How long do Nerite snails live? Size + Lifespan | Fish salon (2023)

Nerite snails can live up to 5 years in their natural habitat and 1 to 3 years in captivity. In my research, I came across an experienced nerite snail breeder who claimed that his red racer nerite snail had lived 11 years. I cannot confirm or refute this.

Nerite snails live 1 to 5 years. They live a year to 3 in the wild and a year to 5 in captivity. This depends on their breed, diet, water parameters, tank mates, population and habitat. If cared for properly, they can live longer than 5 years.

How long do Nerite snails live? Size + Lifespan | Fish salon (1)

How long do nerite snails live?

Nerite snails live about 3 years on average. With proper care, they can live longer. However, if you don't take care of them, they can die before their first birthday.

Here are some factors that determine how long they live:

1.Eating pattern

Nerite snails are herbivorous and are usually kept to clean algae in the aquarium. They do not eat aquarium plants. They will starve if you keep them in an aquarium with little algae and expect them to feed on it alone.

It's essential to feed them enough, although it can be challenging to know if you're feeding them enough. Like mysterious snails, nerite snails love to eat algae. Once they've eaten all the algae in the tank, you'll need to give them an alternative food.

Calcium is an essential part of the snail diet. The cochlea is made of 95% calcium carbonate and they depend on calcium for the growth and strength of the cochlea. Without calcium, the cochlea will begin to erode, his health will deteriorate, and he will eventually die.

(Video) Clown Loach Care Guide

To help the nerite snails live longer, feed them a calcium-rich diet. Vegetables such as zucchini, lettuce, cucumber, spinach, kale, broccoli and carrots are rich in calcium. You can also do water mineralization by adding chicken egg shell powder, squid bone, crushed coral or miracle shells to the aquarium.


Snails are very sensitive to changes in water parameters and each species has its preferred range of water parameters.

Nerite snails like to live in warm water, but it is very hardy and will still survive in a variety of temperatures. The snails are natives of coastal temperatures, so it is important to mimic the same in the aquarium.

Nerite snails prefer a temperature range between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit and will suffer greatly if the temperature drops below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Also ensure a pH of 7 – 8.5. They prefer hard water and the shells begin to erode when the pH drops below 6.5.

Nerite snails should not be kept in water containing ammonia, nitrite, nitrate or copper. These chemicals will deteriorate their health and eventually kill them. Nitrate should be kept at < 20 ppm.

3.Tank mates

Nerite snail tank mates will also determine how long they live. Nerite snails are small, peaceful creatures that usually stay alone. Unfortunately, these properties make them vulnerable to attack by aggressive fish and snails.

Keeping the snails in an aquarium with aggressive tankmates will stress them out as they will spend most of their lives hiding from predators. They will not have enough time to eat or rest.


Stress weakens their weak immune systems and makes them vulnerable to disease.


Nerite snails have over 200 varieties, each unique in color, pattern and size. Some breeds are very common while others are rare.

Experts believe that the largest species live longer. For example, the horned nerite snail can live for nearly two years, while the golden racer can live for four years or more.

5. Population

Too many Nerite snails in a small tank will become unhealthy and stressed as they will compete for the limited algae, space and food in the tank. 5 is therecommended number of nerite snails per gallon.

How big do nerite snails get?

Nerite snails grow to an average size of 1.5 – 2.5 cm. The female will be slightly larger than the male of the same breed. The size of nerite snails is determined by their breed, health, diet and habitat suitability. A healthy snail that is adequately fed will grow to the maximum size its race can reach.

Some breeds are also known to grow taller than others. The zebra nerite snail and the tiger nerite snail are the largest, while the horned nerite snail is the smallest.

Nerite snails are beautiful but do not grow very large compared to other snail breeds, such as apple snails. There are many species of nerite snails and it is misleading to make assumptions based on one or two species. Nerite snails can live 3 to 5 years, but will reach maturity at six months.

(Video) The Snail Eater

Why are my Nerite snails dying?

There are many reasons why nerite snails will die. Most of these reasons are external and can be fixed. Nerite snails are hardy, but the following will cause their premature death:

1. Hunger

Some aquarists leave their pets without food or supervision for weeks on vacation, claiming that snails can go weeks without food. Humans, too, can survive without food for a while, but are you starving yourself to prove the point?

