Published on Friday, 20 January 2012 11:34

               Nerites are becoming wildly popular in freshwater aquariums. With the ever increasing amount of nerites being introduced to the hobby, there always seems to be more reasons to keep them. Their versatility makes them one of the best invertebrates to keep.

      There are many different species of nerites that range in color, size and location in which they are found. They all have one thing in common though, they can’t complete their breeding cycle in freshwater. Some nerites are found in the coastal regions in small pools and tidal areas, and can sometimes be transitioned to fresh water. Others are found in freshwater streams and rivers. When they lay their eggs, they hatch and get swept out to brackish waters.  They eventually grow and make their way back way to these streams. Because they won’t breed in our freshwater aquariums, you won’t have to be worried about being over-run with snails.

      While some keep nerites just for their color, shape, or general interest in inverts, others keep them for their algae eating capacity. Nerites can help with several kinds of algae. I have had great success with them eating green spot algae. No need to scrub and scrub the front of the glass, just toss in a couple nerites and call it a day. They also do well at cleaning up other slimy algaes. Some move nerites from tank to tank as they deplete algae sources. If you run out of algae, you can supplement their feeding with zucchini.

      Nerites are being used where more traditional methods can’t. Many are starting to use the larger nerites such as, zebras and tigers, in their Tanganyikan and other cichlid tanks where other options don’t work. In smaller tanks olives, black horned and Clithon corona are used. I use nerites in my shrimp, nano fish, breeding tanks, and so forth. The possibilities are nearly endless when putting these inverts to work so you don’t have too.