Rabbit Snail Stats InfographicRabbit Snail is an umbrella term referring to a large genus of freshwater snails scientifically called Tylomelania.

The most popular ones available are the Yellow Rabbit Snail, Chocolate Rabbit Snail, Orange Rabbit Snail, Golden Rabbit Snail, Black Rabbit Snail and White Spotted Rabbit Snail.

Regardless of which rabbit snail you end up having, this care guide will apply to all of them.

In this article, we will cover all the vital information you need to ensure these guys will thrive in your tank.

What Is Rabbit Snail?

Rabbit snail is a genus of freshwater snails, as we mentioned in our introduction. Contrary to other types of snails that are stereotypically thought of as “slow,” the Rabbit snails are quite active which in turn redefines our whole preconceived notion about snails’ toned-down behavior. 

Moreover, rabbit snails originate from the freshwater lakes of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Also known as elephant snails, they were introduced to the aquarium trade in 2007, making them one of the newest freshwater mollusks to grace the fishkeeping community.


Family Pachychilidae
Scientific Name Tylomelania
Common Name Rabbit Snail, Elephant Snail
Size of Fish 3 to 5 inches
Prominent Features Varied
Diet Omnivore
Temperament Peaceful
Lifespan 3 years
Min. Tank Size 30 gallons
Temperature 68 to 86 F
pH 7.3 to 8.5
Hardness 2 to 15 dKH
Care Difficulty Easy

Rabbit Snail Care

Care for Rabbit Snails does not pose much of a challenge even for the beginning hobbyists. Let’s take a look at what they need below.


Rabbit snails are omnivores with a bottomless appetite!

While these scavengers may seem perfectly content on chowing down algae and discarded food, these alone should not make up their main diet.

Have your rabbit snail snack on algae wafers and sinking pellets designed for bottom feeders. Moreover, a good rule of thumb when searching for commercial fish feed is to look for options with high calcium content to strengthen their shell.

Rabbit snails also love fresh vegetables, such as beans, broccoli, carrots, cucumber, kale, lettuce, peas, and zucchini.

Lastly, there is no need to feed rabbit snails on a schedule, as nothing stops these gluttons from scouring your tank for food. That is why these snails are desirable aquarium dwellers because they clean after your picky-eating fish.

Water Parameters and Maintenance

Rabbit Snail Tank Setup for this Active Snail SpeciesMaintaining the right water parameters is one of the most important parts of rabbit snail care. These gastropods need water that is more on the alkaline side of the pH spectrum.

Acidic water causes their shell to deteriorate with the damages being most evident on the tips. A broken shell diminishes the aesthetic appeal of your pets and offers them less protection against parasites.

Moreover, rabbit snails prefer warm water temperatures. These gastropods may still adapt to cool environments but they will not reproduce as they tend to become sedentary when the temperature is not to their liking.

So, here are the recommended parameters to keep your rabbit snails in tiptop shape:

  • Water temperature: 68 to 86 F
  • pH levels: 7.3 to 8.5
  • Water hardness: 2 to 15 dKH

Be sure to run a few water tests before you introduce your snails to a new tank. When the water chemistry has gotten more stable, you may reduce the frequency of the tests to once a week.

Tank Setup

Rabbit snails are not particularly fastidious with their surroundings but as with other captive species, these critters do prefer an environment that simulates their natural habitat.

Tank Size

Start with a 30-gallon tank. Remember, these rabbit snails are quite larger than most freshwater snails in the hobby. Also, as they are active, they will need ample space to move around the aquarium.

However, the tank size is not set in stone. Feel free to make an upgrade, especially if you are thinking of stocking your aquarium with multiple species of compatible fish.

A small, cramped aquarium leads to less dilution of ammonia and nitrates which are both harmful to your aquatic pets. What’s more, there are many advantages to having a large tank as long as you install the right filter.


Use sand as these snails sometimes like to burrow their entire bodies, leaving nothing but their heads popping out. Fine substrates will make burrowing easier and safer for your snails compared to something coarse like gravel.

Plants and Decorations

The Indonesian waters where they hail from are lush and littered with decaying leaves. Mimic their natural habitat by adding plants and floating greenery but omit the “rotting vegetation” as it is a closed system.

Floating plants, such as Hornwort and Waterweed, are among the best choices for your tank. You may also keep Anubias, Sword Plants, and other large leafy plants. Marimo Moss Balls are also perfect and they are easy to care for.