Not feeding your snail is not only inappropriate, but also inhumane. Starving your snail or not giving it enough food will weaken its immune system and eventually kill it.

2. Copper poisoning

Copper is toxic to invertebrates, but sometimes ends up in the aquarium. You can introduce copper into the tank through tap water, plant fertilizer or fish medication. You must have a test kit to regularly check for copper.

3. Poor water quality

Keeping Nerite snails in an aquarium with poor water quality is disastrous. The snails eat a lot and release a lot of biocharges.

When the bioload plus the food residues spoil, an ammonia peak occurs. Ammonia, nitrate and nitrite suppress the immunity of the snails and kill them in the long run.

Clean the tank and change the water regularly. You should also equip the tank with a filter. A small tank is more likely to suffer from ammonia poisoning than a larger one.

(Video) fishl vs laser pointer!

4. Poor water parameters

Nerite snails are accustomed to certain water conditions in the wild. A change in those ideal conditions will cause them stress and death. They require a temperature of 72-78°F and a pH of 7-8.5.

The snails do not survive in very cold water or very warm water. Also, a pH below 6.5 will cause their shells to erode and depress their general health. Eventually they will die.

5. Illness/Injury

Nerite snails are hardy, but can sometimes be affected by disease. They can also sustain injuries from attacks by aggressive tankmates. If the illness or injury is severe, the snail may die.

It is vital to observe the behavior of the snails regularly so that you can identify when there is a problem, such as a disease, and intervene.

6. Age

Nerite snails live between 3 and 5 years, but some breeds don't live that long. If you have kept the snails for a long time and they begin to die, but you find no other reason for their death, it may be that they have run out of time.

You shouldbreed your nerite snailsto keep their generation going.


Nerite snails live about 3 and 5 years and grow to 0.5 - 1 inch in size. The nerite snail's breed, diet and environment determine the length of its life and the size they reach.

(Video) Look what is Inside. #short #snails #hiding #youtubeshorts #amazingvideos

To ensure your nerite snails live longer and reach their maximum size, feed them healthy, adequate food, clean their tank regularly, and make sure the water parameters are ideal.


How long do Nerite snails live? Size + Lifespan | Fish salon? ›

The Nerite Snail lifespan is about one year, give or take. Sometimes Nerites die a week or so after being added to a tank, with others from the same batch living around 2 years or more.

How long does it take for Nerite snails to grow big? ›

Nerites stay pretty small 1 inch (2.5 centimeters). With good food, they should reach full size in a year or so.

What do Nerite snails need to survive? ›

Freshwater Tanks

Nerite snails can live in most tropical tank environments and can also survive in a coldwater tank setup, as long as the temperature range doesn't drop below 650F. Ideally, Nerite snails need a pH range between 6.5 and 8.5 and a tank temperature of between 650 and 850F.

How many Nerite snails can you have in a 20 gallon tank? ›

If housed alone, it's recommended to have around four snails in a 20-gallon tank, and nerites are a great choice for anyone wanting a species-only tank, as there are so many different breeds with different looks to choose from that it can end up being a bit of a pick-and-mix of snails!

What size tank does a zebra Nerite snail need? ›

Scientific NameNeritina natalensis
Common NameNerite snail
Tank size5 gallons (20 liters)
3 more rows

Is my nerite snail dying? ›

If you observe your nerite snail not moving and out of its shell, it's probably dead. When the nerite snail is alive and growing, the snail's shell usually grows with it. But as the snail starts dying, the shell starts decomposing and shrinks in size.

How long does it take snail to reach jumbo size? ›

Snails take an average of two years to reach full maturity. If you want to know whether or not the snail is mature, inspect the brim of the shell. Snails with a hard and thick shell are mature. Make sure you harvest snails only when they are mature.

What happens when a Nerite snail dies? ›

If a Nerite Snail dies, be sure to remove it from the tank right away because a decomposing snail can cause an Ammonia spike in the aquarium water. A dead snail will not be affixed to the glass or any hard surface.

What does a dead Nerite snail look like? ›

Nerite and mystery snails frequently go dormant for days at a time in aquariums. By examining its shell, you can tell a hibernating snail from a dead one. The shell of a dead snail is discolored, weightless, and lifeless.

