Nerite Snails are one of the most popular freshwater aquarium snails these days and are almost always available at local pet stores and chain stores. Nerites are often sold as freshwater aquarium snails, although there are some saltwater varieties as well. Nerite Snails have a reputation for being outstanding tank cleaners and one of the most proficient algae eating snails around. That’s why Nerite Snails are frequently referred as members of an aquarium cleaning crew along with Amano Shrimp. Nerite Snails can be described as being docile, peaceful and tranquil in temperament, and are able to move throughout the tank with ease.
Maximum size: 4cm
Ideal number kept together: 1+
Hardness: 143-536 ppm
Temperature: 18–26 °C
Ease of care
The good news is that Nerite Snail care is pretty easy and straightforward. Nerite Snails are a hardy species and they are adaptable to a range of water conditions. Nerite Snails seem to like water temperature in the tropical community tank range of 18 – 26 degrees Celsius. And some hobbyists suggest that Nerites can survive in a wider temperature range. Nerites also prefer water pH on the alkaline side around 7.5 and aquarium water on the hard side with a moderately moving current. As with other fish in a tank, Nerite Snail care must also include checking for Ammonia spikes and high levels of Nitrate, as Nerites are susceptible. Care must also be taken to avoid any sort of exposure to copper and other medications because this can be fatal to snails. Finally, be mindful that Nerite Snails may need Calcium supplements to maintain a healthy shell.
Nerite snails are very busy and active eaters. They affix themselves to hard surfaces such as glass, decorations, filter intakes and hard plant leaves. Nerites move easily across these surfaces…eating as they move. Nerite Snails are one of the best algae eating snails around, and their “from-tank” diet can include: soft film algae, soft green algae, soft brown algae, and brown diatoms. They dig down about an inch or so and eat off the glass for hours. We recommend supplementing their diet with a high quality algae wafer or tablet.
In general this snail is suitable to live in all community tanks.
Breeding / Sex
It’s often noted that Nerite Snails will not reproduce in fresh water. Because Nerites need brackish water to reproduce successfully, they will not take over a fresh water tank like many other snails do. This is one of the primary benefits of this snail. That said, Nerite Snail eggs will begin to appear on many hard surfaces of the tank. Nerite Snail eggs look like little white dots and are most noticeable on dark surfaces like HOB filter intakes and dark aquarium heaters, on the glass, or on decorations and ornaments. Nerite Snail eggs are hard and will need to be scraped off to be taken out of the tank. Even though Nerite Snail eggs can be somewhat annoying, the advantages of these types of algae eating snails outweigh other types of snails that do reproduce in fresh water. This makes Nerite Snails a smart choice if you want to add a snail population to your tank.