ZEBRA NERITE (Neritina natalensis)
Zebra Nerite Snails are one of the most efficient algae eater and popular with their patterns black and gold stripes. Patterns are individual for each snail as it is for the Zebras (Equus burchelli). They became famous in recent years because of their benefits and their impressive colors as well. Now they are also reachable in most countries at most of the big Pet Stores. They are very rarely breeding in home aquariums which have high calcium and magnesium salts such as Tanganyika species aquariums..
Their reported breeding occurs under brackish water conditions. They are perfect tank mates for non-aggressive fish species, shrimps, and other snails. Assassin Snails can be a threat for zebra snails and are not suggested to keep together. Zebra Nerites are also effective on especially Green spot algae removal and other surface algae.
pH: 6,5 – 8,0
Hardness: 6-12 dGH
They mostly prefer alkaline waters with high hardness values since it is crucial for their shell development and maintenance. Calcium / Magnesium-rich substrates could be preferred and also dosing these minerals is a good choice to keep them healthy. Temperature is also an important factor for breeding and affects snail activity during the day.
Zebra Nerites mostly feed on algae that grow on glasses, rocks, and substrate but they also consume fish foods and organic debris. In case the algae/debris source is not sufficient, they will need additional supplements which can be provided with fish flakes or granules. Algae chips and granules for plecos or herbivorous fish are best for zebra nerites. Sometimes they can consume boiled vegetables. If possible the best source is covering a rock with algae and adding it to the tank. After fully consumed replacing with another one.
Their natural breeding occurs in brackish water but rarely breeds in high Calcium / Magnesium dosed freshwater tanks such as Tanganyikan fish tanks. They spread around many eggs in freshwater tanks mostly over the driftwoods and rocks. Besides, they can lay eggs on any surface that includes the aquarium glass. These eggs sometimes may become disturbing for hobbyists. The driftwoods with eggs can be moved to brackish water for hatching. But, even after the eggs are hatched, it is also reported that raising the babies is not easy and requires special care.