Malaysian Trumpet Snail: Ultimate Guide and Care Tips

Scientifically known as Melanoides tuberculatus
Dr. Mollie Newton
Published by Dr. Mollie Newton PHD| Senior Editor
Last updated: May 15, 2024
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Are you tired of spending endless hours trying to clean algae from your aquarium walls? Allow us to present the Malaysian Trumpet Snail, the ultimate answer to maintaining the cleanliness of your tank. In this compelling guide, you’re going to learn about these tiny marvels which can revolutionize your aquarium care routine. Say goodbye to the continuous battle with algae and embrace a hassle-free aquatic experience. Discover the secrets behind their exceptional cleaning skills and gather valuable information on their upkeep. Keep reading and let the Malaysian Trumpet Snail become your underwater companion.

Article Summary

  • The Malaysian trumpet snail is a freshwater snail native to Southeast Asia that has gained popularity among aquarists.
  • One notable feature of the Malaysian trumpet snail is its burrowing behavior, which helps aerate the substrate and prevent compaction.
  • Suitable tank conditions include clean water, a temperature range of 72°F to 82°F (22°C – 28°C), and neutral to slightly alkaline pH levels.

Malaysian Trumpet Snail Overview

The Malaysian trumpet snail, also known as the Malaysian trumpet or trumpet snail, is a freshwater snail native to Southeast Asia. It has gained popularity among aquarists due to its unique characteristics and benefits.

Regarding distribution, it can now be found in freshwater aquariums worldwide. Their adaptability allows them to thrive in different environments, although some aquarists often consider their presence uninvited.

This brings us to the pet or pest debate surrounding these snails. While some people appreciate their beneficial qualities and keep their pets, others view them as pests that can quickly multiply and overrun an aquarium if not correctly managed.

Malaysian Trumpet Snail Highlights

Malaysian Trumpet Snail Facts

The Malaysian trumpet snail (Melanoides tuberculata) is a freshwater species that thrives in warm and cool water temperatures. These peaceful creatures are crucial in maintaining tank cleanliness and are highly effective in controlling algae growth within aquariums.

This snail is characterized by its conical shell. This unique shell exhibits various color variations, while the snail’s flesh can also differ in color. These snails possess an operculum, which serves as a protective cover for their soft bodies.

A Closer Look on Malaysian Trumpet Snail’s Conical Shell

Malaysian Trumpet snails are not hermaphrodites but rather gonochoric. Gonochoric means they are either male or female. They do not possess the ability to change their sex.

These snails come in various sizes, but they start life as tiny snails. They are small mollusks, with adults ranging from 2 to 4 cm (0.8 – 1.5 inches) in size. They exhibit their highest growth rate during the first year, reaching up to 21.31 mm (0.83 inches), but experience slower growth in subsequent years, averaging 8.87 mm (0.35 inches) between the first and second year and less than 1 mm (0.04 inches) per year after that. Males and females may display slight differences in size, but overall they fall within the same size range.

Malaysian Trumpet Snails are fascinating creatures add visual interest to your aquarium…

These fascinating creatures add visual interest to your aquarium and are valuable allies in keeping your tank clean and free from excessive algae growth. By understanding their characteristics and providing optimal care, you can enjoy the benefits of having these snails as part of your aquatic community.

Malaysian Burrowing Snails

One notable feature of the Malaysian trumpet snail is its burrowing behavior. These snails are known for their ability to dig into the substrate of aquariums, which serves several important purposes. By burrowing, they help aerate the substrate and prevent it from becoming compacted. This promotes a healthy environment for plants and other aquatic organisms.

Tank Conditions

Ensuring the right tank conditions is essential to provide the best environment for Malaysian trumpet snails. Here are some key factors to consider:

Tank size: They can thrive in various tank sizes, but a larger tank is generally better. Providing ample space allows them to move and reproduce comfortably.

Water parameters: Maintaining suitable water conditions is crucial for the well-being of these freshwater snails too. They prefer temperatures between 72°F and 82°F (22°C – 28°C) and require neutral to slightly alkaline water pH levels (around 7.0 – 8.0). Monitoring and adjusting these parameters regularly will help create a favorable habitat.

Substrate: Choosing the right substrate is essential for these snails. They need proper substrate for burrowing, such as sand or fine gravel. Aeration of the substrate can positively affect their environment, promoting oxygen flow and preventing anaerobic pockets.

