Origin / Habitat of Brotia Pagodula
Brotia Pagodula is restricted to the Thoungyin River in Thailand. This river is a tributary of the Salween River in Thailand. The river is 327 kilometers long and forms a portion of the border between Thailand and Myanmar (Burma).
Description of Brotia Pagodula
Brotia Pagodula (Pagoda snail)Brotia Pagodula is a very unique and attractive snail, it possesses these notable features:
A light brownish to grey color with tints of amber and mahagony.
Thick and broadly conical shell which has numerous small conspicuous spikes protruding from it in a spiral form.
Its spire is decollated and consists of up to five flattened whorls with a spiral row of long and pointed spines.
The whorls are separated by a narrow suture.
Presence of a round and multispiral operculum (trapdoor).
Fine lines on the shell.
Fleshy inner body with colors ranging from plain dark grey to light yellow.
Brotia Pagodula snails have a large bulky appearance with a broad and furrowed snout.
The cephalic tentacles are moderately long.
Brotia Pagodula snails have an average size of 3 – 5 cm (1 – 2 inches). These snails can live up to 3 – 5 years (according to the shells analyses). However, in captivity, their lifespan can barely reach 1 – 2 years at most. The problem is the lack of care knowledge.
Behaviour of Brotia Pagodula
Pagoda snails are non-aggressive, solitary, and docile by nature, liking a calm aquatic environment. peaceful tank mates. Thus they coexist peacefully with other tankmates. They have no means to attack other tank inhabitants and have only its operculum and shell for protection from aggressors.
These snails are shy and quiet, especially when newly introduced into an aquarium.
Brotia Pagoda snails are nocturnal and get scared easily. They can often stay and hide in their shells for long hours without thinking of coming out. When they finally do, they come out of their shells to dig at the substrates and pick tiny food particles. Brotia Pagoda is not a burrower type of snail.
Feeding Brotia Pagodula
Although Brotia Pagodula can feed on algae and detritus (decomposing plant and animal matter), they are mostly herbivorous. Considering the fact that this is a pretty big snail, you may need to supplement your snails’ diets.
For example, algae wafers (or tablets, pellets, fish/shrimp flakes) are good options as they will sit on the bottom of the tank and stay there until your snails come across them. Do not forget about adding green vegetables like carrot, sprouts, spinach, cucumber, zucchini. These can be fed fresh or frozen.
Note: It is important that you do not overfeed these snails, this causes the water to go bad easily, and it will be detrimental to their health and that of other inhabitants in the planted tank.
A balanced diet is also crucial for a snail’s shell. Unfortunately, the shell’s deterioration on the Brotia Pagodula snails is pretty common. Therefore, adding calcium supplements can help ensure their shells are strong and healthy. Calcium supplementation should be dosed for the maintenance of their large thick shells.
Like all other species of snails, you will want to provide them with some sort of calcium supplement to help keep their shell beautiful and healthy. I highly recommend reading my article “How to Supplement Shrimp and Snails with Calcium”.
Note #2: Just like other invertebrates, Brotia Pagodula is sensitive to copper and copper compounds (read more here). Therefore when purchasing aquarium fertilizers ensure that they do not contain copper-based chemicals. The same should be the case when feeding the snails, ensure that the food ingredients do not contain copper or copper sulfates.
Are Brotia Pagodula Snails Plat Safe?
Brotia Pagodula (Pagoda snail) and plantAs I have mentioned earlier, Brotia Pagodula loves eating vegetables and green matter, and they are known to attack and feed on plants in the tank. However, this can be put under control by adequately feeding the snails regularly. When food is not readily available, Pagoda snails can resort to munching on aquarium plants.
Important: Feed Brotia Pagodula snails daily if you don’t want them to eat all the plants.
Keeping and Housing Brotia Pagodula
I would like to start off by saying that these snails are not for beginners. They have some specific requirements if you want to create an ideal environment for them.
Brotia Pagodula snails need to be in an established tank with sufficient size and water volume to support its needs. For example, you need to have at least a medium-sized aquarium of 60 to 80 cm (~20 – 30 inches) in length. 10 Gallons (~40 liters) is the absolute minimum tank size you can keep these snails in. Anything smaller and you will have problems.
Important: One thing that most aquarists forget or do not know is that Brotia Pagodula snails live in a river with fast water flow. It is vital to have a high oxygenated tank. So you need to have a suitably sized pump in there to push the water around sufficiently. That is why bigger tanks are preferred if you want them to thrive and live longer than a few months.
Regarding substrate, in the wild Brotia Pagodula snails live attached to rocks as well as on sandy bottoms. So, provide a sandy or fine coarsed substrate which serves as a resting and sifting ground for the snails where they search for food particles.
This species needs to be kept in a tank with well-filtered water of soft to moderate hardness. Ensure that the water is not acidic to prevent damage to the shells (usually in form of tiny holes).
Maintain the following tank parameters for healthy growth and development of the Pagoda snails. Water pH should be around 7.0 – 7.5 with a high GH and KH level. Brotia Pagodula prefers to live at temperatures around 22 to 28°C (~70°F – 88°F). However, it is better to have 24 – 25°C (75 – 77°F).
Light, Decorations, etc.
The Brotia Pagoda snails are not fond of light especially in a relatively new environment. They do better in a dark or very low light tank. Also, it is advisable to clear out crevices or branches in the aquarium as the snail’s shell can get stuck in it (because of the shell shape) and die as a result of stress.