Snails are good creatures for keeping water bodies and the ecosystem functioning. They play various roles, such as calcium cycling and nitrogen filtration. Also, they are appropriate for making aquariums and fish tanks operational.

A ratio of 2 snails per 10 gallons of a fish tank is ideal for any snail species. For a 10-gallon tank, you can have 5 mystery snails, 3 apple snails, 5 Nerite snails, 2 Ramshorn snails, 2 assassin snails, or 8 land and garden snails. Above that, you’ll be overcrowding the tank.

How big is a 10-gallon tank?

The standard dimensions you will commonly find in a 10-gallon tank are 20 x 10 x 12 inches in length, width, and height, respectively. A 10-gallon tank can provide sufficient space for your aquarium to grow. Most beginner aquarists prefer these tanks for their affordability and accessibility at local pet stores. 

A 10-gallon tank can hold up to 0.0379 cubic meters, 37.9 liters, and 37,900 cubic centimeters of water and weighs about 11 lbs. This tank’s volume and size are typically similar to a shoebox and one-and-a-half bathtub volume. 

This tank works incredibly well even with inexperienced aquarists due to its ease of managing and ability to occupy little space.

How many snails go in a 10-gallon tank?

A 10-gallon tank comfortably accommodates both saltwater and freshwater snails. Here is helpful information about the appropriate number of various species of snails you can store in a 10-gallon tank:

Snail speciesNumber in a 10-gallon tank
Mystery snails5 or less
Apple snails2-3
Nerite 3-5
Ramshorn snails1-2
Assassin snails2 or less
Land and garden snails6-8

1. Mystery Snails

Mystery snails are more prominent than others and grow up to an average length of 2 inches. The most appropriate number of mystery snails to store in a 10-gallon tank is not more than 5 snails.

These snails are incredibly colorful, bright, and tiny creatures that excel in any aquarium. Also, they require medium attention and are suitable for keeping with other snails.

After putting these snail species in a tank, you will notice a substantial advancement in water quality after a few days.

They eat a lot of things, although mystery snails shouldn’t have strawberries and other acidic foods.

2. Apple Snails

2-3 Apple snails are good for a 10-gallon tank. These snails are known for their small size and beautiful color. Thus, they are a suitable species to store in any tank. 

However, many people don’t prefer keeping them in tanks containing fish because they leave more litter. This makes the cleaning task quite demanding, necessitating weekly cleaning. 

Apple and mystery snails share many traits, although they differ significantly in their care.

3. Nerite Snails

A 10-gallon tank accommodates 3-5 nerite snails. These snails are tiny in size and maneuver well in the tank. However, 10-20 nerite snails can still fit well in a 10-gallon tank. 

However, it is not advisable to keep them together with fish. If you aim to provide them with adequate food, it is best to hold about 3 in a 10-gallon tank. 

4. Ramshorn Snails

Ramshorn snails are big-sized compared to other snail species. A 10-gallon tank accommodates 1-2 Ramshorn snails.

These snails grow up to 4 centimeters; hence they require more space. Despite their enormous size, they are attractive and ideal for keeping in any tank.

Keeping 1 and at most 2 in a 10-gallon tank would be the best scenario. 

5. Assassin Snails

These snails eat both tiny and bigger-sized snails. They can grow up to 3 inches in length. Therefore, keeping a maximum of 2 assassin snails in an established 10-gallon tank is best.

Assassin snails are well-known exterminators. Keeping these snails in a tank eliminates other unwanted pest snails, removing the need for toxic snail-killing chemicals. 

Assassin snails eat mystery snails and other types of snails, thus good for controlling the aquarium population.

6. Land and Garden Snails

A 10-gallon tank accommodates 6-8 land and garden snails. These snails can be kept in one tank without developing issues.

Other people pet these snails as a hobby, but the act can be unique and fun. They are small, gorgeous, and attractive.

Most people prefer keeping these snails in a tank. A 10-gallon tank can accommodate 6-8 land and garden snails without other animals for the best results.

Best Snails For a 10-Gallon Tank

Here are our top picks of the best snails you can put in a 10-gallon tank:

Best 10-gallon tank snailsWorst 10-gallon tank snails
Turban snailsBladder snails
Astrea snailsPond snails
Turbo snailsMalaysian trumpet snails
Cerith snails 
Nerite snails 
Mystery snails 
Assassin snails

1. Turban Snails

Turban snails are also known as trochus snails. These snails belong to the class of the algae-cleaning group. They are unselective and may consume various algae, including slime, hair, green, filamentous algae, and diatoms. 

Turban snails work well in saltwater and have an appetite for feeding on corals. However, they are less likely to wear out corals.

2. Astrea Snails

Astrea snails grow up to a one-inch diameter. This implies that you can comfortably store 10 snails in a 10-gallon tank.

