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Maximum size : 2.5 cm

Zebra Nerite Snail - Neritina natalensis : Complete Snail Profile & Care Guide

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The captivating Zebra Nerite Snail (Neritina natalensis) is a highly sought-after addition to any aquarium due to its unique and striking appearance. Not only are they stunning to look at, but they are also peaceful, docile and are continuously working hard to keep your tank clean. These snails are easy to care for, making them a popular choice for both beginner and experienced aquarists. The insatiable appetite of the Zebra Nerite Snail for algae makes them an ideal choice for planted aquariums. They work tirelessly to clean algae off the glass, decorations, substrate, plants and even filters, making them a valuable part of any cleanup crew. However, it is worth noting that these snails are excellent climbers and may escape from the tank if the lid is not secure. These snails are suitable tankmates for small, peaceful species such as Dwarf Barbs, Tetras, Endlers and Guppies. You can also keep Zebra Nerite Snails with other snails, such as Rabbit Snails, Mystery Snails, and Trumpet Snails, as well as Dwarf Neocaridina Shrimp. However, large and aggressive fish, Crayfish, and Assassin Snails should be avoided as they pose a threat to these snails. To ensure your Zebra Nerite Snails are comfortable and happy, provide them with plenty of hiding spots such as caves made from rocks or driftwood. A soft sandy substrate will prevent damage to their shells, and aquatic plants can also be added to give them extra grazing spots. The shells of Zebra Nerite Snails are uniquely patterned with uneven stripes and prominent ridges. The colours of the shells can range from golden-yellow to greenish-yellow, with dark bands that add to their characteristic appearance. Other types of Nerite Snails available include Tiger Nerite Snails, Olive Nerite Snails, Black, Red and Gold Racer Nerite Snails, Horned Nerite Snails, and Red Spotted Nerite Snails.

Zebra Nerite Snail Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

It is important to note that identifying the gender of Zebra Nerite Snails can be a challenge, as there are no obvious external differences. While some sources suggest that males have a skin fold, and females may be slightly larger, these differences are not consistent and can be difficult to detect.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameNeritina natalensis
Year Described1792
Other NamesSpotted Nerite, Tiger Snail, Zebra Snail, Zebra Nerite
OriginsKenya Mozambique Somalia Tanzania South Africa Trinidad and Tobago Brazil
Max Size2.5 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
Best kept asN/A
Lifespan1 - 3 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 8.5
GH12 -18
KH12 - 1
TDS150 - 250
65 - 85
18 - 29

Natural habitat

Zebra Nerite Snails are indigenous to several countries, including Trinidad & Tobago, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania in Africa, and South Africa and Brazil in South America. They typically occupy moderately flowing waters found in creeks, mangrove swamps, lakes, lagoons, ponds, rivers, and streams, where they can be seen amongst the rocks and driftwood. Zebra Nerite Snails are known for their adaptability and resilience, as they are accustomed to changing water levels. As a result, they thrive effortlessly in both freshwater and brackish water aquariums, making them a popular choice among fish enthusiasts.

How to breed the Zebra Nerite Snail

It is challenging to breed Zebra Nerite Snails in freshwater aquariums as their eggs will not hatch unless kept in brackish water. Breeding success is more likely with a group of at least 5 Nerite snails that have both males and females. To breed Zebra Nerite Snails, the water salinity level must be around 1.007, and the temperature should be about 79 degrees Fahrenheit. It is best to keep them separate from other species, with only other nerite snails in the tank. Zebra Nerite Snails lay eggs on hard surfaces within the tank if the conditions are suitable. The eggs resemble tiny white dots, are extremely hard, and stick to the surface they fall on. You can either let the eggs hatch or remove and dispose of them as desired.

Diet & feeding

Zebra Nerite Snails are known for their excellent appetite for algae, ranging from green to brown and even soft film algae. However, if there isn't enough algae in your tank, it is essential to supplement their diet with other food sources such as fish food and spirulina wafers. In addition, you can offer your snails a well-balanced diet with occasional blanched vegetables like broccoli and zucchini, along with blanched carrots and kale. It is essential to provide your snails with calcium supplements to ensure their shells remain healthy and strong. Soft shells can lead to other health issues in the future, so it's important to make sure they receive the necessary nutrients.


Zebra Nerite Snail - Best Algae Eating Snail Thumbnail

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