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Malaysian Trumpet Snail: What You Need To Know

Malaysian Trumpet Snail: What You Need To Know

Malaysian trumpet snails are great additions to your aquarium because they offer several benefits, especially for shrimp tanks. However, depending on the type of tank you have and your setup will tell you if the Malaysian trumpet snail is suitable for you.

Malaysian trumpet snails are an invasive snail species belonging to the Thiaridae family. This species is known for burrowing into the substrate of the tank in search of food, which consists of fish food, algae, and decaying plants. Additionally, this species is one of the easiest to care for.

The rest of this article will cover an overview of the Malaysian trumpet snail, including the overall care it requires, so you can decide if it’s right for your tank.

Malaysian Trumpet Snail Overview & Origin

  • Common name: Malaysian trumpet snail
  • Scientific name: Melanoides tuberculata
  • Family: Thiaridae
  • Care level: Easy
  • Size: Up to an inch (2.54 cm)
  • Life Span: About one year
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Minimum tank size: One gallon
  • Water temperature: 72°F to 82°F (22°C to 27.8°C)
  • Water pH: 7.0 to 8.0
  • Water hardness: 8 to 12 dGH

The Malaysian trumpet snail is an interesting creature, and despite being an invasive species, many people keep them in their tanks willingly, as they offer many benefits.

Malaysian Trumpet Snail Appearance & Size

Malaysian trumpet snails are very small and reproduce quickly, putting them into the category of “pest snails.” They only grow to 20–27 mm (0.79–1.06 in) long.

The shell of a Malaysian trumpet snail is cone and spiral-shaped and usually black or brown in color. The snail has a thin body that looks translucent with small specks all over it. The snail’s head is small, with two antennae sticking out of it.

Malaysian Trumpet Snail Personality & Behavior

Malaysian trumpet snails are very peaceful in an aquarium with other tank mates. They won’t bother any other fish or snails and tend to keep to themselves.

However, you will notice that these snails are pretty active at night. They spend most of their time on the bottom of the tank digging through the substrate for food, which includes leftover fish food, algae, and various decaying matter.

Malaysian Trumpet Snail Average Life Span

Like most snails, the Malaysian trumpet snail doesn’t live very long. The average lifespan is around a year. However, with the proper care, you can possibly extend this species’ lifespan to around two years.

For example, providing your Malaysian trumpet snails with a larger tank rather than a smaller one might extend their life, as they have more room to move around and hide from possible predators.

Malaysian Trumpet Snail Care & Tank Setup

If you’re keeping Malaysian trumpet snails in your tank to take advantage of their beneficial qualities, you have to know the ideal care and tank setup that they require. 

Tanks Size

Malaysian trumpet snails aren’t too picky about the tank size, as they’re small creatures. They can survive in as little as a one-gallon tank. 

However, if you’re going to have multiple Malaysian trumpet snails or have other tankmates, at least 10 gallons is preferred. Otherwise, it’ll get crowded fairly quickly.

How Many Malaysian Trumpet Snails Are Suitable For a 10-Gallon Tank?

Around 10 Malaysian trumpet snails are suitable for a 10-gallon tank. It’s best to only have one or two Malaysian trumpet snails per gallon of water. However, it’s important to consider other aquatic life in the tank as well as how quickly Malaysian trumpet snails reproduce.


Malaysian trumpet snails can live in a variety of substrates, but they tend to prefer fine-grained gravel or sand substrate. This is because they enjoy burrowing around in the substrate to search for food and clean the tank.

However, as long as the substrate is clean and there’s enough room to move around, Malaysian trumpet snails can live in gravel or pebbles.

Water Parameters

  • Water temperature: 72°F to 82°F (22°C to 27.8°C)
  • Water pH: 7.0 to 8.0
  • Water hardness: 8 to 12 dGH

Malaysian trumpet snails are hardy, which means they can typically survive just fine in various water conditions. However, if you want your snails to live for over a year, it’s best to provide them with their ideal water parameters.

