Zebra Nerite - Snail
By Ben Sisko
Zebra Nerite © Ben Sisko
Zebra Nerite © Ben Sisko
Common Name: Zebra Nerite
Latin Name: Neritina natalensis
Origin: South Africa
Temperature: 72-77°F (22- 26°C)
Ease Of Keeping: Easy
Lighting: dim to bright
Adult Size: 2 inches (5cm)
Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallon
Feeding: almost exclusively algae
Spawning Method: virtually impossible
Comments: Neritina natalensis is a beautiful snail that has a light brown shell with black stripes running down it. It's body is grey with black lines running all around the animal.
I have read information from some sources stating that this species lives in freshwater and other sources saying that this is a brackish water species. Since I have kept the snail successfully in both, I'm not sure.
They are and extremely easy animal to keep and will do fine in any tank set up. But to keep them in tip top shape I would recommend you keep them in water with a pH of no less than 7.0, and if you really love these snails you can add some extra calcium to their water in the form of drops or crushed coral gravel. They can tolerate both cool and warm water although they move around much quicker in warmer water. They also appear to be more active at night. The only bad habit they have is that they tend to crawl out of the water from time to time so a secure cover over your tank is a good idea, unless you want snails exploring your home.
They almost exclusively eat algae and do not seem to harm plants at all. I have had them in a very heavily algae grown tank and they cleaned it up in a matter of months, to the point of needing to find extra food sources ( I ended up leaving the tank light on more so that there is a constant source of algae in the tank somewhere). When keeping these snails I suggest having at least some algae in the tank to keep them fed.
When well fed they will lay lots of eggs which in most cases do not hatch. It has been reported that the eggs might hatch in brackish water but there has never been any breeding of this species in captivity as of yet. I am presently keeping the snails in both fresh and brackish water tanks in an attempt to breed them and have not had any young so far. Thier young apparently start out life as free swimming larvae which settle into a crawling life as they get older so if you want to breed them, you better use sponge filters in their tank so you don't suck up any babies.
I feel that these snails are the best snail for freshwater tanks because they are very beautiful, they don't breed, they don't harm plants, they clean up algae very efficiently and they are fun to watch!
I highly recommend this species!
Name: Curtis H.T LeBlanc
Comments: Breeding these guys is sort of hard, the babies really do best in brackish and can even do well in full marine conditions. In the wild there is supposed to be a lot of lime stone in the area they are found. It is thought that these snails need this to hatch out. Donya from applesnails.net has had success with breeding nerites I believe with limestone. There are many many many different types of nerites from all over. For example some olive nerites are found in Florida. They have been found in fresh, brackish and full marine conditions.
Comments: I got some Neritina natalensis in a 6.3 pH freshwater tank with lots of plants. I notice that the male (smaller) climbs on top of the female and hitches a ride while the female lays eggs all over the place. I never saw it, but I supose that the male ferterlizes the eggs while they run around. This behavior started a month ago or so and the bright white eggs turn yellow and rot away. No success yet. I suspect I would need slightly salty water. I read somewere that the snails come from South-Africa.
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