The Tiger cowrie (Cypraea tigris) occurs throughout the Pacific. It is a grazing herbivore, rasping algae from rocks and reef with its file-like radula. The tiger cowry’s shell color is distinctive, though it doesn’t resemble the animal for which it is named. The high, inflated shell may be white or golden brown with scattered dark brown or black spots and a golden mantle line that runs the length of the shell. It differs in color depending upon geographical location. While it does not have an operculum to shut when it retracts its mantle into its shell, the opening is lined with "threatening" tooth-like structures. The mantle tissue is light with irregular dark blotches and covered with simple, unbranched papillae.
Cowries, like other snails, have: (1) a well-developed head with eyes and tentacles, a mouth on a protractible proboscis (mouth tube); (2) a broad muscular foot for crawling; and (3) a soft body mass (containing the internal organs) which is protected by their shell.
Cowry snails usually inhabit rocky and coral areas where they browse on algae, or encrusting invertebrates like sponges and bryozoans (diet varies with species). They are most active at night and conceal themselves in crevices during the day. In cowries, the spire (pointed end) of the shell is overgrown by the last whorl, resulting in a rounded, domed shape. The shell-producing mantle tissue has two special folds that extend outside the shell in the cowries. These mantle folds keep the shell clean and polished, and prevent boring or encrusting organisms from causing damage to the shell surface. The mantle is covered with frilly, branched projections called papillae. The functions of the papillae are not clear: they may provide camouflage for the animal by breaking up the snail’s outline; or may allow absorption of oxygen from the seawater.
Cowries are very attractive with their patterned glass like shells. While small, Tiger Cowrie will eat algae and scavenge for scraps, but as an adult, they eat certain anemones, sponges, and soft corals, and are best kept with starfish, sea urchins, and tubeworms in the reef aquarium. Do not house it with Condylactis sp. as they love Condylactis for food. We believe the best place for Cowries is as an attractive addition to a FOWLR tank (Fish Only With Live Rock). Tank mates should be small and peaceful, and avoid keeping with large, predatory fish. A good suggestion is to have some sort of actinic moon lighting available which will allow the aquarist to view the cowries’ antics late into the evening. Cowries' need to be housed in a mature tanks with well established live rock. They are moderately easy to keep, refrain from using copper based medications and keep an eye on the levels of soluble waste since all conchs are sensitive to nitrates.
Can they Right Themselves if they Get Upside-down?: No
Food and Diet:
Cowrie are considered Omnivorous. Juveniles prefer green-based foods such as marine algae and Spirulina, whereas adults enjoy a larger proportion of meatier fare. Offer vitamin-enriched Mysis shrimp, krill, and chopped fish/mussel/cockle/prawns etc. Algae covered rocks can be cultured in a fishless refugium and rotated with rocks within the main aquarium to provide an ongoing supply of green foods.
Recommended Quantity:1 per 2 square foot of sand bed
Care: Moderately Easy
Reef Compatibility:Caution required: Smaller specimens seem to be totally reef safe, yet large cowries have been observed feeding on soft coral, sponges, tunicates, and hydroids.
Purchase Size:Small: 1" to 2"; Medium: 2" to 3"; Large: 3" to 4"
With an approximate size of 1" the Money Cowry inhabits shallow intertidal reef areas. Known for being 100% Reef-Safe and an excellent herbivore and one of the best green turf alage eaters period. Excellent for cleaning tanks going through a green algae cycle. They have an egg-shaped glossy surfaced shell usually in a cream colour with brown markings and the animal often extends its large mantle (which has numerous papillae) up over so as completely covering the shell. Money cowrie are so named because they make a "clinking" noise when handled in groups- sounding a lot like pocket change. They are excellent for in a reef tank they are compatible and beneficial to the reef aquarium since they leave all coral and inhabitants alone while they graze on all types of micro algae and detritus. A natural scavenger they are self sufficient in the home aquarium and should have enough natural food growth to live. They are easy to care for and can be easily kept by the beginning aquarist.
Money Cowrie Snails are recommended at 1 per 10 gallons, or 2 per 10 gallons in aquariums that have excess of algae. They are peaceful, and should not be kept with more aggressive species that can possibly harm them. For this reason they do best in mature tanks with well established live rock. Moderately easy to keep as long as you watch your temperatures, refrain from using copper based medications, and keep an eye on the levels of soluble waste since all saltwater snails are sensitive to nitrates.
Can they Right Themselves if they Get Upside-down?: No
Food and Diet:
Keep in mind that the Money Cowrie will starve if algae levels become sparse. Therefore, supplement their diet with dried seaweed. To feed, use an algae
clip or wrap the seaweed around a rock or empty shell and place into your aquarium, next to the glass. To promote shell growth, supplement calcium levels in your aquarium.
Normally 1 per 10 gallons, or if you often have excess algae 2 per 10 gallons.
Level of Care:
Approximate Purchase Size:
Important Acclimation Notes:
The Marine Cowrie is sensitive to changes in water parameters including pH, temperature, and alkalinity. They need to be slowly acclimated to their new home using the drip method explained
on our website for a minimum of 3 hours.
Price Each $8.99
Pack of 3 $25.47 (8.49 ea.)
Pack of 12 $95.88 (7.99 ea.)
Pack of 25 $187.25 (7.49 ea.)
The rare spider conch Lambis lambis is part of the of the family Strombidae. Coming from the shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific,
the Spider Conch is sought by shell collectors in the Philippines, Solomon Islands, Indonesia and India, and is harvested for food in Japan. Spider conchs are found mainly on the sand and among
the rocks on or near coral reefs. Reef safe, peaceful, and will not harm other invertebrates or corals. A very interesting invertebrate for the marine aquarium, they are excellent sand sifters,
and very beneficial in the reef aquarium. As they burrow and dig through the aquarium substrate, they will clean and aerate the bottom. Terrific for Cleaning Tanks with that ugly red or brown
slime algae often seen. Also a hardy algae eater, one of the few that will rid a tank of slime algae, they also love the brown diatoms found on the surface of live sand beds. They will stir and
clean upper layers of the sand bed. One of the best reef tank detrivor's, they burrow and dig through the aquarium substrate cleaning and aerating the bottom.
Spider Conch's are for larger tanks only since their 3-1/2" to 5" size make them too large for smaller aquariums. They are moderately easy to keep as long
as they have a seasoned tank with a fairly deep live sand bed to live in. Refrain from using copper based
medications and keep an eye on the levels of soluble waste since all saltwater cochs are sensitive to nitrates.
Can they Right Themselves if they Get Upside down?: Yes
Food and diet:
Spider Conch's will eat meaty bits of Brine Shrimp, Mysis Shrimp, fish and Scallop and Scavenge on detritus and fish waste. If there is not ample food supply in your marine
aquarium, you may supplement their diet with the meaty bits of fish and sea food along with algae pellets or algae wafers.
Recommended Quantity:1 per 50 gallons
Level of Care: Moderately Easy
Approximate Purchase Size: 3-1/2" to 5"