Horned Nerite Snail 101: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

If you’re new to the world of aquarium keeping and are looking for an exciting and low-maintenance addition to your tank, the horned nerite snail with their long spikes could be the perfect choice. 

These horned nerite snails are small and fascinating creatures that are visually appealing and offer a wide range of benefits for your aquarium ecosystem. 

This Nerite snails horned care guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to know about horned nerite snails, including their biology, behavior, care requirements, and compatibility with other aquarium inhabitants.

Nerite snails horned

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced aquarist, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and tips to successfully introduce and care for horned nerite snails in your aquarium.

From their unique appearance to their valuable role in maintaining a healthy aquatic environment, there’s much to learn about these captivating creatures. So, if you’re eager to delve into the world of thorny nerite snails, this guide is the perfect place to start. 

Quick Notes about Horned Nerite Snail 

The Horned Nerite Snail, also known as Clithon corona, is a popular choice for freshwater aquariums due to its small size and algae-eating habits. These small snails are native to Southeast Asia and can be found in rivers, streams, and other freshwater habitats.

They are known for their striking appearance, with a shell that is typically dark brown or black with yellow or orange markings. Their unique horn-like protrusions on their shells give them their distinctive appearance.

Horned Nerite Snails are hardy herbivores known for their ability to consume large amounts of algae, making them an effective natural cleaner for aquariums. They are low-maintenance and peaceful creatures, making them a great addition to community aquariums. 

However, they can be sensitive to copper and bad water conditions, so it’s essential to maintain a stable and clean environment for them. The Horned Nerite Snail is a beautiful and beneficial addition to freshwater aquariums. 

Taxonomy of Horned Nerite Snail (Clithon Sp)

The taxonomy of the Horned Nerite Snail (Clithon sp.) is complex, as identifying species within the genus Clithon can be challenging even for experts. Here’s a breakdown:

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Mollusca Class: Gastropoda Subclass: Neritimorpha Order: Cycloneritida Family: Neritidae Genus: Clithon

There are several species within the genus Clithon donovani, and the “sp.” designation indicates that the specific species of the individual snail is unknown. This is often the case with these snails in the aquarium trade, as they are collected from the wild and only sometimes identified at the species level.

Some of the more commonly encountered species in the trade include:

  • Clithon diadema: This species is characterized by its golden yellow shell with black stripes and prominent spines. 
  • Clithon corona: This species has a more variable shell color, ranging from brown to reddish or yellow, and may or may not have spines. 
  • Clithon pritchardi: This species is similar to C. corona but has a more rounded shell shape. 
  • Clithon spinosus: This species always has spines on its shell, which can be long and sharp. 

It’s important to note that the presence or absence of spines and the shell color and pattern can vary significantly within a species, making identification even more difficult.

How to Set Up an Aquarium for Nerite snails horned

Setting up an aquarium for Nerite snails horned involves a few key steps to ensure their health and well-being. First, choose a tank at least 5 gallons in size, as Nerite snails require plenty of space to move around and explore.

Next, add a substrate layer to the bottom of the tank, such as sand or smooth gravel, to mimic their natural habitat. It’s essential to provide a source of filtration and aeration in the tank to maintain water quality, as Nerite snails are sensitive to environmental changes.

Keep the water temperature between 72-78°F and the pH levels around 7.5-8.5 to create a suitable living environment for the snails. Decorate the tank with live plants and driftwood to provide hiding spots and surfaces for the snails to graze on.

Finally, regularly monitor the water parameters and conduct water changes as needed to ensure the health and happiness of your Nerite snails horned. 

Horn Nerite Snail Care, Diet, and Breeding

Horn Nerite snails are relatively easy to care for, requiring a well-maintained aquarium with stable water parameters and a clean environment.

They thrive in freshwater or brackish water tanks and prefer a pH level between 7.5 and 8.5. These snails are mainly herbivorous and will feed on algae and biofilm in the tank.

It is essential to provide them with enough algae for grazing and occasional supplementation with algae wafers or blanched vegetables like zucchini or cucumber.

Breeding horn nerite snails can be challenging in a home aquarium, as they typically require a specific brackish water environment for their eggs to hatch. However, they are known to lay eggs in freshwater tanks, but the eggs will not hatch in those conditions.

Overall, horn nerite snails are peaceful and low-maintenance creatures that can help keep your tank clean and algae-free. 

Horned Nerite Snail Care (Quick Summary)

  • Habitat: Brackish or saltwater environments in the wild, but they can adapt to freshwater aquariums.
  • Tank size: They can thrive in tanks as small as 10 gallons, but larger tanks are always better.
  • Water parameters:pH: 7.0 – 8.0
  • Hardness: 4 – 20 dGH
  • Temperature: 22 – 26 °C (72 – 79 °F)
  • Substrate: Sand or gravel is preferred, as they like to burrow.
  • Decorations: They appreciate rocks, driftwood, and plants to hide in and graze on.
  • Filtration: A good filter is necessary to maintain water quality.
  • Water changes: Weekly water changes of 10-20% are recommended.
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years


  • Herbivores: They primarily eat algae, but they will also consume biofilm, detritus, and blanched vegetables like spinach, zucchini, and cucumber.
  • Algae wafers: If there is not enough algae in the tank, you can supplement their diet with algae wafers.
  • Avoid copper: Copper is toxic to snails, so avoid food, medications, and fertilizers that contain copper.


