How Many Types Of Snail Do You Need In An Aquarium Tank?
Snails are very easy to care for and also compatible with many tank mates. They can also tolerate many conditions and reproduce quickly.
Whether you're looking to add some algae eaters or need some peaceful tank mates, aquarium snails are usually the perfect choice.
However, among so many types of snails, which one should you choose? Each has its unique personality and they can be found in almost every colour and type of case you can imagine!
Keep reading to find out which aquatic snail is perfect for your aquarium…
In this article, we compiled a list of the best aquatic snail species based on their personality. Some other tutorials online will just list the different colour variations, but that's not very helpful.
This resource will help you learn about each higher level, so you can think about the details later.
The mysterious snail is one of our favourite species. We have kept these creatures in our tanks for years with no intention of stopping!
These little creatures stand out in any tank because of their interesting colours and patterns. We especially like placing them in a tank full of plants for maximum contrast.
These aquarium snails require very little maintenance and are easy to care for. They get along with almost any species and will be interested in their algae-eating business.
Mystery Snails is also one of the most effective tank cleaners on this list. We saw a noticeable difference in water quality after adding them!
You can also pair them with other aquarium snails or shrimp if you're looking for a little variety. You don't need to plan much, and that's why we love them so much.
To better understand their lifestyle, you can read more articles mysterious snails HERE.
The Nerite snail is another common species that thrives in most freshwater tanks. They are versatile when it comes to water parameters and can fit in fairly small aquariums (this species rarely grows larger than an inch in diameter).
Our favourite thing about these snails is the pattern on their shells. There are some very intricate and beautiful designs that you will find on their cases that are simply mesmerizing to look at.
Most of the colours are yellow and/or brown, but there are many different options that you will see in their patterns. Our favourite is probably the tiger breed.
These snails do well in aquariums with a sandy substrate. That will keep their soft underside free from scratches and infections.
We have a recent article about this adorable snail. Check it HERE.
The Apple Snail is a very simple and reliable species that anyone can take care of. They are excellent algae eaters and will spend most of their time scavenging and avoiding other animals in your aquarium.
One thing you need to keep an eye on these snails for is how strongly they eat plants. The other snail species on our list are more passive and choose to gnaw at the biofilm that grows on each tree, but the Apple Snail will find the tree on its own.
This means that if you want to pair them with plants that are not very durable, you will need to choose between the two. If you are an aquarist, this is not the right snail for you.
To control their appetite, many aquarists prefer to feed them standard plant-based fish food. When they're not hungry, they'll be less likely to eat the leaves in your tank.
Trumpet snails are a species that some aquarists love and others hate. This comes from the ability to quickly spawn and take over a tank if left unchecked.
We think they are great freshwater snails to include in your aquarium because of their interesting appearance and the benefits they provide.
This species is low maintenance and easy to care for. You'll never have to worry about them thriving in your tank as long as things are relatively stable. They will not mess with any other animals and keep to themselves.
They're not very large (only about an inch long) which makes them seem more "natural" than some of the other species on our list. There's something about having several of them in your aquarium that makes it seem like you're looking into a pond!
Due to their small size, you will need to be cautious with the strength of the filtration. A strong filter can easily suck them in (not good). If you can't control the amount of water coming in, we recommend putting some kind of filter or guard in front to prevent them from getting stuck.
The Ivory Snail is a simple yet elegant freshwater species loved by many aquarists. These snails have a simple creamy white covering their shells and smooth bodies.
This is another type of aquarium snail that is very low maintenance and easy to care for. They are compatible with a wide range of other organisms and keep to themselves.
This species is more active at night, so if you want to see them, you need to wait until evening or early morning. As they move, these freshwater snails have a surprising amount of energy and will cover a lot of ground!
There are many types of water parameters in which Ivory snails can thrive, making them easy to keep. It's one of the most beginner-friendly snails on our list!
This is a type of aquatic snail that is not mentioned much. Gold Incas are gorgeous because of the rich yellow colour that covers their shells and bodies.
When you combine this with a well-planted tank, you get a beautiful combination of yellow on a green background. It makes this species stand out!
They are easy to care for and have a reasonable range of water parameters that you can keep them in. These freshwater snails are also extremely peaceful, which makes them great creatures for community tanks.
They only reach about an inch in diameter and can be kept in fairly small tanks. This gives you even more flexibility when choosing your setup.
Inca golden snails also do a great job of cleaning a variety of algae in aquariums. They will spend their time slowly moving around the tank cleaning whatever they can! Luckily, they won't eat your plants like some of the other snail species on this list.
The Ramshorn Snail might be our favourite on this list (it's hard to pick). They get their name from the distinct horn-like shell they have.
This appearance helps them stand out among other species and makes them easy to spot at a glance.
At this time, these snails are mainly found in the aquarium scene rather than in the wild. This is not the case with most of the other types on this list.
They are about an inch in diameter and will live for about a year with good care. These are pretty standard numbers for aquarium snails.
Ramshorn has a fairly high activity level. You will often find them moving along the walls of your tank or climbing any plant they can find. There's something about it that makes watching them so addictive!
Their colour is what any visitor to Micro Aquatic Shop buys 1-2 fish for their tank. I believe you will also want to buy them to add to your tank. So, let's check it out here
The Snail Rabbit is a very interesting-looking species. Their shells extend further back than many other aquatic snails, making them about 3-5 inches long at their maximum size!
Their shells are also highly textured with ridges. It is shaped like a cone and thins towards the back.
Rabbit snails have a long head that protrudes from the shell quite a bit. It is interesting to watch these creatures drag their long carapaces.
This makes them much slower than the snails in your average freshwater aquarium (it's hard to believe that's even possible). You can pass by and see their head move through the aquarium and find that they had barely made any progress half an hour later.
Just like the other species on our list, Snails are very committed to their task of eating algae (and other greens). We've found that their slow nature makes them very thorough cleaners.
Other pond snails
Pond snails refer to an extensive collection of species with Ramshorn being one of the most common (more on them below). Although we have spent this guide looking at each species, we thought it would be a good idea to address this group.
Pond snails are extremely common and can be found almost anywhere. They are known for their ability to reproduce quickly and overgrow in the tank if you are not careful.
With that said, there are a lot of good options to choose from if you are prepared for this. In our opinion, Ramshorn is one of the best aquatic snails available.
The most important thing to remember when trying to maintain control of their population is to keep an eye on the eggs. When these freshwater snails lay a litter of eggs, you can quickly get rid of them, but if you're not paying attention, you'll miss your window.
Time to choose!
Now that you know all the best aquarium snails, it's time to decide which one you like best.
We're snail fans at the Micro Aquatic Shop and we can't stop praising our snails. They are adorable, fun, and very engaging to watch!
When you combine those benefits with ease of care, there's no downside to choosing one of these snail species. Unless you already have an incompatible tank mate (anything that eats snails), there really shouldn't be anything holding you back.
After all, experimenting with different creatures is part of what makes owning an aquarium so enjoyable in the first place. By adding some variety to your tank with any of the freshwater snails on our list, your tank will get a whole new boost.