Gold Inca Snails – scientifically known as the Pomacea bridgesii – are some of the most beautiful species of snails that you can get for your aquarium. They belong to a family of snails known as the Ampullariidae, or Apple Snails. Gold Inca Snails are a colorful choice and they can enhance the beauty of your aquariums by adding striking colors. It is also known with other names such as Golden Mystery Snails, or Spike-topped Apple Snails. You can keep them with aquarium species of various types as they can get along very well with a large number of fish, shrimps, and other snails.

Most fish keepers just introduce them into their aquariums for beautification, and natural cleaning purposes as these snails eat algae and help you keep your tank clean. It is one of the most common aquatic snail species in the world, as they are loved by the fish keepers. Their beautiful appearance, unique nature, behavior, and easy care make them a perfect match for any aquarium. Also, these snails are not just ornamental, they are also useful as they help you clean the tank. It is one of those species that are considered good for the new fish keepers as they do not require any extensive care. 

Basic Facts Table

Lifespan1 Year
Size2 inches
ColorsYellow, Golden, Brown, Black
DietHerbivore, Algae Eater
Freshwater or SaltwaterFreshwater
Care LevelMinimum
CompatibilityPeaceful aquariums

Tank Companions

Here is a list of the possible tank mates or tank companions of the Gold Inca Snail.

  • Tetras
  • Killifish
  • Guppy Fish
  • Amano Shrimp
  • Ghost Shrimp
  • Ramshorn Snail
  • Cherry Shrimp
  • Betta Fish

How To Select Tank Companions?

Apart from the list given above, there are also a lot of other potential candidates for the tank mate of Gold Inca Snails. They are compatible with many smaller aquarium fish species, shrimps, and other tank mates. But when you are selecting a tank mate for this snail, you need to be careful. First, you need to start developing criteria based on the size, age, living conditions, parameters, and nature of the potential candidate. If these potential candidates meet the criteria, you should introduce them into the tank of Gold Inca Snails otherwise you should not.

  • Size: Size is one of the most important factors when you are selecting a tank mate for one of the smallest aquarium species. You do not want a large-sized fish, crab, or anything that would bully or harm your Gold Inca Snails. For that reason, you need to make sure that any fish species that you are selecting for the tank of Gold Inca Snails, is small. Smaller species of fish are also known for being peaceful, and calm. They are less likely to be aggressive, attack, or bully the smaller members of the tank such as Gold Inca Snails. So, you should look for the smaller aquarium species of fish that also meet other criteria. Most small species of fish such as tetras, guppies, and bettas are a perfect match for the aquarium of Gold Inca Snails, but you can also add other smaller fish species that you want.
  • Nature: Apart from the size of the tank mate, you also need to consider the nature of your tank mates for the Gold Inca Snails. If the tank mate you have selected is peaceful and nonaggressive, the chances of pairing becoming a success are greater. But if the tank mate is aggressive and has a bullying nature, it would attack, and bully your Gold Inca Snails all the time. Which can result in bad health conditions, stress, disease, and even death of most of your snails in the tank. The only way to prevent this from happening is that you make sure that your fish species would not attack the population of Gold Inca Snails in your tank.
  • Living Conditions: You also need to make sure that your Gold Inca Snails can live in the same conditions with the tank mates. For example, the Gold Inca Snails live in a freshwater habitat with neutral pH, and minimum hardness. So, the tank mate should be able to live in these conditions otherwise pairing would be a failure. You can read about the living conditions of fish species that live in similar conditions and test them according to other criteria as well. After that, you can keep the Gold Inca Snails in the tank with suitable tank mates. If you do not test and make sure that they are suitable and compatible, you will be risking the health and well-being of those tank mates.
  • Keep Them Together: It is also an important thing that you need to do. You cannot keep these snails in the tank alone. They need company (preferably from the same species.) and you need to provide them with that company otherwise they would die because of loneliness and stress. If it is possible, you should keep more than two Gold Inca Snails in your tank. But if you do not have more Gold Inca Snails, you must add some other species of snails in your tank to keep them company.

These are a few important criteria that you need to make sure are followed during the selection of tank mates for the Gold Inca Snails tank. If you do not test the candidates according to these criteria, the chances of a successful pairing are narrow, but with these criteria, you can expect better outcomes from the pairing.

Species Overview

Gold Inca Snails are some of the most beautiful species of snails that are loved by fish keepers from around the world. They are called Gold Inca Snails, or Golden Mystery Snails, because of their golden shell. In most cases, the shell looks more yellow and less gold. The body of these snails is also gold-yellow colored. A large foot comes out of the shell, which allows them to move. Also, the shell helps them protect themselves against fish species. In aquarium trade centers, you may notice that their shells are broken. You should avoid buying such snails with broken shells.

A broken shell in this species means that Gold Inca Snails have not received the proper nourishment required to strengthen their shell. These snails are known for a short lifespan, after their birth they quickly reach maturity and breed and after a while, they die. So, you may have to buy them more often as compared to some other species of snails that can live longer.  It is one of those species that are known for being a natural cleaner of the aquariums. Most of the time, Gold Inca Snails are found eating dead plants, algae, and planktons. Their diet is an herbivore, which helps you easily feed them green vegetables, algae flakes, and pellet food.

