Last Updated on December 4, 2021 by cmoarz
Apple snails make great and easy animals to care for. They live peacefully with most varieties of fish, they have no temperament and are completely passive, They help with algae cleanup and overall are very common to have. However, they aren’t perfect and have a few downsides you will need to know about. If your thinking about getting an apple snail, we’ve made a list of various facts you’re going to need to know.
Apple snails don’t make good algae cleaners
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Don’t rely on your snail to be able to clean all the algae in your tank. Although they do eat algae, they are not quick enough to be able to clean it all up. They also can’t eat some of the types of algae that grow in your tank and leaves a film on plants. They also aren’t able to eat it off glass very reliably because of the way their mouths work.
Apple snails also can’t survive on only algae. You will need to supplement them with a variety of foods. Luckily these snails are opportunistic feeders and will eat just about anything you give them, from fish flakes to freshly blanched vegetables. Just keep in mind they need calcium for their shells, and they only like to eat soft things.
What do apple snails eat?
Apple snails have a large varied diet of plants and vegetables. Some of those are:
- Dog Biscuits (soak and mash)
- Butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata)
- Kale (high calcium content)
- Lettuce (Romaine, no iceberg, its worthless)
- Dandelion Leaves
- Sweet Potato
- Pumpkin seeds
- Fish Food Flakes
- Pears (ripe)
- Plantains (Musa paradisiaca – banana-like fruit) (when very ripe – totally black and mushy)
- Potato peelings
- Leafy vegetables/salad
- Passion Fruit
- Algae Flakes (let them soak!)
- Blueberries (cut in half)
Apple snails will destroy your planted tanks
These guys have ferocious abilities, and unless your tank is planted specifically with that in mind, they may strip your tank clean in no time. If that’s the case, consider a trumpet snail instead as they rarely eat live plants.
If you still want an apple snail, we recommend adding a lot of fast-growing plants, such as full carpet grass and taller growing plants.
How long do apple snails live?
Your apple snail will live to be up to 10 years old in ideal conditions. The average life span is 3-5 years and can be extended if the water temperature is lower. Life span is shorter the higher the water temperature is.
How big do apple snails get?
Apple snails can get quite large at a whopping 15cm. Their size is one of the things that make it one of the more popular types of aquatic snails people tend to own.
Can apple snails live out of water?
Yes, apple snails are capable of living outside the water for up to a week, and longer if it’s a very humid environment. This is important because you will find apple snails like to escape their aquarium from time to time. Be careful of this, as if the snail falls from a high distance, it can damage the shell quite severely.
If you find your snail keeps attempting to escape, It could be because your water quality is poor and not to his/her tastes. You should check the ph. Apple snails, as most snails, require a higher PH (around 8) to be happy. They also like hard water. This combo prevents their shell from being eaten away in neutral or acidic water.
My apple snail keeps laying on its side
There are plenty of reasons for this. If you’ve just done a water change or moved them or they’ve been through some other stressful event, your snails may hide in their shells for a time to recuperate or get used to new water parameters.
They will secrete a slime around their little door to create a seal from the outside environment if the water is not to their liking. If this persists you should check what parameters for a better idea of what may be happening.
Other possible reasons for apple snail laying on its side: – Hurt or dead apple snail. – The water is not pH balanced, hard enough, too cold, etc. They don’t like chlorine either, we recommended this water conditioner if you are using tap water.
Can apple snails get stuck on their side?
Yes, this happens sometimes. Snails are kind of dumb and clumsy. Give them time and they should manage on their own. You can give them a hand as well by pushing them towards an ornament in the tank, or the glass itself.
Apple snails eggs and their care
An apple snail will lay eggs whenever it feels it’s ready and the water conditions/tank conditions are optimal. In fact, she never stops! They ley a lot of eggs!
They will still ley eggs even if no male is present. As apple snails are not hermaphrodites and have both male and female. These eggs will be infertile.
However, she can retain male seeds for a long period of time.
If you wish these eggs to hatch, You can line a plastic container with wetted paper towels, place the eggs in the container, and then add another layer of wetted paper towels on top. Then you can just float them on top of the aquarium. As they hatch, they will find their way out of the container and into the main aquarium.
This will take about 2-3 weeks.
Here’s a picture of what apple snail eggs look like. Very hard to miss, Although sometimes you will.
They like to climb up to the surface of the tank, outside the water, and lay their eggs on the roof of the aquarium lid. Upside down and all. They will also lay on the side of the tank above the waterline and behind your filter.
They can be easy to miss and if you miss them for too long you could end up with 100’s of snails!
If you find you can’t handle any more eggs, You may stick them in the freezer, wait an hour or 2, then dispose of them. You can also knock them back into the water and your fish and snails will eat them quickly. There’s no risk of hatching as the eggs need a damp environment to hatch, not a wet one. They will die in the water if they don’t get eaten first.
Check out our identification guide What does snail eggs look like
Why is my apple snail floating?
Style my friend. Sometimes snails capture air in their shells to get around faster. Sometimes they just like surfing the currents.
If you find he’s not actually moving and still floating around for a long time, it could be an indicator he’s sick or dying. You will definitely know when he has died as snails instantly put off a very pungent order that you can not miss even if you tried.