You should be aware that rabbit snails may sometimes nibble on plants, especially ones with soft leaves and stems. Rabbit snails are notorious for chowing down Java Ferns but this may not become an issue when tastier options are drifting to the substrate.

Provide hiding places for your rabbit snails using a few logs and natural bogwood. These busy fellas also need some peace and quiet from time to time.

Moreover, you will need a durable tight-fitting lid for your aquarium. While the underwater snail can’t hop out of the tank, they can climb up the side.

Aquarium Equipment

Moving onto equipment, you will want to invest in a good filtration system to efficiently cycle the water and eliminate ammonia and nitrates. Lighting should be moderate to avoid cooking your snails.

Lifespan: What Is Its Average Life Expectancy?

With proper water parameters and enough food to go around, rabbit snails can live up to three years in captivity.

Health Risks for The Rabbit Snail

Rabbit snails are a fantastic choice for new hobbyists because they are not susceptible to common fish diseases, but that does not imply that these critters are invincible.

Snail-leeches are the biggest threat to rabbit snails. These parasites live off snails by unceremoniously sucking their blood dry.

The best way to fend off these unwanted guests is to ensure your snails’ shell remains strong and intact. Snail-leeches are more likely to attach to snails with a damaged shell.

Leeches do not occur in large groups but are more likely to invade home aquariums as individuals. But if you don’t address the problem immediately, these extremely invasive animals will breed inside your tank and pester other aquarium inhabitants.

Therefore, address the leech invasion right away. Soak the affected snail in saline water for 15 minutes to dislodge the leeches.

Ideal Tank Mates

Rabbit snails are peaceful critters and they do best with the company of these fish:

If you keep your tank temperature towards the low end of the recommended range, the White Cloud Mountain Minnow would also be a beautiful addition to your aquarium.

As for other invertebrates, you can keep the following:

Can You Keep Rabbit Snails Together?

Yes! You can even keep different species of rabbit snails. These critters will do just fine even when kept in a large group as they are not aggressive or territorial with each other.

What Fish Should You Avoid?

The most important consideration when choosing tankmates is to avoid species that might feed on them. The following fishes eat snails, thus putting rabbit snails at constant risk:

Avoid fish that are big enough to devour them, such as goldfish and plecos. Cichlids should also be avoided, including Angelfish. Large loaches also pose a threat to your rabbit snails.


A common concern about keeping snails to your aquarium is the fact that these animals, despite being one of the slowest-moving critters, are top-speed producers. However, rabbit snails are different contrary to their name.

How Do You Distinguish Male and Female Rabbit Snails?

Rabbit snails are dioecious, which means each specimen has both male and female reproductive organs. As these mollusks are also monomorphic, it is impossible to distinguish males from females.

How Can You Identify a Pregnant Rabbit Snail?

By looking at the genital tube, you may be able to tell if your Rabbit Snail is pregnant. Hold a snail by the shell with its body facing you and wait for it to emerge out of its shell. A genital tube filled with eggs is an indication that your snail is ready to lay a brood soon.

How Often Do Rabbit Snails Breed?

Unlike other species of snails, the Tylomelania produces one or a maximum of two babies per breeding cycle. Thereby, overpopulation is not a concern. Breeding will approximately take place once a year under normal conditions.

How Do Rabbit Snails Breed?

A male rabbit snail fecundates a female by passing a shimmering spermatophore, a protein capsule containing the sperm. The female will preserve it until she is ready to reproduce.

Rabbit snails are oviparous, which means the pregnant snail carries the fertilized eggs like a kangaroo, and so the incubation period takes about four to six weeks.

When they are ready, the mother would lay her eggs resembling tiny pearls. The laid eggs will hatch within a few hours, revealing miniature copies of their parents.

Do Rabbit Snails Require Special Conditions for Breeding?

Breeding rabbit snails do not require special conditions. However, rabbit snails are known to prefer warm temperatures as their metabolism decreases in cold waters.

You don’t have to place rabbit snails in a separate breeding tank, either. This species will proliferate on their own but you will need six to ten snails to increase your chances in the breeding process.

Rabbit snails originate from the freshwater lakes of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Also known as elephant snails, were introduced to the aquarium trade in 2007, making them one of the newest freshwater mollusks to grace the fishkeeping community.


Rabbits snails, like all gastropods, have a strong muscular foot that you can find on their underside. Since these critters are blind, they use their long pair of antennas to perceive movement among the substrate.

How Big Do Rabbit Snails Get?

