Rabbit Snail Care Guide: Types, Diet, Tanks, Tank Mates, Breeding

If you’ve decided to get an aquarium snail for your fish tank, you’ve made the right decision to go for a rabbit snail. Many aquarists agree that aquarium snails are peaceful and fun freshwater creatures to add to most aquariums, and the rabbit snail is a great choice.

Whether you are a beginner fish keeper or an experienced aquarist looking for another aquatic creature to add to your fish tank, you can’t go wrong with rabbit snails. With experience taking care of freshwater fish, I’ve realised that freshwater creatures need a balanced diet, proper water parameters, and the right tank mates to keep them happy and help them live longer. Simply put, rabbit snails are fun to have. They are easy to feed and take care of, and they’ll keep to themselves for most of the time they’re awake.

But where do you start?

If you want to know how to care for these peaceful aquarium snails, dive into this rabbit snail care guide with everything from when to feed them, their required tank size, and the best tank mates to keep them with.

Read on to learn more!

Species Overview

Rabbit snails became common in the aquarium community between 2006-2009. However, not many have been comfortable taking care of these creatures in their home aquariums; they should because they are one of the easiest to take care of.

Rabbit snails, also known as the Elephant snail or poso snail, originate in the mountain lakes of Sulawesi, Indonesia. These snails move slowly in the water because they are always curious about their surroundings and take all the time they need to explore it.

Although these snails have a lifespan of 1-4 years, they can live longer given suitable environments to thrive. Don’t worry if they seem inactive for a long time; they like to curl up when resting, and they could be immobile for long periods. You should be careful not to immediately assume that they are dead because this is a natural behavior for these aquarium snails.

Here is a quick fact breakdown about these beautiful aquarium snails:

  • Origin: Indonesia
  • Scientific Name: Tylomelania
  • Lifespan: 1-4 years
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Size: 3-5 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Water Temperature: 77-86 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Diet: Omnivorous

Appearance and Size

Pictures could be deceiving because when you see a rabbit snail in person, you’ll be surprised that these snails are 5 inches long! They are bigger than most aquarium snails growing between 4-5 inches by adult age. This is one of the reasons most people refer to them as elephant snails.

Of course, rabbit snails also have a long drooping face that looks similar to an elephant’s trunk. Hence the nickname elephant snails. The rabbit snail’s name is because of other body parts too. Their long droopy face has two long antennas on the top of their heads that look like rabbit ears. If you look closely, their faces have numerous expressions that could tell their feelings.

Male and female rabbit snails look the same, so it can be hard to tell when you intend to start breeding rabbit snails.

They have wrinkled bodies, not as smooth as you would expect from most snails. But they have very cool shells which come in various colors as you’ll see in the pictures in this article.

Types of Rabbit Snails

There are currently close to 50 species of rabbit snails that you can get for your fish tank. They come in different color forms which led to most of the names you see below. These snails are available in most fish stores and you can find popular types of rabbit snails like :

  • black rabbit snails
  • Mini orange rabbit snail
  • Blue poso rabbit snail
  • white spotted rabbit snails
  • golden rabbit snails
  • yellow rabbit snails
  • chocolate rabbit snails.

No matter what type of Rabbit snail you get, you need to care for them appropriately to ensure they live a long life.

What to Look For When Buying a Rabbit Snail

When buying rabbit snails, you should choose ones that appear to be moving across the substrate actively. It’s even better if you find them stuck to the glass because that’s a sign that they are healthy and active.

Their body can also help you tell if they’re healthy or not. The rabbit snails shell should be free of any cracks and appear thick. If they’re in a community tank at the store, ensure they have no injuries from other creatures in the tank.

Signs that the rabbit snail is sick or dying include them laying upside down or if they’re not moving at all at the bottom of the tank.

Where to Buy Rabbit Snails

You can but a rabbit snail for between $10-$20 but it would be best if you buy two or a group of rabbit snails and save some cash and give them some companions. Here are some online shops where you can buy a rabbit snail:

  • AquaticMotiv
  • LiveAquaria
  • Aqua-imports
  • Flip Aquatics
  • Abquarics

Rabbit Snail Care

Rabbit snails (and snails in general) are some of the easiest freshwater creatures to take care of, so you shouldn’t be too anxious about adding them to your home aquarium. If you provide a stable environment for these snails, they can live long and happily in your care. A stable natural environment similar to their natural environment will keep them healthy and prevent illnesses and stress for these rabbit snails.

Tank Setup

The best tank size for rabbit snails should be around 20 gallons. If you’re keeping more than one rabbit snail in your fish tank, you’ll need to move them into a larger tank of 30 gallons or more. Because they grow to around 5 inches, than some freshwater fish, they need plenty of space to move and swim in the freshwater tank.

Rabbit snails have a habit of climbing to the top of the aquarium, so a good-quality cover is necessary for their fish tank.

Because these snails are very picky regarding their environment, you must be careful what you place in their tank. These snails are surrounded by vegetation and plant matter in their natural habitat, so you should replicate that in their new home.

Fine and smooth sand substrate is perfect for rabbit snails because they spend a lot of time burrowing in search of food. Compared to gravel, soft sand is safer because these snails sometimes end up burying their entire bodies in the substrate. Gravel could damage their shells or face when they’re looking for their next meal.

Plants are a must-have for rabbit snails. This is your chance to get creative and include a variety of plants in your fish tank. Plants not only provide shade, but they also serve as food when the leaves fall into the substrate. If you are feeding your rabbit snail adequate nutrients, you don’t have to worry about them eating or killing your live plants. For these snails, you’ll need to get a good filtration system to prevent the ammonia and nitrate levels from getting dangerously high.

Water Parameters

You need to be careful with the water parameters in the rabbit snail tank because these aquatic creatures are sensitive to their environment. Because of their bodies, these aquarium snails need the water to be more alkaline to prevent corrosion or erosion of their shells.

If you notice any damage on their shells, you need to check the water parameters and ensure it’s not too acidic. These shells are crucial to their survival and offer them protection, so you shouldn’t take this situation lightly.

Here are some of the water parameters you should maintain when keeping a rabbit snail:

  • Water temperature: 68-86 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Water hardness: 2-15dKH
  • pH levels: 7-8

Signs that your rabbit snail isn’t comfortable include less activity in the tank. You should carry out water tests regularly to ensure these parameters are maintained for the health of your rabbit snail.

Food and Diet

Rabbit snails will eat anything that seems edible to them. They aren’t picky about what they put into their body, which gives you more options when providing them with a balanced diet.

One major nutrient essential for these snails is calcium, which helps strengthen the shells necessary for their survival. Rabbit snails eat algae off the glass and other surfaces, so they can help prevent an algae infestation in your tank.

As mentioned above, rabbit snails are scavengers who love algae and enjoy eating greens. Some of their favourite foods include:

  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Bell peppers
  • Soft algae
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Algae wafers

These snails are also fond of pellets like algae pellets.

Common Diseases

Although rabbit snails can’t get fish diseases, poor water parameters can lead to them getting an infection from other fish. The most common disease you have to watch out for with freshwater snails is leeches.

Leeches can be very harmful to an aquarium snail’s tank. When they infiltrate the tank, they get into the snail shell and eat its body. After they’re done, the leeches could also spread to other creatures in the fish tank.

You’ll likely find this issue with imported snails you’re introducing to your tank.

Luckily, there are methods you can use to get rid of leeches in your aquarium snail tank. One of the best methods is using aquatic salt. For a safer and relatively mild solution for your snails, you can try using 1/2 tsp salt in 1 cup tank water and give them a “bath” in this solution for about 10 minutes. This irritates the leeches enough to leave, but not upset the snails so much. While this solution may not kill all the leeches, it will help. If the leeches are deep in the rabbit snail’s shell, you might have to repeat the methods in a couple of weeks.

If you plan on using fish medications for other tank mates, ensure they don’t have copper. Copper is toxic to rabbit snails and could severely harm them.


Rabbit snails are relaxed and calm. They will keep to themselves and won’t start any fights with the other creatures in the tank. Unlike some other aquarium snails who like to hide most of the time, rabbit snails aren’t shy and will be active in their new environment. They are curious and will take their time roaming around the new tank.

Suitable Tank Mates

Because of how peaceful these rabbit snails are, keeping them with non-aggressive fish in their tank only makes sense. Some of the best tank mates for rabbit snails include:

  • Black Devil snails
  • Otocinclus catfish
  • Nerite snails
  • Mystery snails
  • Red Cherry Shrimp
  • Vampire shrimp
  • Japanese trapdoor snails
  • Chopstick snails
  • Ramshorn snails
  • Malaysian trumpet snails
  • Hairy snails
  • Ivory snails

Other small-looking fish are also good tank mates for rabbit snails. But there are fish species that you should avoid keeping with these peaceful fish. They include:

  • Dwarf Mexican crayfish
  • Loaches
  • Goldfish
  • Cichlids

Most of these fish are larger than rabbit snails and can quickly kill or harm these aquarium creatures should they want to.


You don’t have to worry about complicated breeding with freshwater snails because they slowly reproduce in most surroundings. While rabbit snail breeding might take longer to spawn, you don’t have to worry about them laying multiple rabbit snail eggs. They will only lay one rabbit snail egg at a time.

If you want to promote breeding between your male and female rabbit snail, you should keep warm water temperatures in their tank. These snails give live birth, which releases a white pod every 4-6 weeks.

The baby snail will exit with a fully formed shell when the pod hatches. You can immediately feed them food so that they grow healthy. If you don’t, you’ll find them scavenging for food in the substrate.


Can assasin snails eat rabbit snails?

Yes. Although it doesn’t happen frequently, it is possible for assassin snails to eat a rabbit snail because they like small prey. Especially if you’re not feeding your assassin snail.

What do baby snails look like?

Baby snails look like miniature adult snails. They are only smaller but have a fully formed shell that’s why they can eat food directly from the egg.

How long do rabbit snails take to grow?

Depending on their living conditions, baby rabbit snails take around a year to grow to 2 inches.

Do rabbit snails burrow?

Yes. Rabbit snails scavenge in the sand substrate for food despite how slow they are.

Taking care of a Rabbit snail

Now that you understand what it takes to care for these adorable rabbit snails, do you want it in your home aquarium?

Rabbit snails are easy to care for, peaceful and don’t bother other fish species when they are in a tank together. Although they aren’t as popular, these aquatic creatures are fun to have especially in a shrimp tank.

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