Rabbit 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.

Rabbit Snails are a unique freshwater species of aquatic creatures that are the center of attention among aquarium owners. They have long shells and a fascinating face that looks quite attractive and offers a wonderful feel to the tank.

Moreover, these snails are easy to look after and also help in keeping your aquarium clean since they like to eat algae and organic matter in the tank.

If you are looking to buy Rabbit Snails for your tank, all you need to do is follow our comprehensive and helpful care guide, which familiarizes you with everything you should know about them, including their habitat, water parameters, diet, breeding, tank mates, and much more.

Let’s dive deeper into the care guide and see how you can keep them in your tank properly.

Species Summary

Rabbit Snails are quite a new addition to the aquarium community, and they have the scientific name Tylomelania. Moreover, they belong to the Pachychilidae family and were introduced in 2007. They are also quite rare up to this point.

Those who have been lucky enough to keep them in their aquariums have given glowing reviews for them. They are quite unique and have an inquisitive personality, which causes them to scour the entire tank without being shy.

Life Span1-3 years
Color FormYellow and brown
Care levelEasy
CompatibilityPeaceful community
Size3 inches
Tank SetupFreshwater with plants and rocks
Minimum Tank Size30 gallon

Rabbit Snails are also known as Elephant Snails and Bunny Snails. They are native to Sulawesi in Indonesia. Moreover, Rabbit Snail is actually a group of freshwater snails. Although there are several species in the group, their care requirements are similar.

Moreover, it is quite important to care for Rabbit Snail as efficiently as possible so that they can reach their full potential and stay healthy.


When they are kept in the aquarium, Rabbit Snails can live anywhere between 1 and 3 years. Their lifespan greatly depends on the quality of care that you provide them with. If you offer them optimal conditions, you would be able to prolong their life expectancy past the 3-year mark.

One thing you have to consider is that the ammonia and nitrate levels in the water can affect their health significantly. If you don’t take care of the water parameters, the levels will continue to rise and endanger these snails, thus shortening their lifespan.

If you ever notice your Rabbit Snails motionless at the bottom of the tank, don’t be concerned right away. They are known to take rest from time to time, so wait for a while before you do anything.


There are several types of Rabbit Snails out there, and they are distinguished by their shell and body colors. For instance, you can find Black Rabbit Snails, Red Rabbit Snails, and several others.

Rabbit Snails have similar appearances and physical characteristics, and the difference is in their colors. They are also quite distinct from other types of freshwater snails. They are also given their name because their face resembles that of a rabbit.

On the top of their heads, you can find two drooping antennae, which look just like rabbit ears. Plus, they have an elongated face that points downward, and it helps them feed on detritus in the substrate.

Although many snails have smooth and shiny skin, Rabbit Snails are much different. They have wrinkled faces and bodies, as well as the downward-facing mouth that gives them the alternate name, Elephant Snail.

They also have a cool-looking shell, and it also comes in a wide range of colors. The shape of the shell is long and conical and has a spiraled pattern on it. This makes it look like a unicorn horn with a longer and oval-shaped aperture.

There are also separate groves around the shell, which become shallower towards the tip as they mature. This is usually caused by aging or corrosion.

Their operculum is also located on the oval-shaped opening, and the snails use this to hide inside their shells and cover themselves up when they feel stressed or threatened.


The average size of a Rabbit Snail spans between 3-5 inches when they are fully grown. When you find them in pet stores, they are usually around 2 inches and grow when you provide them with a quality and healthy environment.

They are fast growers, so they will reach their maximum size in no time at all when you introduce them to the tank.

However, subpar conditions can significantly hinder their growth, which is why you need to be careful and follow the care instructions that we provide you.

Rabbit Snail Care

Rabbit Snails aren’t challenging or complex to take care of, even if you are a beginner. They are peaceful and low-maintenance aquatic creatures that adapt well to different environments.

However, you should stick to some important care instructions if you want them to stay healthy. If they are subjected to ever-changing and fluctuating water conditions, it can cause a lot of stress and result in diseases and shell damage.

Therefore, let’s have a look at the different aspects of Rabbit Snail care that you should know about.

Tank Size

Rabbit Snails need a little more room in order to stay comfortable and thrive, which is why the minimum tank size for them is 30 gallons. It gives them enough space to move around properly and also stay healthy. Moreover, it allows them to search the entire tank in search for algae and organic matter.

As compared to other snails, they are rather bigger, which is why you can’t keep them in a small tank. You might hear about aquarists keeping them in a 20-gallon tank. While this is alright, it is wise to give the snails some more room to thrive.

By having a larger tank, you would be able to keep it cleaner and manage it better as well. Plus, it would also prevent you from overpopulating the tank. Since they are sensitive to high levels of ammonia and nitrate, having too many of them in a smaller area can be harmful to their health.

Water Parameters

As is the case with other freshwater snails, you have to be particular about the water parameters for the Rabbit Snails. They are used to living in alkaline waters, or their shells can corrode or erode with time. This is a common problem with these species, and if their shell becomes weaker, it can lead to several health problems.

Moreover, they do well with warm water, as they find it in their natural habitat. You can keep a temperature range of 68°F to 86°F, ideally between 74°F and 76°F. The pH levels should be between 7.3 and 8.5, and the water hardness should be kept between 2 to 15 dKH. 