Babies are around three to six millimeters. Compared to other freshwater snails, rabbit snails grow to a considerable length.

By the time rabbit snails are close to two inches, they become reproductive and they will continue to grow despite reaching sexual maturity.

Aside from age, the species of the rabbit snail is also a determining factor when it comes to their full adult size.

The Orange Rabbit Snail is the largest of the bunch as it can grow up to five inches in length. Other varieties grow anywhere between three to four inches long.

Most of the snail’s size is taken by their shell.

Colors, Patterns and Other Distinct Traits

Coming in a wide range of colors is one thing you will love about rabbit snails. There are also spotted varieties.

Here are a few rabbit snails available in the market:

  • Orange Rabbit Snail: This rabbit snail has a bright orange body with a dark brown or black shell.
  • Yellow Rabbit Snail: This variety almost resembles the Orange Rabbit Snail, except that it is a few shades lighter.
  • Golden Rabbit Snail: As the name suggests, it boasts a vivid golden yellow body with a dark brown or black shell.
  • White Spotted Rabbit Snail: This variety has a black body covered with tiny white polka dots and a shell that comes in a mixed shade of red, brown, and white.
  • Golden Spotted Rabbit Snail: This rabbit snail has a black body covered with golden yellow dots and a shell that has mixed shades of black, brown, and yellow.
  • Yellow Spotted Rabbit Snail: This type looks similar to the Golden Spotted Rabbit Snail but it has larger dots that also appear more faded.
  • Chocolate Rabbit Snail: This rabbit snail has a chocolate brown body and a taupe shell.
  • Black Rabbit Snail: A truly rare species, this elegant-looking rabbit snail boasts a sleek black body and a shell to match.


When we think of snails, we always envision sluggish creatures lounging in the same spot all day. To our amazement, rabbit snails do not fit this stereotype.

Rabbit snails are active animals, and you can even employ rabbit snails to clean up your tank because their purpose in life is to eat. Using their sensitive antennas, these critters will probe the bottom for food.

Moreover, are rabbit snails aggressive? No, they are certainly not.

If you leave a few slices of cucumber on the substrate, you will find them congregating and sharing the spoils they have found. What a happy, generous bunch!

Rabbit snails are also bold enough to explore each level of your tank, which means that you will have fun watching them!

When it is time to rest, these snails will either burrow into the substrate or retreat to their shells as they hide behind decorations.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Many Rabbit Snails Species Are There?

So far, there are already approximately 50 species of rabbit snails described but you can only find a few types in pet stores.

2. Why Are These Mollusks Called Rabbit Snails?

You might wonder why these critters are called rabbit snails. Upon close inspection, you will notice that their antennas are hanging down, thus giving off the appearance of long rabbit ears.

3. How Do Rabbit Snails Differ From Other Snails?

Rabbit snails lack the smooth gelatin-like skin that other freshwater snails have; these critters are marked by wrinkles.

As you might have guessed by now, the wrinkled texture of their long downturned mouth is the reason some aquarists call these critters “elephant snails.”

Moreover, these gastropods have a shell that takes after a unicorn horn. The rabbit snail shell is also significantly longer than other freshwater snails. Some species will have five to eight whorls, while others may have as little as four.


Now you know how rabbit snails earned their nickname; it is due to their droopy antennas. Their wrinkly downturned mouth is also reminiscent of an elephant’s trunk, and hence some people would call them elephant snails.

Regardless of which species of rabbit snail you prefer in your tank, the following points are applicable:

  • Rabbit snails help cut down the algae off your tank but they will avoid it if other tastier options are lying around
  • Rabbit snails will accept plant-based fish food but their favorites are fresh vegetables
  • Maintaining the recommended water parameters will go a long way to ensuring your pets are healthy and looking colorful
  • A large group encourages the snails to proliferate on their own, especially when you tune up the temperature according to their preference
  • Rabbit snails do not reproduce as often or as many as other snails. Their offspring will be born as carbon copies of themselves complete with a fully formed shell
  • Nano fish as tetras, rasboras, and danios are the best tank mates for your rabbit snails
  • Because of their sensitivity to ammonia and nitrates, you will need a pretty strong filter to rid the water of these harmful elements
  • You will need a hood to prevent your snails from climbing up out of the tank
  • The main difference between these mollusks comes down to color and pattern. Their shells may also vary from medium to large, depending on the species they belong to

With our article by your side, you are ready to care for rabbit snails properly!

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