Should You Remove Nerite Snails from Your Fish Tank
By Jecinta Muturi @aquariawise
An aquarium ecosystem never lacks snail eggs or snails, whether you add them intentionally or they hitchhiked their way into your fish tank. Fortunately, snails are not bad for your tank. They clean up leftover fish food, algae, and plant debris, keeping your water clean and safe.
Nerite snails are common and one of the few species you’ll likely find in your fish tank. Nertie eggs are also a concern for many fish keepers because they are conspicuous and hard to miss on surfaces.
So, in case you find yourself with a bunch of nerite eggs stuck to your aquarium glass, wood, or decoration, what should you do!
Remove them or let them hatch?
Will they even hatch in a freshwater fish tank-and if they do-will you have too many?
Nerites are rarely pet snails, and you should consider hatching eggs in your fish tank. They will clean your substrate as other species, but they are prized for their ability to consume algae. If you do not want the eggs to hatch in your aquarium, removing them is an option, and it should not be too tasking.
Use a scraper, credit card, or razor blade to remove nerite eggs from aquarium surfaces, then rub off the residue with a soft sponge.
These snails are notorious for laying eggs everywhere, so you may need to clean several parts of your fish tank to remove the eggs entirely.
What Do Nerite Snail Eggs Look Like
Nerite snail eggs look like tiny white dots that can appear on almost all aquarium surfaces, including on glass, live plants, wood, rocks, decorations, and even on filter intakes. They can appear as moderately dense miniature lumps or little white dots spread on the surface.
The eggs are noticeable under dim aquarium light and may have a subtle glow under blue moonlight aquarium bulb light. Nerite eggs have a somewhat tender texture and often stick, so you may need to scrape them off a surface to remove them.
Do Nerite Snail Eggs Hatch in Freshwater Tank
Nerite snails are great to watch and help in aquarium clean up, but they lay eggs everywhere, which is the trade-off for all the benefits they come with.
However, these eggs (nerite snail eggs) will not hatch in freshwater, and the only solution (if you do not like how they look) is to scrape them off.
Nerite snail eggs require a mix of freshwater and saltwater called brackish water to hatch, in the absence of which, they will dry out, become infertile, and remain stuck on your aquarium glass and hardscapes.
Another reason you want to scrape nerite eggs off (besides not hatching in freshwater) is they accumulate over time because your snails will continue laying the eggs whether they hatch or not.
How to Hatch Your Nerite Snail Eggs
If you want to hatch Nerite snail eggs, provide them with a brackish water environment. Mix freshwater and marine-salt-mix to a salinity level of 1.005 and 1.015 specific gravity. You can use a hydrometer or refractometer to salinity level.
Place the brackish water in a sizable container enough to accommodate the eggs and an airstone, and set the temperature to between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Transfer the eggs into the container and wait for them to hatch. You may want to prepare a freshwater snail tank for the baby snails once they are hatched.
How Long Do Nerite Snail Eggs Take to Hatch
Nerite snail eggs take between 5 and 15 days to hatch, depending on the temperature and salinity of the water. They are generally challenging to hatch in a fish tank, and only a handful of aquarists are successful.
Juveniles often die or disappear, especially when not given proper care.
I would not recommend hatching nerite snail eggs from your tank unless it’s for fun. If you want nerite snails in your fish tank, you are better off buying them from your local pet store.
How to Remove Nerite Snail Eggs from Your Fish Tank
The best and fastest way to remove nerite eggs from your fish tank surfaces and hardscapes is by scrapping them off with a razor blade, scraper, credit card, or chopsticks.
The eggs do not dissolve, so you cannot wait it out. If you take too long to remove them, they will only accumulate and increase your workload.
You also need to know that your nerite snails will continue laying whether the eggs hatch (or not).
Nerite snail eggs stick on surfaces with a tough texture that soften in 3 to 7 days. So, hold a few days before you try to remove them after they appear in your fish tank.
The eggs will leave adhesive rings when you dislodge them, but you can still remove them (the residual rings) using a scrapper or razor blade.
They might be tougher to remove than the eggs but will come off with a few tries.
Go in with a sponge after scrapping the eggs from a surface to remove any debris left behind.
You can also try to add fish, such as clown loach, angelfish, zebrafish, and puffer fish, to feed on the nerite snail eggs.
Reducing your nerite snail population is another solution.