rabbit snail

Rabbit Snail: Discover The Fascinating Life Of This Species!

Rabbit Snails have become a popular species among freshwater aquarists thanks to their unique appearance and helpful scavenging behavior. These critters, also known as Elephant Snails, originate in Sulawesi, Indonesia, and are recognizable because of their long spiral-patterned shell, rabbit-like face, and various eye-catching colors.

This guide will provide everything you need to know about Rabbit Snail care, including information on habitat, lifespan, diet, and even their breeding process. As long as their environment is stable, these species make for a rewarding addition to any tank!

rabbit snail 1
The stunning Rabbit Snail is a true work of art on a natural stone.

Species Summary

First and foremost, it’s important to understand the basics of Rabbit Snail care. This genus of freshwater snails is fairly new to the market, with most stores making them available sometime around 2007.

They possess a unique charm, with many aquarists commenting on their inquisitive personalities. As an omnivore, these types of snails feed off both animal and plant material and are often found scavenging for detritus and leftover food at the bottom of rivers in the wild.

It’s important to provide your Rabbit Snail with the best possible care as they are sensitive to poor water conditions and can become easily stressed. With the right environment and diet, Rabbit Snails will live many years and reach their full potential.


The average lifespan of a Rabbit Snail in captivity is somewhere between 1 and 3 years. Like any other species, however, the snails’ life expectancy is dependent on the quality of their environment and nutrition. Some specimens have been observed to live up to 3 years in optimal conditions.

On the flip side, Rabbit Snails are particularly sensitive to elevated levels of ammonia and nitrate in the tank, which can take a toll on their lifespan and overall health. As such, it is important to regularly test the water and keep it clean.

Note: If you do spot your Rabbit Snail lying on the bottom of the tank, wait a bit before panicking. It is normal for these creatures to take random bouts of rest and they may retreat into their shell during this time.


There are several types of Rabbit Snails available on the market, which vary in coloration and pattern. The most common type is the Black Rabbit Snail, though you can also find Red Rabbit Snails and even specimens with spotted shells.

All Rabbit Snails, regardless of color and pattern, share similar physical features. For example, the facial features of these snails are highly distinguishable, with two drooping antennae, elongated faces, and downturned mouths that help them feed on detritus in the substrate.

Another interesting trait of Rabbit Snails is their wrinkled skin, which sets them apart from other snail species. To top it off, their shell is notably longer than other species and ends in a fine point. There are individual grooves spiraling around the entire shell and the aperture is oval-shaped, with a small operculum.

Average Size

Rabbit Snails grow up to 3-5 inches in size when fully mature. When first bought, they’ll typically be closer to 2 inches in length. Despite their small size, Rabbit Snails have a rather fast growth rate, meaning they will reach their maximum size in no time.

Rabbit Snail Care

Caring for a Rabbit Snail isn’t too difficult, even for new aquarists. Of course, they still require specific environmental conditions in order to thrive. The recommended minimum tank size for Rabbit Snails is 30 gallons and they prefer a temperature range of 72-78°F.

Be sure to provide them with ample hiding spots in the form of driftwood, rocks, and plants. To allow your snails to explore and scavenge, the water should have a sandy substrate as well.

Keeping the aquarium clean is also important. A good filtration system and regular water changes will help keep ammonia and nitrate levels low, thus optimizing your Rabbit Snail’s lifespan.

Feeding Rabbit Snails

Since Rabbit Snails are omnivores, you can feed them both animal and plant matter. From a veggie perspective, you can offer them cucumber, zucchini, lettuce, and spinach.

In terms of protein, a supplemental algae wafer or sinkable pellets will ensure they get enough nutrients. You can also give them frozen/freeze-dried brine shrimp and bloodworms, though take care to heavily blanch them first as they may contain parasites that can make your snails sick.

Remember to not overfeed your Rabbit Snails – once or twice a day is enough!

Tank Mates

Rabbit Snails (Tylomelania sp.) are peaceful, non-aggressive freshwater snails that are often kept in aquariums. They are best kept with other peaceful tank mates, as they may become stressed if housed with aggressive fish.

Here are some good tank mates for Rabbit Snails:

Other peaceful snails, such as Nerite Snails or Mystery Snails

  • Livebearers (Guppies, Mollies, Platies)
  • Tetras
  • Danios
  • Barbs
  • Cichlids (in larger aquariums)

It’s important to remember that each fish has its own personality and behavior, and it’s best to monitor their interactions to make sure everyone is getting along. Rabbit Snails also need plenty of hiding places, such as caves or dense vegetation, to feel secure and comfortable in their aquarium.

Breeding Rabbit Snails

If kept in the proper conditions, Rabbit Snails can breed in captivity with relative ease. A breeding pair needs enough food, hiding spaces, and clean water with little current and plenty of oxygen.

The female will lay up to 200 eggs at once, after which the male will fertilize them. The eggs will soon hatch within 11 to 13 days and the fry will reach adulthood in around 20 weeks. To prevent your Rabbit Snails from overpopulating the tank, it is recommended to remove the adults shortly after they reproduce.

Finally, Rabbit Snails are prone to contracting parasites like leeches. Regular health checks are necessary to detect an infestation early and prevent any damage to the flesh.


The hatchlings won’t need to be fed for a few days, as they will feed off the stored energy from their egg. Once the hatchlings are swimming freely, you can start offering small pieces of nutritious foods such as algae wafers, blanched vegetables and other sinking pellets.

If you’re keeping multiple Rabbit Snails in the same tank, it’s important to note that they most likely won’t breed with each other if they’re closely related. As such, it’s best to get separate breeding pairs from different sources to help ensure that your snails have the highest chances of breeding successfully.

Rabbit Snails may show some aggression towards one another, especially during breeding or when competition for food arises. If the snails appear to be “fighting” (pushing and tugging at each other’s shells), it’s best to separate them into different tanks until their behavior subsides.

Diseases and Illnesses

As with any other species, Rabbit Snails are susceptible to disease and can become ill if not given the proper care and environment. Here are some of the common illnesses to look out for:

  • Acanthocephalosis

This is an infection caused by parasites which can lead to lethargy and clogged gills. If left untreated, Acanthocephalosis can cause respiratory distress and even death. The best way to prevent this illness is to make sure that the water is clean and free of any contaminants.

  • Shell Rot

Shell rot is a bacterial infection that causes the shell to become weak and discolored. It can be caused by poor water conditions, such as an overly warm environment or high levels of nitrates in the tank. The best way to prevent this is to keep the water temperature and quality in check.

  • Tuberculosis

While quite rare, Rabbit Snails can contract tuberculosis from another infected animal. Symptoms include loss of appetite, difficulty in movement, and swollen eyes. Unfortunately, treatment for this disease is still limited, so it’s important to prevent it from occurring in the first place by making sure the tank is free from any other infected animals.


In conclusion, Rabbit Snails make for great additions to any freshwater aquarium. They require minimal care and can live up to 3 years in optimal conditions. As long as they have a clean and stable environment, they should be able to thrive without any issues. To ensure their health, it is important to regularly test the water parameters and keep their diet varied with both plant and animal matter.

Additionally, it’s important to keep them separate from other tank members in order to avoid any aggressive behavior or potential diseases. With the right care, these unique snails can make fascinating additions to your tank!