Anyone who has been involved aquarium keeping is perhaps conversant in snails at one level or another. To some aquarists, they’re valued algae eaters and scavengers that help clean the tank and keep things in balance. To others, they’re a loathed scourge that quickly overrun the tank and are on the brink of impossible to urge obviate , and to some, they’re beautiful creatures that make colorful, interesting pets.
For the foremost part, freshwater aquatic snails are hardy creatures that thrive within the same water parameters as most aquarium fish, making them easy to stay and compatible with a good sort of fish and invertebrate species. they are available during a sort of sizes and colours , and despite popular belief, not all snails are prolific breeders which will overpopulate your aquarium, although a couple of types can and do. Always research any new additions before introducing them to your tank. during this article, we’ll check out the various sorts of freshwater snails and the way to properly look after or avoid them.
Good Vs. Bad Snails
There is a bent to categorize aquarium snails as “good” or “bad”. Truth is, all snails are good for our aquariums in a method or another, it’s just that sometimes they are doing things we don’t like or are unprepared for, like eating our plants or overpopulating the tank. Virtually all problems with snails are often avoided by understanding them, knowing the way to avoid accidentally introducing them to your tank and doing adequate research to form sure you purchase the proper snails for your aquarium.
“Good” Aquarium Snails
Most aquatic snails are great at getting obviate algae and consuming uneaten food, dead plant matter and other detritus that accumulates within the aquarium. One type, the Malaysian Trumpet Snail (MTS), burrows within the sand or gravel trying to find food, and in doing so, they keep the substrate clean and stop it from compacting and becoming anaerobic. Sadly, they’re also the first culprit for overpopulating an aquarium.
More recently, aquarists seek snails as unique pets. Their bright colors, intricate patterns and weird shapes make several snail species ideal candidates for aquariums of all kinds and sizes.
“Bad” Aquarium Snails
There really are not any “bad” snails, but a couple of species can multiply unchecked and overrun an aquarium. Seeing hundreds, if not thousands of those little beasts taking up your tank are often unnerving, and that they can place a burden on biological filtration also as clog filter intake tubes. Malaysian Trumpet Snails (MTS) and ramshorn snails are susceptible to doing this. to feature to the matter , nuisance snails are virtually impossible to eradicate once they’re in your aquarium. Ironically, a method of handling unwanted snail outbreaks is to introduce a species of snail that eats other snails! this text will touch more on this below.
Some species of apple snails (Pomacea) are voracious herbivores which will decimate a planted aquarium briefly order. Apple snails have also caused damage to crops in certain parts of the planet after being inadvertently introduced into the wild. However, the bulk of apple snails within the aquarium industry make great aquarium scavengers and typically leave plants alone.
How Do i buy Snails In My Aquarium?
There is just one way snails get into our aquariums – we put them there. But, you would possibly say, I’ve never purchased a snail in my life and suddenly they’re showing up! the foremost common ways unwanted snails enter our aquariums accidentally are via eggs or juveniles hitchhiking on plants or decorations, or in gravel cultures transferred from one tank to a different .
Many snail eggs are transparent and are often attached to the undersides of plant leaves, making them difficult to ascertain . Juveniles of red ramshorns and pond snails are often very tiny and conceal easily, especially in fine-leaved plants. There are ways of eliminating snails and their eggs which can even be discussed below.
Malaysian Trumpet snails are often transferred in used gravel intended to assist start the biological cycle during a new aquarium, but they will are available on rocks, plants, driftwood and decorations, as well. MTS are known to measure in buckets of used gravel for over a year! Even after rinsing the gravel thoroughly, they will still be alive and well, able to start reproducing in their new home.
Types of Snails
Aqueon sorts of Snails
Sometimes called Inca snails, Mystery snails (Pomacea spp.) are a kind of apple snail and are among the foremost popular within the aquarium hobby. These peaceful snails live 3 to 4 years, grow to a touch over 1½ inch in diameter and are valued for his or her bright colors and algae eating ability. Bodies are usually black or pinkish-orange with neon orange spots round the head area. Shells are often tan or olive with dark stripes, maroon, white, golden yellow or blue. They eat soft algae, dead plant matter and make great scavengers in peaceful community tanks.
There are several theories about how Mystery snails got their name, but a well-liked one is that once they were first introduced into the hobby, nobody knew what quite snail they were; it had been a mystery. Scientists have described two species popular within the aquarium industry – Pomacea bridgesii and Pomacea diffusa, with P. diffusa thought to be the foremost common one.
Mystery snails have gills also as a lung, with a kind of siphon tube that permits them to breathe air by coming to the surface. A secure lid should be wont to prevent them from climbing out of the tank. Breeding isn’t difficult; mystery snails are gonochoristic, meaning you would like a boy and a woman for it to happen. additionally , the feminine must be ready to leave the water to deposit her eggs, which appear as a honeycomb-like cluster on the tank wall above the water line or attached to the underside of the lid. Babies hatch call at 2 to three weeks, counting on temperature, and drop into the water.