Adding live aquarium plants enhances the tank’s aesthetics and provides additional surfaces…

Hiding spots: Providing hiding spots like rocks or driftwood benefits these snails by giving them places to retreat and feel secure. Adding live aquarium plants enhances the tank’s aesthetics and provides additional surfaces for grazing and exploration.

Avoiding chemicals: It’s crucial to avoid using chemical additives in the tank that may harm these snails or alter their water quality negatively. Carefully selecting compatible products ensures a safe environment for them.

Sponge filters: Using sponge filters in the tank helps protect them from getting sucked into traditional filtration systems, which could harm their delicate shells. Sponge filters provide effective filtration while ensuring their safety.

Tank Mates

Malaysian Trumpet Snails are peaceful creatures that thrive when housed alongside non-aggressive tank mates. These snails have the potential to cohabitate with Freshwater Clams given suitable conditions. Calm community tank fish, such as Cory Catfish and Otocinclus Catfish, are also excellent companions.

Malaysian Trumpet Snails coexist harmoniously with various species…

They can also have symbiotic relationships with shrimp and other snails. They coexist harmoniously with various species, including the Mystery Snails, the Nerite Snails, the Red Ramshorn Snails, the Gold Inca Snails, the Ivory Snails, and others of their kind.

Additionally, they can successfully integrate with filter-feeding shrimp like Bamboo Shrimp and Vampire Shrimp, as well as algae-eating shrimp such as Amano Shrimp, Ghost Shrimp, and Red Cherry Shrimp. This snail requires alkaline, hard water, which makes it unsuitable for tanks designed for fish that thrive in soft water with higher acidity levels.

Malaysian Trumpet Snails in a Tank

Additionally, it’s crucial to avoid housing this gastropod with fish and other animals that eat snails, as they will undoubtedly devour the Malaysian trumpets. It is also recommended to prevent aggressive tank mates like loaches, goldfish, gouramis, and aggressive snails such as the aptly named assassin snail. Avoiding aggressive or predatory fish species that could harm or prey on the snails is best.

Creating the right tank conditions, including suitable water parameters, substrate, hiding spots, and compatible tank mates, ensures a thriving environment for these snails in your aquarium.

Malaysian Trumpet Snail Care

Malaysian trumpet snails are fascinating creatures that require proper care to thrive. Here are some essential tips to ensure their well-being:

Lifespan And Factors Affecting It

They have an average lifespan of around 1-2 years. Several factors, such as water quality, temperature, and overall tank conditions, can affect their life expectancy. To promote a longer lifespan, paying attention to the water quality in the tank is essential.

Avoid overfeeding your snails, as excessive waste buildup can lead to water quality issues. Regular water changes are crucial for maintaining optimal water conditions. By keeping the water clean and free from waste buildup, you can provide a healthier environment for your snails and potentially extend their lifespan.

Diet And Feeding

They have a natural diet of algae and decaying plant matter. However, providing them with additional food sources is essential in captivity to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients. Algae wafers and pellets can be a great supplement to their diet, as they are specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of snails. These can be easily found at pet stores or online.

In addition to algae wafers and pellets, offering blanched vegetables is also beneficial. Vegetables such as zucchini, spinach, and lettuce can be blanched by briefly boiling them and then cooling them before feeding them to the snails. This softens the vegetables and makes them easier for the snails to consume. Vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals that are important for snails’ overall health and well-being.

Another option to consider is providing mineral blocks. These blocks are designed to release essential minerals into the water, which the snails can consume. Minerals such as calcium are necessary for snails to help in shell development and overall growth. By offering mineral blocks, you can ensure that your snails get all the nutrients they need to thrive.

It is important to note that while they have a hearty appetite, overfeeding can still be a problem. It is best to offer small amounts of food at a time and remove any uneaten food after a few hours. This helps to prevent the water from becoming polluted and maintains good water quality for the snails.

Common Potential Diseases

Parasites can threaten Malaysian trumpet snails’ health, so it is essential to be aware of potential diseases that can affect them.


To prevent the spread of diseases, it is recommended to quarantine new snails before introducing them into an existing tank.

Additionally, caution should be taken when using copper-based medications, as they can harm snails. Therefore, carefully selecting suitable treatments is crucial to ensure the well-being of the snails.

Breeding And Reproduction

They possess separate male and female individuals within the species, with female snails able to lay up to 50 eggs at a time, leading to rapid population growth if not appropriately controlled. Additionally, their hitchhiking ability may result in unintentional introduction into other tanks, potentially causing overpopulation issues.


Malaysian trumpet snails have unique reproductive habits involving both sexual and asexual reproduction methods.

