Apple Snail (Pomacea bridgesi)

Quick Facts :
Care Level:Easy
Maximum Size:6″
Minimum Tank Size:55 Gallons
Water Conditions:65-82 F, pH 6.0-8.0, KH 3-8
Coloration:white, tan, yellow, blue, black
Origin:South America, Central America, Southeastern US

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Apple Snail Aquarium Care, Feeding and Native Habitat Information

Apple Snails are commonly found within the aquarium hobby, and due to their availability, bright coloration and ease of care have also become quite popular with many freshwater aquarium hobbyists. Apple Snails due have a very mixed following with one group of hobbyists loving them, while other hobbyists have come to despise them all together. While Apple Snails are attractive and are incredible consumers of algae, they do come with some negative traits as well. Apple Snails have a voracious appetite for more than just algae as they will readily consume live plants as well if sufficient algae or other more desirable foodstuffs are not available. They will also out compete many other invertebrate species for food, as they use their size to push other invertebrates like shrimp away from food that falls to the substrate. Not surprisingly they also can grow very large and reach sizes upwards of 6 inches, which only compounds the negatives against them. While the pros and cons of this species are very real, the key to keeping the Apple Snail is keeping them in a suitable environment where their positives can be enjoyed and their negatives minimized.

Apple Snails come in a variety of colors and shell patterns including brown, tan, white or yellow and even blue, purple, pink, and jade, with or without banding on their shells. Apple Snails also exhibit different coloration between their bodies and shells with distinct contrasts like purple bodies and yellow and white shells being quite common. Apple snails are sold within the aquarium hobby under a variety of names including the golden apple snail, ivory snail, blue mystery snail, golden Mystery Snail and most likely others as well.

Apple Snails do best in aquarium environments that take into account their strong appetites for algae and other vegetable matter along with their large size. They will do best in aquariums with hardy fast growing plant species or in aquariums with fake plants. It is not recommended to keep Apple Snails in heavily planted aquariums with sensitive or slow growing plants or aquariums with less boisterous invertebrate species like shrimp or more passive snail species.

Apple Snails have very healthy appetites and will quickly turn to other foodstuffs if algae is not available. It is for this reason that they are not recommended for many planted aquariums as they can put a lot of pressure on delicate or slow growing plant species. While Apple Snails prefer algae, they will readily consume vegetables, plants, fish foods, brine shrimp, insects and even dead fish or other decaying matter that they come across while scavenging the aquarium bottom. If you keep this species with live plants be sure to provide them algae wafers, vegetable based sinking pellets or pieces of vegetable so that they will not turn on the plants living in the aquarium.

In the home aquarium, Apple Snails are mostly active at night, while during the day they will usually retreat to shaded or darker area of the aquarium. When it is night time, the apple snail becomes active and engages in behaviors relating to feeding, as well as mating and laying eggs. Apple Snails are very easy to breed and if reasonable aquarium conditions of warm water temperatures and clean water are met, they will most likely breed to the point where excess specimens will need to be removed from the aquarium.