Rabbit Snail: Tank Setup, Breeding, Care Tips, and More

Scientifically known as Tylomelania
Dr. Mollie Newton
Published by Dr. Mollie Newton PHD| Senior Editor
Last updated: June 14, 2024
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Seeking a visually appealing and functional enhancement for your aquatic haven? The Rabbit Snail is your ideal choice. This fascinating species, with its distinctive look, is crucial in preserving water quality. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the fundamentals of Rabbit Snail care, covering everything from ideal tank conditions to feeding practices. Immerse yourself and discover the keys to effective Rabbit Snail care—dive in and read on!

Article Summary

  • Rabbit snails are fascinating creatures native to Southeast Asia with a unique appearance and long, rabbit-like antennae.
  • Rabbit snails are herbivores and primarily feed on algae and biofilm, which helps maintain a balanced ecosystem in the tank.
  • Using coarse sponge pre-filters can protect Rabbit Snails from filter intakes.

Species Overview: A Freshwater Snails

Rabbit snails, known as Tylomelania or Elephant Snails, are fascinating creatures native to Southeast Asia. In captivity, rabbit snails typically have an average lifespan of 1 to 3 years. However, with optimal care and conditions tailored to their needs, some individuals have been known to live longer. Suitable water parameters and a balanced diet contribute significantly to their well-being.

Various types of Rabbit Snails include Yellow Poso, Chocolate Poso, Golden Spotted, Yellow Spotted, White Spotted, Black rabbit snails, Orange rabbit snails, and Golden Rabbit Snails. These different types vary in their level of commonality.

Appearance: Rabbit Snails

These snails boast a unique appearance with long, rabbit-like antennae and come in various colors and shell shapes. From vibrant oranges to earthy browns, their striking looks make them a beautiful addition to any aquarium community.

One popular type of rabbit snail is the Orange Poso…

One popular type of rabbit snail is the Orange Poso, named after its vibrant orange coloration. These eye-catching snails can add color to your aquarium and be an attractive focal point. Their striking appearance and peaceful nature make them a sought-after addition to many aquatic setups.

Growing up to 2 inches in size, rabbit snails display an impressive variety of types. Their shells can be smooth or textured, round or elongated, and even spiral-shaped. This diversity adds visual interest to your tank while showcasing the wonders of nature.

Lack of Comprehensive Care Guides

Rabbit snails are a popular choice among aquarists, but surprisingly, comprehensive care guides are not dedicated to these unique creatures. This can be pretty perplexing for inexperienced hobbyists who are looking for detailed information. While numerous care guides are available for other types of aquarium snails, such as mystery and nerite snails, rabbit snails seem to need to be noticed in this regard.

The absence of comprehensive care guides can leave aquarists uncertain about the best practices for keeping these fascinating creatures healthy and thriving in their aquariums. With proper guidance, it can be easier to know their specific requirements.

Understanding the natural habitat of rabbit snails is crucial for providing optimal care. These snails are native to Southeast Asia and inhabit slow-moving rivers and streams with sandy or muddy substrates. They bury themselves in the substrate during the day and come out to forage for food at night. Replicating these conditions in the aquarium setting is essential for the overall well-being of rabbit snails.

While comprehensive care guides may not be dedicated solely to rabbit snails, aquarists can gather information from various sources to ensure they provide the best care possible. Online forums, aquarium communities, and experienced aquarists can be valuable resources for obtaining advice and tips on rabbit snail care. Additionally, observing the behavior and preferences of the snails in the aquarium can provide valuable insights into their specific needs.

Elephant Snails Food and Diet

Rabbit snails have specific dietary requirements crucial to their overall well-being. Understanding their food and diet is essential for keeping these fascinating creatures healthy in your aquarium.

Herbivorous Diet

As herbivores, rabbit snails primarily feed on algae and biofilm. These organisms provide essential nutrients and are a significant part of their natural diet in the wild. By consuming algae, rabbit snails maintain a balanced ecosystem within the tank by preventing the excessive growth of these plants.

In addition to algae, the rabbit snails eat and consume decaying plant matter and detritus in the aquarium. This behavior is a natural cleaning mechanism, as they help break down organic materials that accumulate over time.

