Why Is My Nerite Snail Not Moving? This Question Answered & More

    nerite snail


    Zebra Nerite Snail in a Tank
    Zebra Nerite Snail. Photo Credit: Evan Baldonado


    Why Is My Nerite Snail Not Moving?

    Here we can see one common but usually easy to solve problem. Some people ask, “Why is my nerite snail not moving?” and today we are going to provide you with the answers that you should keep in mind.

    These snails are excellent for beginners because they move around in a tank and consume algae in massive amounts. They are easy to breed and they can be kept in small tanks. However, they can stop moving at any given moment. No, they are not dead. They just need your help.

    High levels of Nitrite and/or Ammonia

    The most common reason why a nerite snail will stop moving is due to chemicals found in water or due to poor water quality. If there are higher levels of nitrite or ammonia, they will stop moving. These chemicals can actually kill them! You will have to replace at least 75% of the water and make sure nitrite and ammonia levels are low. Nitrite must not exceed 20mg/L. Also, make sure there is no chlorine in the water.

    pH is Too High or Too Low

    Check the pH level as well. It should be slightly above 8.0. If it is lower, add sandstone, shells, or limestone to increase it. Your nerite snail should be more mobile after that. This applies to almost all types of nerite snails.

    How Long Does It Take A Nerite Snail To Adjust To A New Tank?

    In some cases, you can encounter the ‘nerite snail not moving problem when adding them to a new tank. Try to remember that adding them to a completely new tank is not a good idea. They need nitrifying bacteria. Without them, they won’t be able to survive. The water parameters will be different than the snails need.

    You will have to add them to a mature tank with live plants that have been inside the water for at least a couple of days. You can also add green zucchini, blanched lettuce, and algae wafers. If everything is well and done correctly, your nerite nails will need a couple of days up to 2 weeks to adjust to a new tank. Sometimes this happens in less time. Nerite snails have a higher need for perfect tank conditions, so they need more time to adjust. Making sure there are natural foods inside the tank and obviously using proper water temperature can make the transition easier.

    Nerite Snail Tank Conditions

    The best thing to do in order to avoid the ‘nerite snail not moving’ issue is to provide them tank conditions that are the same as they have in their natural habitat. There are two main differences here. Nerite snails live in coastal habitats in nature (most of them). There are plenty of rocks where algae grow and there are a lot of places to hide. You need to replicate that in a saltwater tank. The reason for smooth rocks is the fact they have 4 sensitive tentacles. They can get scratches easily. A calcium substrate is highly recommended. It also means that snails will have great calcium levels.

    The tank conditions should be maintained properly at all times. The water temperature must be between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. pH levels must be between 8.1 and 8.4. The water temperature and the pH levels refer to both saltwater and freshwater tanks.

    Some species are found in streams in forests. As such, they can be placed in freshwater tanks. The tank conditions are relatively the same. You need to add hiding spots and smooth rocks as well. Adding driftwood is also an appealing choice. Plants are not mandatory to add, but they are welcomed.

    We must add that in freshwater, nerite snails will come to the surface at night. This is common due to the tide found in those waters. You should try to replicate the same situation. Empty the tank 1-2 inches so the snails have the ability to do this. You can keep 1 or 2 snails in a tank with a 10-gallon capacity. Ideally, you will have 1 snail per 5 gallons of water. Don’t forget to consider other fish and their count in your tank.

    Nerite Snails Tank Mates

    When it comes to nerite snails, you don’t need to worry about tank mates. While most fish have strict and complicated tank mate requirements, these snails don’t. As a matter of fact, they can be kept in a tank with most fish. All you have to remember is that tank mates must be small and peaceful. Ideal mates are:

    In addition, you can add nerite snails to tanks with other animals. For example, you can keep them with ghost shrimps as well. Adding other nerite species is possible. One advantage here is the ability to see different behaviors in your tank. Just keep in mind that nerite snails love peaceful tank communities, and as such, you should provide them precisely that.

    Nerite Snail Care Requirements

    Yes, you should care for your nerite snails. The good thing is that most of the issues are easy to solve and they are far from complicated. On the other hand, some are complex. The most common issue is a stunted shell. This happens when they don’t have enough food or when the water temperature is low. If they are in a healthy tank, this won’t be an issue. If they eat too much, the shell can change color. This happens because the shell is growing faster than recommended.

    If the shell is dark, it means that your snails don’t have enough food. You can see this problem in nature where there is no enough food.

    A shell can be weak or even crack if there is not enough calcium in the water. If that happens, make sure to add calcium-based supplements. If you can see white spots, these are not weak points on a shell. These are parasites that should be treated immediately.


    When your nerite snail is not moving, it is usually not a big deal is and something you can solve by changing the water temperature and making sure there are no chemicals in the tank. Look for nitrite and ammonia. Be especially careful when adding them to your tank for the first time.


    Don’t miss out on valuable tips! Subscribe below for our newsletter and get weekly updates on newly published posts.

      We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.