Because of their pretty appearance and easy care, turbo snails have always been one of the favorite pet snails for aquarists. Apart from this, these little creatures are very handy in keeping the tank clean as they have a never-ending appetite for algae. But because of their high algae-eating habits, new aquarists always need help determining how many turbo snails can be kept per gallon. So, today I’ve come with vast research and experience to clear all the question marks regarding this.

Most experienced aquarists recommend one turbo snail per 8-10 gallons. Here you should consider some factors, such as the snail’s size, tank environment, and the number of available algae or other food supplies, before reaching a conclusion.

In the rest of the article, I’ve explained all the things you have to consider to determine how many turbo snails can be kept in your tank, and also there’s a quick but comprehensive guideline for beginner turbo snail keepers. So stay tuned till the end if you don’t want to be in a puzzle when next time you think of adding a turbo snail in your tank.

How Many Turbo Snails Can You Keep Per Gallon?

The answer is more complex than yes or no.

When you are thinking of adding a turbo or any other snail, it’s very important to keep a balance between the number of snails and the food supplies available in the tank.

How Many Turbo Snails Can You Keep Per Gallon

Because if you are keeping fewer snails, then your purpose of keeping the tank clean won’t be accomplished. On the contrary, if you have put too many snails in the tank, then your snails will starve and eventually die.

The safe zone is to keep 1 turbo snail in per 8-10 gallons. But this rule of thumb won’t work for you if your tank doesn’t have enough food supplies or there are not enough rocks, corals, and hiding places. The size and age of the turbo snail you are going to put is also a factor to take into account.

So, checking a few factors will make it easier for you to determine how many turbo snails you should put in your tank.

Turbo Snail’s Size & Age

Snails’ size and age are one of the most important things to consider. Because how much algae or greens a snail will have depends on its size and age.

Most of the Turbo snails typically grow around 2 inches or 5 cm long. However, some aged turbo snails have been noticed to grow around 3 inches or 7 cm.

Young turbo snails are more active than aged ones. They seem to have an unlimited appetite. So, your snails are young and have reached an average size, and you have to give them more space than the old ones.

Food Supplies Available In The Tank

If you have more live rocks, corals, and decorations with plenty of hair algae, diatoms, and microalgae in a word more food supplies, then you can keep 2 turbo snails in an 18 to 20-gallon tank. On the contrary, if there are not enough food supplies, then 1 turbo snail would be enough for a 20-gallon tank.

 So when you are thinking of adding turbo snail to your tank, first check your tank condition.

What Happens If You Have Too Many Turbo Snails In Your Tank?

I’ve seen a misconception among new snail keepers. They think that a bunch of snails will keep their tank crystal clear. So they start to overstock snails. But unfortunately, such ignorance only leads to the premature death of snails.

I’ve heard someone suggesting adding 15 turbo snails in a 30-gallon tank! Lol

In this case, the snails may eat well for a week or two. But after that, there will be a food shortage. Because of extreme starvation, they will start to die eventually.

For a 30-gallon tank, 2 to 3 turbo snails should be enough.

See it’s true that snails are slow grazers. But one single snail can handle all the growing algae of a 10-gallon tank unless you are using fertilizer to grow algae in your tank.

What Happens If You Have Too Many Turbo Snails In Your Tank

Besides, one snail specie doesn’t eat all kinds of algae. I recommend mixing 2 to 3 snail species for the best outcome. But be aware not to overload your tank with snails.

However, if your tank is smaller than 10 gallons, then you should head towards other snail species like Nerite, Ramshorn, Ceriths, Malaysian snails, and Asolene Spixi snails.

Related Article: How to tell if a snail is dead?

Things To Consider Before Adding Turbo Snails In The Tank

As you are here to learn about how many turbo snails you can put per gallon, that means you are thinking of adding turbo snails to your tank, or you already have these beautiful snails in your tank. You are just making sure the number of snails you’ve put in your tank is enough or not.

I know you must have chosen turbo snails because of their low maintenance, but like all other living creatures, turbo snails also need an ideal environment to survive.

So for all the new turbo snail owners, here I’m going to discuss all the important factors so that you can ensure a healthy environment for your pet snail.

1. Tank Setup

In the wild, turbo snails are mostly seen in sandy substance clinging to any coral or rock covered with algae. When you are setting up a new residence for them, you have to keep these requirements in mind. Make sure you have added some live rocks, corals, and decorations from where your snail can get enough algae.

2. Temperature

20-25°C is the ideal temperature for turbo snails. When you are adding these snails to your community tank, double-check the temperature requirements of the other tank mates. You can only add turbo snails if the other tank mates have similar temperature requirements.

3. Water Parameters

Like other aquarium creatures, turbo snails have certain ideal water parameters for healthy growth. If you can’t ensure a favorable environment, you may end up losing them.

Here is a list of ideal water parameters for turbo snail:

Water SubstanceIdeal Parameter
Calcium350-450 ppm
Nitrate5-10 ppm

4. Tank Mates

Like other snails, Turbo’s are sluggish and peaceful with no defense organs. But when they sense any danger, they can save themselves by quickly entering their shell.

However, turbo snails are nocturnal, and they start grazing when the lights are dim or off. In case you have aggressive nocturnal fish in the tank, turbo snails won’t be able to graze peacefully as they will always have to stay in the shell to protect themselves.

Besides, turbo snails are herbivores which means they would only have greens, algae, fresh leaves, small stems, and maybe a very small amount of veggies like lettuce or cabbage. If there are tank mates with similar feeding habits for instance, surgeonfish or parrotfish, then your snails may not get enough food.

So before adding turbo snails, make sure there are no other herbivorous fish in the tank.

5. Copper Medication

Aquarists sometimes use the copper medication in the tank. But when a snail crawls over copper, a chemical reaction occurs, which causes irritation to its skin.

According to recent research, the presence of an excessive amount of copper can even kill snails. So if you have copper medication in your tank, you have to remove it.

6. Add Turbo Snails Gradually

I recommend adding snails gradually, whether it’s turbo or any other species. First, add snails according to the size of your tank. For instance, 2 turbo snails for a 20-25 gallon tank.

After that, check your tank’s algae growth and how clean it looks over time. If you see they can handle the cleaning task well, then no need to add more. But if you have algae buildup, then add another small snail specie like Nerites or Ceriths.

Don’t add a bunch of snails altogether. It will mass up the situation. Within one or two months, you will end up losing half of them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Turbo Snails Should I Have In A 30 Gallon Tank?

You can keep 2 turbo snails in a 30-gallon tank. After a few days, check the reef and glass of your tank. If it is clean enough, then no need to add more. But if the result is not satisfactory, then consider adding a Nerite or Ramshorn snail. Don’t think of getting more turbos.

How Many Turbo Snails Do I Need For A 150 Gallon Tank?

You can keep 8-10 turbos with 2-3 crieth or nerite snails. I think it would be a great combination. Such a variety of snails can mow down any patch of hair algae and get you the best result.

Wrap Up

How many turbo snails you should keep will depends much on the available food supplies in your tank.

If there are enough rocks, decorations, and corals with ingrowing algae, then you can keep 2 snails in per 20 gallons. On the other hand, if your tank doesn’t have much food supplies, then 1 turbo snail would be fair enough for a 20-gallon tank.

According to experts, you should not add more than one turbo snail to a 10-gallon tank. However, new snail keepers should consider some factors before adding turbos in the tank for instance, tank setup, water parameters, temperature, tank mates, and cooper meditation.

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