Mastering Apple Snail Care: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More!

If you’re looking for a unique and fascinating addition to your aquarium, Apple snails are a great choice. These snails are known for their large size, striking colors, and interesting behavior. As an aquarium enthusiast myself, I’ve found that Apple snails are a joy to care for and observe.

Apple Snails require a well-filtered aquarium with neutral to slightly alkaline water. They are peaceful and should be kept alone or in small groups. They feed on algae and should be supplemented with high-quality pellets and vegetables. Regular water changes and maintenance are essential for their health.

However, caring for these snails does require some knowledge and effort. In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know about Apple snail care. From setting up their tank to feeding and maintaining their health, I’ll provide you with all the information you need to ensure your Apple snails thrive in their new home.

Whether you’re a seasoned aquarium owner or a beginner, this guide will provide you with valuable insights on how to care for these unique creatures. So, let’s dive in and learn all about Apple snail care!

Apple snail

Species Summary


The Apple snail, also known as the Mystery snail, is a freshwater snail that originates from South America. They can be found in various countries such as Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina.

They were introduced to other parts of the world as pets or for food consumption.


The average lifespan of an Apple snail is around 2-3 years. However, with proper care and a healthy environment, they can live up to 5 years or more.


Apple snails come in a variety of colors such as brown, black, gold, and ivory. They have a round, spiral-shaped shell that can grow up to 3 inches in diameter.

Their bodies are soft and slimy, with two sensory tentacles on their heads that they use to sense their surroundings.


Apple snails can grow up to 2-3 inches in length and 3 inches in diameter. They are one of the largest freshwater snails, making them a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts.

Growth Rate

Apple snails have a moderate growth rate, but it can vary depending on their environment and diet.

With proper care and a healthy diet, they can grow up to their full size in about 6-8 months.

Behavior & Temperament

Apple snails are known for their peaceful and docile behavior. They spend most of their time grazing on algae and other plant matter, and they are not aggressive towards other fish or snails.

However, they can be a bit shy and may retreat into their shells if they feel threatened.

Male vs Female

It can be difficult to tell the difference between male and female Apple snails, as they have similar physical characteristics.

However, males tend to have a slightly longer and narrower shell, while females have a rounder and wider shell. Additionally, males may have a small tube-like organ visible near their head, which is used for mating.

Personally, I have found that Apple snails make great pets. They are easy to care for and have a peaceful demeanor that can be quite calming to watch. I remember when I first got my Apple snail, I was amazed at how quickly it grew and how much personality it had.

It would often come up to the surface of the water to say hello and would even let me pet it gently with my finger. Overall, Apple snails are a great addition to any aquarium, and with proper care, they can live a long and healthy life.

Tank Setup

Setting up the perfect tank for your Apple snails is essential to ensure they live a happy and healthy life. Here are some important factors to consider when setting up your tank:

Tank Size

The size of your tank is crucial for the health and well-being of your Apple snails.

As a general rule, a minimum tank size of 10 gallons is recommended for one snail, with an additional 5 gallons for each additional snail.

I personally use a 20-gallon tank for my two Apple snails, and they thrive in it!


Apple snails don’t require any special lighting, but it’s important to provide them with a consistent light cycle. I recommend 10-12 hours of light per day, followed by 10-12 hours of darkness. This will help regulate their sleep cycle and keep them healthy.

Filtration & Aeration

A good filtration system is essential for maintaining a healthy tank environment for your Apple snails.

A hang-on-back filter or canister filter is recommended, along with an air stone for additional aeration.

I use a hang-on-back filter with a sponge pre-filter to prevent any snails from getting sucked up.


Apple snails are tropical creatures and require a consistent water temperature between 72-82°F.

A good-quality aquarium heater is essential to maintain this temperature. I use a 100-watt heater in my tank, and it keeps the temperature consistent.


Apple snails require a soft substrate to burrow and lay their eggs in.

I recommend using sand or fine gravel as a substrate. Avoid using sharp or rough substrates as they can damage the snail’s soft body.


Adding decorations to your tank is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also provides hiding places for your Apple snails.

