How Many Nerite Snails Per Gallon? Full Care guide

Nerite Snails are very common snails. They are native to saltwater, but they live in brackish and even freshwater. They are one of the best tank cleaners to keep in your tank, and they will consume any algae in their path.

If you are a beginner, then Snails are ideal for you. They are pretty easy to care for, and they do not have any special requirements. You can also keep them in a smaller tank.

In this guide, you will learn How Many Nerite Snails Per Gallon? & how to care for them, including varieties, diet, tank set-up, water parameters breeding.

How Many Nerite Snails Per Gallon?

They are fine creatures for cleaning algae tanks. So this is a common question How many Nerite Snails per gallon? Here is a breakdown of How many Nerite Snails per gallon you should keep in your tank:

Tank capacity in gallonsNerite snails count
5 gallons1
10 gallons2
15 gallons3
20 gallons4
40 gallons8
50+ gallons10+

If you have a small 20-gallons tank, 4 Nerite Snails should be enough for the tank.

Overview of Nerite Snails

CategoryRating
Care Level:Easy.
Color Form:Depend on different species.
Temperament:Peaceful.
Lifespan:1-2 Years.
Size:Up to 1 inch.
Diet:Herbivore.
Family:Neritidae
Minimum Tank Size:5 gallons.
Tank Set-Up:Freshwater: rock and driftwood.
Compatibility:Peaceful community.
pH:8.0-8.4
Temperature:72-78oF

Nerite Snails belong to the Neritidae family, which contains more than 200 species of snails. Most of the snails are from brackish, seashore water, but few live in the rivers and streams. Some snails can be used in freshwater tanks and others in saltwater tanks.

Many of them have adapted to live in freshwater, making perfect tankmates for your freshwater fish tank. They should live for 1-2 years, growing up to 1 inch.

Nerite snails used in freshwater tanks originated from brackish waters in Eastern Africa. Saltwater species came from the pacific or Caribbean coast.

They are good algae eaters, which is why they are so popular among aquarists. They help them to keep the aquarium clean. They are not very active, cute, and peaceful creatures and should not cause any problems for other fish.

It would be best not to put them with any big predator fish, and those big fish will probably eat the snails.

The appearance of Nerite Snails

How Many Nerite Snails Per Gallon
Image Source: flickr.com

Every snail has a hard, coiled shell, and they also have a muscular foot that moves side to side to move the snail forwards. They also have four sensitive tentacles.

If you keep them in a healthy tank, they can grow up to 1 inch. Different species have different colors and marking combinations, but the anatomy is the same.

Types of Nerite snails

There are almost 200 species of Nerite snails, and we do not have to know them all. There are four main snails that you can find in the aquarium hobby.

Tiger Nerite Snails

Tiger Nerite Snails have stripes across their shells that point towards the center of the coil. Those stripes are bright yellow and a lot more jagged.

Horned Nerite Snails

Horned Nerite snails are differents from than other three snails. They have thick black and yellow stripes but dark horns along one stripe.

Olive Nerite Snails

Olive Nerite snails do not have patterns on their shell, and the black line of the coil stands out against the olive color.

Zebra Nerite Snails

Zebra Nerite snails have stripes across their shells that point to the center of the coil. Those stripes are yellow and black.

The behavior of Nerite Snails

Snails are not very active creatures. However, they are peaceful creatures and do not create problems for other fish in your tank. They will slowly move around and consume algae in your tank.

They won’t bother any fish. Sometimes they appear to be fallen over, and they can usually flip back themselves over. You might give them a helping hand if they can’t flip.

Snails also sleep like any other fish. But they have a different sleep cycle, and research has shown they sleep over a 13-15 hour period and then have 30 hours of activity.

Tank Requirments of Nerite Snails

You should also know their marine habitat, which will help you understand the water parameters in the tank.

Marine habitat

In the wild, they are mostly found in coastal habitats such as mangroves and estuaries, which have plenty of rocks and other surfaces on which algae grow.

You can also provide hiding spots. Try to make them with live rocks, and This will help to grow algae on the rock’s surface.

Snails tentacles are very sensitive. So, a fine-grained sandy substrate reduces the risk of scratching. You can use calcium substrate for your snails, and they need calcium to make a strong shell.

Water Parameters of Saltwater tank

  • pH: 8.1-8.4
  • Temperature: 72-78oF
  • Salinity: 1.020-1.028sg

Freshwater habitat

Some species also live in freshwater, found in forests and mountain streams. Like the saltwater tank, you should use rocks and driftwood. Also, make some hiding places for your snails.

Also, use fine-grained substrate for your tank. Plants are not important for snail tanks. But you can still add them to your tank, This will give a natural look to your aquarium, and snails won’t eat them either. You can plant slower-growing species such as Java fern.

At night Nerite snails have been known to climb above the water’s surface. Lowering the water level by an inch or two gives them some room to get out of the water.

Water Parameters of Freshwater tank

  • pH: 8.1-8.4
  • Temperature: 72-78oF
  • Make sure that the tank is ammonia and nitrites-free. Nitrates should be less than 20mg/L.

Use a suitable filter and heater. You won’t need any special equipment.

Diet of Nerite Snails

The primary food of snails is algae. If you stock them correctly, they should live off the algae. If algae aren’t forming fast enough, you should provide other foods.

You can use algae wafers for your snails, and it would be best to feed externally when there are no algae in your tank. Overfeeding and underfeeding each have different effects on any snail.

Tankmates of Nerite Snails

It would be best to keep them with small peaceful community fish or shrimps. But don’t put them in cichlid or any other big aggressive fish tank.

Keep them with small fish like tetras, guppies, and barbs. Shrimp are also suitable for their tank mats (like Ghost shrimp, Cherry Shrimp). Even their you can keep them with other Nerite species.

Breeding of Nerite Snails

Most snails reproduce asexually, but nerite snails are an exception. Females will produce eggs for males to fertilize, like fish, and the egg won’t hatch in the freshwater.

You will have to give them brackish eater conditions to hatch the eggs. After hatched, they are very small, so cover the filter inlet with a sponge.

If you only want to breed then, moving them to a brackish water set-up will give you the best success rate.

Hey, I am Shuvradeb Biswas a content writer. Fishkeeping is my hobby. There are many problems I faced during my first fishkeeping. So, I made the KeepingWorld.com blog to help new fishkeepers.

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