This snail has some of the most unique features such as regenerative properties. For example, if the foot of the snail is severed or any other motor or sensory organs are hurt, the Gold Inca Snail would let them detach, heal, and regrow into a functional organ. This helps them survive after being attacked by fish in their natural habitats. These are very useful snails, but they are also known for being invasive in some habitats. For example, some species of these snails are found in Japan and China.

Where growth conditions are perfect can quickly replicate and take over the entire ecosystem and that is why they are known as invasive species. But as you know, they die quickly, which helps you easily control their population growth without taking any extraordinary measures. You just need to be aware of their growing population, so that you can intervene before they overtake your tank.


Gold Inca Snails have golden shells (Golden and Yellow), and yellow feet. This foot or body of the snail lives inside the shell and comes out when it needs to move, or feed. The colors on the body or shell of these snails are not very bright, and when you put them in a tank with proper light conditions, you may notice different shades of yellow, and golden on the shell. They also have two large antennas above their head.

These antennas contain the eyes of this snail. Apart from these eyes, they do not have any other sensory organs. It has a spiral shape, which is common in most snail species, but in this species, the spiral has a unique pattern. At first, the swirl in the spiral is very narrow and thin, and after that, it keeps getting bigger. A larger shell indicates an older Gold Inca Snail, meanwhile, a smaller shell indicates a young snail.

Apart from the golden color, there are many other options also available such as Albino, black, and brown variants. They belong to the same species but have different colors due to genetic mutations. Each member can grow up to 2 inches, but some can grow a little larger or smaller, depending on the type of care and environment that you are providing them.

Origin/Native and Natural Habitat

Most varieties of Gold Inca Snails are native to South America, including Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay, meanwhile, a smaller portion of these snails is also found in Japan, China, and some other countries in Asia. These snails became very popular in the past few decades, which allowed them to spread throughout the world. As they are capable of living through difficult conditions, it allows them to survive in different climates and habitats.

Some varieties of snails have been declared invasive in North America and other parts of the world. The main reason behind this is their ability to quickly replicate and increase in numbers. In their natural habitat, they have freshwater, slow-moving flow, neutral pH, and software. So, if you want them to grow in your aquarium, you will have to provide them with these conditions.

Gold Inca Snail Lifespan

The lifespan of a Gold Inca Snail in its natural habitat is about a year. But inside an aquarium, their lifespan depends on the type of care that you provide them. If you provide them excellent care, you can extend their lifespan beyond a one-year average, but if you do not provide them excellent care, your snails will die sooner. 

Habitat and Tank Conditions

When it comes to taking care of the Gold Inca Snails, you need to start with a new tank that you build for them. If you already have a tank, you can use that, but you will have to adjust it or remake it according to the details that are mentioned below. These are important things as they help you create perfect tank conditions, and habitat inside the tank for your Gold Inca Snails. So, read the part below carefully to know more about taking care of these snails.

Tank Size

First, you need to start with the size of the tank that you want for your Gold Inca Snails. If you are only planning on keeping the snails, and shrimps in the tank, you can use a smaller tank of five to ten gallons capacity. But if you are planning on adding fish species to your tank, you need to make sure that you get a bigger tank. Tank size is very important because it would determine the quality of life for the Gold Inca Snails in your tank. A smaller tank can lead to overcrowding and many other problems that can be avoided by selecting an appropriately sized tank. Here are a few things that you need to consider when selecting the size of a tank.

If you are building a tank for mollusks, and shrimps, you can select a smaller tank because they do not need much space. These slow-moving critters mostly stay in one place and keep filtering the water and eating available leaves. But if you are selecting a fish companion for the tank of Gold Inca Snails, you will need a large tank as a fish would require more space to explore and swim.

Next, you also need to know the total number of tank mates that you want to put in the tank. For example, how many fish, snails, and shrimps you will keep in that tank. If you are only keeping one or two fish, you can use a smaller tank, meanwhile, a large group of fish would require a larger tank. For that reason, you need to know the total number of fish, and tank mates and their average fish per gallon ratios. After that, calculating the right size for your tank becomes easy.

Tank Setup

After you are done selecting the right side of the tank, you need to start creating a habitat inside that tank for your fish. You can do that by adding appropriate items to that tank. You will need to start from the bottom layer. For the tank of Gold Inca Snails, the bottom layer should be covered with a soft substrate layer, which should be two to three inches thick in the bottom of the tank. It would prevent the snails from being injured because of the rough substrate in the bottom. Also, you will need to add stones and round pebbles in the tank of Gold Inca Snails. Apart from that, you should also add driftwood, and put some aquatic plants in the tank.

Driftwood will allow the snails to climb up and explore the tank, meanwhile, plants would provide them hiding spots and food that they need to survive. Also, the plants would provide oxygen in the tank. Once you are done with these items, you will have to add some decorations inside the tank. These will make your tank look more interesting. After that, you can add certain devices such as filters, temperature monitors, and control devices.