I recommend using smooth rocks, driftwood, and PVC pipes as decorations. Avoid using sharp or rough decorations as they can damage the snail’s soft body.


Live plants are a great addition to your Apple snail’s tank. They provide oxygen and help maintain water quality.

I recommend using hardy plants such as Java fern, Anubias, and Amazon sword. Avoid using delicate plants as the snails may uproot them.

By following these guidelines, you can create the perfect tank setup for your Apple snails.

Remember to monitor the water parameters regularly and perform water changes as needed to maintain a healthy environment for your snails.

Personally, I love watching my Apple snails explore their tank and interact with each other. They are fascinating creatures and make great pets for anyone who loves aquatic animals!

Water Quality

As an avid apple snail enthusiast, I can tell you that maintaining proper water quality is essential to keeping your snails happy and healthy.

Here are some key factors to consider:

Water Temperature

Apple snails are native to warm, tropical areas, so they prefer water temperatures between 75-82°F. If the water is too cold, they may become sluggish and inactive.

On the other hand, if the water is too warm, it can lead to low oxygen levels and stress on the snails.

Be sure to use a reliable thermometer to monitor the temperature and make adjustments as needed.

Water pH

The ideal pH range for apple snails is between 7.0-8.0. If the pH is too low or too high, it can cause stress on the snails and lead to health problems.

To maintain the proper pH, you can use a pH testing kit and adjust the water with a pH buffer solution if necessary.

Water Hardness

Apple snails require moderately hard water, with a range of 150-250 ppm. Soft water can lead to shell erosion and health problems, while hard water can cause shell deformities.

You can test the water hardness with a water hardness testing kit and make adjustments as needed.

Water Changes

Regular water changes are crucial for maintaining good water quality. I recommend changing 25% of the water every week, using a siphon to remove any debris or waste from the bottom of the tank.

Be sure to add a dechlorinator to the fresh water before adding it to the tank, as chlorine can be harmful to snails.

By paying attention to these key factors, you can ensure that your apple snails thrive in their environment. Remember, happy snails mean happy owners!

Tank Maintenance

Keeping the tank clean is crucial to the health of your Apple snail. I clean my tank once a week, and it only takes about 30 minutes. Here’s what I do:

  • Remove any uneaten food or debris from the tank.
  • Use a siphon to remove 10-20% of the water from the tank.
  • Scrub the sides of the tank with an algae scraper or sponge.
  • Change the filter media if it’s dirty.
  • Add fresh water to the tank and treat it with a water conditioner.
  • Check the temperature and adjust the heater if necessary.

It’s important to avoid using any harsh chemicals or soaps when cleaning the tank. These can be harmful to your snail. Instead, use a mild aquarium-safe cleaner or just plain water.

One thing to keep in mind is that Apple snails produce a lot of waste, so it’s important to monitor the water quality.

I check the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels once a week using a test kit. If the levels are high, I do a larger water change and add some beneficial bacteria to the tank.

Overall, keeping the tank clean and maintaining good water quality will go a long way in keeping your Apple snail healthy and happy.

Apple snail 3

One time, I neglected to clean my tank for a few weeks, and my snail started to develop a nasty slime on its shell.

I quickly cleaned the tank and added some beneficial bacteria, and the slime disappeared within a few days. Lesson learned!

Tank Mates

Compatible Fish Species

I have found that apple snails are generally peaceful creatures that can coexist with many different types of fish.

Some of the best tank mates for apple snails include tetras, guppies, mollies, and corydoras catfish. These fish are all relatively small and won’t bother your apple snails.

They also don’t produce a lot of waste, which is important since apple snails are sensitive to poor water quality.

Another great option for tank mates is shrimp. Ghost shrimp, cherry shrimp, and amano shrimp are all great choices.

They won’t bother your apple snails and will help keep your tank clean by eating algae and other debris.

Incompatible Fish Species

While apple snails can coexist with many different types of fish, there are some species that you should avoid.

Avoid keeping aggressive fish like cichlids or large, carnivorous fish like angelfish or bettas with your apple snails.

