Red Racer Nerite (Vittina Waigiensis)
Vittina Waigiensis is also known as “Red racer Nerite snail”, “red racer snail” or “red Nerite” is a snail species belonging to the Neritidae family. The natural habitat of this snail is the Philippines. Described by R.P. Lesson in 1830-1831, this snail has been traded only to Europe since 2015. Freshwater, brackish water, forests, estuaries, streams, and rivers are the environments in which this species lives in nature. This snail does not live its entire life underwater and sometimes it gets out of the water for feeding.
Vittina Waigiensis can have yellow, red, orange, and black colors. The zigzag lines on the shell are attractive features of this snail. The shell size can reach 2-3 cm in diameter. So, it is slightly smaller than other snail species such as Neritina Natalensis. If the shell is damaged, the snail can repair minor damage from the inside, but not the outer and major ones.
pH: 6,5 – 8,0
Hardness: 2-12 dGH
Although it lives in waters between 6.5 – 8 pH band, its life is longer in alkaline waters (pH 7+). It is better to keep in groups in the aquariums starting from 12 liters. This snail can live harmoniously in the aquarium with dwarf shrimps, guppies, tetras, plecos, cories, and other peaceful fish. It is not suitable for living with large shrimps, crabs, and snail-eating fish.
In some cases, they may behave like climbing out of the aquarium. In these cases, they cannot find their way back and face the danger of drying out. Thus, it is necessary to observe their movements in the aquarium and cover the aquarium properly. If climbing out of the aquarium is seen, it can be put into place by gently pushing.
Vittina Waigiensis eats algae and plant matters, but their preferences are for algae rather than plants. For this reason, it is a very suitable snail for planted aquariums. Covering stones with algae (sun-grown algae stones) out of the aquarium and adding them to their aquarium is a good method to provide them healthy nutrition. Once they consumed the algae cover on the stone, it can be replaced with a new one.
Keeping the aquarium clean all the time is not suitable for this snail and may cause starvation. As well as algae, they consume biofilm or high-quality dry algae wafers with high vegetable content. However, it should be noted that this snail species is not good with dry food and algae source is very important to keep them healthy. When the necessary conditions and food sources are available, they can live up to 2 years. But this lifespan can extend up to 4 years.
Vittina Waigiensis is a snail that is not easy to breed in an aquarium. Although parent snails live well in freshwater, brackish water is required for the development of the eggs. For this reason, the eggs should be taken from the freshwater aquarium and placed in a salty water environment for hatching. Moving eggs to the saltwater can be possible by moving the objects that snails deposited their eggs over. Egg packs contain 50 to 100 eggs, and often snails prefer hard porous surfaces for depositing these packs. The young snails also need to stay in brackish water until they reach adulthood.
In summary, these attractive snails, with their vivid colors and zigzag lines are preferred by aquarists as they can live in harmony in planted aquariums, and besides, they are good algae eaters. The only challenge with these snails is breeding because of the saltwater requirement.