Piano Snail (Taia naticoides)

Taia naticoides

An overview of the Piano Snail (Taia naticoides)

The piano snail is a popular type of aquarium for shell-bearing mollusks. It has an interesting appearance that makes it pleasing to the eye and it is very popular among aquarium owners for its behavior.

Taia Naticoides was originally described by the British Theobald and classified by Annandale. Due to their coloring, the name piano snail has become common. The name brush algae snail also seems appropriate, as it takes in the brush algae of the same name, which can form a disruptive coating on the aquarium furniture, as food.

Piano Snail (Taia naticoides): Quick Facts

Common namePiano Snail
Latin nameTaia naticoides
Other namesBrush algae snail
Level of difficultyMore advanced
FamilyPond snails
Life expectancyup to 3 years
Sizeup to 4 cm
Gender differencesMales have a thickened right antennae (sexual organ)
Social behaviorpeaceful
Pelvic areawhole pool
Minimum aquarium size12 liters (30x20x20 cm)
FoodAlgae, attachment, leftover food, leaves
OverviewA beautiful snail that loves things a little warmer.
Water temperature23 – 28 ° C
PH value7 – 7.5
Total hardness (GH)at least 6 ° dH
Carbonate hardness (KH)at least 3 ° dH

Piano Snail (Taia naticoides): Features and Appearance

Starting with the navel present at birth, the tip of the case, the sculpture grows downwards as a cone in width.

Between this point, also called the apex, and the mouth there are about 4 wide turns with a total height of 35 to 40 mm.

At the beginning, two, and further down, three running bands adorn the slightly arched corridor. Mostly brown, the straps stand out clearly from the olive green base color of the case.

The seam between the circumferences grows together, just like the edges of the bands, initially smooth in the upper part, while in the lower part it is increasingly nubby and with knots and scalesis provided.

In the front view, the mouth of the snail shell appears teardrop-shaped with a broad base and tapers gently rounded.

The foot, which forms most of the snails visible, soft body, is stocky and barely longer than the base of your house. The straight feelers stand to the front and to the side and continuously scan the environment. The surface of the skin is covered with numerous small, dark spots.

The closure

The foot with which the snail crawls across the ground carries all the external features and functional body parts. On the top of the foot, a tightly fitting lid grows in concentric circles, which closes the snail shell after the snail has withdrawn in case of danger. This operculum protects the snail from drought, cold and lack of food.

The tongue

The tongue, known as the radula, measures 2-3 mm in length and has 7 teeth in 70 rows. The snail’s bite marks appear sharp at the front edge, but blurred laterally. The function of the tongue can be compared to a rasp with which the snail cannot bite off and cannot defend itself.

How to Care for Piano Snails (Brush Algae Snails)

Piano Snail (Taia naticoides): Occurrence and Habitat

The related group of pond snails occurs in North America, Eurasia as well as Africa and Australia. The piano snail is an endemic species that only occurs in a very limited area.

Where does the Piano Snail (Taia naticoides) occur naturally?

Piano snails live in Inle Lake in Myanmar, which is almost 900 m above sea level, as well as in the waters in the vicinity. A 40 to 70 km² water area is available at the lake, some of which is also used by the local farmers as floating gardens.

Numerous species of carp fish also live in the water, which is up to 4 meters deep. In neighboring India, there are also various subspecies and locally beautifully colored piano snails in the fresh waters.

What type of habitat does the Piano Snail (Taia naticoides) have?

The piano snail only prefers fresh water with the ideal temperature between 23-28 ° C. The water can be clear and swampy, muddy and cloudy and rich in nutrients. The subsoil is covered with gravel, stones, leaves and roots in which the snail looks for food, mostly detritus, decaying plant fiber.

Sometimes it digs itself in, but it doesn’t hide itself from danger. It finds its pasture under water in rivers and streams as well as in pools and ponds. It avoids strong currents and bright light, but can be found in all biotopes.

Piano Snail (Taia naticoides): Attitude and care

The piano snail enriches a freshwater aquarium immensely. However, some parameters are very important:

  • The piano snail loves the warmth at around 27 °.
  • It doesn’t need a lot of setup.
  • Gravel and stones are preferred as subsoil.
  • Old wood and a few leaves allow her to use her radula in a natural setting.

Social behavior

The animals remain alert in their behavior if they are kept at least in pairs, adapted to the size of the aquarium. Foraging for food, eating behavior and crawling over the gravel or glass are extremely pleasing to the observer. Some individuals have learned to crawl over the hand of the aquarist.

Are they peaceful or aggressive?

There are hardly any predators in Inle Lake. That is why the snail is peaceful and did not have to learn to defend itself in evolution. Other species of pond snail have also spawned predatory species in turn.

Are they appropriate for aquarium socialization?

There are three options for living with other animals:

  • Several conspecifics can be used in the species tank.
  • The socialization with smaller snail species has advantages in finding the food, because all snails are equally slow.
  • When socializing with fish or shrimps, it is important to ensure that they live together safely and that the faster animals also eat the food quickly.

Water values

As in Inle Lake, the pH should be around 7 and the water should be around 27 °. In the aquarium we pay attention to the highest level of cleanliness, which is why the water is always clear and transparent to enable observation. A freshwater aquarium must not be smaller than 12 liters. In addition, it is important to ensure a balanced mineral content, especially that the Ca content is not too low.

Piano Snail (Taia naticoides): Food and feeding

While the piano snails look for their own food in nature, the specialist offers them limestone in addition to the food.

Which types of feed is appropriate?

Fish food in the form of food flakes is good, but not in excess, because the water quality will decrease due to oily and fatty residues. Once algae form in the water, the piano snail itself clears away this growth. In addition, rabbit pellets gladly accepted.

Piano Snail
Piano Snail (Taia naticoides)

Piano Snail (Taia naticoides): Propagation and breeding

Successful breeding shows that everything is in order. The snail does not lay eggs but gives birth to living young as a viviparous mollusc.

Piano Snail (Taia naticoides): Gender distribution

The piano snails in particular are not hermaphrodites or self-fertilizers, but rather graze on a sexual dimorphism. The males differ from the female by the reshaping of the right antennae into a stronger, curved, at the end blunt reproductive organ with which the female is fertilized. The males become sexually mature at three months.

Breeding conditions

With the water values ​​on the one hand and the type of feed on the other hand, breeding can be more or less successful.


After mating by the male, internal fertilization takes place in the ovaries. Due to the constant temperatures, fertilization is possible throughout the year. Different stages of development can be found next to each other in the ovaries of a female. Up to 20 youngsters are born every year. At the beginning they are armed with tiny spines and 4 mm in size.

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