Horned Armour Snail / Pagoda Snail (Brotia pagodula)


Pagoda Snail is a freshwater snail species belonging to the Pachychilidae family. It is native to small rivers in the borders of Thailand and Myanmar. It is a good algae-eater and is ideal for freshwater aquariums.

Pagoda Snail has a yellow/brown colored shell with numerous spikes. The shell resembles a Pagoda, which is a tower with a tiered structure. The flesh of the snail can display various colorations including plain dark grey and light yellow with orange flecks. It grows up to an average size of 3-5 cm, which is fairly large for invertebrates. It can live anywhere between 2-5 years.

Behavior and Compatibility

It is a peaceful snail that keeps to itself. It can share the tank with shrimp (Blue Velvet Shrimp, Bumble Bee Shrimp, Ghost Shrimp, etc.), non-aggressive fish, and other snails (Nerite snails, Mystery Snails, Sulawesi Snails, etc.). Pagoda Snail usually hides after being introduced into the aquarium. If the water conditions are ideal and there is an adequate food supply, it will start coming out in a few hours or days. Aggressive fish like Clown loaches (Botia macracantha) and Crayfish predate on Pagoda Snails and should not be kept in the same tank.

Water Parameters

Temperature: 22-28 °C
pH: 6.8-7.5
Hardness: 5-30 dKH

Pagoda Snail needs well-filtered water with soft to medium hardness. The water should not be acidic to prevent shell damage. Since this snail comes from fast-flowing rivers, the good water flow will be best in the aquarium also. Although it sifts through the substrate to search for food, it will not dislodge many plants like Rabbit Snails or Malaysian Trumpet Snails (Melanoides tuberculata). It will feel comfortable with a clean and finely textured substrate with a few rocks. It is not fond of bright lighting, especially when transferred to a new aquarium.

The snail can get stuck in crevices or branches due to the horns present on its shell and die very quickly due to stress. It will be best to avoid those kinds of points in the aquarium before introducing the snails.


Pagoda snail eats algae and detritus (decomposing plant and animal matter). It also accepts algae wafers, cooked vegetables (carrot, broccoli, kale, spinach, zucchini, etc.), and sinking fish flakes, pellets or wafers. It prefers powder or smaller size foods laying over the gravel or rocks. If the provided food is not sufficient, it may start munching on live plants with soft leaves.

Important Note

Invertebrates are very sensitive to copper or copper compounds.
    1. If you are using tap water, make sure there is no dissolved copper present.
    2. Do not feed Pagoda Snails with fish foods that have copper or copper sulfate as ingredients.
    3. Fish medicines and aquarium fertilizers also contain copper-based chemicals and must be avoided or carefully dosed in invertebrate tanks.


Identifying the gender of Pagoda Snail is difficult. It is recommended to have a group of 5-6 snails to ensure at least one specimen of each gender. The exact conditions required for breeding Pagoda snails are also not known. They are viviparous I.e., they give birth to live young ones. The female snail gives birth once a year to up to 50 juveniles. The young snails are 3.5-6 mm in size and need to be fed finely powdered foods at least twice a day to survive. Continuous algae stock grown over the rocks will be another and better choice for the snails and the juveniles.

Image Source: http://www.tropheus.ro

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