Water Temperature

The ideal water temperature for Malaysian trumpet snails is between 72°F to 82°F (22°C to 27.8°C). These snails can adapt to a wide range of temperatures. While they’re most comfortable in warmer climates, you can keep them in cooler water.

However, it’s important to note that sudden changes in temperature can stress your Malaysian trumpet snails, so it’s best to keep the temperature stable while they’re in the aquarium.

Water pH Levels

Like water temperature, Malaysian trumpet snails can survive in a wide range of pH levels. However, the ideal pH level is between 7.0 and 8.0, as they prefer slightly alkaline water.

It’s crucial that you monitor the pH level of your tank, as too acidic of water could cause harm to the Malaysian trumpet snail’s shell, leading it to deteriorate over time.

Water Hardness

Malaysian Trumpet Snails thrive in slightly to moderately hard water. To provide the best conditions for your snails, aim for water between 8 and 12 dGH.

Hard water is best for most snails, as it provides them with essential minerals that keep their shells strong and healthy. This includes calcium, which I’ll discuss next.

Importance of Calcium

When Malaysian trumpet snails are in the wild, they have a wide range of calcium-rich food options as well as calcium-rich water. However, the calcium around them is limited when they’re in an aquarium.

Calcium is vital to any snail’s health, including Malaysian trumpet snails. This mineral ensures a snail’s shell stays strong, which is essential for its overall health and safety.

Tank Hazard

There are various tank hazards to be aware of concerning Malaysian trumpet snails. The main hazard to worry about, especially if you want to keep your Malaysian trumpet snails as pets, is other predators within the tank. There are various fish and even other snails you have to be aware of that will feed on Malaysian trumpet snails.

It’s important to keep an eye on the filtration system. Malaysian trumpet snails are small, so they can easily enter your tank’s filtration system — resulting in their death and possibly damage to the filter. 

What Malaysian Trumpet Snails Need In The Tank

To live their best quality of life, Malaysian trumpet snails require a few things in a tank.


As mentioned, Malaysian trumpet snails are consistently burrowing themselves in the substrate of the tank to search for food. Therefore, it’s best to use a fine substrate that it’s easy to move around in, such as fine gravel or sand. 

However, Malaysian trumpet snails will also do just fine in other types of substrates as long as they can move around easily.


Malaysian trumpet snails are hardy, but they’re also considered pest snails. Therefore, they’re a food source for many other aquatic life species, which is why it’s important to provide various decor in the tank.

Malaysian trumpet snails like to hide in decorations like rocks and plants.

Ideal Plants

Malaysian trumpet snails won’t feed on living plants, so you don’t have to worry about them destroying them. However, choosing plants that Malaysian trumpet snails can burrow and forage around is essential.

Hardy plants such as amazon swords and java ferns are good choices for Malaysian trumpet snails.


A heater isn’t necessary for Malaysian trumpet snails, mainly because they can adapt to various temperatures. However, if you want to keep the temperature in the ideal range, a heater might be necessary if your tank can’t stay in the range on its own.


While a filter isn’t necessary for Malaysian trumpet snails to live, it’s a good idea to have, as it keeps your tank’s water clean and free of debris. It can also help clear out any harmful chemicals or bacteria that might be present in the tank.

However, as mentioned above, be careful to keep your Malaysian trumpet snails away from the filter, as they can easily crawl inside and harm themselves and the filter.

Malaysian Trumpet Snail Tank Mates

Malaysian trumpet snails get along with most other peaceful aquatic creatures. However, because they often fall prey to other fish, it’s important to choose tank mates that aren’t aggressive or don’t eat snails.

Some ideal tank mates for Malaysian trumpet snails include:

You’ll want to avoid aquatic creatures such as assassin snails and bettas, as they’ll likely eat Malaysian trumpet snails. 

