Marine Invertebrates

Snail Apple

  • Scientific name: Pomacea bridgesii
  • Common name: Apple snail, mystery snail
  • Aquarium size: 10 liters per snail
  • Temperament: Calm
  • Temperature: 20ºC to 26ºC
  • pH: 6.5 to 8
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Length: 4.5 to 7 cms.

Description

The name apple snail is often used to refer to the entire genus Pomacea, although one of the best known in aquariums is the Pomacea bridgesii.
It is also sadly known for its invasive appearance in Spanish rice fields in the Ebro Delta, since it is a species that is very resistant to adverse situations (that is why it is so easy to care for in an aquarium), and it is also very voracious. .
The species detected as invasive is Pomacea maculata, considered one of the 100 most damaging invasive species in the world , and its commercialization is now prohibited.

Morphology

The apple snail (Pomacea bridgesii), which can usually be found in aquariums, is yellow-orange or golden, although there are other varieties of apple snail in shades of ivory, purple, pink, blue, jade and a variety called wild, which It is dark striped in color.
Its body is quite pale in color in the golden varieties, but in others the snail may have a dark body, turning black.
Another aspect that keeps it as a very attractive aquarium snail is the fact that when it is an adult it can measure up to 7 centimeters. They are considered one of the largest freshwater aquarium snails.
Pomacea bridgesii snails possess lungs and gills,which allows it to live outside the aquarium water, withstand periods of drought or waters that do not contain the adequate amount of oxygen.
They have an organ called a siphon that helps them breathe. It is a fold of the skin, located on the left side of the neck and that they use when they are submerged in the aquarium.

Sexual dimorphism

Most snails are hermaphrodites, there are no sexes, but in the apple snail there are differences: there are female and male apple snails.
It is not very easy to appreciate the difference between both sexes, except in those of light color (yellow, cream or chestnut) where you can see differences between the spirals of their shell , when they are about 2 centimeters in diameter.
In the female apple snail, the first turns of the spiral are dark brown, and this is where the ovary is located.
Males have a uniform shell, without color deferences.

Distribution and habitat

The apple snail is native to Central America, the southern United States, and South America.
It can be found in all kinds of fresh waters , as long as they are not very deep and are slow: rivers, swamps, irrigation channels, ponds and ponds.
They are able to adapt to many situations. If they find themselves in a very low temperature or out of the water, they can hibernate without any problem.

Aquarium conditions

They are not too demanding with the quality of the water, but for a perfect acclimatization, the temperature must oscillate between 20ºC and 26ºC, with a pH between 6.5 and 8 ( pH meter for the aquarium ).
They can adapt to living in cold water aquariums without any problem, although they remain inactive at a temperature below 18ºC, on the contrary, at higher temperatures they will be more active.
The water should be rather acidic and hard, to keep your shell in perfect condition.
Regarding the size of the aquarium, it is not very important, as long as there is about 10 liters per adult snail.
What ifIt is important to cover the aquarium, because they can escape easily and live perfectly out of the water.
A good idea is to place areas where they can feel safe, if they share space with fish . For this purpose, logs or ornaments can be placed.
The aquarium can have an abundance of aquarium plants , although they are very voracious and can kill them all.
The gravel of the aquarium must be fine, to avoid that they are damaged when crawling through it.

Aquarium decoration

  • Best aquarium sand
  • Best gravel for aquarium
  • Best akadama for aquarium
  • Best Aquarium Ornaments 
  • Best logs for aquariums
  • Best rocks for aquariums
  • Best backgrounds for aquariums
  • Best artificial plants

Diet

They are omnivores, they will eat almost anything they find, although they prefer to eat vegetables.
The aquarium plants, algae and any green vegetable will serve as food: Swiss chard, cucumbers …
We can supplement their diet with mosquito larvae and brine shrimp , as well as dry food in the form of flakes and bottom tablets for fish.
They are also capable of eating other snails, or their eggs if they cannot find other food.
We can be tempted to use a lot of food (they are slow to eat), and quickly contaminate the aquarium.

Everything you need to maintain your aquarium

  • Best digital pH meter
  • Best Aquarium Test
  • Best anti-algae
  • Best bacteria for aquarium
  • Best siphoner for aquarium
  • Best Aquarium Water Clarifiers
  • Best reverse osmosis filters for aquarium
  • Best UV lamps for aquariums

Behavior and compatibility

They are very peaceful, they can live with any species of freshwater fish. It is these fish that can cause problems for the apple snail and not the other way around.
Taking this recommendation into account, it is best to keep him away from fish with more territorial habits. They have nocturnal habits, they tend to be more active in low light.

Fish compatible with apple snail

Compatible fish without restrictions

  • Goldfish
  • Corydoras
  • Barbel Cherry
  • Gourami Pearl
  • Eat Siamese seaweed
  • Little nun
  • Tiger Barbel
  • Ax fish
  • Mollys
  • Guppy endler

Compatible fish without restrictions

  • Koi Carp
  • Betta fish
  • Telescope Fish
  • Chinese Neon
  • Fish of paradise
  • Ramirezi
  • Harlequin fish
  • Otocinclus
  • Botia Clown
  • Discus fish

Compatible fish without restrictions

  • Rasbora Galaxy
  • Killi
  • Angel fish
  • Platy Fish
  • Ancistrus
  • Tetra Borrachito
  • Neon Tetra
  • Boraras brittae
  • Guppy
  • Silver dollar
  • Zebra fish

Fish compatible with restrictions (territorial problems)

  • Bicolor Labeo
  • Red Piranha
  • Oscar fish
  • Convicted Cyclid
  • Kribensis
  • Wasp Fish
  • Freshwater Puffer Fish

Reproduction

To breed apple snails in the aquarium it is necessary to have males and females. If we are not clear about the sex (quite difficult to know) it is best to have a few specimens in the aquarium.

  • We will facilitate the reproduction with a water at around 24ºC.
  • We will know which is the male, because it is placed on the female and copulates for several hours.
  • When fertilization is over, it can take up to two months for the female to lay her first eggs. It will look for a place out of the water to do the laying.
  • It is convenient to leave a space without water of about 10 centimeters up to the lid of the aquarium. The laying is usually nocturnal, which is when it is most active.
  • The eggs are pinkish in color, turning white when hardened. The female will place them one by one, forming a small cluster.
  • Hatching takes place in a period of between one and four weeks, depending on the temperature.
  • At the beginning they are very small, and we have to provide them with very soft food that they can chew without problems.

Photos of apple snail fish

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