When you introduce your snail to the tank for the very first time, make sure to run frequent water tests to ensure that they are comfortable with their new environment. Once they are used to their new habitat, you can reduce the testing frequency but make sure to test once every few weeks.

You might also need to perform partial water changes every one or two weeks so that the ammonia and nitrate levels are kept at bay.

What to Put in Their Tank?

Rabbit Snails aren’t particular or picky about their habitat, and they adapt well to various kinds of environments. Ideally, you should replicate their natural habitat in order for them to get used to it much faster.

Since they are native to Indonesia, these snails are used to lush vegetation, which provides enough dead plant matter for them to feed on. Therefore, you should do the same for them in captivity.

For starters, place fine sand substrate at the bottom of the tank since Rabbit Snails are burrowers. Oftentimes, they bury their bodies in the substrate, and you would only notice their heads popping out.

With sand as the substrate, you would make it easier and safer for these snails to burrow and scavenge for algae and other food.

Plus, you can add a wide range of live plants, and you can also place floating plants. The snails munch on the dead plant matter but don’t eat or bite off any of the plants that you place in the aquarium.

However, they are known to eat Java Fern, but only when they are hungry and don’t get enough to eat in their tanks.

Last but not least, get a durable aquarium lid, as well as a proper filtration system. Rabbit Snails climb the glass walls to clean up algae, and this may cause them to slip out of the tank.

Moreover, the filtration will help reduce ammonia and nitrate levels, but you should also cover the inlet tube with a sponge so that they don’t get sucked in accidentally.

Common Diseases

Rabbit Snails can’t get affected by common freshwater diseases, which is a big relief. However, they can still carry those diseases and affect other species, and they aren’t perfectly immune.

Leeches are the most common type of disease that affects this particular species. Leeches penetrate the shell and start feeding on the snail’s body. If you don’t act fast, they will continue to spread all over the tank, replicate, and also infect other creatures.

This type of infection is common with snails that are captured in the wild. If you notice any leeches latching onto your Rabbit Snails, put them in salty water for 15-20 minutes. If you still notice any leeches, you can dab a cotton pad dipped in alcohol solution on their bodies.

Another thing you need to think about is fish medications, as most of them contain copper. Like many snails, copper is toxic for Rabbit Snails. If you need to administer medication to other species in the tank, make sure to quarantine your snails or isolate them.

What Do Rabbit Snails Eat?

Rabbit Snails are used to spending their entire day searching for food in the aquarium. They eat all types of algae that grow on the glass, as well as the smooth surfaces of rocks and decorations that you have placed in the tank.

Moreover, they eat detritus present in the substrate. We consider them to be among the best algae eaters in the aquarium community.

However, algae and organic matter might not be enough to sustain their diet, which is why you should feed them algae wafers, sinking pellets, and other kinds of bottom-feeder foods.

Moreover, you can supplement their nutrition by providing them with blanched vegetables, including broccoli, spinach, and zucchini.

The key to building a well-balanced diet is to choose foods and supplements that are rich in calcium. Calcium is beneficial for the proper and healthy growth of their shell. Without it, their shells will become fragile and frail.

Behavior & Temperament

Rabbit Snails are generally very calm and get along well with all kinds of peaceful fish, shrimp, and other invertebrates. They keep to themselves and don’t engage or bother other creatures in the aquarium.

However, they aren’t exactly shy, as we have mentioned in the introduction. Most of the species of snails like to hide during the daytime, but these snails stay active most of the time.

You would find them moving around the aquarium, exploring the tank, and burrowing the substrate in order to search for food.

Rabbit Snails Tank Mates

Rabbit Snails would make great tank mates for peaceful fish and other species. As long as they don’t have any aggressive or predatory instincts, you won’t have any trouble keeping them healthy.

At all costs, make sure to avoid any creatures that can hurt or kill Rabbit Snails. This includes Cichlids, Crayfish, several types of Goldfish, and several others. Let’s have a look at some of the best aquatic creatures that you can place with these snails.

There are several other species that can be placed with Rabbit Snails in the tank, and you can decide from among them based on the various factors that come into play.


Rabbit Snails are known to quickly reproduce and overpopulate aquariums, but their breeding process and method are slightly different from other snails. They are quite slow when it comes to spawning.

Mostly, they have a few babies at one time. This would make it easier for them to control the snail population, as compared to other snails out there.

They prefer warmer waters in order to breed, and when the time comes, the male snail will offer a ball of sperm to the female, which she holds on to until she is ready to fertilize her eggs. Then, the female will release a gelatinous egg that resembles a small pearl.

Sometime after the egg is laid, it will hatch, and a baby snail will emerge, and it looks just like the parents. It has a smaller, fully developed shell and is ready to eat right after birth. They will start moving around the tank in order to search for algae and plant matter quickly.

Final Thoughts

Rabbit Snails are quite interesting and unique, and they are a perfect addition to community tanks. Any aquarium owner who has kept them would tell you that you need to absolutely get them for your tank, and you would simply love.

Once you have an idea of the care aspects and guidelines about Rabbit Snails, and you can keep them in your mind, you are ready to buy them and keep them in your aquarium.

With the right care and quality water conditions, you would be able to help them live out their lifespan.