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Pomacea Canaliculata - Apple Snail or Golden Apple Snail

By: Stephanie Dodson
Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a lovely Pomacea Marisa Apple Snail. This sheet contains the basics you should know in order to keep your new pet healthy and happy.


Cana's generally mature at approximately fist-size in diameter and are characterized by a breathing siphon, 2 sets of tentacles (1 located by the mouth and one near the eyes) and an operculum (trapdoor).

Apple Snail
© Danelle
They are some of the largest of all Apple Snail species you will likely find in the pet store or fish store. Though I am sure they exist, all the Cana's I have seen have ranged in brown to gold in color with or without stripes.

Unlike most other snails, Apple Snails are NOT asexual. You must have a male and a female to reproduce them. If water conditions are optimal and food supply is adequate, they may mate and lay reddish-orange colored egg cases above the waterline, typically on the side of the tank or occasionally on the tank lid. If you do not want to raise baby snails, simply remove the egg cases and discard them. If you want to try hatching them you can leave them where they were placed and the eggs will hatch within a few weeks. Sometimes the egg cases slide off and enter the water. If you see this happen, remove the egg case from the water immediately. The babies can drown at this stage. You can fashion a hatchery tank out of a plastic container with water in the bottom and a homemade rack constructed from plastic canvas available at the craft section of most any discount store. The most important things to remember are that the egg cases must remain out of the water, warm & fairly humid. That means keep the hatchery tank covered & in a warm spot. Babies are very small and translucent when they've hatched. They can be difficult to see. They will usually remain in the gravel, scavenging food, until their shells begin the hardening process. After a week or so, you will see them gradually appearing from the gravel. In time you will see the coloration come in on the shells and they will grow like weeds. They should be fed the same diet as the adults. Take great care to either cover your filter intake with a sponge, securing it with a rubber band, or to check your filter pad regularly for any babies sucked inside. Many times the babies will be fine and just need to be placed back into the tank.


Like most aquatic pets, your snail requires de-chlorinated water. You can use any readily available de-chlorinator product from most stores as long as it does not contain any medications or metal derivatives. We use Wardley De-chlorinator.


Apple Snails
© Mushi
Your tank pH level must be around 8.0. You can purchase pH testing kits at your local fish store or Wal-Mart. To improve your pH level, you can utilize one of various remedies. Add cuttlebone (from the bird section) but be sure to remove the metal clip before adding it to the water. Partially bury the cuttlebone in the gravel so it doesn't float. Some people use crushed coral to replace the gravel. You could also try adding seashells to the tank. Just be sure none of the snails can lodge themselves inside any of them. To prevent this without fail, use “clam” type shells or shells much smaller than the snails themselves. I've also heard of people using reptile calcium supplements but have not used them myself.


Canaliculata have voracious appetites and will consume discarded fish food and fresh veggies with gusto. They do have quite an appetite for live plants, so it isn't recommended that you keep them in a planted tank, if you intend to keep the tank in its planted state.

It will be necessary to provide food for your snails, in addition to what they scavenge from your fish. Adequate foods include: Algae Wafers, Tropical Tablets, sinking shrimp pellets and any other types of sinking food for scavengers like catfish & loaches. They also enjoy rinsed canned green beans, washed fresh romaine lettuce & washed fresh spinach (also a good calcium source). I have found that my Cana's have a real taste for the stems of cilantro! They will also take shrimp pellets from my hand.
*helpful hint: Purchase a lettuce clip from your fish store. They are very handy for feeding veggies. They are constructed of plastic and made to hold the vegetables securely. On the back of the clip is a suction cup used to hold it onto the side of your tank.


The general rule of thumb for tank size is 2.5 gallons per snail. However, Cana's get quite large. I would recommend at least 4 gallons per snail in this instance. This, of course, depends on the adequacy of filtration & aeration. Your tank must also be totally covered. If your hood has holes, like many do, where the filter & heater hang – simply use aluminum foil shaped to securely fit the holes and poke some ventilation holes in it with a skewer. Similarly, other people have told me they use duct tape to cover the holes. Canaliculata (and other Apple Snails) can and do leave the water.

Good fish roommates for snails include, but are not limited to, Danios, Guppies, White Cloud Mountain Minnows, Neon Tetras, Cory Catfish, etc. All of these are non-aggressive fish that cohabit easily with snails. Some definite fish to avoid (in most cases) are: Oscars, most Goldfish, Cichlids, Angelfish, Puffers, Loaches, Barbs (most species) and some Bettas.

Additional Questions?

I encourage you to visit to learn more about Canaliculata and other types of Apple Snails. It is your “one-stop-shop” for information and is invaluable to snail-keepers worldwide.
This is not my website. But you will find it an invaluable resource in your snail keeping venture.

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