These fish are known to attack and eat snails, which can be a problem if you’re trying to keep a healthy population of apple snails in your tank.

How many apple snails should I get?

When it comes to apple snails, it’s important to remember that they can reproduce quickly if conditions are right.

If you’re just starting out with apple snails, I recommend starting with just one or two and seeing how they do in your tank.

If you have a larger tank and want to keep more, I recommend keeping no more than one apple snail per 5 gallons of water.

It’s also important to remember that apple snails can grow quite large, so make sure you have enough space in your tank for them to move around.

I learned this the hard way when I first started keeping apple snails and ended up with a tank that was overcrowded and difficult to maintain.

Overall, apple snails make great pets and can coexist with many different types of fish and invertebrates.

Just make sure you choose compatible tank mates and keep an eye on the population size to ensure a healthy and happy aquarium environment.

Personal Anecdote: When I first started keeping apple snails, I made the mistake of adding them to a tank with aggressive fish. I quickly learned that this was a bad idea when I woke up one morning to find that all of my snails had been eaten overnight. It was a tough lesson to learn, but it taught me the importance of choosing compatible tank mates for my apple snails.


As an avid apple snail keeper, I know that feeding these little guys can be a bit tricky. Here’s everything you need to know about apple snail care and their diet.

Apple snail 2

What to Feed

Apple snails are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. They love to munch on algae, aquatic plants, and even dead fish or shrimp.

You can also feed them commercial snail food, which is available at most pet stores. Just make sure to check the ingredients and avoid any that contain copper, as it is toxic to snails.

Another great option is to feed them fresh vegetables like lettuce, spinach, and carrots. I like to blanch the veggies first to make them easier for the snails to eat.


When it comes to feeding, apple snails are not very demanding. They can go for several days without food and still be perfectly healthy.

However, it’s important to provide them with a balanced diet to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.

I recommend feeding your apple snail once a day, or every other day if you prefer. Just make sure not to overfeed them, as this can lead to water quality issues and other health problems.


Here are a few tips to keep in mind when feeding your apple snail:

  • Remove any uneaten food after a few hours to prevent it from rotting and polluting the water.
  • Make sure the food is easily accessible to the snail. You can place it on a flat surface or attach it to the side of the tank.
  • Provide a variety of foods to keep your snail interested and healthy.

Overall, apple snails are easy to care for and make great pets. With a little bit of attention and the right diet, your snail will thrive and live a long, happy life.

Common Diseases


I’ve been keeping apple snails for a while now, and one of the most important things to keep in mind is the possibility of diseases. Some of the most common diseases that can affect apple snails include:

  • Shell Rot
  • Foot Rot
  • Parasites
  • Respiratory Infections


If you notice any of the following symptoms, your apple snail may be suffering from a disease:

  • Discoloration or pitting of the shell
  • Visible damage or deterioration of the foot
  • Sluggishness or inactivity
  • Difficulty breathing or gasping at the surface of the water


If you suspect that your apple snail is suffering from a disease, it’s important to act quickly. Some treatments that may be effective include:

Shell RotRemove any damaged or infected areas of the shell and apply an antifungal treatment
Foot RotRemove any damaged or infected areas of the foot and apply an antifungal treatment
ParasitesTreat with an antiparasitic medication
Respiratory InfectionsTreat with an antibiotic medication


The best way to prevent diseases in your apple snails is to provide them with a clean and healthy environment. This includes:

  • Keeping the water clean and well-filtered
  • Providing a varied and nutritious diet
  • Avoiding overcrowding in the tank
  • Quarantining new snails before introducing them to the tank

Remember, early detection and treatment is key to keeping your apple snails healthy and happy!

One time, I noticed that one of my apple snails was acting very sluggish and not moving much.

I suspected that it might be a respiratory infection, so I immediately started treating the tank with an antibiotic medication.

Within a few days, the snail was back to its normal active self and seemed much happier. It’s important to keep a close eye on your snails and take action quickly if you notice any signs of illness!

