5 Snails That Are Good For Your Aquarium

  • Dec 05, 2021
  • Rita
  •   1722        0      0

Would you like to add something different to your aquarium? Why not consider adding some snails. Generally, snails are seen as pests, but this isn’t true for all snails. There are a few that do more good than harm.

Here’s what you need to know. 

Why You Should Keep Snails

Snails bring a host of benefits to a tank. They get rid of some algae, clean up after your messy fish, and look interesting in the aquarium. That said, not all snails will benefit your tank. 

Some snails can be really difficult to manage. These reproduce quickly and can be very difficult to eradicate from the tank. In no time, they will become more of a burden than a benefit. 

On the other hand, some snails are really easy to manage. These are the ones you want to keep in your aquarium. Take a look at the top 5 easiest to manage snails for your aquarium. 

5 Most Beneficial Snails

Snails do a great job at cleaning your tank. If you want these slow-moving critters to join your community, consider getting one of the following snails: 

1. Nerite Snails

Nerite snails are one of the easiest to manage and most beneficial snails in the aquarium world. These snails won’t take over your tank. They need saltwater to breed and reproduce which is something they won’t normally get in your freshwater setup. 

These snails are in high demand due to their ability to control algae growth in the tank. They are voracious eaters and will eat almost any algae they can find. You also have a choice between many kinds of nerites. Some are more difficult to find than others. The most common nerite is zebra nerite.


By TheJammingYam at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13557943

2. Rabbit Snails

Rabbit snails come in a variety of colors and sizes depending on the variety you choose for your tank. These snails are normally used in ponds due to their large adult sizes. They will eat just about anything in the tank but will leave live plants alone if properly cared for. 

Rabbit snails are great for aerating the substrate in your tank. They love digging through it and will clean up any detritus and algae they can find. Unfortunately, they quite like java fern. These plants don’t stand a chance in a tank with a rabbit snail. 

Rabbit snails will breed in your tank if you have a male-female pair. The only way to avoid this is to have only one snail. Fortunately, they breed quite slowly so you should be able to easily pick out the eggs or babies when you notice them around the tank.


By RealGatba - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=101131875

3. Mystery snails

Mystery snails are colorful snail that forms part of the apple snail group. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to manage the number of snails in your aquarium. 

Unlike nerites, they will definitely breed in your tank, but it’s easy to get rid of the eggs. A female will usually lay bright pink eggs above the waterline. You can simply scrape these eggs off the glass and destroy them. 

Mystery snails will eat any leftover food your fish didn’t eat and remove some algae in your tank. Depending on the color you choose and the theme of your tank, they can also add to the aesthetics and look great while doing their job. 


By Jpatokal - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=96936371

4. Black Devil Snails

Black devil snails are pretty large snails that either has a very dark brown or black conical shell. Like nerites, they won’t breed in freshwater. The eggs need brackish water to hatch. 

These snails will clean up any algae and detritus in your tank. Unfortunately, its also been reported that they can do quite a number on live plants. If you keep them properly fed, this shouldn’t be a problem, but it’s something to keep in mind. 


By Mário NET - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77061507

5. Japanese Trapdoor Snails

Japanese trapdoor snails come in a variety of colors with a distinct twisted shell. These snails generally get big enough to be kept in ponds but are becoming increasingly popular in the aquarium trade. 

They are happy to clean up any detritus in your pond or tank and will also clear away some algae. These snails will breed if you have a male and female. The best way to avoid this is to keep only one. Fortunately, their size makes it possible for one snail to clean up quite a large aquarium on its own. 

If you need more than one, you can easily remove any smaller snails. They grow quite quickly and to quite a large size so it’s easy just to pick them out if they start to take over. 


By Judy Gallagher - https://www.flickr.com/photos/52450054@N04/32443405285/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=55354278

Final Thought

Now it’s time to make your snail selection. Whatever you choose, make sure to do some research into their preferred water parameters to make sure they match up with the fish you’re already keeping. Also, check the size of an adult snail to make sure you have the space. 

Happy snail searching!

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