Malaysian Trumpet Snail: Ultimate Guide (Care, Diet, Breeding, & More)

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Written By Matt Stevens

Hi, I'm Matt! I've been obsessed with fishkeeping for over 15 years now and created this site to share my knowledge with others.

When it comes to Malaysian Trumpet Snails, you may find several different opinions from different aquarists. Some of them seem to think they are wonderful aquarium pets, while others think that they should be considered pests and left in the wild.

Nevertheless, Malaysian Trumpet Snails are considered to be efficient tank cleaners, thanks to their ability to actively search and eat algae. However, there are several challenges in keeping them in the aquarium.

However, by knowing everything that you need to do, you will be able to get ahead of the challenges and also keep them happy and healthy inside a community tank. They are resilient and adaptable creatures, which means that they are a breeze to look after, even for beginners.

On top of everything, you have our helpful and beneficial care guide to teach you everything, including their habitat, water parameters, diet, breeding, tank mates, and much more. If you are already eager to learn more about them, we promise it gets more interesting.

Species Summary

Malaysian Trumpet Snails are known by different names, including the Malaysian Burrowing Snails, Malaysian Live Bearing Snails, and the Red-Rimmed Melania. They belong to the Thiaridae family and have the scientific name Melanoidestuberculata.

They are native to North and South Africa, but they have been spread out throughout the world, particularly in tropical regions. They are also known as invasive species, which is partly the reason why they have a wide distribution.

Life Span2 years
Color FormGrey or Brown
Care levelEasy
CompatibilityPeaceful community
SizeUp to 1 inch
Tank SetupFreshwater with live plants
Minimum Tank Size5 gallons

As mentioned in the intro, most people consider that these snails are good pets, while others aren’t so affectionate. They are also known to slip into aquariums without the owners knowing, as they can hitchhike with live plants or aquatic creatures that have been purchased from a pet store.

This may sound strange, but their eggs are very small and difficult to spot. It is very easy for these eggs to get transported into aquariums, where they hatch and make their home. 

If you are looking to buy Malaysian Trumpet Snails to the tank, make sure to choose species that are actively moving around or latching onto rocks or glass walls. If you see any that aren’t moving or lying upside down, the chances are that they might be dead, and you shouldn’t shop at this particular pet store.


A healthy Malaysian Trumpet Snail should be able to live for up to 2 years and not more, even if you provide them with the best possible care. However, there is a chance that you might shorten their lifespan by not giving them the care and water quality that they need in order to thrive.

Therefore, you have to be careful with their care, and although they are hardy species, consistency is the key to helping them grow and stay healthy.


Malaysian Trumpet Snails are quite attractive, which is why most aquarists tend to keep them in the tank. They have a very unique and beautiful shell, which is much different from the spiraling circular shape that is characteristic of many snails.

Their shell has an elongated shape, stretching out and resembling an inverted ice cream cone. Each shell has roughly 10 to 15 whorls, which are much higher than the other snails as well. The shell also features thin rings around it, which grow as the snail grows older.

The rings are also a growth indicator for snails. They can actually help you determine how old the snail actually is.

The opening of their shell also consists of an operculum, which acts as a trapdoor and helps snails duck inside their shells to protect themselves against any predators or aggressive creatures.

The coloration of their shells is pretty dull as compared to their interesting appearance. Most of them have grey or brown shells, while some of them are also darker and even black in color. The darker ones are found on snails in Israel, particularly ones that latch on to the dark basalt rocks near the sea of Galilee.

Some Malaysian Trumpet Snails also have red spots around their whorls. They have flat heads with tentacles protruding from the base. Their eyes are also perched on these tentacles. The female species are slightly larger than males, and they have green gonads, whereas males have red gonads.


Malaysian Trumpet Snails are a particularly tiny species of snails, and they grow up to the full size of up to 1 inch only. The young ones are very small and particularly difficult to notice in a tank, which is also why they tend to make their way into aquariums undetected.

Malaysian Trumpet Snail Care

There are several aspects of Malaysian Trumpet Snail care that you need to be aware of, but they are generally very easy to take care of. They are a beginner-friendly species but are also preferred by experienced aquarists, particularly due to their ability to eat algae and keep the tank clean.

They are also able to look after themselves in the tank, and they are adaptable to a wide range of tank and water conditions. However, a sudden change in the water conditions can be detrimental to their health. This is why even though they are hardy, you should maintain proper conditions and avoid any experiments.

Let’s have a look at the detailed care aspects of Malaysian Trumpet Snails that you need to know about.

Tank Size

Malaysian Trumpet Snails manage to live comfortably in a minimum tank size of 5 gallons since they don’t require a lot of space to move around in the aquarium. Since they are very tiny creatures, they can thrive in small tanks as well.

However, it is wiser to get a slightly larger tank and let them have some extra space to move around and scavenge for algae and organic matter in the aquarium. If you are planning to keep a few more snails, make sure to increase the tank size by a few gallons per snail in order to prevent them from getting stressed.

Plus, too many Malaysian Trumpet Snails in the same tank can also increase the bioload, thus causing more serious health issues.

Water Parameters

Taking care of the water parameters is another thing that you need to be particular about if you want the Malaysian Trumpet Snails to thrive and stay healthy. For starters, the water temperature should range between 70°F and 80°F, as it would provide them with a comfortable environment they are familiar with.

