Apple Snail (Pomacea bridgesii, Pomacea canaliculata, Pomacea diffusa, Pomacea haustrum, Pomacea paludosa, Pomacea maculata) Species Profile & Care Guide
Apple Snails are one of the largest freshwater snail species and a popular member of the home aquarium. Aquarium hobbyists welcome Apple Snails for their attractive appearance and size as well as their scavenging habits and are often included in the aquarium as a cleanup crew, apple snails feed on detritus and algae in the aquarium, helping to keep the tank clean.
Apple Snails are unique because they have a lung and a gill, so their mantle cavity is divided, which separates these two respiratory structures. Apple Snails have unique anatomical adaptation which allows them to be amphibious, which enables them to live both in water and on land.
Apple snails can grow relatively large, so it is advisable to keep them in large aquariums where they will welcome a wide area to graze on. You must know that these snails will eat live plants, so it is not recommended to house them in planted tanks or make sure you provide your snails with plenty of supplemental food.
There are numerous different types of Apple Snails, all displaying different colour variations from pale olive to dark green, golden, blue, purple, pink, jade, albino, yellowish-tan, brown and also black. Apple Snails also have a variety of shell shapes, sizes and patterning from striped, thick bands to dark spots.
|Scientific Name||Pomacea bridgesii, Pomacea canaliculata, Pomacea diffusa, Pomacea haustrum, Pomacea paludosa, Pomacea maculata|
|Other Names||Spike-topped Apple Snail, Golden Apple Snail, Florida Apple Snail, Island Apple Snail, Titan Apple Snail, Channelled Apple Snail|
|Aquarium Level||All Levels|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Lifespan||1 - 3 years|
|Temperature||65 - 82 ℉ (18.3 - 27.8 ℃)|
|PH||6.5 - 8.0|
|GH||6 - 12|
Natural Habitat of the Apple Snail
The Apple Snail has initially been found throughout the Amazon river basins in South America, North America and Central America. They are now one of the worlds worst invasive species and have spread to Hawaii, Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe and has been recently reported in Florida.
They inhabit rivers, ponds, and swamps, and even though they occasionally leave the water, they spend most of their time underwater. The Apple Snail has an operculum which enables them to seal the shells entrance; this prevents them from drying out while they are buried in the mud during dry seasons.
Other Snails of interest
In the aquarium, Apple Snails will not only eat vegetables and fish food pellets, but they will also eat other foods available to them. These snails will occasionally eat live and frozen foods such as brine shrimps, dead fish as well as insects.
As their main diet, Apple Snails will eat microscopic vegetation and algae that grows on the sides of the tank as well as on decor and rocks in the aquarium.
Apple Snails will happily climb out of the water to reach any food that has appeared above the waterline. Due to their ability to do this, they have become a nuisance in Asia, where they feed on crops.
Breeding the Apple Snail
Apple Snails are not hermaphroditic like most snails, and both a male and female are required for breeding. The easiest way to achieve this is to purchase at least six snails this will guarantee that you will have at least one of each sex.
Apple Snails reach sexual maturity around one year old they will begin to mate on their own without any intervention, or without any particular triggers, however, they seem to reproduce more in warmer temperatures. These snails will attach themselves to one other during mating, and the female will always be on the bottom of the male.
Once mating has concluded, the female will emerge from the water and deposits a large cluster of up to 1000 eggs above the water line on solid objects. There are two possible reasons for laying eggs out of the water one is to reduce predation by aquatic critters, and the other is to avoid low oxygen, as regularly happens in many wetlands. These eggs are a bright pink colour and should be kept above the waterline, or they will no longer develop. If you intend on controlling your snail population, this will be the best time to remove and dispose of the eggs quickly.
The eggs will usually hatch a few weeks later presuming they are kept in a warm, humid environment, whitening a bit as they near hatching.
The newborn snails do not require any particular food upon hatching and will accept flake foods, granules and pellets immediately.