Simple guide to Snails, Inverts, and Non-fish species
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Old 10-08-2003, 05:57 PM   #1
BonesCJ
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This site has been of so much help to me and many other aquarium keepers that I really wanted to do something to help other people getting into this obsessively fun hobby.
This is not the end all of Snails, Inverts and non-fish aquarium critters but hopefully it will make life easier on people trying to get some basic information on these animals. I will try to get more photos to complete the list and If anyone has any suggestions or comments please feel free to post a message or PM me.

Chris


Snails:

Common Ramshorn Snail (Planorbis sp)
1/8-3/4 inch in diameter, flat shell
A small snail with a brown to reddish brown coiled shell, often a hitchhiker on plants. Predomintly an algae eater it will eat decaying plant matter and occasionally live plants. Makes a good treat for snail eating species such as Loaches and freshwater Pufferfish. Reproduces quickly with eggs laid in a jellylike mass.
Picture: In progress

Columbian Ramshorn Snail ( Marisa sp.)
2+ inches in diameter, flat shell
A much larger snail with a coiled shell they are also more colorful with light colored shells with darker striping. They are more known to eat aquatic vegatation and can devastate a planted aquarium. They are egg layers and are too large for most snail eating fish to devour.
Picture: http://www.plantedtank.net/forum/alb...php?pic_id=100

Apple Snail (pomacea sp.)
5+ inches in diameter, round shell
These big guys look like baseballs in motion, they come in a variety of colors from light yellow to dark browns. They will eat anything plant based making them very bad to have in a planted aquarium. They tend to be too large for most snail eating fish to tackle. Egg layers, all Pomacea species have a male and female and both are needed to reproduce.
Picture: In progress

Mystery Snail (Pomacea sp.)
2+ inches in diameter, round shell
A smaller cousin of the Apple snail, the mystery snail is more often seen in the aquarium trade due to their smaller size and a broad range of colors, including yellow, orange, brown and black and many shades in between. They also can be known to eat aquatic vegatation but it is not a certainty. Egg layers, all Pomacea species have a male and female and both are needed to reproduce.
Picture: http://www.plantedtank.net/forum/alb...php?pic_id=101

Nerite Snail (Neritina reclivata)
1+ inch in diameter, round shell
A very useful snail to have in the aquarium, nerite snails eat nothing but algae and are no risk to aquatic plants. Their shells are dark brown to black with white markings that almost look like barnacles. This species is very difficult to breed as they need brackish water to breed and for their eggs to develop properly.
Picture: In progress

Malyasian Trumpet Snail (Melanoides tubercularia)
1/4-3/4 inch in length, conical shell
This is a nocturnal burrowing snail that can be very useful to the planted aquarium for stirring the substrate. They are live breeders but do not need to activly mate to reproduce. The shell is long and conical in shape with a light brown color and darker striping. This snail is a algae eater and scavenger and very rarely does it eat live healthy plants, only decaying vegetation is at risk. This snail does not make a good food source for snail eating fish such as Loaches and Pufferfish as the shell is very thick and strong for such a small snail and most fish species cannot crack it.
Picture: In progress

Common Pond Snail (scientific unknown)
1/2 inch, conical
These snails do not seem to have any purpose in the aquarium other than possibly as food for snail eating fish or as pests. They are hitchhikers that tend to come in on aquatic plants. They are brown in color and eat aquatic vegatation making them unsuitable for planted aquariums. They are good snack for snail eating fish. They reproduce rapidly and are egg layers.
Picture: In progress

Trapdoor or Periwinkle Snail (Viviparis malleatus)
2+ inch, conical
Algae eating snail that also handles decaying plant and animal matter, can survive colder temperatures making it useful in outdoor ponds as well as in aquariums. live bearing snail.
Picture: In progress

Shrimp, Crayfish and Crabs:

Red Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina denticulata)
1 inch
A bright red color these shrimp really stand out in the modern day aquarium. They are very useful as they handle several different types of algae as well as picking up any leftover food. Captive breeding is possible, iodine is recommended for healthy molting.
Picture: http://www.plantedtank.net/forum/alb...php?pic_id=105

Ghost Shrimp (Palaeomonetes species)
1 inch
A very cheap and inexpensive shrimp these are often sold as feeder shrimp for large hungry fish. They are mainly used as food scavengers though they have been known to eat algae if food supplies are low. Clear in color these shrimp can be hard to pick out. Captive breeding is possible with greenish eggs showing on the female, iodine is recommended for healthy molting.
Picture: http://www.plantedtank.net/forum/alb...php?pic_id=102

Amano Shrimp (Caridina japonica)
2 inches
This is a very useful shrimp for the aquarium as they are capable of eating algea and other small bits of food that might escape the fish. They are commonly seen in Takashi Amanos aquariums and have become quite well known. Captive breeding is possible, iodine is recommended for healthy molting.
Picture: http://www.plantedtank.net/forum/alb....php?pic_id=96

Singapore Wood Shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis)
3+ inches
This large brown shrimp with white markings is unique in that instead of the normal claws you would expect it has two fan shaped filters that the shrimp uses to filter feed micro organisms from the water column. Captive breeding is possible, iodine is recommended for healthy molting.
Picture: http://www.plantedtank.net/forum/alb...php?pic_id=104

