Rabbit Snail – Care, Feeding, Tank Mates & Breeding (Video)
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Rabbit snails, also called elephant snails, are a great addition to most freshwater aquariums. Rabbit snails are peaceful. This is why they get along with many types of fish and shrimp.
They are not very popular because they don’t eat many types of algae, are slow breeders and you can’t find them in just any pet store.
In this article I will how to care for rabbit snails, what to feed them, which are the best tank mates for your rabbit snails and how to breed rabbit snails.
Below, I’ve also included a short video about one of my rabbit snail.
Rabbit Snail Care
Rabbit snails are relative easy to care for, however there are few things to consider before buying rabbit snails.
The substrate of the tank should be fine. You can use sand, small gravel or any substrate that is light. Rabbit snails like to dig themselves into the substrate time-to-time, so you need to give them the opportunity to hide.
If you keep rabbit snails with fish, please be careful with medication. Rabbit snails are very sensitive to copper. You should avoid medication that contains copper in your tank with rabbit snails.
Here are the water parameters for rabbit snails:
- Water pH Level: 7.5-8.5
- Water Temperature: 75-88 °F (24-31 °C)
- Water hardness (dGH): 4-12
- 0 ppm ammonia, 0 ppm nitrites, max 10 ppm nitrates
If you are using RO/DI water in your tank, you should consider re-mineralizing the water. Keep rabbit snails in harder water in order to avoid shell corrosion.
Rabbit Snails Feeding & Best Food
The rabbit snails will accept any vegetable or algae based fish food such as flakes, algae wafers even frozen bloodworms.
They love fresh food too such as lettuce, beans, spinach, carrots, broccoli, kale, zucchini, peas, cucumber and even leaves. Many times I feed my snails with fresh or dried dandelion leaves. To vary up their diet, some-times I also feed them with soilent green, which I purchased from Amazon.
Whatever you feed them, make sure you offer a varied diet which is rich in calcium.
Rabbit snails will also eat soft algae, but if there is other source of food, they will avoid algae.
If you keep rabbit snails in a planted tank, you should beware, that some-times they might taste few of your plants. Plants with large and softer leaves and stem plants are their main target.
Plants with strong stems and leaves such as java fern, amazon sword, Anubias or floating plants are safe from rabbit snails.
Though, if your sails are well-fed they will avoid live plants.
Rabbit Snail Tank Mates
As mentioned before, rabbit snails can live together with many types of fish, shrimp and snails. When choosing tank mates for rabbit snails, you should always pick those that are peaceful.
Snails such as mystery snails, nerite snails, ramhorn snails, ivory snail or trumpet snail are great tank mates.
Amano shrimp, cherry shrimp, ghost shrimp, vampire shrimp and bamboo shrimp also goes well with rabbit snails.
Keeping fish together with rabbit snails is also possible. Most livebearers such as guppies, mollies, platies and swordtails are good options for keeping together with rabbit snails.
You should avoid keeping rabbit snails with angelfish, betta fish, cichlids or goldfish or any other aggressive fish. These fish can harm or kill your rabbit snails.
Life Span of Rabbit Snails
If kept in good conditions, rabbit snails can live for 2-5 years. They become sexually mature at around one year old, when they start mating and reproducing.
You can increase the life span of rabbit snails by keeping them in good water conditions, feeding them a high variety of food and supplements that are rich in calcium and minerals. Regular water changes are also a must when keeping rabbit snails.
During their lifetime, female rabbit snails can produce around 20-30 baby snails.
Rabbit Snail Breeding
As mentioned above, rabbit snails are slow breeders. They reach sexual maturity at around one year old when they are 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in length.
Rabbit snails are dioecious, meaning that they have distinct male and female individuals. They are monomorphic, which means that males and females are similar and can’t be distinguished. They are also oviparous, which means that the female carries the fertilized eggs.
Female rabbit snails can carry 1-3 eggs at a time. They will carry the eggs for about 5 weeks. The female will release an egg sac, which contains a fully developed baby snail. The baby snail will break through the egg shell and will start crawling and grazing on biofilm and algae.
When born, babies are around 1/8 – 1/4 inches (3-6 mm) in size.
Females are able to carry sperm for long time. This means, that once they are fertilized by a male, they don’t need to mate again in order to produce baby snails.
While female and male rabbit snails are very similar, in order to have great success in breeding them, you need to start with at least 6 snails. This way you can ensure that you have at least one female and one male.
Aquarium Size for Rabbit Snails
Rabbis snails can grow pretty large, compared to other fresh water snails. They can reach a length of about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) at maturity and 2-3 inches (5-7 cm) when they are fully grown.
Rabbit snails can live in smaller tanks (10 gallons – 40 liter) if it is maintained regularly. However, I recommend keeping rabbit snails in aquariums that are at least 20 gallons (80 liter).
In larger aquariums the water parameters are more stable and the snails have more room to crawl and explore.
I really hope, this guide has helped you figuring out whether rabbit snails are a good choice for you or not. If you follow the instructions I gave you above, you will be successful at keeping, breeding and rising rabbit snails in your aquarium.
As I promised at the beginning, here is the video of my rabbit snail crawling around in one of my fish tanks: