Rabbit Snail: A Comprehensive Guide to Care and Breeding

Have you ever come across the unique and adorable Rabbit Snail? These eye-catching freshwater critters are known for their long shells and interesting faces, making them an exciting addition to your aquarium. They not only bring an element of intrigue to your tank but also serve as helpful little cleaners!

As a beginner or experienced aquarist, you’ll find that Rabbit Snails are easy to care for and provide a lively touch to your community aquarium. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the various types of Rabbit Snails, their needs, and how to create a thriving environment for your new little friends.

Get ready to learn all about Rabbit Snail care and make your aquarium an even more delightful haven for these marvelous mollusks. Let’s begin your rewarding journey with these bright and unique gastropods!

Species Overview

Rabbit Snails, belonging to the genus Tylomelania, are relatively new in the fish-keeping community, having been introduced around 2007. They hail from Sulawesi, Indonesia and are known for their unique appearance and peaceful character, making them an excellent addition to community aquariums.

Distinctive in appearance, Rabbit Snails come in various colors, but are predominantly found in orange. With over 30 species in the Tylomelania genus, they offer a diverse range of options for aquatic enthusiasts. Their curious, social, and mellow temperament makes them a delightful presence in any aquarium.

Property Value
Scientific name Tylomelania
Common names Rabbit Snail, Elephant Snail
Distribution Sulawesi, Indonesia
Size 2-4 inches
Lifespan 1-3 years
Diet Omnivore, algae, biofilm
Temperament Curious, social, mellow
Minimum tank size 30 gallons
Temperature 68-84 °F (76-82 °F ideal)
pH 7.5-8.5
Water hardness 2-15 dGH
Care level Easy
Filtration/Water flow Moderate
Water type Freshwater
Breeding Egg deposits in calcium-rich areas
Breeding difficulty Easy to moderate
Compatibility Community aquariums

Please ensure your Rabbit Snails are placed in an adequately sized and maintained environment, catering to their specific needs for a happy, healthy life.

Rabbit Snail Basics

Origins and Natural Habitat

Rabbit snails, belonging to the genus Tylomelania, originate from the freshwater lakes of Sulawesi, Indonesia. These unique mollusks have caught the attention of many aquarium enthusiasts due to their distinctive appearance. In their natural habitat, they typically inhabit lakes with a moderate water current, making them a great addition to most freshwater aquariums.

Size and Shape

Adult rabbit snails usually grow to be about 2-4 inches long, with elongated, spiral-shaped shells. This shape earns them the nickname “elephant snail” because their faces resemble an elephant’s trunk. The shells of these snails have thick, protective layers that help them stay safe in various environments.

Color and Markings

Rabbit snails display a wide variety of color patterns. Some types include Yellow, Chocolate, and Orange Poso Rabbit Snails, Golden and White Spotted Rabbit Snails, and Black and Gold Rabbit Snails. These different color types make them an interesting and visually appealing addition to your aquarium.


With proper care, rabbit snails have a lifespan of around 2-3 years in captivity. To keep your snails healthy, ensure that your aquarium has a stable environment with suitable water conditions, proper diet, and compatible tankmates.

As you add rabbit snails to your aquarium, remember to maintain a friendly environment and enjoy observing these unique creatures and their intriguing characteristics.

Types Of Rabbit Snails

You’ll find various types of Rabbit Snails available in pet stores, each with distinct colors and patterns. Here are a few popular types for you to consider:

  • Yellow Poso Rabbit Snails: These snails have a bright yellow shell that catches the eye and adds vibrancy to your aquarium.
  • Chocolate Poso Rabbit Snails: With a rich, dark brown shell, Chocolate Poso Rabbit Snails provide contrast in a more subdued color palette.
  • Golden Spotted Rabbit Snails: Featuring eye-catching gold shells with black spots, these snails are a stunning addition to any tank.
  • Yellow, White, and Black Spotted Rabbit Snails: Each of these types showcases a differently colored shell with unique black spots, offering exciting variations for your collection.
  • Orange and Gold Rabbit Snails: If you prefer warmer colors, look for these two vibrant types that will make your aquarium truly stand out.

Keep in mind that pet stores may use different names for each type, and availability may vary. It’s crucial to research the specific characteristics and care requirements of your desired Rabbit Snails before making a purchase.

Diet and Feeding

Rabbit Snails spend their days searching for food in your tank, including algae, detritus, and plant matter. As one of the best aquarium algae eaters, they definitely contribute to maintaining your tank’s cleanliness. However, it’s important not to rely solely on algae and plant matter for their diet.

Make sure to include calcium-rich foods, such as bottom feeder pellets, algae wafers, fish flakes, and blanched green leafy vegetables. This will provide them with a well-rounded diet that helps strengthen their shells. Each Rabbit Snail might have different preferences, so offering a variety of foods is essential.

While Rabbit Snails shouldn’t pose a threat to most live aquarium plants if well-fed, they might be interested in eating Java Ferns. To ensure the safety of your plants, try pairing them with plants like Anubias, which have strong, durable leaves. This way, you’ll keep your plants safe and your Rabbit Snails happy and well-fed.

Behavior and Temperament

Rabbit Snails are known for their calm demeanor and compatibility with peaceful fish and invertebrates. You’ll find that they generally keep to themselves and don’t pay much attention to other tank inhabitants. Unlike other snail species that tend to hide, Rabbit Snails are active and love to explore your tank.

They are not shy and will roam openly in the tank, providing you with an interesting addition to your aquarium. It’s enjoyable to observe their exploration and movement throughout the tank, as they bring liveliness to the aquarium with their constant activity.

Their active nature sets them apart from other snail species, and keeping Rabbit Snails can add vibrancy and movement to the tank’s ecosystem. Enjoy their friendly presence as you observe their unique behavior.

Care and Tank Requirements

Rabbit Snails are easy to care for, even for beginners. They require specific water conditions for optimal health and shell protection. In this section, you’ll find information on tank size, water parameters, tank setup and decorations, filtration, and aeration.

Tank Size

A minimum tank size of 30 gallons is recommended for Rabbit Snails due to their size. They are sensitive to ammonia and nitrate levels, so a larger tank helps prevent overpopulation and water quality issues.

Water Parameters

Keep the water temperature between 76 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit and maintain a pH of 7.2 to 7.5. Rabbit Snails prefer normal to semi-dim lighting conditions. It is beneficial to maintain slightly hard water conditions and provide calcium-rich food supplements for healthy shell growth. Monitor ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels regularly to maintain a healthy and stable aquarium environment.

Tank Setup and Decorations

Use a fine sand substrate as it allows Rabbit Snails to burrow comfortably, and mimic their natural habitat with a variety of plants. Rabbit Snails will feed on fallen leaves, so having diverse plants is recommended. Avoid using Java Fern, as they may eat it if not well-fed. A durable lid is necessary to prevent escape, as Rabbit Snails are capable climbers. Be cautious with medications and plant fertilizers, as Rabbit Snails may be sensitive to them. Copper can be harmful or fatal to Rabbit Snails, so avoid exposing them to copper-based substances.

Filtration and Aeration

Invest in a filtration system that efficiently cycles water and uses a sponge pre-filter to prevent injury from powerful inlet tubes. Rabbit Snails are generally content in community tank conditions and prefer warmer water temperatures.

Suitable Tank Mates

As a Rabbit Snail owner, you’ll want to provide a peaceful, stress-free environment for your aquatic friend. Choosing suitable tank mates is crucial to maintaining harmony in your aquarium. Rabbit Snails should ideally be kept with non-aggressive tank mates, as they are slow and calm by nature.

Some great options for tank mates include other Rabbit Snails, as well as Mystery Snails, Gold Inca Snails, Ivory Snails, Nerite Snails, Ramshorn Snails, Japanese Trapdoor Snails, and Malaysian Trumpet Snails. Freshwater shrimp such as Amano Shrimp, Ghost Shrimp, Red Cherry Shrimp, Wood Shrimp, and Viper Shrimp also make excellent companions.

In addition to snails and shrimp, you can add compatible fish species like Cory Catfish, Otocinclus Catfish, and small community tank fish. Be careful to choose fish that won’t pick at your precious Rabbit Snails. Suitable fish species may include Tetras, Honey Gourami, Pearl Gourami, Guppies, Celestial Pearl Danio, Sparkling Gourami, Dwarf Gourami, and others.

Always avoid aggressive species, such as Cichlids, Crayfish, Crabs, Goldfish, and Loaches, as they pose a threat to your Rabbit Snails. When selecting tank mates, consult with store clerks to ensure compatibility, and aim for small, non-aggressive species that don’t see snails as a food source.


Rabbit Snail breeding is quite unique compared to other snail species as they spawn slowly and typically have just a few babies at once. This actually makes managing their population much easier for you. To encourage breeding, make sure the water in your freshwater tank is warm.

When ready to breed, the male Rabbit Snail provides a ball of sperm to the female, who stores it until she’s ready to have her babies. The female then lays a single gelatinous pearl-like egg, from which a tiny baby snail emerges.

Interestingly, the baby snail is a miniature version of the adult and can already find its own food. As the baby Rabbit Snail starts scavenging around your tank for soft algae or other food sources, you’ll notice its flawless shell, complete with a well-formed whorl from the apex to aperture.

Remember that the Rabbit Snail breeding process is slow, producing only one offspring at a time. This prevents overpopulation in your tank. After laying the egg, the female leaves behind a small creamy-white egg sack, where a fully-formed baby Rabbit Snail resides, hungry and ready to eat.

Common Diseases and Treatments

Rabbit Snails cannot contract common fish diseases, but it’s good to know that they can carry them. Although they’re not immune to illnesses, there are ways to prevent and treat common health conditions for your Rabbit Snails.

One such condition is leech infestations, which can invade their shells and feed on their bodies. Imported snails captured in the wild are more prone to these infestations. To help prevent leeches in your snails, you can place them in salty water for 15 minutes. If leeches persist, you can eliminate them by gently touching the leech with an alcohol-soaked cotton pad.

Another key factor is that Rabbit Snails are extremely sensitive to copper, commonly found in many fish medications. If treating fish with medications containing copper, it is essential to quarantine the fish or remove the snails beforehand. Always remember to take precautions to protect your Rabbit Snails from exposure to toxic substances to ensure their health and well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do rabbit snails reproduce?

Rabbit snails are viviparous, which means they give birth to live young instead of laying eggs. They typically have a slow reproduction rate, giving birth to one baby snail per month. You’ll notice fully-formed, tiny rabbit snails emerge from their parent’s brood pouch, ready to explore your tank.

How long do rabbit snails live?

Rabbit snails have a lifespan of around 2-3 years when cared for properly. To ensure a long and healthy life, maintain optimal water conditions, and provide a diet suitable for their nutritional needs.

Are rabbit snails aggressive?

No, rabbit snails are not aggressive and have a peaceful nature. They coexist well with other non-aggressive tank mates, including fish and invertebrates, making them a great addition to a community aquarium.

What do rabbit snails eat?

Rabbit snails primarily feed on algae and detritus, helping keep your tank clean. You can supplement their diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, and zucchini. Additionally, provide calcium-rich foods to support healthy shell growth, such as cuttlebones or calcium supplements.

Are rabbit snails invasive?

Rabbit snails are not considered invasive in the pet trade since they have a slow reproduction rate and are not known to outcompete or interfere with native species. However, it’s essential to never release any aquarium species, including rabbit snails, into local waterways to prevent any potential ecological impact.