Horned Nerite Snail: Complete Guide to Care, Breeding, Tank Size and Disease

The tank is a cool environment for the fish and other sea animals therein. However, when too much algae build-up, it may need a clearing. That is when the horned nerite snail comes in handy. Without a doubt, it is an important tank addition. It keeps the algae to a minimum and aids in the vacuuming process of the substrate.

horned nerite snail

However, they do not reproduce in aquariums. These snails can endure a wide salinity range, from freshwater to brackish water. They are simple to maintain and can contribute to the general environment of your tank, as they are excellent cleaners and will keep your tank clean.

Table of Contents

Horned Nerite Snail: A Brief Introduction

Horned nerite snails are small, horned freshwater snails from Africa. They are popular in the aquarium trade for their attractive appearance and algae-eating habits. They require a secure tank lid, a diet of algae, vegetables, and snail pellets, and are generally peaceful and easy to care for.

Horned Nerite Snail Overview 

Horned Nerite Snails are aquarium snails that live in tropical freshwater.

Multiple dark horns protrude from their shell, making them instantly identifiable. The shell is golden with strong black swirls running along the border.

They’re well-known algae eaters as well as debris eaters. They will, above all, keep your glass sparkling clear. They may be obtained from most LFSs or other enthusiasts. Because they cannot breed in freshwater, Horned Nerite Snails are more popular and more expensive than other snails.

Information ChartHorned Nerite Snail
Scientific Name: Clithon corona
Family: Neritidae
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Color: Light yellow to dark
Lifespan: 1 year
Size: 0.5 – 0.8 inches
Diet: Algae eater/omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Temperature 22 – 26 °C
Water Conditions: Freshwater: rocks and driftwood
Tank Mate Compatibility Peaceful community

Horned Nerite Snail Appearance

Like the name suggest this snail has horns on the front part of its shell. These horns protect them against fishes that may wish to devour them. The horns are quite sturdy and may be used to attack a handler. Other characteristics of the horned nerite snail include

A small size. Its small size is an advantage for it to crawl into small crevices that other sea animals like fish cannot access. Therefore, the small size offers needed safety—boasts of various colors, including brown, black, tan, and yellow. The horned snail is quite an amazing animal as it develops varied color tints the more it grows.

There are intricate designs on the snail’s profile. Even the smallest species has beautiful colorations spread out its whole body.

Horned Nerite Snail

The Horned Nerite Snail gets its name from the horn-like appendages that protrude from its shell. The Horned Nerite Snail’s shell is extremely tough, and the horns serve as a protection mechanism against predatory fish or even humans during handling. It is a very peaceful species that does not annoy the other residents. The Horned Nerite Snail is tiny, measuring around 1/2″ in diameter on average.

Its small stature does not detract from its beauty, and it helps it access areas where other snails cannot reach to feed algae. The Horned Nerite has a magnificent black, tan, brown, and yellow swirl coloration that grows wider and more apparent as it matures. Even the tiniest specimens show coloration and swirly patterns. The Horned Nerite Snail comes in various colors, some with intriguing patterns and swirling colors.

Varieties of Horned Nerite Snail 

1. Three-Color Thorn Horn Nerite Snail 

Three-Color Thorn Horn Nerite Snail

Almost all the nerite snails are similar to each other in appearance. This Asian three-color thorn horn nerite snail flourishes in the south and the east of the continent. They are peaceful in nature and attract a wide range of applause for their bright colors and thorny body. 

2. Zebra Thorn/ Horn Nerite Snail

Zebra Thorn/ Horn Nerite Snail

Zebra thorn/ horn nerite snails are beautiful creatures with black and yellow stripes. They not only add great color and brightness to your tank but also eats up algae, and keep your substrate clean in the tank. 

3. Olive Gold/ Horn Nerite Snail

Olive Gold/ Horn Nerite Snail

This beautiful olive-golden scavenger has vibrant patterns over its shell. It has similar care and requirement to other snails but they inhibit in fresh and brackish water, not in freshwater. They’re native to Southeast and East Asia. 

Importance Of The Horned Nerite Snail

The snail is an algae cleaner because of its ability to feed on all green or brown algae voraciously.

Algae build-up in tanks is common. Hobbyists deal with this by introducing the snail into the tank. The good news is; it will never disappoint so long as all the tank conditions favor its survival.

Lifespan of Horned Nerite Snail 

The typical lifespan of a Nerite Snail is 1 year.

If a Nerite Snail dies, discard it from the tank as soon as possible since decaying snails can produce an Ammonia surge in the aquarium water. A dead snail won’t stick to the glass or any other hard surface. On the other hand, you will normally find a dead snail in the tank’s bottom, occasionally upside down and immobile. When a dead snail is removed from the tank, it may emit a pungent odor of decomposing and rotting flesh.

