Name: Neritina zebra
Origin: Brazil to Honduras
These are one of the few plant safe snails. They will eat hard green algae (the stuff that requires a razorblade to get off the glass) but will not touch plants. I have had a group of them for approximately two years in my 200 liter planted tank with delicate plants such as lilies and they show no interest. They move slow but are definately an asset when it comes to cleaning those hard to reach places (such as grooves in wood). I've found keeping a small amount of coral or shell in the tank prevents their shells from cracking (they seem to be prone to this). A beautiful snail with loads of potential for the aquarium hobby.
Zebra Neritina is a very beautiful species. I have bred a pair of them and their kids now roam my tank. They are very cute when they move on my tank wall. Their red colour will fade if not fed for a week or two. We should take good care of them.
These beauties are wonderful algae munchers. They are not so easy to find here in Singapore, though. My dealer ran out of stock and had not been able to get them for a few months already. They cleared my 75 cm rasbora tank facing evening sun of any form of algae in just 1-2 weeks! And that tank was completely covered with thick green algae, all sides! I did realise their shells can easily be damaged, though. I introduced a couple into my 120 cm tank that houses an Orange-finned loach and all but 1 died. Some of their shells had been damaged (they looked like someone had sand-papered a particular part of the shell very hard).
These snails are truly great additions! They not only look great, but are excellent choices for algae eaters. There are many other varieties of Nerite snails, and it is possible to build up an impressive myriad of strange and wonderful snails. These snails will not take over your tank as the young require saltwater to hatch, but be prepared to find lots of little white eggs on plants, rocks and wood!
These snails make interesting additions to a planted tank. They are excellent algae eaters, and won't eat plants. I just got some and it's fun to watch them. They do best in tanks with an above neutral pH, as their shells can easily crack. Do not keep these snails with cichlids and other invertebrate eating fish.
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