What do Nerite snails eat if there is no algae? ›

What do Nerite Snails Eat? As scavengers, they dine on anything they can find, including algae, leftover fish food, and decaying leaves. (They are completely safe for aquarium plants and only eat unhealthy or dead vegetation.)

Do Nerite snails multiply? ›

Although most aquatic snails reproduce asexually, nerite snails do not. A female nerite snail will produce eggs for the male to fertilise, like fish. The eggs will then be spread throughout the tank and develop into larvae.

Will Nerite snails climb out of tank? ›

Even in the best covered tanks, a Nerite Snail escaping from an aquarium can be a pretty common occurrence. Once an aquarium hobbyist introduces snails into a tank, the never ending battle of keeping the snails in the tank begins.

Do Nerite snails reproduce a lot? ›

Nerite snail will not reproduce and overpopulate. It is close to impossible to breed them at home. When you want that. They will not hurt your live plants (even when they are hungry) making them great for a planted aquarium.

Can Nerite snails flip themselves over? ›

If Nerites snails land upright, they will be able to quickly get acclimated to their new surroundings, but unlucky snails that land upside down have a very difficult time turning themselves over to the upright position.

What eats Nerite snails? ›

Some popular types of snail-eating fish include loaches, bettas, and Cory catfish. So if you're looking for a quick cleaning solution and an easy way to deal with your nerite snail infestation, consider adding some of these fish to your tank.

Do Nerite snails need cuttlebone? ›

Yes! Aquarium snails such as mystery snails, nerite snails, and rabbit snails can all benefit from having cuttlebones in their tank. Cuttlebones are not only a healthy snack for these pet invertebrates, but they can also help adjust the water parameters to favorable conditions for your snails to thrive.

Do Nerite snails eat dead plant matter? ›

Nerites (Neritina spp.) are fantastic algae eaters that also eat leftover fish food, dead plant matter and other "stuff" that ends up on the bottom. They come in different colors and patterns, including one with horns! They are among the most beautiful of all aquarium snails.

Are Nerite snails active at night? ›

Nerite snails aren't shy, but they're mostly nocturnal. In fact, nerite snails can sleep for days at a time, only becoming active in short spurts. This means that they prefer to stay somewhere hidden to stay out of reach of predators.

Do snails mourn their dead? ›

They are mourning. (Yes, they are also eating the dead snail. Snails are funerary cannibals. It is their culture.

How can you tell how old a snail is? ›

Counting snail shell rings

A study of a population of these snails in England was able to work out how old these snails are. That's because, as they get older, you can count growth rings at the edge of their shell. Some of the snails were at least six years old and probably more like eight or nine.

Can a snail sleep for up to 3 months? ›

How Long Can Snails Sleep? Certain land snails can sleep for up to three years in hibernation or estivation. Yes, it's true! Although this extended nap may sound appealing at first, it is actually caused by less-than-ideal conditions.

How much space does 1 snail need? ›

At a minimum I recommend a glass tank that is at least 5 gallons for a couple snails, but a 10 gallon tank is a great size if you'd like to add more of them. The general rule is 1 gallon per snail.

How do you wake up a snail? ›

If they get too cool, the snails will hibernate by going inside the shell and forming a crust over the entrance. You can wake them up by keeping them warm and gently running the shells under tepid water. Once the snails are happy the conditions are going to remain warm they will become active again.

How long can Nerite snails go without food? ›

Nerite snails can go without food for a few days and sometimes even longer than that. They can actually live for weeks and, in some cases, up to eight months without food when the water parameters are okay. That's not to say that you shouldn't feed your nerite snail daily.

Is my snail dead or scared? ›

Carefully tapping the shell could make it retract, and you can also try to pick the snail up. Really brave snails could remain outside the snail, in which case you can touch its belly, which should cause a reflex. If the snail is dead, the snail's body will not pull itself in, and it might even fall out of the shell.

How can you tell if a snail is male or female? ›

The easiest way to check the snail's gender is by turning it upside down. This way, you'll be able to see if it's a female or a male snail. Check the upper part of the right mantle cavity. If there's a penis sheath next to the gills, then your snail is male.

