View Full Version : how many snails should your tank have?

01/27/2008, 04:04 PM
Ok so this probably isnt to crucial but my tank is almost 2 yrs old now and i have never restocked the snail/hermit population. im wondering what is an acceptable amount of snails/hermits per gallon. i have a 120 with a 40 g fuge and a 20 gallon prop tank. and as of now i probably only have.... 15-20 snails and maybe 5 hermits. share how many snails you stock your tank with please!

01/27/2008, 04:07 PM
if the tank has an algae issue,one per gallon is the old rule of thumb.a mix of species is best.

01/27/2008, 04:16 PM
My rule of thumb is to let the tank tell you if you need more. If you do not have algae, then don't add hervivorous snails or they will starve. If your levels are good and your sand is clean, then you probably don't need more detritavores. Of course, if you have a sandbed, then a couple nassarius would be nice.

I think 15-20 snails is fine. It also depends on the type of snails you have. I like a variety. Ceriths are everywhere from the sandbed to the rock and glass, so I love them. Nassarius are good to stir up the sandbed. Trochus and stomatella are good at eating microalgae and will spawn successfully in your tank.

As for hermits, I don't use them. I think 5 in a 20 is fine. Make sure you have pleanty of empty shells for them to choose from of various sizes. Even then they may decide to take a liking to one belonging to a snail (they love cerith snail shells).

01/27/2008, 04:19 PM
By the way, I have a 90 and only have a couple dozen or so myself.

01/27/2008, 04:34 PM
I have less than 10 snails and maybe 3 hermits in my 90 gallon.

I feel that the 1 per gallon rule was made by fish stores to get people to buy way more than they need.

01/27/2008, 04:40 PM
delbeck and sprung actually

01/27/2008, 05:31 PM
thanks for the advice... i just dont hear many people talk about it so i wasnt sure. my tank is doing good but im having a little hair algae and cyno on the sand so i want to get that under control. the algae is annoying but my coral/sps have never looked as colorful as now, esp after starting to feed the eric bornman coral recipe(which is also when i notice my hair algae problem starting) so i dont want to stop feeding as much. maybe a few more cleanup crews are needed.

01/27/2008, 05:41 PM
no problem.astera and real turbo snail mix will work, the large turbo snails eat hair algae the best and you dont need as many to tackel the problem.good luck.

01/27/2008, 05:59 PM
I have about 20 Turbos and 10 Astrea's i my 80 gal.

01/27/2008, 10:10 PM
I have 120 snails in my 90 gal.

06/18/2017, 09:51 PM
On the reef algae growth is controlled by sea urchins and partotfish mot so much snails.

06/19/2017, 07:31 AM
I vote urchin and zero snails.

Snails poop, and they die randomly. Even while they may preform some visual cleanup it's not exporting anything or addressing what you want them to eat.

Now if you want them as pets or hate a tank without them as a visual bonus then I recommend buying an easy number to track.

My favorite option is limpet snails. Those things are cool and breed like rabbits. But they never overbreed from my experience. They breed to what they can be sustained with. I never find them dead. They are a pain to pull off rocks. Why navy named a mine after them.


In summary. A lot of reef keepers just see snails and say i need them. If your maintaining awesome parameters to limit algae growth and promote coral growth then you may starve them, which can harm your tank if they die in places hard to see.

06/19/2017, 11:36 AM
I have a 60 and only had 2 turbo snails for years just fine. one died a few months ago and tank is still fine with just 1 snail. So you are fine with 20 snails (I'd say maybe even overstocked).

those with hundreds of snails, if they are from an online vendor that sells hundreds of tiny snails for cheap, those don't do squat as far as clean up and only pollutes the tank with die offs. I know because I made that mistake years ago.

06/19/2017, 01:40 PM
Don't know how many my tank 'should' have ..... but it does have zero because my dusky wrasse eats them all.

06/19/2017, 03:12 PM
I just ordered from reefcleaners, they have a sale going on right now, and they have a list that kind of suggests how many per tank size, but I think their list is either for a newer problem tank or just a little overkill, but for example for my already running 120g I grabbed their 40b package, snails only, no hermits.

DadDay is their promo code should you choose them, and site name is their name w/ dot org in case I'm not allowed to post their actual site here