Skip to Content

5 Nerite Snail Poop Facts!

With more and more people starting to add nerite snails to their aquarium as a way to control the amount of algae in their tanks, we have noticed a spike in the number of questions that we see from the community about keeping nerite snails.

Although most of the questions that we have seen people asking are pretty standard, we have noticed a large number of people specifically reaching out about nerite snail poop.

If you are new to keeping nerite snails in your fish tanks then we can definitely understand why the amount of poop that they produce can be so surprising.

They are a very small animal and produce a large amount of waste but when you factor in just how much algae they eat each day from your tank, it is understandable why they poop so much.

We constantly see people asking various questions about controlling the amount of nerite snail poop in their aquariums so we wanted to publish this article to help as many of our readers as possible.

Before we go any further with our article, we just want to quickly confirm two things. The first is that we see a large number of people on social media saying that cherry shrimp will eat snail poop and this is not correct.

Cheery shrimp so not eat poop but they can be used as alternative algae eaters who will poop less than snails. We also see a large number of people on social media recommend people go with mystery snails instead of nerite snails but they poop just as much.

Do Nerite Snails Produce A Lot Of Waste?

Nerite snails do produce a large amount of poop relative to their size but this is due to how much algae they actually consume each day.

Although nerite snails do poop a lot, cleaning their poop from your aquarium tends to be much easier than trying to remove the amount of algae that a nerite snail will consume each day.

The vast majority of people who keep an aquarium will conduct regular maintenance on their tanks to keep them clean anyway.

Provided you use a decent gravel vaccum for your normal weekly tank clean it will effortlessly pick up the nerite snail poop laying on the substrate in your tank and allow you to clean it quickly.

Although we do see a large number of people who question if it is even worth keeping a nerite snail in their tank due to the amount of poop that they produce, the general consensus is that they are a better option than just allowing the algae to build up.

That said, you can try something like cherry shrimp as an alternative algae eater to your nerite snail as they do tend to produce less poop but still consume large amounts of algae.

“File:Zebra Nerite Snail 1.jpg” by TheJammingYam (talk) is licensed with CC BY-SA 3.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Do You Need To Clean Nerite Snail Poop?

You do need to clean nerite snail poop out of your aquarium on a regular basis as it really can start to build up surprisingly quickly.

The majority of people will be able to clean their nerite snail poop out of their aquarium as a part of their regular tank maintenance every week or two.

There is no need to try and modify your tank filter to try and remove your nerite snail poop either. For some reason there seems to be a trend in people trying this due to a number of “guide” being shared on social media but you can damage your filter and cause other problems.

There are also a number of specialist filters that are marketed as being more effective at removing nerite snail poop from your tank but these tend not to work as well as the marketing will suggest while still being more expensive than a normal filter.

In reality, all you need to clean nertie snail poop out of your aquarium is a decent gravel vaccum that you should realistically have as a part of your aquarium supplies anyway to help you keep your fish tank clean.

Even if your nerite snail is a new addition to your tank, gravel vacuums are excellent tools to remove fish poop and discarded food from the bottom of your tank anyway.

What Does Nerite Snail Poop Look Like?

Nerite snail poop is usually thin and stringy like a small thread while being black, brown, green or white in color depending on what your nerite snail has been eating. In some very specific situations, it can be a different shape or color but this is rare and not normal for most people.

If your nerite snail has been eating mostly algae from your aquarium then its poop is usually green.

If it has been mainly eating discarded fish food then it will often be black or brown but if it has been eating cuttlebone then it will usually be white.

This is usually not something to worry about with a nerite snail even tough white poop can indicate health problems in some other types of snail.

If your nerite snails poop in black or brown then it can be difficult to see on soil substraite making it harder to know when you should be looking to clean your fish tank.

This is why we usually recommend that our readers just use a standard seven or fourteen-day cleaning rotation to keep everything clean.

Do Nerite Snails Eat Their Own Poop?

Although some people on social media do claim that nerite snails eat their own poop, this is not correct. Nerite snails do not eat their own poop so you do have to actively keep your aquarium as clean as possible by removing the poop with a gravel vacuum.

We also often see people claiming that cherry shrimp will eat snail poop but this is not correct either.

Although it may look like cherry shrimp are eating your nerite snails poop, it is usually a mistake and as soon as the shrimp realise that it is not food, they spit the poop back out.

Some people have experimented with trying to use aquatic plants to absorb the nutrients from their nerite snail’s poop but in our opinion, it is a waste of time.

It tends to take way too long for the plants to absorb the nutrients compared to how much poop even a single nerite snail can produce due to how much algae they consume.

Nerite Snail Poop Or Eggs?

Nerite snail poop tends to be long, thin, and stringy where as their eggs tend to be small white orbs that they will stick in random areas.

Unlike other snails that try to lump all of their eggs together in one area, nerite snails can drop a single egg and then move on a few inches before they drop their next one.

If you do feed your nerite snail a lot of cuttlebone to keep its shell healthy resulting in its poop being white then their poop can sometimes look a little like their eggs so we do understand why so many people ask about this.

That said though, the majority of the time, it is easy to see the difference between nerite snail poop and their eggs.

A nerite snail egg usually looks like a small white orb that will usually be stuck to a surface within the tank. This could be the glass of the tank, the substrate, a plant or something else that takes the nerite snail’s fancy.


That brings our article going over nerite snail poop to a close. We hope that we have been able to help our readers understand how much poop a nerite snail will actually produce as well as that they really should be doing their best to keep their tanks as clean as possible by manually removing the poop. If you do leave it to build up then it will cause a number of different problems with the tank so you do have to stay on to of it.