Nerite Snails - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-05-2007, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Nerite Snails

I was browsing since they were recommended by quite a few people on the forum, and I'm not sure if the claims they're making are true.

Here's what they were advertising about their algae cleanup crew:

"Nerite snail-eat most any algae (even red algae) off glass and delicate plant leaves plus they will NOT reproduce in freshwater, only in ideal saltwater. about dime-size."

(They also say the snail won't eat your plants. Somehow I doubt both these claims.)

"Siamese Algae Eater-Eat green hair and black beard algae off leaves and other surfaces."

(Will SAEs really eat BBA?)

"Flying Fox-eat most any type of hair algae off most surfaces.

Golden Algae Eater & Otos-will eat green algae off glass and the substrate floor.

Amano & Red Cherry Shrimp will delicately pick green hair & black algae off glass and plants.

Garra pingi pingi-will scavenge the aquarium floor for left over debris and algae."

Have any of you had good results with these snails? Is reputable?

Seems like I would have read something about it.

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-05-2007, 11:44 PM
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nerite snails are rocking algae eaters. they do leave unsightly little eggs everywhere, however. I've never dealt with, so I'm no help there.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-06-2007, 12:04 AM
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They are awesome! Very good algae eater! Here is a photo of one of mine, pretty cool looking to boot!
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-06-2007, 03:53 AM
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All the information I've found about nerites is that they are, indeed, the most awesome thing ever for aquariums. however, the fact that they are almost impossible to find locally (in seattle - so I'm assuming that means it's nearly impossible everywhere...) makes them more of a pain than they're probably worth. I personally invest in a couple of apple snails and let them get to work, but only because I like how they look. they're not really that great of a cleanup crew. Nothing gets rid of algae like water changes and the occasional scrub.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-06-2007, 04:07 AM
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I actually purchased their "clean up crew" about 3 months ago for my 75 that had been left neglected for over a year, everything had been turned off all that time. Needless to say, I had quite a mess when i finally found the time to clean it and restart it. Every type of algae you can imagine. This "little" clean up crew did wonders, within 2 days the tank walls, rocks, driftwood, substrate, filter intake and outflow, heater, etc, essentially every surface was mostly clean. Within a week I was unable to see any algae and my tank has stayed that way ever since. The nerites are awesome cleaners tireless really. I am also particularly fond of the golden algae eater and the gara ping ping. The shrimp are just plain fun to watch. Overall, I am quite happy with my purchase.

I will tell you though, the otos are back ordered and have been since I originally placed the order. I'm still waiting on them. Although, they say they hope to have a batch in within a few weeks. They have been very responsive to every inquiry I have had and seem to be willing to do what it takes to ensure I have a positive experience with them.

I'd recommend them. Oh and btw, the nerites do not reproduce but as stated earlier, they do leave little white speck eggs all over all the time. I don't mind the eggs they dissappear with in day or two. They also have done zero damage to any of my plants. It's fun to watch them cleaning a sword or crypt leaf as obviously they are heavier than the leaf so they end up upside down hanging on for dear life, frequently they fall off and float to the substrate. Despite this, I have had no broken leaves or any other type of damage.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-06-2007, 04:19 AM
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Got some with 'barnicles' attached. The barnicles are cooler than then the snails with the flutters. Good cleaners, leave s#!t (eggs) all over.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-06-2007, 04:49 AM
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azgarders sell plain looking nerites, not those stripped ones.
I've had nerite and ramshorn, and ramshorn are MUCH better
for two reasons; ramshorn are neutrally buoyant which allows
them to clean the most delicate leaf, while nerites are heavy
and only make it to larger leafs and stems. nerite lay dozens
of calcium dot eggs that will never hatch and are very difficult
to remove, so you are much better off sticking with ramshorns.

as for azgardens, their back end charges for shipping are criminal,
so don't order from them unless you really want over $100 of stuff.

If you are preparing for your 55gal, just get Ramshorn and Ottos.
that's all the clean up crew you will need as long as you don't
screw up your water chemistry, overfeed, or prolong your lighting.
if you plan on lots of wood in your 55gal, get a dwarf pleco too.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-06-2007, 12:44 PM
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Nerites are great if you have GS algae, and they eventually stop laying eggs. You never have to worry about a population explosion with them. The pictured snail is the standard olive nerite that AZ gardens does sell.

There is a more delicate, prettier nerite, the virgin nerite, that you can sometimes get from places that sell marine snails. These are usually much smaller than the olive nerites but they don't like soft water or really acid conditions.

If you have hair, string, BBA or BGA, just remember that nerites won't eat these, but it does seem like nerites 'worry' those algae enough to help control them.


Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-06-2007, 01:31 PM
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from my FIRST HAND experience with OLIVE NERITE snails from AZGARDENS;

I may not have a macro lens camera, but those gold stripes were never noticeable on any of my snails to the naked eye even under a mix of 10000k, 6700k, and Colormax lighting.
Egg laying on glass, plants, plastic never abated no matter how many Months I had these snails in my tanks neutral freshwater.
The dead shells in my photo are shown as they arrived fresh from AZGARDENS, not after Months living in my tank.
perhaps with specific diet and water conditions those striations would contrast, but I guess I'll never know, and I doubt most will.

Thanks Sean, you just reminded me of another benefit of Ramshorn; not only are they self repopulating in freshwater, but their soft shelled fry make excellent food for many of our fish.

Nerites are a lot less forgiving of water chemistry mistakes like wild pH swings or chemical pollutants then Ramshorn. One mistake killed all my Nerites (thankfully) while similar mishaps had no effect on my Ramshorn.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-06-2007, 06:03 PM
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As Spypet wisely mentions and as some folks selling snails as herbivores often leave out and general for the entire genus:

Zebra nerites, which are much if not somewhat impossible to come by compared to the olives are decent for removing rock/wood algae, but not the olives.

I heard that some folks where suggesting that Olives come from hard water, well 10 ppm KH, 12 ppm GH and a pH of 5.0 seems like soft water to me and that's where I caught 40-50 olives in Florida.

They did not do anything for BBA at 40 per 20 gallon tank.
They are a pretty snail, never did reproduce in the tank though.

I agree that Ramshorns have done better.

I have not kept the Zebras yet, but have no issues with rock and wood algae anyway. SAE's are pretty good at BBA if you must have a herbivore.

But buyer should beware, claims that the olives are equivalent to Zerbas and sold as such are not to be trusted.

I do not know what the Zebras are like, but I know what has been claimed about Olives to be false. I've kept them too long under several blooms to see if they did much. I got them directly out of the wild. They did nothing for algae in the tanks.

I know some folks claim the olives are as good as the zerbras, however I most certainly cannot reproduce such claims leaving me with grave doubts.

I cannot say about the Zebras however.

They are both pretty snails, not too much $$$. So not a bad addition.
Just keep in mine that there are two very different critters that are nerites.

Tom Barr

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 01:30 PM
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I've gotten several shipments of olive nerites for GWAPA folks (I'm in charge of many group orders), some are black, some are as pictured. I'm sorry you had such a rough time of it, but the snails for us were great. They stopped laying eggs and the algae people were concerned about disappeared, also first hand experience. These snails adapted to a large variety of tank conditions.

I keep the virgin nerites as well, white with black stripes (or vice versa), very pretty. They stopped laying eggs even faster than the olives did. They did not do well in acid conditions prefering the tanks without CO2 injection. They don't seem to mind Excel.

I have an infestation of the small 'side slung' ramshorn snails, they do make great shrimp food when crushed.


Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 01:51 PM
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Interesting that your nerite experience was different. I wonder if it had
something to do with water parameters, or other environmental differences.
Good to know acid is deadly, as I did have a few 6.0 pH swings last year.

as for 2mm 'side slung' ramshorns, I don't really consider them ramshorns,
though I don't know what they are actually called. I agree these are
pests that damage leaves, and should be made into food when seen.

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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 02:43 PM
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I have to agree with SCMurphy. I have had 100's of olive nerites from a cheap local source and had good success with them. I have kept them between 5.8 and 8.0 pH - though their shells will deteriorate under 7.0 (the lower the pH the faster the problem occurs). Of course this is a problem with all snails - especially in tanks with CO2 injection.

Overall I find them to be a hardy species and have not had any problems with large environmental swings. Their biggest risk of peril IME would be loaches in your tank.

You end up getting variations from dark brown to nice stripes like the pics above. Most have more of the wavy pattern.

The white eggs they lay everywhere is the only downside - and it can be quite annoying. It seems seasonal. They will lay tons of eggs and then quit for months - but IME they will inevitably start again.

There are quite a few different types of nerites, though I have only ever had Olives. I wish I could find some of the other kinds...
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 03:45 PM
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spypet, those tetras you have in the picture are gorgeous, what type are they?

I have olive nerites I got from Wilma Duncan:

They do lay eggs all over the place though . I should have ordered more since the amount I have aren't cleaning completely (but then I'll have more eggs all over the place)

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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 03:57 PM
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those are; 1.5" Royal Black Emperor Tetra Nematobrycon palmeri
they are far more active and precosious then your average Tetra
and they love schooling into water flow. they typically look more
orange, black and white, and it's only at a certain angel that you
get the purple shimmer which becomes more obvious as they age.
some of the pictures you see on the web show them with a veiled
tail fin. I've had mine over a year and have yet to see that feature,
so that is likely a variation on this breed of tetra, or maybe I was
just unlucky enough to get all 7 as females they can live for
5 years, so maybe they still have yet to change... who knows.
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