Beginner Snails

Snails bring their insatiable appetites and brightly colored shells to the cleaning crew in your tank. They are excellent at cleaning the walls of your tank, gliding harmlessly over your coral and cleaning up the algae, and moving through your substrate to aerate and clean out worms, detritus, and other organic matter.

Sub-Species for Aquariums:

Nerite Snail – This is a smallish snail that lives in a brown or blackish shell. They are excellent for reef aquariums as they stay small and rarely knock things over. They prefer tanks with lots of room and lots of hiding places. They are herbivores.

Super Nassarius – One of the larger Nassarius snails, this variety grows to be an active inch long and does well in larger tanks. They spend much of their time buried beneath the sand snacking voraciously on detritus as they aerate the substrate. Interestingly, they have a very acute sense of smell and when they smell food being added to the tank will create quite the spectacle emerging from the sand to find the source of the new smells. They are omnivores.

Cerith Snail – Though it only grows to be an inch and a half, this voracious eater will consume massive amounts of algae, detritus, left over fish food, and fish waste, helping to keep your tank and water exceptionally clean. It does best in well-established tanks with a deep substrate and is most active at night. They are omnivore.

Nassarius – The smaller snail, this half-inch critter can match its cousin in appetite. A small group of them will quickly clean detritus, uneaten food, organics, and waste, keeping your tank sparkling clean. They love to burrow beneath the substrate. They are carnivores.

Banded Trochus – Easy to care for, an excellent cleaner, and simple to breed, the Banded Trochus is loved by aquarists of all experience levels. They are excellent for reef aquariums, cannot be easily eaten by crabs, and unlike the Tectus snail, the Baned Trochus can pick itself up if it falls over. They will feed happily on algae. They are herbivores.

Fighting Conch – Despite its name, the Fighting Conch is quite peaceful, though it should not be kept with other males of the same species. It is an excellent cleaner and aerator, sifting through the sand in search for detritus and algae. Its large appetite means that you must supplement its diet. They are omnivores.


Like most invertebrates, snails are intolerant of copper based medications and most are very sensitive to changes in water quality. Be sure you use the Drip-Acclimation method when introducing a new snail to your reef aquarium.


Herbivores – These snails are algae eaters and will happily roam over live rock and often the sides of the tank in search of their food. If you need to supplement their diet, use dried seaweed, blanched spinach and lettuce, or vegetable-based tablets.

Omnivores – Omnivores should have their diets supplemented with both vegetation and meat as both are necessary for their diets.

Freshwater/ Saltwater: Saltwater
Diet: Carnivore
Reef Compatibility: 5
Tank Mate Compatibility: 6

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