Signs of a Healthy Apple Snail

I have been keeping apple snails for a while now, and I have learned that keeping them healthy is not as difficult as it seems. Here are some signs that indicate that your apple snail is healthy and happy:

  1. Bright and Clear Eyes: A healthy apple snail will have bright and clear eyes. If the eyes are dull or cloudy, it may be a sign of illness or poor water quality.
  2. Active and Alert: A healthy apple snail will be active and alert. It will move around the tank and respond to stimuli. If your snail is sluggish or unresponsive, it may be a sign of illness or stress.
  3. Smooth and Shiny Shell: A healthy apple snail will have a smooth and shiny shell. The shell should be free of cracks, chips, or discoloration. If the shell is damaged, it may be a sign of poor water quality or a lack of calcium in the diet.
  4. Good Appetite: A healthy apple snail will have a good appetite. It will eat a variety of foods and consume them eagerly. If your snail is not eating or is eating very little, it may be a sign of illness or stress.
  5. Regular Reproduction: A healthy apple snail will reproduce regularly. If your snail is not reproducing or is producing fewer eggs than usual, it may be a sign of illness or poor water quality.
  6. Good Water Quality: A healthy apple snail requires good water quality to thrive. The water should be clean, clear, and free of toxins. Regular water changes and filtration are essential to maintain good water quality.

In summary, keeping an apple snail healthy requires attention to its diet, water quality, and environment. By observing the signs of a healthy apple snail, you can ensure that your pet is happy and thriving.

Signs Your Apple Snail is Sick

As an apple snail owner, I know how important it is to keep an eye on your snail’s health. Here are some signs that your apple snail may be sick:

  1. Loss of Appetite: If your snail is not eating or showing less interest in food, it could be a sign of illness.
  2. Abnormal Shell Growth: If you notice any cracks or holes in your snail’s shell, it could be a sign of calcium deficiency or other health issues.
  3. Discoloration: If your snail’s body or shell is changing color, it could be a sign of stress or illness.
  4. Inactivity: If your snail is not moving or is lethargic, it could be a sign of illness or poor water quality.

If you notice any of these signs or any other unusual behavior, it is important to take action right away.

The first step is to check your water parameters, as poor water quality can often be the cause of health issues in apple snails.

If your water quality is good, you may need to take your snail to a veterinarian who specializes in exotic pets. They can help diagnose and treat any health issues your snail may be experiencing.


Breeding Setup

To breed Apple snails, you’ll need to set up a breeding tank. I personally use a 10-gallon aquarium with a heater, filter, and a sponge filter.

The sponge filter creates a gentle current that won’t disturb the eggs.

In the breeding tank, you should add a layer of gravel or sand to the bottom. This will give the snails a place to lay their eggs.

You can also add some plants or decorations to provide hiding places for the snails.

How to Breed

When the snails are ready to breed, the male will start to chase the female around the tank. The male will then mount the female and deposit sperm onto her shell. The female will then lay her eggs on the gravel or sand.

After the eggs are laid, you should remove the adult snails from the breeding tank. Apple snails are known to eat their own eggs, so it’s important to remove them from the tank.


The eggs will hatch in about 10-14 days. Once the eggs hatch, you should remove the empty egg shells from the tank.

The baby snails will feed on the algae and other microorganisms in the tank.

As the snails grow, you’ll need to provide them with a balanced diet. I feed my snails a mix of algae wafers, blanched vegetables, and commercial snail food.

It’s important not to overfeed the snails, as this can lead to water quality issues.

Overall, breeding Apple snails can be a rewarding experience. It’s important to provide the snails with a suitable breeding setup and to take care of the eggs and baby snails.

With the right care, you can enjoy watching your snails grow and thrive.

Personally, breeding Apple snails has been a fun and educational experience for me. I love watching the snails interact and seeing the tiny baby snails hatch and grow.

It’s a great way to learn about the natural world and to connect with nature.