Grazing on Surfaces

One of the reasons why rabbit snails are highly valued in aquariums is their ability to graze on various surfaces. They use their specialized feeding organ radula to scrape off algae from rocks, glass walls, and decorations. This grazing behavior ensures the tank remains clean and helps prevent unsightly green patches from forming.

Calcium Supplements

Calcium is an essential nutrient for rabbit snails as it aids in shell development and overall health. Providing them with calcium-rich foods or supplements is recommended to ensure proper calcium intake. Options include blanched vegetables like spinach or lettuce leaves, which can be placed directly into the tank for them to nibble on.

Another alternative is incorporating fish flakes fortified with calcium into their diet. These flakes offer a convenient way to supplement their calcium intake while providing additional nutritional value.

Leftover Food

While providing enough food for your rabbit snails’ sustenance is essential, it’s equally crucial not to overfeed them. Excess food can lead to water quality issues and adversely affect the overall health of your aquarium.

To prevent leftover food from accumulating, remove any uneaten portions after feeding. This practice helps maintain a clean environment and reduces the risk of bacterial growth or other complications.

Feeding Schedule

Establishing a consistent feeding schedule benefits both you and your rabbit snails. It allows you to monitor their food intake while ensuring they receive proper nutrition regularly.

Consider feeding your rabbit snails once every two days. This frequency allows them to graze on algae and biofilm during non-feeding days, mimicking their natural behavior in the wild.

Rabbit Snail Tank Setup

A Close Look on a Rabbit Snail in a Tank

There are several factors to consider. From tank size to water parameters, each element plays a crucial role in ensuring the well-being of these fascinating creatures.

Tank Size And Water

A minimum tank size of 20 gallons tank or larger is recommended to prevent overcrowding and maintain good water conditions. This will give them ample space to explore and thrive in their environment. Larger tanks also offer better stability.

Water Parameters

Rabbit snails, freshwater snails, prefer alkaline water with a pH level between 7.3 and 8.5. Maintaining suitable temperature levels is equally important, with temperatures ranging from 68°F to 86°F (around 74 to 76 degrees ideal). Ensure that the water hardness falls between 2 and 15 dKH.

Regular monitoring and proper filtration systems can help maintain optimal water conditions. It is also worth noting that rabbit snails prefer well-established tanks with stable water parameters.


Controlling ammonia and nitrate levels in the tank is crucial for the health of your rabbit snails.

Providing oxygen-rich water is essential for the overall health of your rabbit snails. Adequate surface agitation or using air stones can help increase oxygen exchange within the tank.

Substrate Preference

Creating an ideal substrate environment is vital for accommodating your rabbit snail’s burrowing behavior. Soft substrates such as sand or fine gravel work best, allowing easy movement and digging opportunities for these creatures. A depth of around two inches should be sufficient.

Rabbit Snail at The Bottom of The Tank

In addition to a suitable substrate, providing plenty of hiding spots like caves or driftwood will offer your rabbit snails places to retreat when they need privacy or security.

Equipment Recommendations

When setting up the habitat for your rabbit snail, there are specific equipment recommendations to keep in mind. Firstly, ensure the tank is correctly set up with a secure lid to prevent potential escapes.

To protect your aquatic snails from filter intakes, it is advisable to use coarse sponge pre-filters. This will prevent them from getting trapped or injured by the filter system.

Bright lighting can be stressful for rabbit snails…

Bright lighting can be stressful for rabbit snails, so avoiding overly bright lights in their tank is best. Be cautious with copper-based products, as they can harm these delicate creatures.

Interaction With Plants

One advantage of keeping rabbit snails in your aquarium is their lack of interest in eating aquarium plants. Compared to some other species, these snails won’t devour your carefully cultivated greenery. You can enjoy the beauty of live plants without worrying about them being consumed by your rabbit snails.

Elephant Snail Behavior and Tank Mates

Rabbit snails are generally peaceful creatures that can coexist harmoniously with other non-aggressive tank mates. These snails spend most of their time grazing on various surfaces or burrowing in the substrate, adding a touch of natural movement to your aquarium.

While they are not the most active creatures, rabbit snails may become more lively during feeding times or when exploring new tank areas.

During courtship, male and female engage in intricate dances…

One fascinating aspect of rabbit snail behavior is their unique mating rituals. During courtship, male and female engage in intricate dances that involve circling each other and extending their bodies toward one another. It’s a mesmerizing sight to behold!