  • Difficult in freshwater: Horned Nerite Snails cannot breed in freshwater aquariums. Their larvae require brackish or saltwater to survive.
  • Eggs in freshwater: They will still lay eggs in freshwater, but the eggs will not hatch.
  • Breeding in brackish water: You must set up a separate brackish water tank to breed them.

Other Notes

  • Peaceful: They are friendly snails compatible with most other fish and invertebrates.
  • Escape artists: They are good climbers, so make sure your tank has a tight-fitting lid.
  • Beneficial: They benefit aquariums because they help control algae growth.

Horned Nerite Snail Tank Mates

Horned Nerite Snails are generally peaceful creatures that coexist well with various tank mates. They are typically a great addition to any community aquarium, as they spend most of their time grazing on algae and do not bother other tank inhabitants.

Good tank mates for Horned Nerite Snails include peaceful fish such as tetras, guppies, Corydoras catfish, and other delicate invertebrates like dwarf shrimp and small snail species. 

However, it’s essential to avoid housing Horned Nerite Snails with aggressive or larger species that may threaten them. Additionally, it’s best to avoid keeping them with loaches, which may target the snails as a potential food source. 

Are Horned Nerite snails good?

Yes, Horned Nerite snails are excellent for aquariums! They are Great algae eaters, Peaceful, and Low maintenance; consider adding these helpful little cleaners to your aquarium!

How big do horned Nerite snails get?

Adult snail nerites typically reach a size of 0.5 to 1 inch (1.3 to 2.5 cm). They are known for their small and manageable size, making them perfect for most freshwater aquariums. 

What is the lifespan of a horned Nerite?

Horned Nerite snails, or Crown Nerites, can enjoy 2-3 years in a well-maintained planted tank. These algae-gobbling gastropods are known for their longevity compared to other freshwater snails, making them valuable additions to your tank.

Do horned Nerite snails eat hair algae?

Yes, horned Nerite snails will munch on hair algae, though they may not completely eradicate it. They prefer softer filamentous algae like diatoms and green hair algae but might not tackle more rigid, thicker hair algae varieties. Consider other options like Amano Shrimp for heavy infestations.

How many horned Nerite snails per gallon?

Aim for 1 snail per 10 gallons, though smaller tanks (5-7 gallons) can handle 1. More snails in small tanks risk overstocking and food competition. Remember, bigger tanks allow more snails!

Do horned Nerite snails lay eggs?

Yes, horned Nerites lay eggs, but freshwater aquariums can’t hatch them. Eggs appear white and attached to surfaces but won’t survive without specific brackish water conditions. Don’t worry, they won’t overrun your tank!

Do horned Nerite snails eat plants?

No, horned Nerite snails are plant-safe herbivores. They primarily munch on algae, leaving healthy aquarium plants untouched. They might nibble on decaying or unhealthy plant parts but won’t harm thriving greenery.

What do horned Nerite snails eat?

Horned Nerite snails are algae-gobbling champions! They love diatoms, green hair algae, and even biofilm, keeping your tank sparkling clean. But they won’t harm your precious plants!

How fast do horned nerite snails grow?

Horned Nerite snails grow gradually, reaching peak size in 6-12 months. Growth slows as they mature, so don’t expect overnight giants! Their small size initially makes them great for most aquariums.

How long do horned nerite snails live?

Horned nerite snails have an average lifespan of 1 to 2 years, making them relatively short-lived compared to other snail species. However, with proper care, they can sometimes live slightly longer.

Where horned nerite snail for sale online?

Horned nerite snails can be sold online at various pet stores and aquarium supply websites, offering a convenient way to purchase these snails for your aquarium.


In conclusion, the black horned nerite snail is a fascinating and low-maintenance addition to any aquarium. Their unique appearance, algae-eating capabilities, and peaceful temperament make them an excellent choice for beginners. Understanding their specific care requirements, such as water parameters and diet, is crucial for their health and well-being. Providing them with a clean and well-maintained environment and proper calcium supplementation for healthy shell growth is essential.

Additionally, being mindful of their potential limitations, such as their inability to reproduce in freshwater, can help prevent any unexpected challenges. Overall, if their needs are met, horned nerite snails can thrive and contribute to a freshwater tank’s overall balance and beauty. By following this comprehensive guide, beginners can confidently enjoy and appreciate these unique creatures as a valuable part of their aquatic hobby.

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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