Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Akeath 02-09-2011 12:07 AM

Olive Nerite Snail info?
I'm thinking about getting an Olive Nerite Snail for my 5 gallon planted aquarium, tank mate would be a Betta. However, I can not find much info about them anywhere - except that they eat algae but not plants and can't reproduce in fresh water. Google isn't coming through for me here. :-( I want to know how to take care of them, what size tank they need, food to supplement besides algae, water parameters, what I can and can't add to the water with snails or this snail in particular, and whether they would be compatible with the Betta - if he would bother it at all I don't want to risk it, because the snail would be a pet too. Also, do snails really care if they are the only snail in the tank, would they want company from other snails or don't even notice that sort of thing? Any links that would tell me about them or personal experience would be wonderful! I want to know a lot about them before I decide whether or not to get one, and this is the first time I've really thought about getting an invertebrate seriously so I'm pretty clueless.

Lupin 02-09-2011 12:15 AM

The nerite will be fine by itself but as with all nerites, they're absolutely picky with foods. You want only one for a 5g otherwise it will be deprived of its algae supply. Are you going to culture a constant supply of algae for the snail? It might eat steamed zucchini, cucumber or pea-flavored snail jello but it prefers mainly algae.

There is one case that successfully bred olive nerites in FW in I believe but the resulting larva requires phytoplanktons to eat if memory serves me right. It's very rare to breed nerites successfully. A majority of them like to breed in conditions similar to estuarines. I've had a few collected from my local estuarines and while FW is acceptable for them, the eggs are not viable in that condition.

As with all snails, make sure your pH does not fall below 7.4. Your hardness level should remain hard. Soft acidic water will quickly erode the shells and kill the snails in the process. The Sulawesi snails were able to manage soft water with extremely high pH but that is not feasible in tanks. It's very risky and can result in pH crash. That's why you need to buffer the hardness to keep the pH from dropping quickly.

sovrappensiero 02-23-2011 06:26 PM

Lupin, thanks for providing that advice to the original poster. I found this post looking for some nerite snail information.

I have a few nerite snails; I had more but several have died. Two found a hole in my tank lid and dried out before I could find them (heart-breaking even to remember), and others simply died. The majority of them I found dead on top of my heater. I'm pretty sure they would have let go if/when the heater turned on and that the heat did not kill them this just a coincidence?

Also, after reading your post I am feeling simply terrible. I leave my lights on in my planted tank 11-13 hours a day (all lights for 11 hours, just one 25W for 2 hours (an hour at "dawn" and an hour at "dusk"). This is to grow algae for my snails to eat. I never, ever see algae in my tank; I don't know if they are getting enough to eat or not. I did not realize that this is ALL they eat until I started supplementing zucchini slices and realized that only the apple snails and shrimp go after them. BUT - I also have soft water (GH=4) and a low pH (6.6).

Am I KILLING my nerite snails???????? I'm so upset. I really love them...if I'm responsible for their death I'll be so, so upset.

This is what I had: 1 batik nerite, 2 olive nerites, 2 zebra nerites, 1 o-ring nerite, and 2 others. Now all I have are the 2 others. I feel just awful. I bought these in two different batches - I thought I lost the first few because my nitrates were high; it was my tap water and I just couldn't keep them under 20ppm for awhile.

What do you suggest for my two remaining ones? Also, my two apple snails do have eroded shells but they came that way (I only bought one but the guy threw in a "freebie" and I couldn't very well kill him). What do you suggest I do for them?

(Sorry for hijacking this thread...I just thought someone else searching for info on nerites might find it useful someday).

Lupin 02-23-2011 06:31 PM

The water conditions are inappropriate for any of the snails you want to keep. pH is awfully low. That would pit the shells and nerites are one of those that require a lot of calcium in order to keep their shells intact.

Do you have a spare tank for all the snails? If not, how about a large tub? Add bowls of crushed corals, sea shells, aragonite or even a single or couple Caltrate tabs to help increase the pH and hardness levels. You might need calcium chloride by Kent to increase the hardness level preventing it from dipping again.

Start feeding the snails with calcium rich foods or add calcium tablets for them daily. The nerites don't usually recover their eroded shells but apple snails can (except the sutures - tail end). Keep temp at 74 degrees Fahrenheit to slow down shell growth and allowing it to thicken. You can also feed the apple snails plaster of Paris pucks (made from the Dap brand which is totally safe for them), collards, kale and seaweeds. Those are high in calcium. has some invertebrate sticks appropriate for snails due to calcium content I believe at 13%.

sovrappensiero 02-23-2011 06:49 PM

Excellent advice, Lupin. I really, really appreciate your help on this. I'm sure I can muster up another tank to provide those conditions for the nerites (my brain is saying, "An excuse to start up a new tank? Awesome).

I can't believe I had never read any of this before buying the nerites. I fell victim to thing I hate most: people not educating themselves about living creatures before purchasing them. And I read A TON about nerites...but never came up with the thing about pH. Calcium I had heard before, but I thought it applied to tanks with water hardness around 1-2.

Thank you again for helping me save my little critters. I'll check into the calcium supplements especially. Collard greens are very easy to find here in Georgia. :-D

dfbiggs 02-28-2011 05:35 PM

Hi just wanted to share my experiences with my nerites and other snails. As far as parameters I follow the stats below:
Temp= 65-85 F ...I am normally at 76-78
PH= 7-8 ...Definately above 7
dH= 12-18 ...& above is fine

A diet they all seem to like Omega One Veggie Rounds..But the all prefer real fresh grown algae. I have noticed none of the snails, especially the Zebras, don't like bright light. I have added floating plants to dim it down and also quit running light so long. Also it seems every breed of nerite has its own personality traits.

Zebra- likes to eat off glass & decorations, happily eats veggie rounds, likes the dark

Olives- Normally stick to eating off the glass...they don't like walking on the substrate and rarely walk on decorations

Horned Coronas- normally don't like to crawl on substrate but love climbing on anything and everything else, they are pretty active. They really prefer to only eat algae off large stones in my tank.

Golden Apple snails- right now are in estivation (hibernation) and just sleep on the wall at the top of the tank.. they love bloodworms but make sure you get the calcium in their diet mine like blanched lettuce, squash, and algae wafers. They are acive throughout the tank, sometimes clean the walls but they absolutely love to climb my Giant Hair grass and tarzan down to the ground. They look like kids playing at a park.

Things I have added to my aquarium that they all love is smooth surfaced logs and they LOVE Aquavines They are made by T-Rex. The more twisted vines you have the more fun it is to them. No matter what inhabitants you have it is good to keep their minds stimulated...You may think that they don't think ..but they do.

I also keep a small piece of cuttlebone in my tank for calcium. This will also increase your water hardness. My hardness is high but hasn't turned to concrete yet..

The best way to get good algae in your tank is letting your nitrates get above 10ppm. Then if this is convenient for you, let the morning sun shine on your tank for a few hours. I planned my tank originally for this and it is working great.

Hope this has helped you let me know if I can try to help again,


dfbiggs 02-28-2011 06:04 PM

Also forgot to mention you can just have one snail but every single one of my snails is always hanging out with another. They do sort of have a buddy system.

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