Brig Apple Snails

severum boy

Fish Herder
May 25, 2006
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Wells, Somerset
Common Name: Apple snail, Mystery snail, Brigs, Golden snail, Spike topped apple snail and a myriad of others.

Family: Ampullariidae.

Scientific Name: Pomacea bridgesii effusa. In time may become just Pomacea effusa.

Origin: Found all over the Amazon basin from South America. Have also been introduced into Florida.

Similar species: Pomacea scalaris. In this species, the shell spike is even more pronounced. It originates from the more southern areas of South America. However, this species is very rare in aquaria.

Maximum Size: 1.5" in shell height. 2â€￾ maximum.

Minimum Tank Size: Can be kept in tanks as small as 5 gals for a sexed pair. Any smaller must be strictly controlled with regards to numbers of offspring in the tank because they have the potential to (if you want to leave the eggs and babies in) to produce a large amount of offspring. The minimum for one snail or a pair of the same sex is 3 UK gals.

Life Span: Temperature dependent. At a higher temperatures they live shorter, but grow, reproduce and move faster. The opposite is true at lower temperatures. At about 20-21 degrees Celsius, they should live for 3 years+. At higher temperatures (26+ degrees Celsius), the life span is shorter. At about 25 degrees Celsius, about 2 years can be expected.

Care: Very easy to care for. Hardy and adaptable. pH must be over 7, about 7.5 is fine. The water can be dosed with Calcium chloride (liquid Calcium is its market name) to provide more Calcium for the snails to use with it’s shell.

Preferred Temperature: 22-26 degrees Celsius.

Preferred pH: 7-8, any less than 7 and their shells will corrode.

Feeding: Best all round feed is sinking pellets for catfish. Algae wafers, flakes, catfish tablets and any other sinking food suites Brigs fine. Mine are living happily on a main diet of sinking pellets from an Angling and Tackle shop. The pellets are cheap but seem to do the snails very well. They wont eat plants unless they are starving so they make good choices for planted tanks. Vegetables are also enjoyed.

Breeding: They have totally separate sexes. The male’s penis sheath can also be seen in larger snails. To sex the snail, take the snail out of the water and hold it upside down. I tend to place them in a tub with one cm of water in the bottom. Prop the snail up in one corner. After up to ten minutes, the snail will begin to try to right itself. At this point, make sure the snail can just touch the side of the tub so they think something is there. They will try to come fully out of their shells to right themselves, just keep moving them slightly further away so they can still touch the tub. Eventually, they come fully out and now lift them up. The snail should be trying to grab onto something to right itself and if you look right behind the head, you should see a large, white bulge that some snails have, and others don’t. Snails with the penis sheath are clearly males. Alternatively, watch them mate. The male will be the one on top and his penis will be visible. Although this is a good way of finding a male, the males will also mount other males so what you think is a female may not be at all.
The male will try to mate with another (not always female or the same species) snail usually daily if there is enough food to fuel him and the water quality is acceptable. Females lay eggs every 4-7 days. Brigs become sexually mature at only 1â€￾ shell length.
The female will climb out of the water to lay the eggs on a smooth surface. There should be a few inches (about 2â€￾ for adults) of space for them. The underside of condensation trays or aquarium lids are fine. Brigs lay green eggs which are similar to most other apple snail species. Brig females lay a good few hundred eggs. As long at they are kept damp (not underwater, the embryos will drown), the eggs should hatch out in 2-3 weeks. Again, this is temperature dependent. Babies browse on algae and will eat the pellets the adults do, though I would advise feeding them on sunken spirulina algae flake; this will be softer and easier to eat. They grow quickly. It only takes about 6 months to grow to full size with perfect housing.

Notes: Dozens of different varieties available from private sellers. The most common variety on general sale is the Golden. This has a light shell, body and light (non-existent) stripes. Other than this, a wild colour may be on sale with a dark body, dark shell and dark stripes.
Many snails also seem to float around the tank for a few days. This is NOT a problem. Only if the snail is hanging out of the shell, not moving and rotting slowly with a horrific smell is it dead. It can then be disposed of in the appropriate manner. I would not advise flushing it down the toilet or sink, I have had to sort out a plumbing problem due to a dead apple snail shell and it is not pleasant.

This is a purple. It has a dark body, dark stripes and a purple sheen to the shell.


A pink has a light body, dark shell and dark stripes. It is the same as the purple above, but the light body makes it look pink. The best specimins have stripes that are so numerous that the shell looks toatally pink.


This is an ivory. It is totally light, but has only little orange dots on the body.


A blue with a dark body and light shell and stripes. The shell is colourless, but appears blue because of the body.


A jade has a dark body and light shell, but its shell has a yellow pigment. A golden looks like this, but with a light body.


The different colours can be bred together and many many different varieties can be created. The photos above just show a few of the colours that can be made.


Oct 12, 2009
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Sorry wrong picture, here is a picture of a sack from my Golden apple snail...

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