When it comes to saltwater aquariums, there are so many amazing creatures that you can bring into your tank. There are so many wonderful fish and cool corals, and every creature brings its own individuality and flair to the aquarium. Because of the great choice of marine life, it is not surprising that many enthusiasts forget about snails. However, snails can be a great addition to saltwater aquariums, keeping the tank clean and adding intrigue. Here are our three favorite snails for saltwater aquariums that are suitable for beginners and experts alike!
1 – Astrea Snail
Astrea snails are a common addition to saltwater tanks. This is because they are easy to look after and really useful for keeping your aquarium clean. They are ferocious eaters and love to spend their time munching on hair algae, green algae, and other microalgae. They also eat any leftover debris that might be floating about.
They are fairly small snails, only growing to about 2 to 4 cms, and live around 3 or 4 years. They are an interesting look species, with a pyramid-shaped shell that can come in a range of greeny-yellow colors. Because they are small they can clean all the cracks and crevices in your tank and are gentle with coral.
Astrea snails are peaceful, hardy creatures who enjoy a solitary life. They are never aggressive to their tankmates and are reef safe. If they have enough live rock and algae to eat, they will be content in your aquarium. They also need a decent amount of hiding places, so an aquarium full of crevices and rockwork is perfect for these snails. They are amazing cleaners and leave your aquarium looking pristine. They even will clean the glass! If they have eaten all the algae in their tank, you may need to add dried algae pellets to keep them healthy and fed.
They are nocturnal creatures, so will tend to do most of their algae-eating at night. They are hardy, but Astrea snails do tend to fall over! They will not be able to right themselves, so if you see them on their side, you will have to flip it back onto the right side. This also means that when you are putting the snail into your tank, you must be really gentle and place them correctly. They also are pretty sensitive to nitrates, so make sure your water levels are correct before adding the snail into your tank. When adding the snail, it will need to be slowly acclimatized with the drip method.
2 – Bumble Bee Snail
The Bumble Bee snail originates from the Indo-Pacific waters and is fairly small, only growing to about half an inch. However, don’t let their size fool you, these snails are big eaters and can be a bit aggressive towards other small snails!
This snail gets its name from its insect doppelganger, the bumblebee. Its shell has yellow and black bands and can really add a flash of color to your tank. They are lovely looking snails and are great for adding something different to your saltwater aquarium.
Bumble Bee snails are pretty hardy and are carnivores, feeding off leftover meaty food from your fish. They do not eat algae, but will clean your tank of any meaty debris before it breaks down and adds toxins to your tank. If there is not enough detritus in the tank for these snails, feed them mysis shrimp or brine.
These snails are nocturnal and spend most of the day hiding. Because of this, it is important to have crevices and rocks for them to feel safe. They also are sand-sifters and like to bury into the sand substrate. Here they will find worms to eat and aerating the sand. Because they are carnivores, make sure they have enough food! If they don’t, they might attack and eat smaller snails that are in the tank. Bumble Bee snails thrive in tanks with lots of rocks and a deep sand bed.
3 – Cerith Snail
These small snails with their beautiful pointy shells are a fantastic addition to saltwater aquariums. Cerith snails are native to the Caribbean and the waters around Mexico and are a hardworking member of your clean-up crew.
Cerith snails are interesting looking creatures, with a very long twisty shell. They normally only grow to around an inch, but we stock extra large Cerith snails that grow bigger! This means that they are even better at cleaning your tank than the regular Cerith snails.
These snails are scavengers and will spend most of their time exploring the tank for things to eat. They will feed off algae, debris, uneaten food, and fish waste, so great for tanks with a number of fish in!
They are active at night and need a deep sand substrate to bury in. They normally hide out in the sand bed when they are not eating. This is also really helpful as it aerates the sand. They are peaceful snails and keep themselves to themselves, however, be careful who you put them with. Larger, carnivorous fish might see this snail as a tasty snack! Hermit crabs are also known to bully Cerith snails for their shells, so if you house them with hermits you need to make sure the hermit crabs have enough shells to move into.
Which Snail Will You Add To Your Cleanup Crew?
These three snails are super easy to take care of and are really great at keeping your aquarium clean. However, they are more than just a part of your clean up crew, they also are wonderful creatures and add to the biodiversity in your tank.
There are so many cool snails for you to have in your aquarium! They come in so many different colors and shapes, adding intrigue and awe to your tank. Having a range of fish, inverts, and coral in your aquarium means that you can create a magnificent ecosystem in your home. More diversity means a healthier ecosystem and a more natural habitat. With these snails, you can add to your diversity, creating a balanced home for all your beloved marine life!