Pond Snail Vs. Bladder Snail: How To Differentiate Between Them?

Pond and bladder snails are popular additions to a tank fish. They can enrich the tank’s ecosystem and work as tank cleaners, yet, many people still confuse them.

This article will cover all the differences between a pond snail vs. bladder snail. Let’s join us and decide which can become your fish’s tank mates!

Pond Snail Vs. Bladder Snail

Here is a quick overview to help you picture the differences between pond snails and bladder snails.

Criteria Pond Snail Bladder Snail
Shell color Brown, green, gray, or black Pale
Shell shape Dextral Sinistral
Tentacles Thick triangles Short and thin
Size 2 to 3 inches Smaller than 0.6 inch
Diet Omnivore Omnivore
Habitat Across the world Across the world
Tank conditions pH level: 6.5 – 8

Water temp: 32°F – 90°F

pH level: 6 – 9

Water temp: 32°F – 90°F

Breeding Prolific Prolific


Pond Snail Overview

Pond snail is another name for Lymnaeidae, a biological family of small to big snails. The world’s most common snail family, these animals are freshwater creatures that breathe air.


You can find pond snails in different colors: brown, green, gray, or black. Some may have a yellowish-brown color with tiny dark dots.

These animals have a dextral shape, indicating that the spirals run to the right. The shells also have two to six slightly curved whorls.

The tentacles of this species are triangular. However, they can’t protect themselves due to the lack of an operculum.

Snails are small animals. Yet, some of them, such as the great species, can reach a diameter of three inches.

This species cannot be bigger than three inches


These animals are omnivores with a strong preference for plant-based food and eat a lot of algae.

They have a high demand for aquatic plants to live in their native habitat.

If you raise this species, please note that it needs 75% fish food, fish waste, and aquatic plants. The remaining 25% is algae.

Try to follow a consistent feeding schedule. If the food supply is low, these animals may become cannibalistic and eat smaller species in the tank.


Because this species is an invader, identifying its native habitat is very difficult.

You find it in many regions across the world, including northern America, northern Asia, Europe, New Zealand, and Tasmania.

Pond snails can thrive in most water bodies, from lakes, streams, and ponds, to puddles. However, they slightly prefer cold waters.

In freshwater aquatic environments, these animals will find ways to develop, reproduce, and thrive without enough vegetation.

Tank conditions

These animals can live almost everywhere in the world. Hence, they are not picky about tank conditions due to their flexibility.

To these creatures, there is no difference between an oversized vs. small tank, filter vs. no filter, or heater vs. no heater. They are robust enough to survive in most tank setups.

However, you only need to change the water regularly for them to thrive. The water temperature should be 32°F to 90°F.

A scarcity of calcium supplies and a pH range lower than 6.5 for a long time are the only tank conditions that can hurt your pets.

They may affect the snails’ ability to develop their shells.

They are not picky pets


These animals are hermaphrodites, meaning they can breed with a partner or, in some instances, self-fertilize.

Although mating only lasts a few hours, many pond snails can grow in a moment since they are prolific parents.

Bladder Snail Overview

Bladder snail is another name of Physidae, a monophyletic family of tiny snails. These air-breathing creatures, like pond snails, belong to the Lymnaeidae group.


Bladder snails are pale in color, with yellowish or goldish tints. Some may have spots on the shells.

Their shells are thin and slender, giving them a unique feature. You can even see their flesh through the flesh. Meanwhile, the mantle is bright with orange spots.

The spiral extends to the left and features four to five whorls. Besides, the snails have thin and short tentacles and don’t come with any operculum for protection.

These animals never reach a length of more than 0.6 inches. The 0.5-inch species is also rare.

They are very small


Bladder snails like many foods. They are great tank cleaners because of their voracious appetites for decayed organic matter.

They can help clean rotting plants, insects, and even dead fish.

These aquatic workers are completely plant-safe because they won’t kill healthy plants. They will trim and eliminate unhealthy sections of the plants.


Bladder snail communities are available in many areas worldwide.

We can’t identify their origin because they can live in Asia, Europe, America, Australia, and Africa.

These animals can also thrive in different water bodies, such as lakes, rivers, ditches, canals, and ponds.

Tank conditions

These animals are resilient, as you can guess from their native habitats. They can even eat dead plants and fish, making ideal tank cleaners.

The snails can adapt to most water conditions. The best settings for them are a pH range of 6 to 9 and a water temperature of 32°F – 90°F.


The bladder snails are prolific parents. They have a sperm storage organ, mate with either female or male reproductive systems, and even self-fertilize.

Bladder snails produce translucent encapsulated eggs that can hatch within one week. You can learn some tips for breeding these animals right here:



A pond snail vs. a bladder snail is different in their appearance. Yet, they have a lot of things in common, such as habitat, tank requirement, diet, and breeding.

If you want to liven your tank’s ecosystem and don’t have much time to take care of it, these animals should be your to-go. They are easy to raise and can even help you clean the tank.

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. For any further information, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!