Horned Nerite Snail Size

The typical Horned Nerite Snail grows up to about 0.5 inches in diameter. 

The Horned Nerite Snail is a tiny snail, measuring around 0.5 inches in diameter on average. This snail’s diminutive size does not detract from its attractiveness, as it permits it to access areas where larger snails cannot feed algae.

Natural Habitat and Origin

Horned Nerite snails can be found throughout the western part of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Snails love to live in clean, motionless water (canals, ponds, swamps, etc.). They also can be found in slow-moving waterways (streams and rivers), where they adhere to pebbles and small stones. Eastern Africans can survive in brackish water, whereas some from the Caribbean and the Pacific require saltwater.

The horned nerite snail is native to South East Asia. In its natural habitat, the snail inhabits brackish waters found in deltas and lower regions of the Asian rivers. The coastal waters are home to the snail too.

Horned Nerite Snail Care & Tank Set-Up

Horned Nerite Snails are low-maintenance, easy to care for, and ideal for newcomers to the pastime. A steady nitrogen cycle is the most critical aspect in keeping them healthy. Sudden changes might cause harm to Horned Nerite Snails by putting them under a lot of stress. There are no special requirements. As long as you have got the filter that works great with the size of the tank you have got you will be fine.However, the first thing you want to address before adding a Horned Nerite Snail to your tank is the safety of your filtration system.

For the horned nerite snails to thrive, some conditions need to be met, such as the size of the tank. A medium-sized 29-gallon tank would be ideal. If they are housed with fish and other sea life, the tank can be bigger depending on the number and requirements of the other fish. Water temperatures of the aquarium should be at a constant of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

A water pH between 6.5 and 8 is necessary to keep your nerite snails healthy. You could be sure of the pH level by using a No products found..

You should note that the horned nerite snails are hardy and, therefore, can withstand fluctuations in the pH range. 

This, however, means that you should constantly check the water to control the pH. Nitrite and ammonia should be set at 0. Similarly, maintain low nitrate levels; try keeping them at zero if possible.

Add plenty of rocks to the tank as rocks provide good hiding places for the snail. Lighting should be kept at a minimum as snails are hideous animals that prefer dark places. You could consider adding a few freshwater plants as snails love to nibble at plants. Plus, plants also provide a good cover for them.

Provide a cover for the tank since they are likely to crawl outside the tank once in a while. The nerite snails can survive outside of water for some periods. If they disappear from the tank, a careful look around the tank will reveal them as they rarely move far away from moist environments.

Horned Nerite Snail Tank Size And Specifications

Optimum Tank Size For Horned Nerite Snail

The recommended tank size for Horned Nerite Snail is 10 gallons. 

Even though these snails are small, experts recommend keeping them in a minimum of a 5-gallon (20-liter) tank per adult snail. If the aquarium is smaller, they may fight for algae. They may go hungry once they’ve consumed all of the algae in the aquarium.

Furthermore, when the tank is a bit small, maintaining constant control over the water conditions is tough since things can go wrong very quickly. As a result, if you’re new to the hobby, it is important to plan on keeping them in a tank that’s at least ten gallons.

Tank Shape For Horned Nerite Snail

Low and long tanks and taller tanks are ideal for this snail. Nerite Snails will climb to the top of the tank every few days, regardless of their height or size. They will just crawl out if you do not have a tight-fitting lid on the tank.

These snails can also grip onto the aquarium’s underside lid and push their way out through little feeding holes because they are small. As a result, in addition to a tight-fitting lid, one should cover any gaps that the snail could escape through the plastic canvas.

Filter Type

There aren’t any criteria. You’ll be alright if you have a filter that works well with the tank’s size. However, before introducing this Snail to the tank, you should first ensure that your filtration system is safe.

The aim is that these snails will scour the area for food and, in some circumstances, will cross the filter and become stuck in the slats. They may be unable to break free in rare situations, resulting in significant injuries or death. As a result, if you possess a hang on the rear filter, it’s critical to cover it using a sponge filter to eliminate the chance.


Although these snails may be housed in any tank using any substrate, smooth gravel is preferred over any other sort. Smaller rocks, gravel, sand, and numerous boulders make up their natural environment. The main reason is that algae grow more easily on them.

How many Horned Nerite Snails in X gallon tank?

Around 1-2 horned nerite snails are recommended for 10-gallon tank. 

Water Parameters For Horned Nerite Snail 

Horned Nerite Snails aren’t as hardy as other snail species, but they’re also not picky about water quality. They, like Nerite snails, can survive in brackish water.

Water Temperature

Horned Nerite Snails-like temperatures between 22 and 26 degrees Celsius (72 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit). They will, however, be fine when the temperature is between 20 and 28 degrees Celsius (68 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit).

