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Snail caresheet: Chocolate rabbit snail (Tylomelania zemis)

Looking for inhabitants for your Sulawesi biotope? Maybe something to combine with your blue leg poso shrimp? Look no further! Lake Poso and Matano in Sulawesi, Indonesia aren't just called home by various beautiful shrimp varieties - they also contain snails from the genus Tylomelania. One of these is the chocolate rabbit snail (Tylomelania zemis), which is quite unique but still uncommon in the hobby.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about keeping chocolate rabbit snails in your own aquarium!


Scientific name: Tylomelania zemis

Common names: Chocolate rabbit snail, chocolate Poso snail, Sulawesi snail

Difficulty level: Easy

Origin: Sulawesi


How to care for the chocolate rabbit snail in in your aquarium #aquariums #aquatic Hover over image to pin to Pinterest

Chocolate rabbit snail appearance

Like the more common golden rabbit snail and other snails from the genus Tylomelania, chocolate rabbit snails have an elongated pointy shell with an operculum. The shell is smooth and light brown, while the body features a more chocolatey color. An adult size of up to 4" (10cm) is not uncommon.

Setting up a chocolate rabbit snail aquarium

Chocolate rabbit snail requirements

When setting up an aquarium for your chocolate rabbit snails, keep in mind that due to their adult size, these snails won't do well in nano setups. Try going for a tank of at least 10 gallons to be safe and prevent overstocking.

All the regular tank setup guidelines apply. Your aquarium should be filtered and always fully cycled before any livestock is introduced. A working heater is also a must, as the Sulawesi lakes are naturally very warm and these snails don't respond well to cold.

Plenty of hiding places and relatively dim lighting are appreciated by chocolate rabbit snails. Also be sure to provide plenty of leaf litter at all times: this makes a great natural food source. If leaf litter and other foods are lacking these snails are known to take a bite or two out of any soft aquarium plants they can find. Stick to sturdy plants and make sure your rabbit snails don't go hungry.

Chocolate rabbit snail water quality

Like most creatures from the Sulawesi lakes, chocolate rabbit snails appreciate a relatively high pH. Very soft water should be avoided, as it can cause shell deterioration over time.

Keep a close eye on your water values. Any traces of ammonia or nitrites can be toxic and nitrates should ideally be kept under 10. Do regular water changes to keep the water quality high.

pH: 7.5-8.5

Temperature: 27-30°C/81-86°F

Chocolate rabbit snail tankmates

Chocolate rabbit snails are peaceful creatures that won't bother their tankmates and don't respond well to being bothered themselves. They do well in peaceful setups; any fish or invert that appreciates similar water values and has a calm temperament should work.

If you're interested in keeping one of the fascinating Sulawesi shrimp species, chocolate rabbit snails are one of your few tankmate options. They come from the same waters and will leave baby shrimp alone.

Chocolate rabbit snail diet

As mentioned earlier, chocolate rabbit snails are detritus feeders that do well if a constant supply of leaf litter is present. To supplement their diet, you can try feeding powdered (baby) shrimp foods and pellet foods with high veggie content such as shrimp wafers. Again, be sure to keep these snails well fed or your aquarium plants might turn into their dinner!
chocolate rabbit snail

Breeding chocolate rabbit snail

Although we could not find data pertaining specifically to chocolate rabbit snails, many Tylomelania snails do reproduce in the aquarium. You won't need to worry about overcrowding, though - it's a pretty slow process. Only one baby snail is produced at a time, and this doesn't happen very often. The offspring is nurtured in the mother snail's pouch for quite a while before eventually being released. Initially it will be covered in an egg sack, but it won't take long to emerge and head out in search of food.

Buying chocolate rabbit snail

Although Tylomelania snails seem to be gaining popularity very quickly, they can still be a little hard to find. Your local aquarium store might not carry many varieties besides the most popular golden rabbit snail. Luckily, there are a few online sellers that carry chocolate rabbit snails. The Shrimp Farm now sells chocolate rabbit snails in packs of three - you can order your snails online here and have them shipped to your doorstep!

the shrimp farm

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