I have a blue paradise betta fish named Sushi, which lives in the same tank as a mystery snail named Chopsticks.
I noticed that Chopsticks is always hanging around the top of the tank, and often has part of his body out of the water. This made me wonder if snails could live in the water or if I needed to make Chopsticks a new home.
In this article, we will see which snails can live in water & Can snails breathe underwater.
Do snails live in water?
There are some types of snails that can live in the water. Sea snails and freshwater snails can live in the water. Some types of land snails can live near water but not in water. It really all depends on the type of snail and how it breathes.
There are about 43,000 species of snails that fall into one of three categories; land snails, sea snails, and freshwater snails. Sea snails and freshwater snails live in the water, and some types of land snails like to live NEAR the water but not in it. Garden snails, for example, like to have access to shallow water for bathing and drinking, but they can drown if the water is too deep.
After finding out that chopsticks could live in water, I thought my troubles with him would be over. But then things got even weirder! He was sitting near the top of the tank when a very large tentacle began rising out of his body towards the surface. I mean that thing was damn near the size of his body!
I realized that snails were so much more complex than I thought! And I decided to research and find out where these strange creatures live, how they breathe, and what requirements aquarium snails need for their water conditions.
Do all Snails Live in Water
No, all snails do not live in water. Freshwater snails and sea snails live in water, but land snails do not. As I mentioned, some land snails like to live near the water but not in the water. Many land snails, like the garden snail, like to have access to shallow water for drinking and bathing, but can drown if the water is too deep and they cannot escape.
What Happens if you put a Snail in Water
What will happen if you put a snail in water depends on the type of snail, type of water, and water conditions. If the water is too deep and the snail cannot escape in time it will drown. Sea snails will be perfectly fine in salt water, but land and freshwater snails are sensitive to salt, so putting them in salt water would be fatal. Freshwater snails are also very sensitive to many other water conditions, which we will talk about in a later section.
Can Snails Drown in Water
Yes, land snails can drown in water. If the water is too deep and the snail cannot climb out in time it will drown. Freshwater snails and sea snails cannot drown in water, but some types of freshwater snails need to breath air every now and then.
Can Garden Snails Live in Water
No, garden snails cannot live in water. They like to have a very shallow dish of water for bathing and drinking, but garden snails will drown in water that is too deep for them to escape. Garden snails only have lungs so they cannot breath underwater.
Can Snails Live Underwater? Which Snails can Live Underwater?
Yes, there are many types of freshwater and sea snails that can live underwater! Some of the most common sea snails are the magic cone, common limpet, common whelk, abalone, and common periwinkle. There are also several kinds of freshwater snails, and many of them can be kept as pets! Some of the most common pet freshwater snails are mystery snails, trumpet snails, and nerite snails. Basically, whether or not a snail can live underwater depends on how it breathes. Snails are very unique creatures, and there are so many ways each type of snail can breathe! They can have gills, lungs, and sometimes even both!
How do Snails Breathe
Each type of snail breathes different ways. Most sea snails have two gills, but there are some that have one lung that they can use to breathe air! Most land snails have lungs, but there are some types that have one or two gills. They types that have gills require a lot of humidity in their environment. Freshwater snails have the most diverse and complex respiratory systems. Most freshwater snails have external gill, but some have two external gills, some have gills and one lung, and some even have a “snorkel” they use to breathe air! This “snorkel” is actually the strange tentacle I saw coming out of my snail Chopsticks. It turns out, mystery snails have both gills and lungs, and they will hang out by the surface to breathe air every now and then. If the snail feels like it cannot safely reach the surface, it will extend its “snorkel” and suck up air.
Can Snails Breathe Underwater? How do Snails Breathe Underwater?
Like I said, there are some snails that can breathe underwater. There are several ways underwater snails can breathe; they can breathe through two gills, one gill, gills and a lung, and some have an extra “snorkel” like my snail Chopsticks. Snails that have only gills stay closer to the bottom of the water and do not usually travel to the surface. Snails that have gills and lungs like to stay by the surface so they can take in oxygen from the air every now and then, but usually rely on their gills for breathing.
How Long can Snails Breathe Underwater
So the snails that can breathe underwater (sea snails and freshwater snails) can breathe underwater as long as they want. They gave gills that allow them to do so. However, there are some land snails that can hold their breath underwater. There are so many types of snails that experts have a hard time identifying how long land snails can survive underwater, but most say they last under 24 hours. The garden snail has a small hole on the side of its body that it can seal, so it can last a couple hours underwater even though it does not have lungs. Each type of snail is different, so exactly how long it can last underwater depends on the type of snail and how its body functions.
Can Snails Swim? Do Snails Swim?
The only snails that can truly swim are sea snails. Land snails and freshwater snails use their “feet” to grab onto the ground and move. Some species can wiggle their bodies on the water’s surface to essentially propel themselves through the water, but it isn’t really swimming. Freshwater snails grab onto plants, rocks, and other surfaces in the water to move around. If land snails fall into water, they will also try to grab onto something in order to escape before they drown.
