Helmet Snail

The steel helmet snail, also known as the black algae racing snail, has been imported for a number of years and truly lives up to its common name. Once it has settled in, it successfully eats the green hard algae itself from the aquarium panes. But not only that: With her foot she digs in the ground and along the panes, always looking for edible material.


  • Name: Stahlhelmschnecke
  • Size: 40mm
  • Origin: Northern Australia – South Africa, Andaman, Solomon Islands, Taiwan … etc.
  • Attitude: easy
  • Aquarium size: from 20 liters
  • Reproduction: Sexually separated, eggs in white cocoons
  • Life expectancy: approx. 5 years
  • Water temperature: 22 – 28 degrees
  • Hardness: soft – hard and brackish water
  • pH value: 6 – 8.5
  • Food: algae, leftover food of all kinds, dead plant parts, spirulina

Interesting Facts About the Helmet Snail

Scientific name

Neritina pulligera

Other names

Stahlhelmschnecke, black algae racing snail


  • Class: Gastropoda
  • Family: Neritidae
  • Genus: Neritina
  • Species: Neritina pulligera


When fully grown, the steel helmet snail is 4 cm tall.


Neritina pulligera is widespread. It is found in Northern Australia, some Pacific Islands, the Philippines, the Nicobar Islands, Madagascar, South Africa, Kenya, New Guinea, Guam, Solomon Islands, Taiwan and Okinawa.
It lives in brackish water, but also upstream in fresh water, mostly on stones.


It is best known in the black version. However, it can also have a greenish basic color with dark zigzag lines. This variant is rarely found in stores.

Gender difference

The animals are males and females, but you can’t tell from the outside. Breeding in the aquarium is not possible.


The male sits on top of the female during mating. Meanwhile, it passes its sperm packet with its sexual organ to the female via its porus. The small white dots that you will find on the glass or on stones in the aquarium are the cocoons. The female glued them there. Tiny larval stages hatch out of the cocoons, but they cannot survive in the aquarium.

Life expectancy

The steel helmet snail is at least 5 years old.

Interesting Facts


It eats algae, leftover food, dead aquatic plant parts, and spirulina.

Group size

You can keep them individually, but also in groups. The group size you use is permanent, as the animals do not reproduce. They are extremely compatible with one another.

Aquarium size

You can easily accommodate them in an aquarium of 20 liters or more. Of course, you will also feel comfortable in much larger pools!

Pool equipment

The steel helmet snail is on the move in every layer of water and on every surface in the aquarium. But she avoids moving in the ground. Neritina pulligera likes it oxygenated and loves a strong current. When setting up your snail aquarium, make sure that it doesn’t get trapped anywhere. After all, snails cannot crawl backward. If the steel helmet snail gets stuck, it has to starve to death there. She is rarely out of the water. Nevertheless, you should cover the aquarium better to be on the safe side.


Neritina pulligera is easy to socialize with and usually gets along well with almost all fish and catfish. It goes without saying that we do not recommend keeping crabs, crabs, and all other snail-eating animals together.

Required water values

The temperature should be between 22-28 degrees. The steel helmet snail, like many water snails, is very adaptable to the water. It lives in very soft to very hard water without any problems. The pH value can be between 6.0 and 8.5. She also gets along well with light brackish water.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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