Slow But Sure Rabbit Snails
If you’re looking for fun and entertaining members for your aquarium, you should pay some special attention to Rabbit Snails, sometimes also known as Elephant Snails (l. Tylomenia). These unique creatures come from freshwater lakes of Sulawesi, Indonesia – beautiful island just east of Borneo. Rabbit snails are pretty unique in their way and differ from other snails quite a bit with their characteristic behavior and appearance. They are very easy to keep and take care of – just another reason to introduce them to your awesome aquarium community.
Rabbit Snail Lifespan & Size
If it’s your first time meeting one, rabbit snail might surprise you with its gigantic size and appearance. Unlike ordinary snails, they’re quite a bit larger in appearance. They are known to grow up to 5 inches (12cm) in size which is pretty fascinating for such species. However, as they grow with age, you will usually find them somewhere between 1-5 inches in size. They are known to live up to 3 years, sometimes even longer if appropriately treated with special attention.
Behavior & Characteristics
Slow, Clunky but Lively
Perhaps one of the most unique features of Rabbit snails is their constant state of action. They love to wander and explore, and you better be ready to give them some awesome environment to explore. If you spectate them long enough, you will realize how sloppy they may be in their movement, but that’s sort of what makes them fun and entertaining to watch. There’s an endless amount of fun to be had just watching these fellas do their thing.
Despite their attractive and lively behavior, rabbit snails are very much peaceful creatures. One thing to note is that they’re scavengers – they will act as a clean-up crew for your aquarium, picking up any left-over food to make sure none of it goes to waste.
Since they come in so many sizes, it is only logical that they also display a vast number of colors & patterns. Seriously, they are beautiful! (other snails may be a bit jealous) Rabbit snails are well known for their fantastic spectrum of colors:
- Dark Chocolate
- Golden yellow – (this little fella is so majestic, you just have to love him)
Along with that, they have some great shell patterns such as stripes and dots. Their shells are long and spiral and will look great in combination with other factors.
As soon as you introduce them to their new warm home, they will start running around looking for food. Rabbit snails are known to be food lovers, and they will eat a bunch. However, they are not picky eaters – they will accept a lot of traditional aquarium foods and won’t give you too much trouble when it comes to that.
Here’s some food you can give rabbit snails:
- Fish Flakes
- Algae Wafers
- Green beans
They eat a lot so make sure you feed them often to keep them well-fed and happy. As said earlier, they exhibit scavenger-like behavior, so you can expect them to run around the tank looking for leftover food.
Since they eat plants, they might eat your live plants inside of the aquarium. Make sure your decor plants are strong and durable, so these pesky little snails don’t mess with them.
Rabbit Snail Care & Housing
As mentioned earlier, rabbit snails grow pretty big, and they love to wander around and explore – so make sure you give them enough space to do so. Aquarium of 30+ gallons should be enough for them. Make sure it’s pretty spacey so they can travel around freely without running across some obstacles. Give them lots of durable plants, logs, and rocks; some stone slabs could be useful as they love to hide under them. As for the substrate, give them something soft like sand and mud – they love to move around in a soft substrate, but some will prefer to stick with the rocks.
Since they come from a very tropical, hot place – make sure the water is always warm. A temperature of about 75-85 °F (25-30°C) works the best, with higher pH levels of about 7-8 to avoid shell erosion. As for the lighting, make sure it’s a little bit darker than usual as they don’t like to be exposed to bright light. Because of that, you will often find them hiding behind plants and rocks, looking for peace and calm.
They’re very peaceful creatures so keep them only in combination with other peaceful species like shrimp, snails and other non-aggressive fish.
Keep your ammonia & nitrite levels at 0 ppm and be careful when using plant fertilizers as they are known to be very sensitive to them. NEVER expose them to any kind of treatments containing copper.
Rabbit Snail Breeding & Reproduction
You may be asking yourself are rabbit snails asexual?
Well, they’re not! They actually do have their sexy time in their little snail world.
One thing to note is that compared to most of the other snail species who lay a ton of eggs and crowd the space – rabbit snails are quite slow breeders. They will not overrun your tank so no need to worry about that. If you want some youngsters in your tank, give them a couple of months and eventually they will be there!
Female rabbit snails usually carry around 1 to 3 eggs and will slowly release them one by one. After breeding, you may notice a creamy white trail behind the females, and soon enough eggs will also appear. Inside the eggs, there are already fully formed, young rabbit snails waiting to pop out and when they do – you can expect them to quickly roam around looking for food, truly living up to their reputation.
So there we go, if you’re looking for awesome, attractive and lively additions for your aquarium community – rabbit snails are a perfect choice. You are guaranteed to have lots of fun with them!