Zebra Nerite Snail
Neritina natalensis sp. "Zebra"
The Zebra Nerite Snail is one of the most, if not the most, popular nerite snail in the hobby. Its coloration is a beautiful golden shell with black jagged-edged stripes running down. It is one of the larger nerite snail with a size ranging from 1/2" to a full inch in size. I have seen some rather large ones.
One downside to the Zebra Nerite Snail, and this applies to most other nerite snails, is its inability to breed in pure freshwater. The Zebra Nerite Snail requires brackish water in order to breed successfully. Some hobbyists have been somewhat successful in breeding nerite snails but it does not seem that the young snails survive for too long. Some may look at this as a plus, meaning that the Zebra Nerite will not over populate a tank and become another pest in the aquarium.
The Zebra Nerite Snail is typically black and gold, or sometimes a gold-lime coloration. The coloration pattern is not a swirl but rather the color extends in lines from the very back tip of the snail. The Zebra Nerite Snail is one of the most popular, if not the most, due to this beautiful coloration and pattern.
Another plus for the Zebra Nerite Snail is its algae eating abilities. This snail will clean your tank glass spotless and also clean algae off of rocks and even leaves. Many hobbyists purchase the Zebra Nerite Snail more because of its algae eating abilities than its visual looks. It is recommended that you supplement their diet with algae wafers or similar type food since the Tracked Nerite Snail may not be able to sustain itself solely on algae in the tank. This species is also larger than other nerite snails and will not be able to successfully eat algae off of small leaves due to its weight.
The Zebra Nerite Snail can tend to escape from a tank and make its way outside of the tank. It is considered a tidal snail and can live outside of water. Simply pick them up and put them back inside of the tank, they will survive as long as they have not been out of the tank for too long. It is recommended to keep an eye on them and look around the tank occasionally for possible escapes. It is thought that when the snail is uncomfortable it will escape, but will not when happy. It is also an extremely docile creature and does not bother any other aquarium inhabitants.
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