Can Garden Snails Swim
No, garden snails are not known to be able to swim. If they end up falling in water, they will try to grab onto plants, rocks, or some other surface that they can “walk” on and escape. They have a cavity on the side of their bodies that they can seal, which allows them to hold their breath underwater for up to a couple hours. But if they do not escape in time they will drown.
Can Slugs Swim
The only slugs known to be able to swim are sea slugs. Sea slugs are usually bright-colored, and live in the ocean. Their bodies have special fin-like adaptations that allow them to swim through the water. Land slugs cannot swim, but they are known to sink to the bottom of the water, grab on to a surface, and climb out of the water.
Best Snails for Cold, Freshwater Aquarium Fish Tanks
Unfortunately, there are no good snails for cold freshwater aquariums. All freshwater snails need to be in well-filtered, heated aquariums to thrive and live happy lives. The zebra snail CAN live in cold water, but they do not like it and it will shorten their life expectancy drastically.
Before you add a snail to your aquarium, there are some very important things you need to know. First, all freshwater snails are very sensitive to plant fertilizers, medications, treatments, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and especially copper. Even small amounts of copper can be fatal for aquarium snails, so you need to make sure there is no copper in your tank. You should also consider getting a water test kit to check the ammonia, nitrate and nitrite levels to make sure they are not to high. Ammonia and nitrite levels need to be at 0ppm. Finally, plant fertilizers, medications, and treatments, even if they are made for freshwater aquariums, can be harmful for your snail. You should try to avoid using these things, but if you absolutely have to you should only use small amounts and keep an eye on your snail for changes in behavior. Aquarium snails also might need calcium supplements and like their water on the harder side. Calcium and hard water help keep the snail’s shell strong and healthy.
Can Apple Snails Live in Cold Water
Not really. Experts recommend keeping apple snails in tanks with water around 65 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature reaches 65 degrees, the apple snail will go dormant and become inactive. You should try to avoid keeping the snail at temperatures 65 degrees and lower because it can harm the snail. When the water is warmer, apple snails are more active, eat more, and grow faster. This tells us that apple snails really thrive in warmer water, so colder temperatures should be avoided.
Can Assassin Snails Live in Cold Water
No, assassin snails cannot live in cold water. Experts recommend keeping their water between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You should also be careful adding an assassin snail to an aquarium with small fish and snails. Assassin snails are carnivores and will eat small fish, snails, and shrimp if they get the chance.
Can Mystery Snails Live in Cold Water
No, mystery snails cannot live in cold water. Their water should be kept between 68 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pH should be 7.0 to 7.5. Mystery snails have especially sensitive shells, so it would also be a good idea to give them food with calcium a few times a week. I also learned from my little Chopsticks that mystery snails like to have plants close to the surface of the aquarium so they can breathe air and feel safe while doing so.
Can Malaysian Trumpet Snails Live in Cold Water
No, Malaysian trumpet snails cannot live in cold water. Experts suggest keeping their water between 70 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit and their pH between 7.0 and 7.5. If the water temperature drops below 70 degrees it can be fatal for these snails.
Can Nerite Snails Live in Cold Water
No, nerite snails cannot live in cold water. Their water should have a pH around 7.5 and the temperature should be between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Nerite snails also have very sensitive shells, so providing food or treats with calcium a few times a week is a good idea. You should also try to keep water on the harder side so it is rich with minerals.
Can Rabbit Snails Live in Cold Water
No, rabbit snails can absolutely not live in cold water. Their water needs to be between 76 and 84 degreed Fahrenheit with pH between 7.2 and 7.5. They need hard water and lots of calcium to stay healthy.
Can Ramshorn Snails Live in Cold Water
No, ramshorn snails cannot live in cold water. Experts recommend keeping their water between 70 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit with pH about 7.0 to 7.5. Temperatures lower than 70 degrees Fahrenheit can be fatal to the ramshorn snail.
Can Trumpet Snails Live in Cold Water
No, trumpet snails cannot live in cold water. Experts suggest keeping their water between 70 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit with pH between 7.0 and 7.5. You should also trey to keep their water on the harder side and provide calcium supplements.
Can Zebra Snails Live in Cold Water
So, zebra snails CAN live in cold water, but they do not like it and it will shorten their life expectancy. Experts suggest keeping their water between 70 and 80 degreed Fahrenheit with pH as close to 7.5 as possible.
How long can snails live without water?
That depends on the type of snail. There are some snails found in the desert that can go years without water. Some land snails can go days or months without water. Most of the time, sea snails and freshwater snails can stay out of the water until their skin dries out, but once their skin dries out it can be fatal.
Do snails live in water?
Some types of snails live in water. All freshwater and sea snails live in water, and some types of land snails have gills and like to live in very humid environments. It all depends on the type of snail and how it breathes.
Do slugs live in water?
Sea slugs live in the ocean water, but there are no know slugs that live in freshwater. Land slugs cannot swim, but they are known to sink to the bottom of the water, grab on to a surface, and climb out of the water.
Do snails live in saltwater?
Yes! There are many types of sea snails that can be found in oceans all over the world.
Can apple snails live out of water?
Apple snails are not known to be able to live out of the water. They are able to survive a couple hours on land, but eventually they must go back to the water or they will die.