Water Flow Rate (If Applicable)

Nerite snails from slow or fast-moving streams are commonly utilized in freshwater tanks. Begin with a lower water current and gradually increase it.

If the water current is pushing the snails around, see if you can establish some regions where the water flow is lowered so they can get from the tank’s bottom to the top as quickly as possible.

 Ph Level

The suitable water pH level for Horned Nerite Snail is 7.0 – 8.0.

Aim for a pH range of 7.0–8.0 and a hardness range of 4–20. Even though these snails can survive pH levels as low as 6.5, it is best not to leave them in any acidic water (weeks). Its shell slowly dissolves in acidic water (usually in tiny holes). The harsher the water is, the better for their shells.

Water Hardness 

The suitable water hardness required for keeping the horned nerite snail is 6-12dkH.Water hardness is critical for nerite snails to draw calcium and keep their shells healthy.

Horned Nerite Snail Tank Landscape

Best Plants For Horned Nerite Snail Tanks

Carpeting plants and tall, strong ones they can climb about in quest of algae are ideal for Nerites. If you put some slow-growing plants in the tank, they’ll eat any algae that try to grow on the leaves.

Decorations For Horned Nerite Snail Tanks

Nerite snails will happily crawl along any surface, searching for algae or something else to eat. They’ll also be fine hiding in caves and overhangs.

The undersides of snails are extremely delicate. Avoid cutting the snail’s body with sharp, rough edges. For example, if you place driftwood in the tank, make sure it’s sanded down, so the snail doesn’t get snagged on any sharp edges or splinters.

Lighting For Horned Nerite Snail Tanks

Light isn’t necessary for Horned Nerite Snails. As a result, illumination in the tank should be tailored according to the plants and algae requirements.

Nitrogen/Other Nutrient Requirements For Horned Nerite Snail Tank? 

The optimal water parameters for snails in freshwater and saltwater setups are identical, except for salinity of 1.020-1.028sg in saltwater. Ensure your water is clear of ammonia and nitrites, that your filter is running, and that you have a heater on hand.

Feeding Horned Nerite Snail

They are considered generalist herbivores that eat diatoms, green algae, and, to a lesser extent, cyanobacteria. Horned Nerite Snails are freeloaders and scavengers. The point is that these snails will scour everywhere looking for food and, in some cases, may travel across the filter and get stuck in the slats. In some cases, they are unable to get free and can end with serious injuries or even death.

So, if you have a hang on the back filter, it’s important to cover the filter with a sponge filter for this reason and eliminate the possibility.

Best Diet for Horned Nerite Snail 

If there are enough algae in the aquarium, Horned Nerite Snails can survive it. You can add algae wafers or blanched vegetables like zucchini, kale, spinach, or cucumber to their diet.

Worst Diet For Horned Nerite Snail 

Any medication, food, or plant fertilizer that contains Copper in any form should be avoided. Copper poisons invertebrates. Copper, or copper sulfate, is found in many commercial fish meals, pharmaceuticals, and plant fertilizers. Always check the ingredient list before adding anything to the aquarium to ensure it’s copper-free.

How Often Should You Feed Horned Nerite Snail?

As long as you have lots of algae in your tank, you won’t have to feed these guys anything. Just take a look at the tank. You’re good if there are visible algae.

Horned Nerite Snail Behavior and Temperament

By nature, these snails are non-aggressive, isolated, and gentle. The large spikes of horned nerite snails do not constitute a protective measure. These spikes are prone to breaking, which is the whole idea of this game. Don’t worry if this happens; because it’s not causing any harm to them.

They are nocturnal creatures. Their peak activity occurs at sundown and progressively fades throughout the night, just before morning. Smaller snails are more active, as seen by their more vigorous and longer movements. Their frequent nocturnal behavior in grazing invertebrates, it is mostly associated with avoiding visual predators while feeding.

On a 24-hour cycle, algae have the most nutrients after the photosynthetic period, corresponding to the most advantageous feeding conditions and time for grazers in the aquarium. 

Are Horned Nerite Snail One Or Societal In Nature?

Other community members must be quiet and small, which is the major requirement for tank mates who are compatible with Nerite snails. Instead of cichlids, stick to guppies, bettas, tetras, barbs, gouramis, and similar fish.

Horned Nerite Snail Tank Mates

Other community members must be peaceful and small, which is the primary qualification for tankmates for Nerite snails. That means sticking to guppies, tetras, barbs, gouramis, bettas, and similar fish instead of cichlids.

Horned Nerite Snail Tank Mates

Ideal Horned Nerite Snail Tank Mates

Shrimp and other species of Nerite snails are good companions for Nerite snails. A tank with a variety of fish, snails, and shrimp makes for an interesting display since you can observe various interactions and behaviors between the species.