Once the courtship is complete, female rabbit snails will lay eggs in gelatinous capsules attached to different surfaces within the tank. These capsules protect the developing offspring until they hatch.

Tank Mates

Rabbit snails can happily cohabitate with various fish and invertebrates if those companions are also non-aggressive. Here are some examples of compatible tank mates.

Fish: Rabbit snails are peaceful and social creatures that can coexist with various tank mates. They are Gouramis (Dwarf and Honey), Guppies, Otocinclus catfish, and Tetras (Neon and cardinal tetras). These compatible tank mates can create a harmonious aquarium environment for rabbit snails.

Shimps: Amano and ghost shrimp make excellent tank mates for rabbit snails. These shrimp species are known for their peaceful and non-aggressive nature, making them unlikely to harm or bother the rabbit snails. Both Amano and ghost shrimp are compatible with the water parameters preferred by rabbit snails, such as neutral pH and moderate water hardness. They also share similar dietary preferences, feeding on detritus and algae in the aquarium. This makes them a great addition to the tank as they help keep it clean and free from excess waste.

Other Snails: The Ramshorn Snails are excellent tank mates for rabbit snails. They have a peaceful temperament and are known to coexist well with other snail species. Ramshorn snails are not aggressive and do not threaten rabbit snails. They are also compatible regarding their behavior, as both species are calm and non-confrontational. This makes them ideal companions in a tank, as they are unlikely to engage in territorial disputes or harm each other. Ramshorn snails are efficient algae eaters, which can help maintain a clean and balanced aquarium environment for rabbit snails.


When choosing tank mates, consider the species that share similar water parameter requirements and won’t pose a threat to your rabbit snails’ well-being.

However, there are certain species you should avoid pairing with rabbit snails due to potential harm or aggression towards them. Some examples include aggressive goldfish varieties, certain cichlids known for territorial behavior, and crayfish that might view the snails as prey.

By carefully selecting compatible tank mates and providing appropriate parameters such as temperature, pH levels, and water hardness, you can create a harmonious environment for your rabbit snails. Remember to monitor the tank regularly and make any necessary adjustments to ensure the well-being of all inhabitants.

Breeding Rabbit Snails

Breeding rabbit snails can be a fascinating endeavor for aquarium enthusiasts. These unique creatures, known as chocolate rabbit snails or Poso snails, are renowned for their striking appearance and gentle nature. However, successfully breeding them requires careful attention to their specific needs and reproductive behaviors.

Breeding them can be moderately challenging compared to other snail species. While they can reproduce readily in suitable conditions, providing the right environment and care for optimal breeding success is essential.

Rabbit snails reproduce through internal fertilization. Males possess a modified reproductive organ called an “aperture.” This aperture is also used to transfer sperm to females during mating. Once fertilized, females lay eggs inside gelatinous capsules attached to hard surfaces within the aquarium.

Incubation Period and Hatching

After laying the eggs, female rabbit snail exhibit great care by guarding them until they hatch. The incubation period typically lasts several weeks before young snails emerge from their protective capsules. Maintaining stable water conditions during this time is crucial to ensure healthy development.

Offspring Resembling Miniature Versions of Adults

Young Rabbit Snails – a Mini Version of The Adults

When rabbit snail eggs finally hatch, they resemble miniature versions of adult rabbit snails. Their size may vary slightly depending on the quality of care provided during incubation, but generally, these tiny offspring possess all the characteristics that make rabbit snails so captivating.

Breeding Conditions

To encourage successful breeding, creating optimal conditions within the aquarium is vital. Here are some key factors to consider:

Water Parameters: Maintain stable water parameters with a temperature between 75°F and 82°F (24°C – 28°C) and a pH level around neutral.

Quality Diet: Provide a varied diet of algae, decaying plant matter, and commercial snail food to ensure proper nutrition for adult and young snails.

Suitable Hiding Places: Offer plenty of hiding places such as caves, driftwood, or rocks where rabbit snails can retreat and feel secure during breeding.

Caring For The Young

Once the baby snails hatch, providing them with appropriate care to support their growth and development is crucial. Consider the following:

Separate Space: If possible, create a separate rearing tank for the young snails to protect them from potential predators and allow better monitoring.

