Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
I'm one of those hippy snail lovers too.
Yes, they will reproduce in proportion to the food supply. And if you have to overfeed, for example to make sure fry or whatever gets enough food, then you will have a lot of snails - more than you probably want.
But speaking pragmatically, I believe they're still performing a useful function.
They eat, digest, and poop out that excess food in a form that is easily converted by the biofilter, or absorbed by plants. Now I don't know for sure, but that seems better than the food simply rotting.
And not all of what they eat is pooped out. Some is retained to fuel growth, and the production of new snails. So it seems like they work as a form of nutrient export, too.
Though if they were actually competing for food - for example covering sinking food pellets to the point where the intended recipients can no longer reach them - then I'd have no qualms over decimating them, snail lover or not.