Common Name: Conch Snail, Fighting Conch
Scientific Name: Strombus spp
Reef Safe: Yes
Care Level: Easy
Max Size: Around 2 inches
These are one of my preferred choices for a cleanup crew in my aquariums. Their shells have a very traditional “sea shell” shape to them. Basically, that is a cylinder or cone shaped shell with a elongated opening for their boot. They have a long “snout” like mouth and if you look closely, you can see their eyes peeking out from inside the shell. When scared or stressed, they can completely tuck into their shell.
While conch snails are typically very peaceful snails, male conch snails can sometimes be territorial towards other male conch snails. The term “fighting conch” is not truly reflective of their temperament.
Conch snails do best in aquariums with a lot of sandy substrate for them to forage in for food. They will best in mature set-up or new set-ups with stable parameters as well as at least one inch of substrate. Provided there is enough algae to sustain them, the conch snails are suitable for 55 gallon (or larger) aquariums. As they like to root around in your substrate in search of food, they will help to keep the substrate well aerated and maintained. Trace amounts of copper based medications can be lethal to a conch snail.
As their shell has a rather large opening as compared to most other snails, you need to make sure you to not keep them with any natural predators like hermit crabs. Hermit crabs have been known to kill conch snails in order to steel their shells.
Recommended water conditions:
I would refer you to the below article for the typical water conditions that conch snails will do best in. While they are very tolerant to less than ideal water parameters, they will best in the long term with good and stable water parameters.
Conch snails are omnivores and their diet will consist mostly of: hair algae or filamentous algae, cyanobacteria and diatoms, and detritus they will do best in an aquarium with lots of green algae for them to eat. Conch snails need to eat a lot of green algae growing in your aquarium as the biggest part of their diet. They will also eat any uneaten food and detritus from the substrate. If the algae level drops to the point of there not being enough in the aquarium for this snail to eat, you can supplement their diet with dried seaweed.