Nerite snails

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Nerite snails

Post by Aura on Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:52 pm

Does anyone keep these? I've had some for a few months now and was really surprised to find one slowly moving along the glass -- on the outside of the tank! I had no idea they could live outside of the water. Guess I'll have to seal the tank or do a quick check each morning to make sure none are exploring the house.
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Re: Nerite snails

Post by yodahorn on Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:37 pm


I have them and find them above the water line or on the lid on the inside of the tank, but out of the water. I just knock them back into the water, gently of course. Just check when feeding the fish.

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Re: Nerite snails

Post by Aura on Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:59 pm

I can't find any information on how they breathe. I wonder if they need to come to the surface and how long they can stay out of the water without dying.

The snail that I found outside was almost down to the counter that the tank was sitting on, so it had to have been out of water for a while.
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Re: Nerite snails

Post by Aura on Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:06 am

Yesterday I found one of the zebra stripe nerites on the floor about 10 feet away from the tank, motionless. I put it back in the tank, but it was floating and I thought for sure it was a goner. I checked on it periodically for a while, but it was still floating. A few hours later I found it gliding along the tank glass!

I don't know how long they can survive outside of water, but it's a good amount of time.
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Re: Nerite snails

Post by Super Turtleman on Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:12 pm

Better find a way to close the tank off or you might end up with a snail explosion in random parts of your house. :-)
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Re: Nerite snails

Post by football mom on Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:27 pm

I bought some olive nerites at the auction, but I've never found them outsied the tank!

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Re: Nerite snails

Post by ualbok on Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:25 am

Aura wrote:Does anyone keep these? I've had some for a few months now and was really surprised to find one slowly moving along the glass -- on the outside of the tank! I had no idea they could live outside of the water. Guess I'll have to seal the tank or do a quick check each morning to make sure none are exploring the house.

hi Aur, sorry i didn't keep these but what i know about is, Nerite snails are found in saltwater, brackish water and freshwater. Although most think of marine aquariums when they hear the name Nerite snail, many species do well in fresh and brackish water as well. They do however need brackish water to breed. In the wild, Nerite snails are found in and around the Pacific and Caribbean Oceans. This gives them a near global distribution although they are not found naturally in the Atlantic Ocean. They come in variety of different colors such as green, tan, black, white and zebra patterned.

The Nerite snails quickly became popular in the aquarium trade as both the saltwater and the freshwater species are very hardy and because of the fact that they are very good algae eaters. Most species eat only algae and to a lesser degree other vegetable matter. If you have an aquarium with a stable population of algae you will not need to feed your snails. They will find the food they need. They are however ferocious algae eaters and they might eat your aquarium clean of algae at which point they need to be fed vegetable matter. Ideal food includes sinking algae wafers and vegetable flake food that sinks to the bottom. There is however species that are scavengers and these species will need a more diverse diet. All Nerite snails will leave living fish and fry alone. If you see one eating on a dead fish you can be sure that the fish died before the snail started eating on it.

Nerite snails don't grow very big; usually less than 1 inch / 2.5 cm and most species is best kept at around 72-77°F (22- 26°C) although they usually do well in unheated aquariums. The saltwater species do well in a reef environment and can be very helpful in keeping the reef and corals free from algae. They sometimes get introduced to the tank with live rock and if this happens I strongly recommend leaving them there as they will become a valued part of the cleaning crew. They are very friendly and will not bother any other aquarium inhabitant.

Even though Nerite snails are very hardy they are sensitive to high nitrate levels. They are very sensitive against copper-based medications and such medications should never be used in an aquarium containing Nerite snails as a dead snail or two quickly can pollute the water. If you keep Nerite snails in freshwater they prefer hard water and should never be kept in aquariums with a lower pH than 7. Limestone is highly recommended in the aquarium when you keep Nerite snails in freshwater. When kept in brackish water you can follow the same advice as for saltwater.

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Re: Nerite snails

Post by football mom on Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:05 pm

My olive nerite snails did not do well, but I have several tanks with the zebra nerites, and they keep the glass really clean. I do think they spawn, as I sometimes find a rock or piece of wood with tiny white eggs, which must be infertile, as no new nerites appear.

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Re: Nerite snails

Post by Aura on Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:01 pm

It's the opposite for me -- only my olives are still around. And they have grown a lot. I have one that lays eggs all over everything in the tank and they are hard to remove!
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Re: Nerite snails

Post by football mom on Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:25 pm

Yeah, they are hard to remove, but eventually they just dissappear.

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