How to Care for Snails in an Aquarium

By Sean Mann

Snails can help keep your aquarium clean of algae, dead plants and extra fish food. Snail eggs often sneak into the aquarium on new plants or live fish food. The most common freshwater snail found in aquariums is the apple snail, which can grow to be six inches and is identified by its yellow apple-like color. An aquarium with excessive uneaten food items and snail-friendly fish can lead to an overpopulation of snails that overtake the tank. Proper care of your snails isn't any more difficult than taking care of hardy fish.

Provide two and a half gallons of water or more for each snail. A proper filter gives the snail an oxygen-rich environment. If you want them to reproduce then leave a six-inch gap below the cover of the tank for females to lay eggs.

Tape any holes or gaps in the fish tank's hood. Snails will escape whenever they can find a hole big enough to fit out.

Maintain a decholorinated water pH level near 7.0. A neutral pH level is what most tropical fish prefer as well. Snails are hardy and can survive in water ranging 65 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place fish that are friendly with snails in the tank such as danios, White Cloud minnows, neon tetras and guppies. Avoid fish that eat snails like clown loaches, skunk loaches, dorid catfish, banjo catfish, puffers, bettas, goldish, angelfish and barbs.

Feed the snails a mixture of vegetation and fish food at night. Snails are more active when the lights are off. Decrease the amount of food you feed them if there is any left in the morning. Increase the amount of food if the snails eat your live plants or if they eat all the food you put in the tank quickly.