They can reproduce through both parthenogenesis and sexual reproduction. Parthenogenesis allows female snails to give birth to genetically identical female clones without the need for fertilization by male snails. This efficient method enables a single snail to multiply an entire colony. While sexual reproduction, requiring the involvement of male sperm, is possible in this species, it is relatively uncommon.

When caring for young snails, providing them with a suitable environment with plenty of hiding places and vegetation for baby snails to feed on is essential. Monitoring the water conditions and ensuring proper nutrition to support their growth and development is also crucial.

By following these care tips, you can provide the best environment for your trumpet snails while ensuring their health and happiness. Remember that each snail has unique behavior and preferences, so closely observe their needs and adjust accordingly.

Suitability in an Aquarium

Keeping Malaysian Trumpet Snails in an aquarium requires careful consideration and control methods to maintain a healthy environment. Here are some key points to keep in mind:


They are suitable for freshwater aquariums and can coexist with various fish species, live plants, and shrimp. They serve as natural cleaners by aerating the substrate and aiding in waste breakdown. Additionally, they reproduce rapidly, so managing their population is essential to prevent overpopulation.

Malaysian trumpet snails serve as natural cleaners by aerating the substrate…

Methods For Controlling Population

To control the Malaysian Trumpet Snail population in your tank, you have several options:

Manual removal: Physically remove snails from the tank using tweezers or a small net.

Using predators: Introduce natural predators like Assassin snails or loaches that feed on Malaysian Trumpet Snails.

Traps and baits: Set traps or use bait to attract and capture the snails.

Commercial snail control products: Explore pet stores for specialized products to eliminate snails from aquariums.

    Trumpet Snails in Shrimp Tank

    When considering adding Malaysian trumpet snails to a shrimp tank, there are pros and cons to keep in mind:


    Substrate aeration and waste breakdown: they help maintain a healthy substrate by preventing anaerobic conditions and aiding in waste decomposition.

    Aiding in the cycling process: They can assist in establishing beneficial bacteria colonies during tank cycling.

    Algae control and plant safety: These snails consume algae, helping to keep it under control while being gentle on live plants.

    Shrimp benefit from Malaysian trumpet snail waste: The waste produced by these snails serves as a food source for shrimp, contributing to their overall well-being.


    Rapid reproduction and potential overpopulation: They can quickly multiply and overcrowd the tank without proper population control.

    Potential danger to the filter: In large numbers, snails may clog filters or impede their functionality.

    Limiting food availability: Overabundance of Malaysian trumpet snails can compete with shrimp for food resources.

    By considering these factors and implementing appropriate population management techniques, hobbyists can successfully incorporate Malaysian Trumpet Snails into their aquariums while maintaining a balanced ecosystem.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What do Malaysian trumpet snails need?

    Malaysian trumpet snails need a well-maintained aquarium with clean water, suitable temperature (around 75-82°F or 24-28°C), and neutral to slightly alkaline pH levels (around 7.0-8.0). They require a sandy or fine-grained substrate for burrowing and laying eggs and prefer aquariums with plenty of hiding spots, such as caves or plants.

    How do you control the population of Malaysian trumpet snails?

    You can employ several strategies to control the population of Malaysian trumpet snails. One approach is manually removing snails by hand whenever their numbers become excessive. Another method is introducing natural predators, such as loaches or pufferfish, that feed on snails. Additionally, maintaining a well-balanced aquarium ecosystem with controlled feeding, regular tank maintenance, and avoiding overfeeding can help prevent population explosions.

    Do Malaysian trumpet snails breed easily?

    Yes, Malaysian trumpet snails are prolific breeders and can reproduce rapidly under favorable conditions. They are livebearers, meaning they give birth to live young instead of laying eggs. A single snail can produce multiple offspring quickly, leading to a quick increase in population if not controlled.

    What substrate do Malaysian trumpet snails like?

    Malaysian trumpet snails prefer sandy or fine-grained substrates in their aquariums. The snails use their long, tubular shells to burrow into the substrate, providing them with shelter and a sense of security. Sand or fine gravel substrates allow them to burrow quickly and engage in their natural behavior.

    Will Malaysian trumpet snails eat plants?

    Malaysian trumpet snails are generally considered beneficial for planted aquariums as they help to aerate the substrate and consume decaying matter. While they may nibble on dying or decaying plant material, they are not known to eat healthy, well-established plants. However, in rare cases, if food sources are limited, snails may consume small, delicate plants or plant leaves that are already damaged.

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