Triangle Rabbit Snail (Tylomelania Sinabartfeldi)
Tylomelania Sinabartfeldi is also known as “Rabbit Snail”, “Elephant Snail”, “Triangle Rabbit Snail” or “Sulawesi Snail” which is a snail species belonging to the Pachychilidae family. Sulawesi, Malili lake systems, and the Larona river in Indonesia are the natural habitats of this snail. It was named after the famous researcher Sina Barthfeld. Later on,
they are named Rabbit Snail because of the similarity of their facial structures to rabbits as well as their movement like a jumping rabbit with a group of other snail species.
There are approximately 50 species of Rabbit Snails have been identified in science. But, rabbit snails become popular with aquarists from 2007-2008. So it is very new in the aquarium hobby.
This snail can reach about 10-12 cm in length and live up to 1 to 3 years if well cared for. In some cases, they live longer than this interval.
The shell shape is conical and the color varies from dark brown to black. Also, white and cream spots often exist on both shell and flesh.
Temperature: 26-30 degree
pH: 7,5 – 8,5
Hardness: 2 – 15 dKH
Alkaline waters are the most proper for healthy shell structures. On the other hand, they can also tolerate lower pH values. But, for keeping them healthy and comfortable, it is best to keep them in alkaline waters.
Proper Tank Conditions
It is recommended to use sand or fine-grained material as the aquarium substrate. This material will allow the snail to hide in the sand to rest. They like warm climates such as their natural habitats. For this reason, the aquarium water should be slightly warmer than the most traditional aquarium setups. According to some researchers, they can live between 22-23 degrees, but this causes their metabolism to work slowly. Compared to other snails, they require larger tanks from 75 liters to larger due to their larger body structure.
These peaceful snails can live in harmony with non-aggressive species such as nerite snails, mystery snails, black devil snails, ghost shrimp, vampire shrimp, Amano shrimp, and Malawa shrimp in the same tank. Aquatic creatures such as crayfish, cichlids, loaches, and goldfish are natural enemies of this snail and should never be together in the same tank. They love to hide, so having fewer snails in the aquarium is good for them.
As with other snails, these snails are likely to escape from the aquarium. For these reasons, it is necessary to cover the top of the aquarium as much as possible.
The fertilizers for the plants must be used with care in the aquarium. Because, these snails are sensitive to chemicals, especially copper. They can easily die from chemicals. Also, a harsh movement during transferring of this snail can cause the shell to break and the snail can die afterward due to possible infections and attacks from other inhabitants.
Tylomelania Sinabartfeldi generally prefers algae for nutrition. Rocks or decorations that provide algae and biofilm are indispensable for them. Besides, they can also eat broken plant leaves that have fallen into the aquarium substrate. On the other hand, they are good with vegetable-based fish and shrimp foods. Vegetables such as lettuce or spinach can also be used for their diet. They should get enough calcium for healthy shell growth. Calcium support can be necessary during their care according to the water parameters. If the water used for the setup and water changes is low on Calcium and Magnesium, the water must be enriched with the additions of these minerals.
This snail can live in harmony with the plants in the aquarium. At this point, the plant that needs attention is Java ferns. It has been observed that they harm the Java ferns in most cases. For this reason, two species should not coexist in the same tank for a harmonious life.
Tylomelania Sinabartfeldi can reproduce when they reach approximately 4 cm in length. Because of the low reproduction rates, the population will not explode even if a large group is placed in an aquarium.
These snails can carry both male and female genders. Whether the snail is a male or female cannot be distinguished by eye. On the other hand, a female specimen can carry sperm for a long time and lay eggs for several months without the existence of any other individual.
If the right conditions are provided, reproduction can occur in the freshwater aquarium. Therefore, there is no need for a separate tank for breeding.
Tylomelania sinabartfeldi breeds by laying white egg pouches. At this point, they are similar to nerite snails. These egg pouches contain 11-67 embryos inside and they hatch in the freshwater. In oppose to nerite snails, the baby Tylomelania sinabartfeldi snails grow in complete freshwater environments without the need for saltwater conditions. Baby snails are 3-5 mm in length when they first hatch and depending on the matured biofilm in their first days.
This snail species have started to be preferred by aquarists in the last 10 years (2010-2020) with their interesting shell structure and appearances. Under proper tank conditions, it can live comfortably and even breed. Because it likes slightly warmer climates, care should be taken when choosing other creatures that will live in the aquarium.
Photos by Chris Lukhaup