Adequate Food Supply: Ensure a steady supply of suitable food sources such as algae wafers or blanched vegetables like zucchini or spinach. Crushed flakes or pellets can also be provided in small amounts.

Water Quality: Maintain pristine water quality by performing regular partial water changes while avoiding sudden fluctuations in water temperature or pH levels.

Breeding rabbit snails can be an enriching experience for aquarists willing to put in the effort. By understanding their reproductive behaviors and providing optimal conditions, enthusiasts can witness the fascinating life cycle of these captivating creatures firsthand. So why not embark on this exciting journey into the world of rabbit snail breeding?

Rabbit Snail Common Health Issues

Like other aquatic creatures, rabbit snails are not immune to health problems. Understanding the common health issues they may face is crucial to provide proper care and maintain their well-being.

Poor Water Quality

One of the primary concerns for rabbit snails is their sensitivity to poor water quality. These delicate creatures can easily succumb to stress-related diseases if the aquarium conditions are not optimal. It is essential to regularly monitor and maintain appropriate water parameters such as temperature, pH level, and ammonia levels. A stable and clean environment will help prevent potential health complications.

Vulnerable to Parasites

Another health issue that rabbit snails may encounter is parasitic infections. Failure to maintain proper tank maintenance can lead to infestations by parasites like flukes or planaria. These unwanted guests can cause harm and distress to the snails, compromising their overall health. Regularly cleaning the tank, ensuring proper filtration, and avoiding overstocking are preventive measures.

Shell Damage

The shells of rabbit snails are vital for protection against external threats. However, rough handling or inadequate calcium levels in the water can lead to shell damage. Cracks or erosion in their shells make them more susceptible to injuries and infections. To promote healthy shell growth, providing a calcium-rich diet and ensuring a suitable substrate that allows them to burrow safely is crucial.

Overfeeding and Waste Buildup

Overfeeding rabbit snails can have detrimental effects on their health. Excessive feeding leads to waste buildup within the tank, deteriorating water conditions over time. The accumulation of waste contributes significantly to poor water quality, which can cause stress-related diseases among these sensitive creatures. Feeding should be done sparingly with a focus on providing a balanced diet.

Leeches in Wild-caught or Commercially Bred Snails

Snails collected from the wild or commercial breeders may sometimes carry leeches. These blood-sucking parasites can attach themselves to the rabbit snails, causing discomfort and potential harm. It is crucial to carefully inspect and quarantine new snail additions before introducing rabbit snails to an established aquarium. This precautionary step helps prevent the spread of leeches or other unwanted hitchhikers.

Proper Care and Regular Observation

Proper care and regular observation are crucial for maintaining the health of rabbit snails. This includes monitoring water parameters, conducting routine tank maintenance, and providing a suitable diet. Promptly addressing signs of illness or abnormal behavior ensures their well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are they called rabbit snails?

Rabbit snails are named after they resemble rabbits due to their long antennae that resemble rabbit ears. Their unique appearance and behavior contribute to the name “rabbit snail.

Why is my rabbit snail in its shell?

Rabbit snails retreat into their shells as a natural defense mechanism when they feel threatened or stressed. It is a way for them to protect themselves from potential predators or unfavorable conditions.

How long can rabbit snail stay out of water?

Rabbit snails are aquatic creatures and depend on water for survival. While they can survive short periods out of water, keeping them in a moist environment is essential. Extended exposure to dry conditions can harm their health, so providing them with a suitable aquatic habitat is best.

Do rabbit snails repair their shells?

Yes, rabbit snails can repair their shells if they are damaged or broken. They secrete a substance called calcium carbonate that helps in shell regeneration. With proper care and a healthy environment, rabbit snails can recover and restore their shells over time.

Can rabbit snails turn themselves over?

Rabbit snails are not mainly known for their ability to turn themselves over. If a rabbit snail happens to flip over, it may struggle to right itself and may require assistance. Care should be taken when helping a flipped rabbit snail to avoid damaging its delicate shell or soft body.

Image References

  • Featured Image – Sarah Elmassian (2020, March 4). Rabbit Snails (and their Friends) [Photo]. Facebook.
  • Content Image – Fishiotherapy (2022, April 13). Rabbit snail – Tylomelania sp. orange poso [Photo]. Facebook. https://web.facebook.com/fishiotherapy/photos/a.844131336090439/1344921289344772/
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