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Maximum size : 15 cm

Apple Snail - Pomacea bridgesii, Pomacea canaliculata, Pomacea diffusa, Pomacea haustrum, Pomacea paludosa, Pomacea maculata : Complete Snail Profile & Care Guide

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Apple Snails (Pomacea sp.) are a fascinating addition to any home aquarium. These snails are much larger than the typical freshwater snail, making them an attractive and unique addition to any tank. Not only are they visually appealing, but they also serve a vital role as scavengers and are often included as a part of a tank's cleanup crew. Apple Snails help keep tanks clean by feeding on detritus and algae. One of the most interesting aspects of Apple Snails is their unique respiratory system. They have both a lung and a gill, which separates their mantle cavity into two respiratory structures. This unique anatomical adaptation enables them to live both in water and on land, making them amphibious creatures. As they can grow quite large, it is advisable to keep Apple Snails in large aquariums where they have enough space to graze. However, you must be aware that they will eat live plants, so they may not be suitable for planted tanks unless you provide them with plenty of supplemental food. Apple Snails come in a range of different colours, from pale olive to dark green, golden, blue, purple, pink, jade, albino, yellowish-tan, brown, and even black. They also have a variety of shell shapes, sizes and patterns, from thick bands to dark spots and stripes.

Apple Snail Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Accurately identifying the gender of Apple snails can be quite challenging unless one has substantial experience and knowledge. However, there is a technique that may be used to differentiate between male and female individuals. By gently inverting the snail in your palm, you can observe the region near the gills inside the shell. Males typically possess a penial complex in this area, whereas females do not. This brief opportunity to glimpse the snail's anatomy can provide useful information to breeders or hobbyists looking to create balanced populations in their tanks.

Quick Facts

Scientific NamePomacea bridgesii, Pomacea canaliculata, Pomacea diffusa, Pomacea haustrum, Pomacea paludosa, Pomacea maculata
Year Described1824
Other NamesSpike-topped Apple Snail, Golden Apple Snail, Florida Apple Snail, Island Apple Snail, Titan Apple Snail, Channelled Apple Snail
Max Size15 cm
Aquarium LevelAll Levels
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asN/A
Lifespan1 - 3 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 8.0
GH6 - 12
65 - 82
18.3 - 27.8

Natural Habitat

The Apple Snail is a well-known freshwater species that has become a global invader, spreading through the Amazon river basins in South America, North America, and Central America. They have now established themselves as one of the world's most damaging invasive species, spreading to Hawaii, Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe, and recently, Florida. These snails inhabit slow-moving rivers, ponds, and swamps and have the remarkable ability to seal their shell's entrance with an operculum. This adaptation allows them to avoid desiccation while buried in mud during dry seasons, making them exceptionally hardy and adaptable. Despite their invasive nature, Apple Snails are fascinating creatures and are prevalent in the aquarium trade. They have a unique appearance, and they grow to a substantial size. When properly cared for, they can make an exciting addition to any aquarium or pond.


Apple snails are gonochoric, meaning that they require both male and female individuals for breeding, unlike most snail species that are hermaphroditic. Therefore, to ensure successful breeding, it is recommended to purchase at least six snails, which will guarantee the presence of both sexes. These snails reach sexual maturity at approximately one year of age and do not require any specific triggers for mating. However, they tend to reproduce more in warmer temperatures. During mating, the female will be on the bottom, and the snails will attach themselves to each other. After mating, the female snail will emerge from the water and deposit a cluster of up to 1000 bright pink eggs above the waterline on solid objects. This behaviour is believed to reduce predation by aquatic predators and avoid low oxygen conditions. Therefore, it is essential to remove and dispose of the eggs promptly if you wish to control your snail population. The eggs usually hatch a few weeks later, provided they are kept in a warm and humid environment, and the newborn snails do not require any specific food and will accept flake, granule, and pellet foods.

Diet & feeding

In the aquarium, the Apple Snail exhibits a varied diet, consuming not only vegetables and fish food pellets but also other available foods such as live and frozen brine shrimps, dead fish, and insects. In addition, these snails play an essential role in maintaining the aquarium's ecosystem by consuming microscopic vegetation and algae that grow on the aquarium's sides, decorations, and rocks. However, their exceptional ability to climb out of the water in search of food has contributed to their classification as a pest in Asia, where they have caused crop damage.

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