1. Fish

You should never keep Horned Nerite snails alongside Loaches, Botia lohacata, Cichlids, or Goldfish because snails and fishes are natural enemies. You can include other quiet and friendly community tank fishes as their tankmates (for example, Pygmy Cory Catfish, Panda Garra, and Otocinclus Catfish).

2. Dwarf Shrimp

The finest shrimp to keep with Horned Nerite snails are those that prefer somewhat alkaline water. Vampire Shrimp, Snowball Shrimp, Caridina cf. babaulti, Bamboo shrimp, Blue Velvet Shrimp, Cherry shrimp, Amano shrimp, Ghost shrimp, Blue tiger shrimp, Malawa Shrimp, and so on are some examples.

3. Snails

You can keep other snails with the Horned Nerite snail: Chopstick Snails, Black Devil Snails, Brotia Pagodula snails, Mystery Snails, Ramshorn Snails, Rabbit snails, Nerite Snails, Malaysian Trumpet snails, and more. They shouldn’t be kept with Assassin snails since they can eat them.

4 Crayfish

Keep such snails away from all varieties of crayfish (including dwarf Mexican crayfish), most freshwater crabs, and even predatory shrimp of the Macrobrachium family. They’re all capable of being vicious towards snails.

Bad Tank Mates For Horned Nerite Snail

Avoid any fish or other aquarium residents who devour snails or are extremely hostile. Stick to bettas, tetras, barbs, gouramis, guppies, and similar fish.

Breeding Horned Nerite Snail

Freshwater aquariums are unsuitable for breeding Horned Nerite Snails. Only brackish waters are suitable for breeding, and raising young horned nerite snails is challenging. Young successfully grown in captivity have a much shorter lifespan than those caught in the wild. Horned Nerite Snails, on the other hand, will not overcrowd the aquarium, making them significantly easier to maintain than other species.

Horned Nerite Snail Breeding Level 


Horned Nerite Snail Sexual Dimorphism?

Nerite Snails, unlike Mystery Snails, do not alter gender over time.  They are just 1 gender, male or female, from the moment they hatch. It’s generally difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish between males and females until the females deposit eggs. Regardless of gender, Nerite Snails look, behave, and move the same.

Horned Nerite Snail Common Diseases and their Treatment

Diseases affecting the shells of Horned Nerite Snails are the most common. Snails can be kept in hard, mineral/calcium-rich water to avoid most of these problems. The following are the most prevalent diseases:

Edema, or body swelling, is a common symptom of snail aging. The soft body tissue does swell up, giving the snail a bloated appearance. There is no treatment for this condition.

Uneven Shell Growth can happen when the water temperature goes outside of the ideal range. It can also happen if the snail consumes too little or too much food.

Parasites – On the shell, you may notice pitting, holes, and sores which extend into the snail’s soft flesh, which are indicators of infection. These are notoriously tough to treat. Antibiotics that are harmless for snails should only be used.

How To Avoid Species Diseases?

Maintain proper water chemistry for Nerite Snails, plus pay close attention to nutritional intake. It’s also crucial to keep the snails with the other peaceful aquatic animals who won’t harm them.

Facts About Horned Nerite Snail

  • The Horned Nerite Snail has a lifespan of around one year, plus or minus a few months.
  • Even in the most well-protected aquariums, a Nerite Snail escaping is a very typical event.
  • Nerite snails can develop up to 1 inch long, but most adults are between 0.5 to 0.75 inches long.
Facts About Horned Nerite Snail

Is Horned Nerite Snail Right For You?

Whether in freshwater or saltwater, Horned Nerite snails are one of the greatest options for keeping your tank clean. They spend most of their time traveling about the tank, devouring any algae that come into contact with them. Beginners should use snails because they are more likely to make mistakes


Are Horned Nerite Snails Capable Of Reproducing?

The majority of snails, except nerite snails, can reproduce asexually. The female produces horned nerite snail eggs that the male fertilizes, just like fish.

Are Horned Nerite Snails Capable Of Surviving Outside Of Water?

They are said to be able to survive for about 12 hours outside of water.

What’s The Deal With The Horned Nerite Snails Trying To Hide?

Overall, Nerites are a little shy. They love to hide, so make absolutely sure there are plenty of hiding spots for them as you build up their aquariums.


The Horned Nerite Snail best consumes algae, detritus, and residual debris. If kept in high numbers, however, they will need additional food. Maintain the correct ratio for them to live longer. Incorporate a horned nerite snail type in your tank specimens to add variety. They will reduce the number of algae in your aquarium while also giving it an unusual appeal.

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