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Snail caresheet: Red racer Nerite snail (Vittina waigiensis)

Who said snails are drab? If you still think of aquatic snails as annoying pests or only useful for algae removal, think again. Introducing: Vittina waigiensis, better known as the red racer Nerite snail. This species has much to offer, but the absolute best thing about it is definitely its stunning color and pattern.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about red racer Nerite snails and keeping this stunning snail species in your own aquarium!


Scientific name: Vittina waigiensis

Common names: Red racer Nerite snail, red racer snail, red Nerite

Difficulty level: Easy

Origin: Philippines


vittina waigiensis

Vittina waigiensis appearance

Although there are many beautiful Nerite snail varieties out there, red racer Nerites take the cake. These 1.2" (3cm) snails feature a brightly colored shell with red and orange bands and a row of "v's" that looks just like a racing track.

Setting up a Vittina waigiensis aquarium

Vittina waigiensis requirements

Although red racer Nerite snails are easy to keep and suitable for beginners, there are a few care guidelines you should keep in mind.

If you're interested in keeping these snails, make sure you have an aquarium of at least 3 gallons (or more if you want to keep more snails). As always, the tank should be filtered and fully cycled. A heater is usually a must as well.

As we'll be discussing in the 'diet' section below, red racer Nerites prefer a diet of algae and biofilm. This means it's not a good idea to go crazy with the cleaning tools every week: a squeaky clean aquarium makes for hungry Nerites. Leave algae growing on one or more of the glass panes or even grow it separately on rocks which can then be added to the tank if you don't like the 'dirty' look.

Vittina waigiensis snail water quality

Red racer Nerites are not too demanding when it comes to water quality. Obviously the aquarium should always be fully cycled and free of ammonia and nitrites, as these molluscs can be slightly sensitive.

Another important point is pH. With a lifespan of up to 4 years red racer Nerites are pretty long-lived, but like other snails they don't do all that well in acidic waters. A pH over 7.0 is recommended for a longer lifespan and smaller risk off shell deterioration. If your pH is under 7.0, be sure to use a calcium supplement. Even then, though, you might find your Nerites living shorter lives than they would in harder water.

pH: 6.2 – 8.0 (lifespan longer in alkaline pH of 7+)

Temperature: 71.6° - 87.8° F (22° - 28° C)

kH: 2-12

Vittina waigiensis snail tankmates

If you're here at The Shrimp Farm reading this snail caresheet you're probably interested in both shrimp and snails. You're in luck - they are the perfect combo! Both red racer Nerites (and other snails) and (dwarf) shrimp are very peaceful. Shrimp especially won't do well with larger and more aggressive tankmates, so these harmless Nerites are a great choice if you want to add some extra life to your shrimp tank. You can also keep them with one or more of the various other fascinating snail species the aquarium hobby has to offer.

If you want to keep your red racer Nerite snails with fish, be sure to go for species that won't nip at their antennae.

Vittina waigiensis snail diet

One important aspect of keeping your red racer Nerites healthy is a proper diet. Although these snails will usually adapt to eating plant-based dry foods, the best staple for them is all-natural algae and biofilm. They are fantastic algae eaters but won't attempt to consume your plants, which makes them a great addition to your aquarium cleaning crew. As discussed earlier, be sure to cultivate some food for them and don't keep your tank overly clean.

If you are low on algae or just want to offer some extra variety, high quality shrimp foods are a good option for your red racers. They usually contain plenty of algae, plant matter and calcium, which is important for shell growth. If your pH is on the low side consider adding an extra mineral source - montmorillonite powder helps with shrimp molts so it might be beneficial for your Nerites as well.

Breeding Vittina waigiensis snail

Like other Nerite snails, red racers don't breed in freshwater. In fact, it doesn't appear many aquarists have succeeded in breeding them at all. Brackish or saltwater is needed for the eggs to hatch. This is a downside for those who love to see their stock multiply, but at least there is no risk of a red racer snail infestation!

Buying Vittina waigiensis snail

Red racer Nerite snails are still a very new addition to the aquarium hobby, so you might have some trouble finding them. You can try asking your local aquarium store if they're able to order a few for you, but the best option is probably to buy online. The Shrimp Farm sells red racer Nerites - you can find your set of three snails here!

the shrimp farm

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