What is a Trochus snail

General, invertebrates

Everything you need to know about the trochus snail

Algae are not bad by nature. Without algae, the natural world could not exist as we know it. However, there are many types of algae that can grow easily under certain circumstances and do not give a nice picture in your aquarium. Imbalance in the nutrient content (in nature or in the home aquarium) can quickly lead to a bloom of algae species. This algae growth can create imbalances in the water and can lead to the extinction and killing of more desirable plant and animal species, including corals.

While “bad” algae can be largely controlled by the presence of algae-eating copepods, aggressive growth is best addressed by a cleaning crew that also includes algae-eating snails. For stubborn problems with hair algae, cyanobacteria and diatoms, there is no better choice than certain species of the genus Trochus.

One of the most commonly used members of the group is the Trochus niloticus. These snails are referred to by names such as trochus snails, turbo snails or turban snails. They occur in the Indo-Pacific area from the Indian Ocean to Northern Australia. While young snails are usually found in shallow pools, older individuals tend to migrate to slightly deeper waters in the reef.

The reproduction

Trochus snails are known to reproduce in captivity. However, due to the larval stage, few to no juveniles of this species reach the juvenile stage in many aquarium systems. This is why so many of these popular snails have been collected from the wild for the aquarium trade. The aquarium-grown specimens are now also available to hobbyists. These are not only produced more sustainably, but also have a greater chance of survival in your aquarium.

Reasons to keep Trochus snails

One of the oft-cited benefits of these algae eaters is their taste for unwanted algae. In some cases, they also feed on leftover fish food. Most importantly, they are particularly adept at grazing algae that appear at an earlier stage in a system’s cycle and maturation period. Such as diatoms and/or green algae that can cover the rocks and the tank panels. In addition, (unlike many other snails) they will eat cyanobacteria. One to five individual Trochus snails are recommended per 5 liters of system volume, depending on factors such as the degree of algae contamination and the desired rate of cleanup. When these snails have eaten all the algae, their diet must be supplemented from time to time to prevent them from starvation. Another great advantage of Trochus snails is that they can grow old. Some specimens of Trochus niloticus are said to have lived in aquariums for more than 15 years.

Their low cost and high reliability make them an incredibly good candidate for a cleaning crew. While they (like most medium to large snails) can knock over small, loosely secured objects such as new corals, they are considered much less destructive than comparable snails such as turbo snails.


Trochus snails are indeed an excellent option for dissolving most algae. They are undoubtedly among the best natural weapons for combating the most frustrating forms of algae. Their attractive shells even add a nice image to the aquarium. They are tropical and . And live long and can turn themselves when they fall over which provides many benefits. This reduces the chance of peaks in nitrate compared to turbo snails that die when they fall over. The captive-bred stock, which is even stronger and more adaptable to aquarium life, is the best choice for your aquarium. When a number of Trochus snails are present, it can be surprising how quickly the snails can fight the algae. When considering their cost versus the impact they can have on the health and appearance of an aquarium, they are truly among the best investments a hobbyist can make.


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