Q: SL wrote,

Nippy, Can I put an Apple Snail in with my betta?

A: Apple Snails often make good tank mates for Bettas. There are a few things to prepare for before buying your Apple Snail.

First, like aquarium fish, Apple Snails are sensitive to poor water quality and can be harmed by ammonia, nitrite or high levels of nitrate. As with Bettas, it’s preferred to keep them in a cycled tank and to maintain good water quality by making frequent water changes.

Apple snails don’t add too much to the bioload but be cautious not to overstock your tank. I recommend a minimum of 5 gallons for one Betta and one Apple Snail.

Apple Snails need calcium rich water to maintain a healthy shell. If you have soft water you may need to consider calcium additives or perhaps to find a more suitable Betta tank mate, of which there are several. Please test your water prior to buying your Apple Snail. Most local fish stores will test it for free if you bring them a cup full of water.

Some Bettas are more aggressive then others and may not know how to properly handle your new Apple Snail. Observe their new relationship closely in the first week. It’s common for a betta to test the limits of his new-shelled friend but if you find that he is attacking or picking at the snails antennae you may need to consider separate tanks.

Apple Snails provide an invaluable service as the clean up crew for your tank. They will quickly consume any algae or uneaten fish food in your aquarium. Unfortunately, some species of Apple Snails will also mow down all your healthy plants as well. If you keep a planted aquarium you may want to consider species that prefer dead or rotting plant and animal matter instead of the healthy stuff.

Please visit Applesnail.net for extensive information on Apple Snails, their care and specific species information. These folks are brilliant and you don’t want to miss this site before buying your Apple Snail.

Apple Snails are a beautiful addition to a Betta tank. They will add a whole new level of interest for both you and your Betta.

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