Nerite snails are one of the most commonly kept types of snails within the fish keeping hobby and their popularity in constantly increasing.
Not only are nerite snails cheap, easy to find, and low maintenance but they will eat a huge amount of algae, left over food, and detritus in your tank to reduce the amount of tank maintenance required to maintain steady water parameters.
That said, some people do have problems with their nerite snails in their tanks and we often see people reaching out with various questions.
More recently, one question that we have noticed a large number of people asking about is why their nerite snails keep dying.
Due to this being such a common problem that we have noticed people having with their tanks, we have decided to publish this article going over the most common problems that we see causing the nerite snails in any aquarium to die.
Why Your Nerite Snails Keep Dying!
We have our short list of why your nerite snails keep dying below and then we will take a more detailed look at each of them throughout the rest of the article:-
- You Have Assassin Snails In Your Tank!
- Your Nerite Snails Have Cracked Shells!
- The Snails Are Being Eaten By Their Tank Mates!
- Poor Water Parameters!
- None Snail Safe Products!
- A Lack Of Food In The Tank!
- Calcium Deficiencies!
Depending on the specific setup of your aquarium, it can be common to have multiple issues in your tank at the same time that cause problems with your nerite snails dying.
Many people often focus on one potential problem in their tank when in actual fact, there may actually be a number of issues all taking place at the same time so keep this in mind.
You Have Assassin Snails In Your Tank!
Assassin snails are a type of snail known for eating other types of snails, especially smaller ones such as nerite snails.
They will sometimes leave the larger snails alone but it is not uncommon for them to turn on the larger snails if they are feeling a little bit peckish.
If you have noticed that your nerite snail population has been dwindling and you cannot work out why, then it’s a good idea to check your tank for any assassin snails.
These snails are usually quite easy to spot as they have a long, pointy shell that is brown or black in color.
If you do find any assassin snails in your tank, then the best course of action is to remove them from your aquarium as soon as possible before they can do any more damage to your snail population.
It is common for beginners to accidentally add an assassin snail to their tanks without knowing that they will eat the other snails in their tank but our article on assassin snails eating nertie snails goes into more detail.
Your Nerite Snails Have Cracked Shells!
If your nerite snail has a cracked shell, then this is a sure sign that the snail is not healthy and is likely to die in the near future.
A cracked shell can be caused by a number of different things but the most common cause that we see is when the pH levels in the tank are either too high or too low for the snail.
If the pH levels are too high or low, then it will cause the snail to produce a thinner shell which is more susceptible to breaking and cracking.
The other common cause of a cracked shell that we see is when the nerite snail has been eating a lack of calcium in its diet.
Our article going over what to do if your nerite snail has a cracked shell may be able to help you out if your nerite snail has developed a cracked shell but the survival rate will be low no matter what you try.
The Snails Are Being Eaten By Their Tank Mates!
Another common reason that we see nerite snails dying is when they are being eaten by their tank mates.
This is most commonly seen in fish tanks that contain larger fish such as large goldfish or koi but can also be seen in tanks containing other types of invertebrates such as crabs or shrimp.
If you think that your nerite snails are being eaten by their tank mates, then the best course of action is to remove the snail from the tank as soon as possible and put it into a tank by itself.
None Snail Safe Products!
It is very common for aquariums to have problems with bacteria, fungus, virus’ and parasites that need you to apply some type of chemical to deal with the issue in your tank.
This is not specific to people who are new to the fish keeping hobby either and it can be very common with people of all levels of experience.
The problem is that people who are new to keeping fish in their tanks often overlook the importance of snail safe treatments.
In their haste to treat the problem with their fish, people can commonly use a none snail safe product that causes their nerite snails to die in their tanks.
One of the most common problems that we see with nerite snails is when they suffer from a calcium deficiency.
This is most commonly seen in tanks where the water has a low pH level as this can cause the snail to use up its own calcium reserves to maintain its shell.
A calcium deficiency can also be caused by a lack of calcium in the diet of the snail.
The best way to combat a calcium deficiency is to raise the pH levels of your tank and to make sure that there is plenty of calcium in the diet of your snail.
You can do this by adding some crushed coral or shells into your tank for them to graze on as well as feeding them a snail specific diet that contains calcium.
Our article going over using cuttlebone for snails, topping up dietary calcium for snails, and making calcium blocks for snails all cover additional ways that you are able to get more calcium into the diet of your nerite snails and help prevent problems with their shell resulting in the death of your nerite snail.
A Lack Of Food In The Tank!
One of the most common problems that we see with nerite snails is when they are not getting enough food in their diet.
This is most commonly seen in new tanks that have not had time to establish a good algae growth yet or in tanks where the inhabitants are eating all of the algae before the nerite snails have a chance to get to it.
It is very important to make sure that your nerite snails are getting enough food in their diet as they are not able to survive for long periods of time without food.
The best way to combat this problem is to make sure that you are providing plenty of algae for them to graze on in your tank.
Many people think that snails eat fish poop but this is not correct, we have seen a large number of people have issues with the snail populations in their tank due to thinking that their snails had plenty of food available due to the fish poop in the tank but their snails quickly starve.
Our article on what snails eat should be able to help make sure that your tank has plenty of food available to prevent a lack of food causing your nerite snails to die.
Poor Water Parameters!
This is a common problem that we see with nerite snails dying in aquariums and is most commonly seen in new tanks that have not had time to properly cycle yet.
It is very important to make sure that your tank has completed the cycling process before adding any fish or invertebrates to it as they are very sensitive to poor water conditions.
If you are unsure of what the cycling process is or how to properly cycle your tank then we recommend checking out our articles on the fishless method and the shrimp method which will explain the process in more detail.
Once your tank has completed the cycling process and you have added your nerite snails to it, it is still very important to keep an eye on your water parameters and to do regular water changes to make sure that they stay within the correct range.