Next up are the pH levels, which should be maintained between 7.0 and 7.5 because they are used to living in neutral waters, regardless of where they are. Last but not least, they like living in hard waters, so you should maintain that as well.

You should try to maintain consistency in the tank and water conditions as much as possible. Moreover, you should get a reliable water testing kit in order to check the water levels and prevent any sudden spikes in the conditions.

Plus, you should also change the water partially every one or two weeks so that the levels of ammonia and nitrate can also be neutralized.

What to Put in Their Tank?

When it comes to their tank setup, you have to give them a freshwater aquarium since it helps them thrive best. For starters, you should provide them with a soft and sandy substrate. They move around in search of food along the substrate, and any hard substrate can scratch their skin.

Next up, you need to layer the aquarium with live plants so that they can eat the plant matter that falls off it. They don’t eat any of the live plants, so you don’t have to be worried about that.

Apart from this, you can also add decorations, driftwood, and rocks to the tank, and these would harbor the growth of different types of algae in it. 

Apart from this, you don’t require any special accessories or equipment. They are used to slow-moving waters, which is why you don’t need to add an air or water pump even. You can make do with standard filtration, but make sure to cover the filter outlet.

Moreover, standard aquarium lighting is also sufficient for a tank that features Malaysian Trumpet Snails.

Common Diseases

It is rare for Malaysian Trumpet Snails to be infected with a disease since they are hardy and resilient species. However, they can get infected by parasites, which can be identified with the presence of white spots all over their shells.

They are commonly affected by a particular type of parasite called trematodes. Moreover, they can even spread to humans, which is why you need to be extra careful.

If you notice white spots on your snail’s body, you need to put on a pair of gloves and isolate them from the tank. Otherwise, the disease can also spread to other aquatic creatures in the aquarium and cause them to get sick.

However, you might only get infected from snails if you are eating raw fish that has been infected by them, so you shouldn’t have any trouble in this regard.

When it comes to adding chemicals or medication inside your tank for the fish or any other creatures, make sure that you prevent the addition of copper. It can be particularly harmful to Malaysian Trumpet Snails and can even kill them over time.

What Do Malaysian Trumpet Snails Eat?

Malaysian Trumpet Snails usually thrive on algae and organic matter that they find inside the aquarium, including waste produced by other aquatic creatures.

They are omnivores and like to move around the tank in search of food, and when they find it, they stop and finish up everything they find. Then, they start moving again in search of more food.

Since they like to eat algae and dead plant matter that falls on the substrate, you don’t have to clean up the tank or replace the water regularly.

However, they might not be able to sustain themselves solely on these things, which is why you can give them algae wafers and fish food pellets, especially those that sink to the bottom of the tank.

Plus, you can offer them blanched vegetables to eat, such as broccoli, cucumber, lettuce, spinach, and zucchini. Not only will they fulfill their nutritional requirements, but they will also provide them with calcium, which is crucial for the healthy growth of their shells. If they don’t receive enough calcium, their shells might become fragile.

Behavior & Temperament

Malaysian Trumpet Snails are very peaceful and calm and never pose a threat to any of the aquatic creatures they are kept with. This makes them great community snails, provided that you don’t put them with any predatory or aggressive species.

These snails move very slowly, which means that they will be no match for something that is bent on eating them.

They will try to duck inside their shells and shut their operculum. Mostly, you would find them searching for food inside the tank, which includes latching on to rocks and other smooth surfaces, including the glass walls.

During the day, you might not see much of them, because they like to hide and put their heads inside the substrate. When it starts getting darker, they will draw their heads from the sand and start scavenging. 

Malaysian Trumpet Snails Tank Mates

Since they are peaceful community species, Malaysian Trumpet Snails get along well with a wide range of tank mates. Other than fish, that might consider them a snack. 

Some of the fish that you should avoid include are Puffer Fish, Oscar Fish, and even Loaches. Plus, you should steer clear of Assassin Snails because they wouldn’t spare your snails at all.

Some of the suitable tank mates for the Malaysian Trumpet Snails include:

While you are considering tank mates for Malaysian Trumpet Snails, make sure to check out the water parameters and habitat for the other creatures before you do so.

Another question that may come to your mind is whether you can keep multiple Malaysian Trumpet Snails together, and you absolutely can. If you have a tank large enough to house a sufficient number of snails, they would each mind their own business and not engage with each other.

If they are the only species in the tank, you can keep 1-2 snails per gallon. However, if you have a community tank, you should avoid keeping too many of them together since they would contribute to a higher bioload.


Malaysian Trumpet Snails are known as live-bearing species, which means that they can reproduce in two ways: parthenogenesis or sexual reproduction. 

Parthenogenesis is also called virgin birth, and it involves the female snails spawning young female clones, which are identical to their mothers. There is no male intervention in this process, and this also means that these snails can reproduce rapidly.

The second method requires the males to fertilize the female’s eggs with their sperm. This often takes place where there are more males than females. A single female snail can reproduce up to 200 children, and their embryos develop in brood pouches before being released into the tank.

Some of the embryos ingest each other in the pouch, so not all of them are born. The newborns are very tiny, starting out at only 0.08 inches, while their growth rate is around 0.1 inches per month.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot to learn about the Malaysian Trumpet Snail, and it is one of the most exciting freshwater snail species that you will find out there.

If you are looking for a little variety in your tank, as well as an efficient tank cleaner, these creatures are who you should be considering.

Plus, if you adhere to the care guidelines that we have highlighted, you won’t have any problem at all in keeping them.