Aqueon sorts of Snails
Nerites (Neritina spp.) are fantastic algae eaters that also eat leftover fish food, dead plant matter and other “stuff” that finishes up on rock bottom . they are available in several colors and patterns, including one with horns! they’re among the foremost beautiful of all aquarium snails. they’re relatively small, they don’t eat plants and their waste contains bacteria that’s beneficial to the digestive tracts of shrimp, making them perfect for planted aquariums and shrimp tanks.
Nerite snails aren’t difficult to breed, but the larvae require brackish or saltwater to develop, so there’s little risk of them overrunning an aquarium. they’re thought to measure a minimum of 3 years, but there are reports of 5 years from hobbyists. They like to crawl out of the water, so confirm you’ve got a secure lid on your tank!
Aqueon sorts of Snails
A relatively recent addition to the hobby, Rabbit snails (Tylomelania spp.), are rapidly becoming an aquarium favorite thanks to their larger size, interesting colors and “rabbit-like” faces. Native to Sulawesi, Indonesia, some species can get older to 4 inches long , and that they are thought to measure up to three years. they are doing best in aquariums of 20 gallons or larger and like warmer temperatures (76° – 84°F) and slightly alkaline water with pH 7.8 – 8.4. Some aquarists mix crushed coral into the gravel or place coral in their filters to realize the right water chemistry.
Rabbit snails prey on soft algae, dead plant matter and other detritus, but they’re going to also eat sinking pellets, algae wafers and other fish foods that fall to rock bottom . they are doing not bother plants, however, there are anecdotal reports of them nibbling on Java Fern.
Rabbit snails are gonochoristic and provides birth to measure , fully developed young, that are enclosed during a milky white egg pod. Babies are usually born one at a time, although occasionally two or maybe three are encased. Egg pods are produced once every 4 to six weeks, so their reproductive rate is extremely slow, albeit you’ve got several of them.
Aqueon sorts of Snails
Assassin snails (Clea helena) are native to Southeast Asia . they need become popular within the
aquarium because they eat other snails, making them a natural method for reducing nuisance snail populations. They grow to about 1 inch long and have alternating yellow and dark brown “bumble bee” stripes. They wish to burrow within the substrate but quickly begin for food.
Unlike most aquarium snails, which are largely herbivorous or a minimum of omnivorous, Assassin snails are carnivores, feeding largely on other snails or carrion. However, they’re going to not eat their own kind even when other food is briefly supply. a couple of shrimp breeders have reported seeing Assassin snails eating their valuable shrimp, but experts believe that this happens very rarely, and therefore the victims are presumably weak or sickly.
Assassin snails are known to breed in captivity. they’re gonochoristic, so if you would like to breed them, you ought to start with a minimum of 5 or 6 to form sure you’ve got males and females. Reproduction is slow because females only lay 1 to 4 eggs at a time. Eggs are transparent and difficult to ascertain , hatching call at 8 to 9 weeks, counting on temperature.
Aqueon sorts of Snails
Ramshorn snails are within the aquarium hobby longer than almost the other sort of snail. Some aquarists use them to assist keep fry-rearing or shrimp tanks clean, while others consider them a pest that ought to be eliminated at any cost. they’re great at eating soft algae, dead plant matter and leftover food, but they will multiply quickly, especially in aquariums that have tons of organic debris. they’re also known to eat soft-leafed plants when food is scarce.
the 2 commonest species within the aquarium trade are Planorbella duryi, the Red Ramshorn and Planorbarius corneus, a bigger species referred to as the good Ramshorn. Red Ramshorns are red, as their name suggests, while Great Ramshorns are typically olive-yellow to brown, with stripes on the shell. Other variants, like pink, yellow or blue also are available. Ramshorns are air-breathers, making it necessary for them to return to the surface to breathe.
Great Ramshorn snails are usually introduced intentionally into aquariums to regulate algae and help keep the tank clean, but Red Ramshorns often appear spontaneously. More often than not, tiny individuals or eggs sneak in on live plants, rocks, driftwood, ornaments and even gravel transferred from one aquarium to a different . A sudden population explosion is usually a results of detritus and organic waste build up within the aquarium.
Malaysian Trumpet Snails
Aqueon sorts of Snails
When it involves multiplying, the Malaysian Trumpet Snail (MTS), Melanoides tuburculata, has few rivals. counting on your outlook, these small, cone-shaped snails are often the simplest scavenger known to aquarium keeping or the foremost despised creature on earth. To make certain , they’re prolific. they’re parthenogenetic – not hermaphroditic – meaning females can give birth to more females without requiring contact with a male. In short, one tiny hitch-hiking female is all it takes to urge things going, and that they are virtually impossible to urge obviate once they enter your aquarium.
On the positive side, MTS forage within the substrate by day, keeping it aerated and breaking down any organic debris and waste that accumulates there, preventing anaerobic conditions which may release deadly sulfide gas from developing. Plus, they won’t eat your plants. For these reasons, they create excellent scavengers for planted aquariums, shrimp tanks and aquariums that are heavily stocked or fed generously. that’s comforting if you wish natural methods, except for some folks, seeing that a lot of snails during a tank or watching your gravel actually “move” is, well……. a touch creepy.