These snails search deeply in the tank for algae. However, they crumb better than other species when correcting themselves after falling upside down. 

Adding these snails to your tank will help increase the cleaning band. They consume diatoms, green film, and cyano.

3. Turbo Snails

Turbo snails are a good solution for hair algae. They are prominent and grow up to 6 inches in length. These snails are well-known for knocking down decors and rocks while searching for algae.

Under circumstances where there are insufficient algae, you can feed these snails with seaweed. 

However, you should be aware that these snails will less likely right themselves after falling. This makes them frequently die from poor positioning after falling.

4. Cerith Snails

Cerith snails are omnivores that make an excellent addition to the snail family. They aren’t picky when provided with any diet. Their diet may include uneaten fish pellets, film and hair algae, cyano, and detritus worms.

Cerith snails are small-sized scavengers that can grow up to a one-inch diameter. Therefore, you can conveniently mix these snails with other species without problems. In addition, you can keep about 10 snails of this species in a 10-gallon tank.

Worst Snails for a 10-Gallon Tank

Some snail species breed at an accelerated rate, making them unsuitable for a 10-gallon tank.  Their ability to multiply fast makes them difficult to live in the tank. 

Here are some of the worst snails for a 10-gallon tank:

1. Bladder Snails

Bladder snails do not need a corresponding partner for reproduction (they are hermaphrodites). Therefore, they will quickly increase in number in a tank forming a swarm. Far worse, they can move toward the aquarium filter and spoil it by chewing the gunk.

2. Pond Snails

Pond snails aren’t suitable for a 10-gallon tank. They grow up to 3 inches in diameter and generate excess waste. They will also consume plants, multiply quickly, and deprive the nitrogen level within a few days.

3. Malaysian Trumpet Snails

Like bladder snails, Malaysian trumpet snails are hermaphrodites but are less annoying. Moreover, they are practically immortal and can stay for months without food. 

Advantages of a 10-gallon tank for snails

A 10-gallon tank is considered suitable even for a beginner snail hobbyist. Some benefits of acquiring a 10-gallon tank:

1. Affordable

These tanks are relatively affordable, making them suitable for a small budget. Most cost less than $100, with discounts at various pet stores.

2. Good Choice for Beginners

Some aquarists believe a small tank is easy to maintain in the aquarium.  However, this is wrong since smaller tanks are more volatile than bigger ones. In fact, buying small tanks increases the chances of creating errors. 

Although a 10-gallon tank isn’t considerably large, most hobbyists keep snails in 2.5 or 5-gallon tanks. A 10-gallon tank requires a low upkeep cost and is relatively easier to maintain favorable water parameters.

3. Helpful as a Quarantine Tank

A 10-gallon tank can be suitable for anyone with a large community tank. This tank perfectly serves the sick snails, necessitating acclimating by providing seclusion for quarantine. 

Sick snails must be quarantined for 3 months before qualifying to join the larger community. A 10-gallon tank serves perfectly by giving an alternative tank for your snails in such situations.

4. It Takes up Small Space and is Manageable

When filled with water, a 10-gallon tank weighs about 111 lbs, making it substantially light to be held by most home furniture. Therefore, there is no need to buy additional adjusters and dedicated stands.

Disadvantages of a 10-Gallon Tank for Snails

A 10-gallon tank has a few problems when changing water. You can easily change water weekly in less than 15 minutes. Furthermore, it’s much more convenient for maintaining water parameters. 

However, it has been reported to be a problem during stocking. A 10-gallon tank cannot hold fast-breeding snails for too long.

How Many Snails in a 10-Gallon Tank with Betta Fish?

You can easily manage 1-3 snails in a 10-gallon tank with betta fish. However, this number will vary depending on the snails you are keeping. It is best to keep small-sized snails in a 10-gallon tank with a betta. 

Since betta is attractive, you can keep Golden Mystery Snails and Nerite in a 10-gallon fish tank. These snails are small-sized, peaceful, and colorful.

It is also good to know the difference between a mystery snail poop and its eggs so that their reproduction is not interfered with when cleaning the tank.

Final Thoughts

A 10-gallon tank is helpful for keeping snails. This tank serves inexperienced and experienced snail hobbyists by providing a suitable environment for snails.

Furthermore, it has multiple benefits, such as affordability, easy maintenance, and occupying a small space. 

Not to forget, it will only be ineffective for fast-regenerating snails and serves many snail species. Get a 10-gallon tank to embrace your snail hobbyist for more incredible benefits!


University of Nebraska. 4-H 280 Tropical Fish: Part of the Nebraska 4-H Small Animal and Pet Series.

University of Chicago. What’s in Your Aquarium?

University of Texas. Aquaponics: Getting The Ecological Balance Right.

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