Will Nerite snails uproot plants? ›

Heed caution when putting these guys in smaller tanks or tanks with delicate plants, as they tend to bulldoze through the environment uprooting smaller plants. Nerites are the best snail for eating algae eating non-stop, they are great for smaller tanks where an algae eating fish might not be feasible.

How long do snails sleep? ›

To sum up, snails sleep in bouts over a 13- to 15-hour period. Since they carry their home on their back, they can fall asleep anytime, anywhere.

What water is best for Nerite snails? ›

As mentioned above, Nerite snails will not breed in pure freshwater. They can successfully be bred only in brackish water (semi-salty water, or water that has more salt water then fresh water, but less than sea water).

What vegetables do Nerite snails like? ›

A baby nerite snail will eat the same food as an adult. Your tank's algae will be their main source of nutrition. The diet can also be supplemented with sinking algae wafers and blanched vegetables such as zucchini, spinach, and carrots if you do not have much algae growth.

Will Nerite snails eat uneaten fish food? ›

Nerite snails

These aquarium snails are algae eaters but they also eat uneaten fish food, dead plant matter that land on the bottom. Nerite snails do not eat live plants and what's interesting their waste contains beneficial bacteria to the digestive system of shrimp.

What are the benefits of nerite snails? ›

3 Benefits Of Nerite Snails For Aquariums
  • What are the benefits of nerite snails for aquariums? Consumes algae. ...
  • Consumes Algae. ...
  • They Are Peaceful Creatures. ...
  • They Are Relatively Easy To Care For.
  • Another benefit of keeping Nerite snails is that they are relatively easy to care for. ...
  • Key Takeaway.

How many nerite snails should be kept together? ›

– Keep Only One Snail

This is because, unlike some other snails, these nerites need the presence of both male and female snails to reproduce. This should work most of the time, especially if you get a young snail.

Why did my nerite snail lay eggs? ›

Unlike most snails who reproduce asexually, Nerite snails reproduce sexually. The females lay eggs, and males need to fertilize them. Nerite snails may lay eggs in freshwater, but they fail to hatch them, thus creating pollution in your aquarium.

Can you keep Nerite snails with mystery snails? ›

Nerite snails and mystery snails are friendly, peaceful, and good at sharing their territories with other tank mates. So, these two would be happy to live together.

Can I keep a Nerite snail in a jar? ›

Nerite Snail

This is another aesthetic addition to your jar – Nerite snails are great jar cleaners and very adaptable to a range of conditions. They enjoy feeding on the matter that plants shed, but they don't eat live plants.

What are the rarest nerite snails? ›

The Gold Racer Nerite Snail (Vittina waigiensis) is an extraordinarily beautiful freshwater nerite species that is native to the Philippines. It is among the rarest snail species in the aquarium world, so it is very seldom available.

How big can nerite snails get? ›

They are small creatures with an average size of about one inch, but they become bigger with age. Nerite snails can be as small as 0.5 inches and as big as 1.5 inches, which is between the size of a dime and a quarter.

Are nerite snails better than mystery snails? ›

Nerite snails are more wallet-friendly than mystery snails, for several reasons. They don't breed often because they need very specific water conditions to do so. In addition, nerites only consume algae – which is easy to find and inexpensive – and regularly clean their tanks by eating all the algae present.

What happens if a snail falls? ›

Snails crawl around all the time, but falling off of a surface and ending up with their shell on the sand can be a death sentence. Most snails aren't adapted to environments where there they may get flipped upside-down (like falling off the straight sides of an aquarium).

Do nerites eat hair algae? ›

Overview. Nerite snails are extremely popular for their unique patterns and colors, as well as their practical benefits. They work hard to clean algae off of glass, plants, and decorations, they eat hair algae, and they keep your substrate clean and the correct color.

Why does my snail keep falling off the glass? ›

Why Do My Mystery Snail Keep On Falling? The reason why your mystery snails keep falling inside your tank is pretty straightforward – it is because they enjoy it, or they are trying to eat something like small fish while falling. It is their instinctual behavior and even has a name, i.e., Parasnailing.

How often should you feed Nerite snails? ›

If there's visible algae, you're good! No need to provide any extra food. If the tank looks squeaky clean, it's a good idea to feed your snails daily. They're used to eating all day, every day so you don't want them to get too hungry.

