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Everything You Need To Know About Black Stomatella Snails!

Stomatella snails have been a popular options within the fish keeping hobby for years now but with breeders doing their best to produce unique or rare colored stomatella snails, we have seen more and more questions about if the black stomatella snail is real or not as well as how you care for them.

Being a standard stomatella snail that simply has a warped pigment, the black stomatella snail is very similar to a regular stomatella snail.

The black stomatella snail is an excellent option for anyone who is looking for something to eat algae or biofilm in their aquariums.

They are also considered reef safe for anyone keeping corals or anemones in their tank too while also being a decent option for eating diatoms in your aquarium too.

We have seen some people say that stomatella snails will eat discarded fish food as well as cyano but this does seem to be very rare.

It is very difficult to find something that will eat cyano in your aquariums and it usually has to be removed anyway but there other tank mater options available if you do need something that will eat discarded fish food in your aquarium in large amounts or you can adjust the amount of food you feed your pet fish.

Are Black Stomatella Snails Real?

Black stomatella snails are real, they are just very rare with the other colors of stomatella snail being far more common within the fish keeping hobby.

It can be difficult to find black stomatella snails listed for sale too due to how rare they actually are but you can naturally breed them yourself with regular stomatella snail but they are one of the less common morphs available.

In this day and age, there are so many photoshopped photographs of various fish, shrimp, and snails out there that it is definitely right to be sceptical about anything that you see online, especially if they are being listed for sale at four times the price of the regular colored animal.

Although we have never actually had a black stomatella snail in our own tanks, we do know multiple people who have them in their tanks with one person being lucky enough to get a black stomatella snail by their normal stomatella snails breeding naturally without any specific selective breeding measures in place.

Due to black stomatella snails being so rare, there are actually a couple of different patterns all classed as “black stomatella snails” within the hobby.

There is the standard all black black stomatella snail but there are a small number with white specs on them too and some with very thin stripes of their natural colors coming through on the snail too.

Do Black Stomatella Snail Cost More?

Due to their rarity, black stomatella snails do cost more than a regular black stomatella snail with their prices often being four times higher than that of a regular black stomatella snail with these prices not being an issue for collectors and the snails easily selling for these prices.

A black stomatella snail can be produced by a regular breeding pair with the normal stomatella snail color though but they are very rare.

In our opinion, a black stomatella snail is not worth the price for the vast majority of people as they are more of a practical addition to an aquarium that is there to do a job, usually to eat algae and biofilm.

Still, there are plenty of collectors who are fine paying a premium on the unique additions to their aquariums and they have no problem paying these higher price tags for a stomatella snail that is literally just going to do the same job as a regular sail.

Many beginners to the aquarium keeping hobby can quickly get carried away with themselves and end up moving over to the collector side of things and plashing out on the rare, unique colored animals in their aquariums.

This can cause problems with the budgets available and most of the collectors who are willing to pay these higher price tags are usually more experienced fish keepers with larger budgets available to them.

“Stomatella snail” by Adam Balzer is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Are Black Stomatella Snails Reef Safe?

Black stomatella snails are considered reef safe just like a regular stomatella snail and many people keep the species in their reef tanks without issue.

Just like everything else that is considered reef safe, there are always exceptions out there and a very small number of black stomatella snails may cause problems in a reef tank so always keep this in mind.

One common mistake that we do see people make time and time again when it comes to their stomatella snails is that they will think that they are eating their corals or anemones when in actual fact, they are eating algae or biofilm on the corals.

It can be difficult to notice the difference between the two if you are new though as they can look very similar to each other.

Some of the more sensitive corals that are commonly kept within the hobby can also have problems with a snail or shrimp simply walking over them causing the coral to close.

If you are new to corals or anemones then we really would recommend that you stick to the beginner friendly ones that are hardy and easier to care for any wont have problems if your stomatella snail crawls over them.

Are Black Stomatella Snails Good For Your Aquarium?

Black stomatella snails can be an excellent addition to your aquarium if you are having problems with algae or biofilm due to the snails being able to eat such a large amount of these in a tank.

If you are having problems with diatoms in your aquarium then stomatella snail can eat them but there are usually better options if you only need something that eats diatoms.

Some people will specifically add the black stomatella snail to their tanks for its unique color though but stomatella snails as a species really are a working member of a tanks clean up crew and even a black stomatella snail should be used in this way.

Stomatella snails are herbivores and will eat detritus in your aquarium in small amounts but their main advantage is the amount of algae and biofilm that they will happily eat all day long.

If you are splashing out for a black stomatella snail with its higher price tag then it could be a good idea to suppliment the diet of your snail with nori sheets as it can be difficult for the snails to get a nutritionally complete diet from just algae and biofilm.

The high nutritional profile of nori sheets can help with this while many marine fish will also enjoy eating nori sheets too making it a win win situation.

Black Stomatella Snail Tank Requirements!

With a black stomatella snail costing more than a regular stomatella snail you really should be trying to make sure your tank offers them optimal conditions to thrive.

This is usually easy to do as they need clean water with a stable temperature, steady magnesium and calcium levels and low levels of nitrates in their aquariums.

The problem is that some corals and fish kept in reef tanks can require higher nitrate levels than stomatella snails tend to do well with so this can cause a conflict of what you optimise your nitrate levels for.

This is why we would always recommend that you go with a regular stomatella snail over a black stomatella snail if you are new to the fish keeping hobby to keep your costs down and let you build up your initial skills in maintaining aquariums before you have issues like this.

Stocking levels for stomatella snails will depend on a number of factors in your aquarium but most people will be opting for between one and three snails per 20 gallons.

In some tank setups, you are able to keep a maximum of five stomatella snails per 20 gallons but you should be looking to supplement the diets of the fish with nori sheets if you are heavily stocking your tank.


That brings our article going over the black stomatella snail to an end and we hope that we have been able to help you better understand the species and its advantages and disadvantages. We do think that the price tags for a black stomatella snail will fall in the future as their popularity starts to fall and the next new thing comes along or breeders develop solid breeding lines to consistently produce black stomatella snails. Due to this, we really would recommend that you just go with a regular stomatella snail to keep your costs as low as possible.