Freshwater Snails: Profile and Information

Freshwater Snails

Freshwater snails are very common gastropod mollusks that can be found in freshwater. These snails come in many different families.

They can easily be found throughout the world in a variety of habitats, ranging from the small temporary pools to the world’s largest lakes, and from the smallest seeps and springs to giant rivers.

The vast majority of the planet’s freshwater gastropods come with a shell, with only a few exceptions.

Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Mollusca
  • Class: Gastropoda
  • Diversity: 65,000 to 80,000 species

While not every person is aware, a few groups of snails that reside in freshwater use gills to respire, whereas other groups need to find their way to the surface to breathe air.

Additionally, some of them are amphibious and breathe with both gills and a lung ( An example is Ampullariidae). Most water snails feed on algae, but a large population are detritivores, and some others are filter feeders.

According to a review of the taxonomy carries out in 2008, there are over 4,000 identified species of freshwater gastropods.

No less than 33–38 independent lineages of gastropods have colonized freshwater environments successfully. Presently, it is impossible to quantify the correct number of these lineages, because for now, they are not clarified within the Cerithioidea.

Between six to eight of the independent lineages of water snails occur in North America.

Physical features

Different varieties of freshwater snails — including ramshorn, apple, trumpet, and pond snails — are easily found in aquariums and fish tanks.

Each kind of water snail is found on the planet has a unique and specific shape of shell. Freshwater snails can breed both in the wild and in captivity and may produce several young snails at a time.


Freshwater snails are mostly hermaphrodites. What this means is that they usually carry both eggs and sperm, and they can reproduce without having contact with another snail.

However, there are some water snail breeds, like the apple snails, which requires both a male and female for reproduction.

Snails do not need to wait too long to reach sexual maturity. Most times, they are only enough to reproduce around one year of age. The freshwater snail usually lays her eggs about two weeks after fertilization.


The eggs look of water snails are like blobs of jelly and usually float on top of the water when they are in the wild or stick to the side of their aquarium when is space of at least 2 inches at the top of the tank.

The clutches or eggs hatch between two and five weeks after the snail lays them. Sometimes, the snail produces a clutch that is infertile and does not deliver babies.

Therefore, if the clutch has not hatched within five weeks, it may be infertile, and you should discard it.


A single water snail may lay several hundreds of eggs at a single time, so the number of young ones in a single birth depends on the number of eggs that are healthy and fertilized.

Often, around 20 to 50, baby water snails hatch successfully. Freshwater snail babies immediately go into survival mode after they are hatched. Water snails often feed on their own eggs for the right amount of calcium they need to harden their shells.


There is almost nothing as easy as caring for baby snails. They do not need special foods since they can feed off of algae in the water or tank, but they also love to eat commercial foods that contain shrimp.

Cleaning your snail tank more often may be needed since the baby snails make a large amount of waste. You also need to be dedicated to monitoring the pH and ammonia levels in the fish tank with test strips every week.

The pH level of the fish tank should be seven or higher, and the ammonia level at zero for raising water snails. It is not advised to have other fish in the snail tank, as they may feed on the baby snails.

However, moving the little guys to a smaller aquarium by gently scooping it, sucking them out using a turkey baster may increase the chances of survival when you have aggressive fish in your aquarium.

These are the best information on water snails we could put together. If you have more information, you’d like to share or questions you’d like to ask, please leave them in the comments section provided below.

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