Species group: Snails
Other common names: Stocky Cerith, True Cerith
Scientific name: Cerithium litertatum
The hardy, attractive Cerith Snail is one of the best choices for novice aquarists, yet valued by the pros as an algae-eater and substrate-oxygenator.
The Cerith Snail ranges through the Caribbean to the Gulf of Mexico, where it may be found on and along sandy substrates, sea grass beds, and in rocky tide pools.
Appearance / health:
A variety of similar species are sold under the same common name. The shells of most are twisted and elongated, coming to a point at the tip. Many are covered with protuberances of various shapes, and their colors may be tan, greenish, brown or black. The Cerith Snail reaches 2.5-4.4 cm (1-1.75 in) in length.
The Cerith Snail is one of the hardiest of all snails, but like others is sensitive to ammonia, nitrates, copper-based medications and changes in ph.
Behavior / temperament:
The Cerith Snail burrows through the sand bed, assisting in oxygenating it, and forages on rocks and glass as well. A useful scavenger, several species consume unwanted marine algae. It is harmless to other marine animals.
Cerith Snails do best in well-filtered aquariums with a bed of live sand into which they can burrow when feeding or seeking shelter.
The following water quality parameters should be maintained in order to assure long-term health: Temperature: 22.7-25.5 C (73-78 F); Specific Gravity (salinity):1.023-1.025; pH: 8.0-8.4; Alkalinity 8-12 dKH; Calcium: 350-450 ppm.
In addition to algae, detritus, and fish waste, Cerith Snails will consume nearly all marine fish flakes and pellets. Calcium supplements and trace elements should be added as directed by the manufacturer.
Cerith Snails often produce twisted strings of eggs, but they are susceptible to predation by many other creatures, and are easily drawn into filters. The young will thrive if provided ample food and calcium.