These are mostly just plug-in devices that you need to put in the tank. You will also have to add some aquarium lights to keep your tank lit during the nights. Other items include a cover for the tank to prevent dust from entering the aquarium water and contaminating it. After that, you will be ready to add water to your tank and complete the setup of your aquarium for Gold Inca Snails.

Water Conditions/Parameters

The Gold Inca Snails need specific water conditions or parameters. These include temperature, pH, and hardness. If you fail to maintain them according to guidelines, it would impact the health and well-being of your snails and can even kill them. For that reason, you need to monitor and control these parameters perfectly. Here is a list of these parameters.

  • pH Levels should be kept neutral, to mildly alkaline.
  • Hardness should be kept below 18 KH.
  • The temperature should be maintained between 68°F-84°F.

You can adjust the pH levels and hardness through filtration and adding specific products into the tank, meanwhile, the temperature is controlled using ice cubes, cold water addition, or a heater that can be kept inside the tank to keep the water warm. These are important measures of care for any aquarium species, and you need to know about controlling them within these given ranges as it would help you with other tank species as well.

Water Source

For a tank of Gold Inca Snail, you can use water from any source, but you need to make sure that it is safer for adding to the aquarium. You can test that by testing the water and making sure it is clean, filtered, and has the same parameters. So, you can use the water from your tap, or filtered RO water that is specially cleaned for aquarium usage. It is important to test water for safety, otherwise, it can kill your entire tank because unclean water contains bacteria and pathogens that are harmful to the fish, and snails in your tanks.

Behavior and Temperament

The Golden Inca Snail is known for being a peaceful species of snails that get along very well with almost all of the small fish species. It is a non-aggressive snail that does not like to fight at all. When it senses any danger, it hides in the hard shell. This hardshell is made up of calcium and other strong chemicals that make it stronger and provide better protection. These snails are tank cleaners and herbivores. Meaning they would eat the grass in your tank. Also, you may notice that your snail is sitting in one place for a long time. The Gold Inca Snail does it to get easy access to food.

Breeding Gold Inca Snail

Breeding of this snail species can be tricky because it is hard to identify the males from females. You need to make sure that you put multiple females with one male. It would increase the chances of breeding. Below is a complete guide about breeding these snails in your tank.

  • You do not need a special tank for the breeding of these snails, but if you have a separate breeding tank, you should use that as it would simply make it easier for you to monitor the process and optimize it.
  • Females mate with a male and start laying eggs. One female Gold Inca Snail can lay about 20 to 40 eggs at a time. After that, you just need to wait for these eggs to hatch and the process would complete. The young snails need a few weeks to mature and start breeding.
  • There are no special requirements such as changing pH levels, or temperature in the tank. The only trick that you have to use is to make sure that you have identified males and females.

The eggs of this species are very noticeable, and colorful, which means they are easy to remove if you want to control their population and stop them from increasing in numbers.

Eggs and Fry Care

Young Gold Inca Snails need liquid food that you can feed them. They will take two to five days to be able to get food by themselves. After that, you will notice them munching on the leaves of plants in your tank. There are also no special care guidelines related to the Gold Inca Snail eggs and fry care, you just need to make sure that they are safe and healthy and feed them properly.

Diet of Gold Inca Snail

The Gold Inca Snail is known for being an herbivore. Meaning that they only eat green vegetables, leaves of plants, and algae. This makes the feeding process easier as you can just pick any of the green food pellets or algae flakes and feed them to your Gold Inca Snail.

Diseases of Gold Inca Snail

There are no specific diseases that are known for severely attacking or killing the Gold Inca Snail, but if you notice that your snails are not behaving properly or if there are physical signs of distress, you should treat them and check the tank parameters.

What is the Ideal Size For The Tank?

The ideal size for the tank of Gold Inca Snail is about 10 to 15 gallons. But if you are adding fish species, you should go for 15 to 25 gallons depending on the number and size of fish.

Is Gold Inca Snail Saltwater or Freshwater Species?

The Gold Inca Snail is a freshwater species and has multiple subspecies. They all live in freshwater conditions.

Conclusion – Is Gold Inca Snail Suitable For Your Aquarium?

Yes, if you are a fan of unique-looking creatures, the Gold Inca Snails are good for your aquarium. This is because these snails are beautiful, peaceful, and easy to care for. This means even new fish keepers can keep them in their tanks to learn about fish keeping. It has striking colors, patterns, and a beautiful appearance that makes it a perfect choice for your tanks.


Question: What is the average size of Gold Inca Snails?

Answer: The average size of Gold Inca Snails is two inches, but some can be larger and smaller depending on the care and health conditions.

Question: What is the average lifespan of Gold Inca Snails?

Answer: The average lifespan of these snails in natural habitats is one year, but inside a tank environment, it can be extended with proper care. But poor care and low quality of life can kill them sooner.

Question: Can I keep Gold Inca Snails with Betta Fish?

Answer: Yes, you can keep them with Betta Fish. Betta fish are beautiful and small, which means they cannot hurt any member of their tank including small Gold Inca Snails. 

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