Mexican Turbo Snails: Care Guide

The turbo snails (Turbo fluctuosa) are found within crevices on reefs in the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. They stay in these during the day, moving very rarely and are active during the night time. They would leave the reef only to graze on algae.

Turbo snail on coral reef


  • Peaceful temperament.
  • Reef compatible.
  • Herbivore diet.
  • Maximum size: 2 inches.

Within an aquarium, a turbo would rarely exceed 2 inches. Despite this, there are rare reports of some having a shell that is 4 inches in diameter. This would make them perfect for a tank of any size.

A turbo snail has a typical lifespan of around 10-12years in ideal tank parameters, and usually are around 4 years old when you buy them. This leaves them to live for a good 8 years within your reef, which should see them thrive.

Tank Mates

These snails are peaceful and will stay out of the way of all fish and other invertebrates. They do well with other snails.

They do not do well in tanks with any aggressive fish due to the fact that they move so slowly.

These snails could displace some coral colonies, however, this is not on purpose.

Tank Setup & Diet

A turbo snail can live within a tank of any size. They release very little biowaste, and as a result, would be fine in most conditions.

They enjoy having a rock in which they are able to hide in during the day. They do like to live on the glass, so a tank with a large surface area would be hugely beneficial.

A snail of this species likes very generic water parameters, enjoying temperatures in the range of 72-78° F. They live best in water with a hardness of 8-12 dKH and a pH of 8.1-8.4. For the best parameters, they enjoy a salinity of 1.023-1.025 sg.

Turbo snail on aquarium glass

These snails almost exclusively eat algae within the aquarium.

It is essential that there is plenty of algae, and if not it’s important to supplement their diet with some seaweed.


Within a home aquarium, they do not generally successfully breed, making breeding incredibly difficult.

In the wild, these snails would release eggs and sperm into the water column, which would then fertilize each other to breed. These will develop into larvae.

Turbo snails are impossible to sex as there are no differentiating factors that would change between the sexes. This means that when you buy them, you are not able to be picky, however, should there be two males they would not fight or become aggressive.

Common Issues

The main issue to a snail’s health is when you acclimatize them. As they are so sensitive to water parameter changes, even the smallest change can kill them slowly.

They are known to die around 6 months after the introduction as a result of poor acclimatization. You would need to make sure that you complete essential drip acclimatization to ensure that the snail is healthy.

Closing Thoughts

A Mexican turbo snail is one of the best members of the clean-up crew that you can possibly have within your reef tank. They would ensure that your tank is spotless.

These snails are great for beginners or seasoned members of the reefing community.

Please feel free to leave any comments or ask any questions about these snails!