Apple Snail


Apple Snails are a tropical freshwater species of aquarium snail. They are very common and available at almost all LFS. They range in color from deep blue to gold and even striped. Apple Snails are often refered to as "Blue Mystery Snails" in the pet store, with little regard or information about their species. Purchasers often do not realize they can grow very large very quickly. A 1 inch diameter shell is common size for adult Apple Snails. They are slow creatures that have a large apetite for organic matter.

apple snail cleaning

Apple Snails diet often includes aquarium plants. They can become somewhat of a pest due to their large apetite. Slow growing plants can be completely consumed to never grow back. Shrimp or other scavenging species are often starved due to the lack of food available. When keeping Apple Snails it is best to keep them in an aquarium with fake or no plants. It is also not advisable to keep them with other snails or shrimp species.

Apple Snails will breed consistently if they are given water and food. Their populations often grow out of control and are difficult to eradicate. Apple Snails lay eggs just above the water line of the aquarium. Destruction of these eggs will not prevent the species from reproducing.

Temperature ~75°F

  • The optimum aquarium temperature for Apple Snails is around 70°F - 80°F (21°C-27°C). Higher temperatures will increase spawning rates.

pH ~7 | Hardness 7

  • Apple Snails require pH between about 6.5 and 8. They are fairly adaptable to a wide range of pH in captivity.
  • Relative water hardness for Apple Snails should be 6-12dH. They are very adaptable to water hardness.

Max Size ~1-2"

  • Apple Snails can grow very large and destructive, adults can exceed 1" in diameter.

Nitrite 0ppm

  • Nitrite should always be 0.

Ammonia 0ppm

  • Apple Snails are sensitive spikes in ammonia.

Nitrate >40ppm

  • Nitrates should be as close to 0ppm as possible. Apple Snails can help contribute to reducing nitrates.

Deciding Appropriateness

  • Apple Snails are excellent scavengers in large tanks with minimal plants. Their large size helps remove large amounts on rotting debris and algae. However Apple Snails are not suitable for small aquariums. They grow very large and need a wide area to graze. As mentioned previously they will consume live plants. They need to be fed excess food and may starve other intertebrates in the aquarium.
apple snail eating


  • Apple snails will consume debris and algae within the aquarium. They eat hair algae and are effective cleaners of aquarium glass and driftwood. In smaller aquariums or with large numbers they will need to be fed extra food. Apple Snails are omnivorous and will consume boiled vegetables or commercial pellets/flakes.


  • Apple Snails will breed in almost all conditions. They rapidly reproduce and can become a nuisance in the aquarium. They consume large amounts of food and grow quickly. Apple Snail eggs are laid just above the water surface visible to the human eye. Interestingly old aquariums can sometimes have these eggs left attached to the glass. When the aquarium is filled the snails reappear.