Malaysian Trumpet Snail Food & Diet

Malaysian trumpet snails are scavengers by nature, so they eat various foods. However, you’ll mostly see them eating algae, leftover fish food, or decaying plant matter from the tank’s substrate. They make excellent aquarium snails because they clean up the entire tank of any debris.

While you don’t necessarily have to provide Malaysian trumpet snails with food due to their scavenging nature, you can give them food if you don’t think they’re getting enough.

How Often Should You Feed Malaysian Trumpet Snails?

You should feed Malaysian trumpet snails once a day. This snail species typically scavenge for food, so if you have tank mates in the aquarium with them, they’ll eat any leftover food or algae buildup. However, you can provide them with algae wafers or sinking pellets.

Breeding Malaysian Trumpet Snail

Malaysian trumpet snails reproduce quickly and easily, which is why many people view them as pests. They’re hermaphroditic, meaning they require a male and female snail to reproduce. They’ll mate and lay eggs when they’re comfortable in their environment and fed well.

The eggs will hatch anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the water quality and temperature.

If you don’t want your Malaysian trumpet snails to breed, ensure you don’t feed them too much.

Malaysian Trumpet Snail Common Health Issues, Treatment & Prevention

Malaysian trumpet snails are hardy snails, but they do often have to deal with health issues, such as bacterial infections and parasites, which can even spread to humans if you’re not careful.

Parasitic Infection

Parasitic Infection Symptoms

Some symptoms of a bacterial infection in Malaysian trumpet snails include lethargy and a loss of appetite. However, these symptoms are often hard to detect with Malaysian trumpet snails, as they’re typically the most active at night. Therefore, being vigilant is essential if you suspect a parasitic infection.

Parasitic Infection Treatment

There are various ways to treat a parasitic infection in Malaysian trumpet snails, as the exact treatment depends on the type of parasitic infection.

Therefore, you must consult with your veterinarian before trying various treatments and ensure you quarantine any potentially affected aquatic creature.

Parasitic Infection Prevention

The best way to prevent parasitic infection in your Malaysian trumpet snails is to ensure the water quality is ideal and the tank remains clean.

Additionally, when adding new tank mates, quarantine them for a while before adding them to the main tank. This will prevent possible parasites from entering the aquarium.

Are Malaysian Trumpet Snails Right For Your Tank?

Malaysian trumpet snails are right for your tank if you’re new to caring for snails. This snail species is incredibly easy to care for, and they offer various benefits — including clearing your tank of algae or dead plant matter.

Malaysian Trumpet Snail FAQs

Do Malaysian Trumpet Snails Need to be Acclimated?

Malaysian trumpet snails do need to be acclimated. While they’re hardy creatures, sudden changes in temperature can stress them out, leading to infections. Once they’re acclimated to the tank, they can adapt to various temperatures, although they prefer warmer climates.

Will Malaysian Trumpet Snails Climb Out of a Tank?

Malaysian trumpet snails won’t usually climb out of a tank. While they do sometimes climb along the walls of the aquarium, they tend to stay on the bottom of the tank, burrowing in the substrate and searching for food.

Are Malaysian Trumpet Snails Hardy?

Malaysian trumpet snails are hardy. They’re very adaptable to various water conditions and temperatures. Additionally, they don’t get sick often, as they’re resistant to most diseases or infections that affect other snails.

Wrapping Up

Malaysian trumpet snails are a fascinating and hardy snail species that can make an excellent addition to most aquariums. Due to their easy care and adaptability, they make the perfect choice of snail species for beginners and experts alike.

By providing them with a suitable substrate, a balanced diet, and clean water, you can ensure your Malaysian trumpet snails remain happy and thriving their entire lives, which is around one to two years long.

Despite being labeled as a “pest snail,” these snails make great tank mates and pets, and they’ll keep your tank’s substrate clean and debris-free!

I’m Elle, the founder of FishHQ. I created this website to share knowledge, tips, and inspiration for beginner hobbyists to help them create a healthy, happy, and vibrant environment for their fish to thrive. Read more...