Rabbit snails are freshwater snails from Sulawesi in Indonesia. Rabbit snails are also commonly known as Sulawesi snails, elephant snails, or by their scientific name, Tylomelania. These snails are highly prized in the aquarium because of their striking skin and shell colors and patterns, as well as their habits of eating leftover fish food, helping to keep the aquarium clean. Unlike many other aquarium snails, rabbit snails reproduce slowly, laying one egg at a time. This means that your aquarium will not be overrun with baby snails. However, although they reproduce slowly, the breed readily.
Things You'll Need
- Breeding aquarium
- Sandy substrate
- Various aquarium decorations
- Water testing kit
Set up a separate aquarium for the rabbit snails. Although rabbit snail young emerge from their eggs fully formed and independent, they are still small enough to be eaten by other aquarium inhabitants, so it’s best to isolate the snails when you’re trying to breed them. This breeding aquarium does not need to be large. An aquarium of five or ten gallons will be sufficient.
Fill the bottom of the aquarium with a soft, sandy substrate. Although rabbit snails are known to be comfortable with a gravel substrate, the sandy substrate is more natural, and makes the snails more comfortable. Comfortable snails are more likely to breed. The sand also gives the young snails a place to dig or bury themselves if they want to.
Place aquarium decorations, such as logs, plants, or rocks, in the aquarium. Rabbit snails prefer to have many places to hide. These hiding spots make them feel more secure and comfortable.
Use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water. Rabbit snails are most comfortable in water that is between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use a water testing kit to monitor the pH level of the water in the aquarium. Rabbit snails are most comfortable in water that has a pH level between 7 and 8.5. You can use water additives to adjust the pH level if it is not correct.
Place a group of rabbit snails in the breeding aquarium. It’s impossible to tell the gender of a rabbit snail by looking at it. Therefore, you have more of a chance of getting the snails to breed if you use a group of snails, which is more likely to include a male and female snail. A group of three or four snails will usually work well, but more snails can be included if you have the room.
Wait for the snails to breed. In the right aquarium conditions, rabbit snails breed about every two to four weeks. The female snails will lay only one egg at a time. However, this egg will hatch within about an hour, as it has been incubated inside the female. The baby snail will emerge from the egg fully formed, and can be raised alongside the adult snails.