Marbled Limpets (Cellana sp.)
The Marbled Limpet is a beautifully-marked, snail-like gastropod that is very new to the freshwater aquarium world. Its shell is described as “tent-like” or similar to half of a clam’s shell. Limpets are rather compact and small-bodied compared to snails of similar size, so they produce less waste and contribute less to the bio-load of the aquarium. The Marbled Limpet LOVES the surface of glass and rocks and it can cling to those surfaces with unbelievable strength. Due to its strength and the protective shape of its shell, the Marbled Limpet can often be kept in an aquarium with animals that are typically not compatible with most other snails and gastropods.
Unlike many limpets, the Marbled Limpet is a highly herbivorous species that eats a great deal of algae. It is native to marine tidal areas where it congregates with other limpets and scours rocks, contributing heavily to preventing the overgrowth of algae. Though it originates from marine environments, the Marbled Limpet is highly adaptable to fresh and brackish water. We have kept the Marbled Limpet in our freshwater tanks for months to ensure its longevity, and it has thrived magnificently.
Care for the Marbled Limpet is very basic and undemanding. It requires clean, mature water with the availability of plenty of algae and biofilm to thrive, but it will also eat high-quality dry foods. Its small size and low bio-load make it an excellent candidate for nano aquariums.
* IMPORTANT NOTE: Because of their unique shell shape, limpets have difficulty turning themselves when they have been overturned. This is unlikely to be an issue once they are established in your aquarium, but take care not to place them on their backs when introducing them to your aquarium. *
- Completely peaceful
- Highly variable, attractive color patterns of black, gray, white, and tan
- Safe with all plants, but eats algae voraciously
- Excellent scavenger that contributes a lower bio-load than most snails
- Thrives in a variety of fresh, brackish, and marine salinities
- Temperature: 64° - 84° F (17.8° - 28.8° C). More moderate temperatures in this range are best.
- pH: 7.0 - 8.2
- KH: 2 - 12 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 2 gallons per snail
- Diet: Scavenger that feeds continually. Requires very little feeding in a well-established aquarium containing algae, biofilm, or decaying plant matter. In less mature aquariums, high quality dry foods with high plant content can be sparingly fed daily.
- Social behavior: Peaceful
- Origin: Taiwan
- Average adult size: 1 - 1.5 inches (2.5 - 3.8 cm)
- Average purchase size: .5 - 1 inch (1.3 - 2.5 cm)