Do Nerite snails need a lid? ›

depends on individual. i've had a few snails constantly try to escape, and many others who would never dare stick their foot out of the water. if you don't want or can't find a lid, a guard along the edges also works. the more work they have to do to escape the less chance.

Do Nerite snails need filtration? ›

Do Nerite Snails Need A Filter or Heater? The popular, striped nerite snail is more warm-loving than the mystery snail and needs a heater to keep the water between 72-80 Fahrenheit. Just like mystery snails, they will also appreciate a filter.

Do nerite snails grow big? ›

Nerite Snail Size

Snails grow as they age so the older the snail is they larger it will be. Also, different types of Nerites are grow to be different sizes. But in general terms, Nerite Snails of all varieties will be somewhere between the size of a dime and the size of a quarter.

How long does it take a snail to fully mature? ›

Maturity takes about two years. Only mature snails should be harvested. Check the brim of the shell; if it is mature enough, the brim should be thicker and harder than other parts of the shell. Do not harvest all the mature ones for the market.

How fast do snails grow up? ›

The newly-hatched snails have fragile shells and take about two year to mature.

How long does it take aquarium snails to mature? ›

However, as we have already discussed earlier, growth is not the same for all snails and depends on several factors. Still, as a general rule, you can say they grow to full size in 2-3 months.

What are the largest nerite snails? ›

Black Racer Nerite Snails are the largest Nerite Snail we offer, even beating out Tiger Nerites and Zebra Nerites. When you receive the snails, they will likely be about an 1/2 inch to 1 inch in diameter, but they can grow to a maximum of 1 1/2 inches.

Do nerite snails multiply? ›

Although most aquatic snails reproduce asexually, nerite snails do not. A female nerite snail will produce eggs for the male to fertilise, like fish. The eggs will then be spread throughout the tank and develop into larvae.

Do snails sleep for 2 years? ›

Snails need moisture to survive; so if the weather is not cooperating, they can actually sleep up to three years. It has been reported that depending on geography, snails can shift into hibernation (which occurs in the winter), or estivation (also known as 'summer sleep'), helping to escape warm climates.

What is the longest lifespan of a snail? ›

Snails typically live 2-5 years in the wild. Some of the larger species live up 15 years and up to 25 years in captivity. While this answer may surprise you, without the threat of predators or other environmental concerns, the average snail can live a long life.

How often do snails have babies? ›

Snails can lay eggs multiple times a year, sometimes as often as once or more each month. Depending on the species, there can be anywhere from 5 to 200 or even 600 eggs in a single bunch. For example, the Chinese mystery snail can lay up to about 100 eggs at a time, but Ramshorn snails will usually only lay 10 to 12.

Do snails sleep for 3 days? ›

To sum up, snails sleep in bouts over a 13- to 15-hour period.

How often do aquarium snails reproduce? ›

Egg pods are produced once every 4 to 6 weeks, so their reproductive rate is very slow, even if you have several of them. aquarium because they eat other snails, making them a natural method for reducing nuisance snail populations.

How long can aquarium snails go without moving? ›

How Long Can They Go Without Moving? In the wild, snails hibernate for around three years or longer without moving. However, aquarium snails sleep or remain inactive for around two weeks.

What is the average lifespan of a snail in captivity? ›

Captivity or not

Snails can live for a decade to fifteen years if left to themselves in nature. However, in captivity, they can survive for much longer, up to 25 years. This is a generous estimate, however, as wild snails typically have a lifespan of two to five years.


1. DINOSAUR UNBOXING: Watch me open some mystery bags of dinosaur fossils. I don't know what's in them!
(Denver Fowler)
2. Snail | Shorts
(Green Aqua)
4. Naturaria Fair 2018
(Sander Bauwens)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner

Last Updated: 07/22/2023

Views: 6211

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (53 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner

Birthday: 1994-06-25

Address: Suite 153 582 Lubowitz Walks, Port Alfredoborough, IN 72879-2838

Phone: +128413562823324

Job: IT Strategist

Hobby: Video gaming, Basketball, Web surfing, Book restoration, Jogging, Shooting, Fishing

Introduction: My name is Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner, I am a zany, graceful, talented, witty, determined, shiny, enchanting person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.