Care of pond snails

Snails don’t like York tapwater: use standard snail water

York tapwater is lethal to Lymnaea stagnalis snails, so use the standard snail water using this recipe. It is a good idea to change the water twice a week

Always Replace the water if:

The best way to do this is to use a sieve to catch the snails and lettuce as you pour the water away! Then rinse the snails briefly under the cold tap and replace them in their tank. Finally half-fill it with fresh standard snail water (not tap water!).

Snails do like lettuce

Wash it carefully and shake off the loose water droplets (Don’t get the floor wet!). They prefer the flat leaves; and don’t like the heart of the lettuce (or iceberg lettuces).

Snails don't like to be overcrowded!

Don't try to keep more than 20 snails in each of my tanks - they will die quickly if they are overcrowded.


Sometimes snails bought in from Blades have a lot of little internal parasites. These will go if the water is changed regularly. You should use latex gloves to handle the snails while the snails are heavily parasitised.

This page written by Chris Elliott on September 8, 1997, revised 15 oct 2003. Email queries to