Blue Freshwater Crayfish
6+ inches
This large crawfish is purely a scavenger/predator and does not do any algae removal. Care should be taken with these large predators as they have been known to activly catch and devour live fish of decent size. Very pretty vibrant blue color.
Picture: http://www.plantedtank.net/forum/alb...php?pic_id=103

Red Crab (Sesarma bidens)
1.5 inches
A small crab with red shell and claws and some darker markings on the shell. Does not eat algae but is a good scavenger for leftover food particles. Should be provided with a way to reach the surface of the water but the lid should be tightly sealed to prevent escape. Have been reports of crabs eating live fish but they are generally not that aggressive.
Picture: http://www.plantedtank.net/forum/alb....php?pic_id=95

Golden Fiddler Crab (Uca sp.)
2 inches
A small crab with yellow gold coloring, they are interesting in that the male fiddler crab has one claw that is much larger than the other, whereas the female will have 2 claws of the same size. Eats food off of the bottom but does not eat algae. Should be provided with a way to reach the surface of the water but the lid should be tightly sealed to prevent escape. Have been reports of crabs eating live fish but they are generally not that aggressive.
Picture: http://www.plantedtank.net/forum/alb...php?pic_id=106

Misc:

Golden Clam (Corbicula fluminea)
1+ inch in diameter
The only freshwater clam that I have found that is used in the aquarium. These clams are burrowers that open their tops and filter feed particles and micro organisms from the water column. Useful for keeping the substrate stirred up. Male and female clams are required for reproduction.
Picture: http://www.plantedtank.net/forum/alb....php?pic_id=99

African Dwarf Frogs (Hymenochirus boettgeri)
1 inch
A small fully aquatic frog these are peacefull and can live with other fish. They do need to be fed live foods such as brine shrimp and blackworms or frozen meaty foods. Some frogs will accept flake but for the most part they need meaty foods.

Picture: In progress
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Old 10-08-2003, 06:03 PM   #2
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I'm not sure if this is an invertabrate list or a non-fish list, but you may want to add African Dwarf Frogs in the case of the latter.
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Old 10-08-2003, 06:27 PM   #3
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I would warn against the use of common freshwater crayfish. I was one of the people that said I had kept them in my Mbuna tank for years. Came home one day and they had my Severum held down and were in the act of doing him in.

I put the severum in another tank to see if the possibility was that he was on deaths doorstep and they were just helping the situation along. The severum recovered and I pulled the crayfish. Very unpredictable behavior and they are really good at catching fish when they want to.

I would be interested in hearing how the frehwater shrimp do as cleaners?
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Old 10-08-2003, 09:00 PM   #4
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Dave, ghost shrimps are excellent cleaners! The go over the gravel all day and night long and eat anything that's edible for them, like fish food and dead plants etc. Unfortunately, many larger fishes mistake them for snacks :cry:

I would be very interested in some information about freshwater clams. What do they eat? Who eats them? How fine does the substrate need to be? Are they the next wave of biological filtration????
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Old 10-09-2003, 02:48 AM   #5
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http://www.gsmfc.org/nis/nis/Corbicula_fluminea.html

Everything you wanted to know about the fresh water clam....



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Old 10-09-2003, 03:47 PM   #6
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Thanks Jason, interesting link, but... not quite everything I wanted to know I was more interested in its needs and usefulness with regards to tropical tanks. Good to know though that it is actually a pest threatening native species --> never flush them down the drain without prior cooking :roll:
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Old 10-09-2003, 07:22 PM   #7
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I suspect by reading about their breeding habits and what they do to local waters, they could also turn into a pest in the home aquarium.... Kind of like the common pond snail....


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Old 10-09-2003, 08:27 PM   #8
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If they multiply and I can sell them to friends, cook them for dinner, and they filter my water glass-clear, I wouldn't mind :lol:
I bought two of them last night, and they happily dug themselves into the sand. We'll see what they are up to today...
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Old 10-10-2003, 03:19 PM   #9
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What species did you get? I've thought about gettting some as well, so keep us posted

I wonder if they'll get enough food in your aquarium...
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Old 10-10-2003, 03:40 PM   #10
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I think what I got is the Asian Freshwater Clam, Corbicula fluminea @$1.50/ea. I would like to put them in my big tank, but the loaches will think of them as just another snack. Really no idea if they are starving or what, hopefully in the 40 gal tank two of them will have sufficient whatevers to filter out of the water.
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Old 11-07-2003, 02:46 AM   #11
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Wasserpest,

How are those clams doing.....


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Old 11-07-2003, 03:59 PM   #12
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Doing good... mouth open... yawn...

They are just there... not the most interesting thing in the world. They close up if a fish or shrimp start picking on them, and open up after a while to keep filtering. I can't say they help "cleaning" the water, perhaps you need a whole army of them for that...

They haven't died, they haven't propagated, they haven't grown noticeably, they don't go around eating fish or plants... yawn...
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Old 11-07-2003, 08:01 PM   #13
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Wasserpest,

Thanks... I have been considering getting a few and wanted to know how they were adapting you your thank.


Thank you
Jason
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Old 11-20-2003, 03:24 PM   #14
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Hi everyone,
know where can i get the ramshorn snail?? Or you guys are kind enuff to spare me a few ??

Help,
A.J
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Old 11-20-2003, 05:53 PM   #15
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FYI, the links to many of the pics are broken. Maybe someone can adapt this thread to an article and post it on the Fish->Inverts section.
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