Malaysian Trumpet Snails (MTS) are one of the few species of aquarium snails that can be acclimated into brackish salt water.
This is most often done by hobbyists wanting to add tank mates to their Opae Ula tanks as they have a few benefits.
- Substrate disturbance: MTS will burrow themselves in the sand/substrate and slowly release gas bubbles which could otherwise become anaerobic and harm your shrimp
- Glass cleaning: MTS will eat biofilm and algae growing on your aquarium walls, improving visibility
- More life: The varying sizes of MTS contrast nicely with the small shrimp and make the tank more interesting to look at
Marine salt water is typically in the range of
Malaysian Trumpet Snails can survive and even thrive in a wide range of salinity levels if the transition is slow enough; from pure freshwater to fairly salty brackish water (
24ppt). Although some hobbyists have even had success with acclimating MTS to salt water.
This range is very useful for Opae Ula keepers, as these shrimp are typically kept in water between
24ppt). Keeping your tank at the lower end of this salinity range will allow both your Opae Ula and MTS to thrive.
|Salinity range (sg)
|1.022 - 1.027
|Opae Ula brackish
|1.010 - 1.018
|Malaysian Trump Snail
|1.000 - 1.018
How to acclimate
Warning: Moving any animal from one level of water salinity to another should be done very carefully and slowly. If you move them too quickly to a higher concentration of salt then the salt will quickly draw water from their cells. Going in the opposite direction too quickly could mean their bodies can’t adjust to the new nutrient requirements in time and they become ill or even die.
- Pre-mixed brackish water
- Temporary snail tank
- Refractometer (or another tool to measure salinity)
- Every day mix in a portion of the pre-mixed brackish water so that their water’s salinity increases by no more than
- Every few days, give them a break from adding more salt
- After around 1 week you will reach the desired salinity, but give them another day or so to adjust
- Move the MTS into their new tank
Look out for these signs of stress in your snails during the acclimation as well as shortly after moving them into the new tank:
- Snails rushing to the surface (don’t worry about one or two simply eating biofilm from the surface)
- Snails hiding in their shell for days and not moving
Things to check
- Test the salinity has not increased too quickly (up to
0.02sgincrease each day)
- Add RO water or freshwater until the salinity change is back to safe levels
- Test the water’s ammonia and nitrite levels