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to maintaining the right temperature, you must consider other factors affecting temperature, such as climate. Make sure you adjust the heater properly inside the tank.

How do I know if my Snail is healthy?

The snails will only benefit if they are healthy. Fortunately, invertebrates are very resilient to disease. So most complications are usually due to water quality problems or nutrient deficiencies. Happy, healthy snails always move around, looking for their next meal.

They have a uniform colour and a clean appearance. Any signs of fungus or spots in the Snail's mouth or body should be on high alert. Remove the sick Snail from the tank and change the water often to avoid losing more algae eaters. When setting up the tank, remember to have a soft and blunt base to avoid hurting the Snail's delicate belly.


Snails can be very useful for your tank if you can keep them in moderation. Not only do they clean the tank and water, but they also look quite pleasant. With this guide, you have everything you need to keep your snails happy and enjoy the increasing movement, colour and biological benefits they bring to your tank.

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