Product recommendations for Apple Snail:

  1. Fluval Bug Bites Algae Formula – This is a high-quality snail food that is perfect for Apple Snails. It contains all the essential nutrients that your snails need to stay healthy and vibrant.
  2. Marina LED Aquarium Kit – This is a great aquarium kit that is perfect for Apple Snails. It comes with everything you need to get started, including a filter, heater, and LED lighting.
  3. API Aquarium Water Test Kit – It is important to keep an eye on the water quality in your aquarium, and this test kit makes it easy to do so. It includes tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH.
  4. Seachem Prime – This is a water conditioner that helps to detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in your aquarium. It is safe for use with Apple Snails and other fish.
  5. Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum – If you plan on keeping live plants in your aquarium, this substrate is a great choice. It provides the nutrients that plants need to thrive, and also helps to maintain a stable pH.
  6. AquaClear Power Filter – This filter is highly effective at removing debris and maintaining water quality in your aquarium. It is also very quiet and easy to maintain.
  7. Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer– This device makes it easy to perform regular water changes in your aquarium. It is designed to be safe and easy to use, and can help to keep your Apple Snails healthy.
  8. Zoo Med Nano 10 External Canister Filter – This is a small and efficient filter that is perfect for smaller aquariums housing Apple Snails. It is easy to install and maintain, and will keep the water in your aquarium clean and healthy.
  9. NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light  – This LED light is perfect for illuminating your aquarium and showcasing your Apple Snails. It is energy-efficient and easy to install.
  10. Zoo Med Aquatic Turtle UVB and Heat Lighting Kit – This lighting kit is perfect for providing your Apple Snails with the proper lighting and temperature requirements. It includes a UVB bulb and a heat lamp, and is designed to be easy to use.


Overall, taking care of Apple snails can be a fun and rewarding experience. These creatures are fascinating to watch, and with the right care, they can live for several years.

Throughout my experience of taking care of Apple snails, I have learned that it is important to maintain a clean and healthy environment for them.

This means keeping their tank clean, providing them with a varied and nutritious diet, and monitoring their behavior for any signs of illness or stress.

One of the most important things to remember when taking care of Apple snails is that they are sensitive to changes in their environment.

It is important to make any changes slowly and gradually, to avoid causing them stress or harm.

Finally, I have found that the key to successful Apple snail care is patience and dedication. These creatures require a lot of attention and care, but the rewards are well worth it.

With a little bit of effort and love, you can provide your Apple snails with a happy and healthy life.

So, if you’re thinking about getting an Apple snail as a pet, I highly recommend it.

They are fascinating creatures that can provide you with years of enjoyment and companionship. Just remember to do your research, provide them with the care they need, and enjoy the journey!


As a snail owner, I know that there are many questions that come up when it comes to caring for these fascinating creatures. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Q: What should I feed my apple snail?

A: Apple snails are omnivores, so they eat both plants and animals. They enjoy a variety of foods, including algae wafers, vegetables such as zucchini and cucumber, and protein-rich foods like shrimp and fish. It’s important to provide a balanced diet to ensure that your snail is healthy.

Q: How often should I clean my snail’s tank?

A: It’s important to maintain a clean tank for your snail’s health. I recommend doing a partial water change every week and a full tank cleaning every month. Be sure to remove any uneaten food or debris from the tank as well.

Q: How do I know if my snail is healthy?

A: A healthy snail will be active and responsive. Its shell should be smooth and free from cracks or holes. If your snail appears lethargic or its shell is damaged, it may be a sign of illness or injury. Consult a veterinarian who specializes in exotic pets for advice.

Q: Can apple snails live with other fish?

A: Apple snails can live peacefully with most fish species, but it’s important to choose tankmates carefully. Avoid keeping them with aggressive or territorial fish. Also, keep in mind that apple snails can grow quite large, so make sure your tank is big enough to accommodate all of your pets.

Q: How long do apple snails live?

A: Apple snails can live for several years with proper care. In the wild, they typically live for about a year, but in captivity, they can live for up to five years or more.

As you can see, caring for apple snails is relatively simple, but it’s important to do your research and provide the right environment and diet for your pet. With a little bit of effort, you can enjoy the company of these fascinating creatures for years to come.

One time, I was cleaning my snail’s tank and accidentally dropped the net, causing a loud noise that scared my snail. I felt bad and spent some time observing him to make sure he was okay. It’s important to be gentle and careful when handling your pets, as they can be easily startled.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

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