How Long Can a Nerite Snail Be Out of Water For?

Last Updated on January 8, 2022 by cmoarz

Whether you’re just taking your nerite out for a walk (lol) or your nerite snail fell out of the tank, Or maybe your trying to ship a nerite snail in the mail but aren’t sure how it will do, It’s important to know how long can a nerite snail be about of the water without dying.

Truth be told, Nerites are notorious for getting out of the aquariums they are living in. These little guys are known as “tidal snails” in that they live a large chunk of their life out of the water in the wild while they wait for tides to come back in to rescue them.

So with that said, They do pretty well outside of the water, But how long exactly?

How Long Can Nerite Snails Be Out of Water

Nerite snails are built to be out of the water for days at a time. They can even go up to a week or more out of the water by sealing themselves off inside their wet shells if they need to.

In high humid areas, they can go for an even longer time.

This is because, in the wild, they spend a lot of their time outside of the water on the beach or shoreline.

They get stuck there during low tides and then get brought back out during high tides.

Nerite snails are actually saltwater snails, but they can survive in freshwater as well because of their unique biology. This is one of the reasons they can only breed in brackish water.

So, if you were a shipper of nerite snails, You don’t need to worry too much about them drying out. Just wrap them in a couple of layers of wet paper towels and place them inside a plastic container with plenty of air holes.

They should be good to go for a while assuming the package doesn’t sit out in the sun too long or in the back of a hot truck.

If you are worried about your snail getting out of the aquarium (as nerites often do), simply place the prickly side of a velcro strip along the top of your aquarium rim.

Nerites hate the feel of it on their foot and won’t go past it, and it won’t cause them any injury as a copper strip would. (Be sure it’s entirely plastic).

Can a Nerite Snail Live Out of Water

Only temporarily. While these are tough little guys and can survive for a week or two without water, They will be much better off if you place them back in the water as soon as possible.

After a few hours, they will seal themselves off in their shells to prevent drying out. That isn’t much of a life.

Will Nerite Snails Leave Water

Nerite snails do leave the water on occasion, but they don’t live their lives out of the water.

They spend most of their time on the shoreline waiting for tides to come in and carrying them back into the water.

Sometimes, a nerite will manage to fall off the side of the aquarium and onto the floor below. When this happens, you should inspect the shell for any damage before placing it back into the water.

If there is shell damage, Consider finding all the pieces and gluing the shell back together or adding a patch. You can watch instructions for patching a snails shell here: (Note: It’s for apple snails but still relevant for nerites and mystery)


Owner of and also owner of actual Aquarium Gravel believe it or not! ;). Setting up beautiful aquarium sceneries and habitats since I was very young. Enjoy!