Snails: Good or Bad - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Snails: Good or Bad

Are snails harmful to planted aquariums?

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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 11:28 PM
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When I got into the planted tank hobby, I considered these creatures to be evil. Every little snail that was in my tank either got sprayed with hydrogen peroxide or was removed and thrown in the garbage. What an idiot I was for doing such a crazy thing. At this point, there are three tanks in my room and everyone has snails happily enjoying the aquariums. I cannot stress the importance and benefit of these little guys when it comes to consuming dead or dying leaves. Instead of me trying to get between plants with a net, the snails will do it for me by devouring the decomposing matter. Don't get me wrong, these things can multiply out of hand so you will need to periodically destroy some of them but don't even bother with trying to eradicate the snails. My shrimp get some crushed snails from time to time and they really love snacking on the delicacies.
So yeah, some snails like Ramshorn, Pond, MTS are definitely not harmful to a planted tank but are rather beneficial. Did I mention that they eat algae too?
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 11:30 PM
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If there was some was to potty-train a snail (make it go in a corner of the tank instead of all over my plants, rocks, wood) they would be perfect. Right now I just live with basting them off my hardscape every so often, and periodic manual removal of some of the population. They will, however, increase in demand for me as they will serve as food for my macro shrimps coming soon (any maybe more dwarf puffers).
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-16-2006, 06:19 AM
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Depends on the species.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-16-2006, 12:03 PM
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They will, however, increase in demand for me as they will serve as food for my macro shrimps coming soon (any maybe more dwarf puffers).
This is the boat I'm kind of in. I'm encouraging snail growth in my cherry shrimp tank, as I've heard that snail pooey is great food for cherries. Not only that, but I need to start feeding my dwarf puffer some baby snails!

If you really want to thin a population, get a nice yoyo loach (botia lohachata) or clown loach. Give it one day in the tank and hte snails will be all but eradicated.
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-16-2006, 02:21 PM
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-16-2006, 02:27 PM
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I had some hijackers that came with some plants I ordered. Iím not sure what type they were, but they cleaned my driftwood almost completely of algae in just 2-3 days. I would love to be able to keep whatever they were, but the pH of my tank eventually kills them.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-16-2006, 03:58 PM
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When I first got into planted tanks I was so anti-snail. Everyday I would stick my hand in the tank and search every unturned leaf. What a hassle. Now every so often I do a little snail exterminating. about every other week I kill what ever I can see and that is it.
Furthermore I do believe they ad to the biodiversity of the tank. Without the snails I might be left with a large population of something else.

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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-16-2006, 04:12 PM
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I`ve had explosions of them, but it was also at the same time I was dumping BBS in my tank for fry. Keep it lean and you won`t have a problem. I see one from time to time, if I look for them, but it just adds to natural aspect of the tank.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-16-2006, 05:23 PM
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I introduced pond snails with some plants, so now I have "several" of them. Yesterday I noticed that a few have BBA growing on them. Now I'm wondering if that means they are like Typhoid Mary - spreading doom all over the tank.

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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-16-2006, 06:57 PM
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I have the opposit problem in some tanks. I try to keep some snails alive in them, but the pH eats away at their shells. The ones that HAVE managed to live in these tanks - pond snails - have such fragile, brittle shells that the slightest pressure squishes them.

But to answer your question, I would say snails are 99% good. I've never had a problem with population explosions because my fish eat the snail eggs.
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-21-2006, 09:26 AM
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hey guys, does the snails creep out of the tank if we dont place tank covers in it? and how long do they reproduce?
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-21-2006, 01:49 PM
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I heard about a guy once who had a friend who's sister's boyfriend's uncle had snails that crawled out of his tank at night and slimed him silly...

...just kidding!

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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-21-2006, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by teban
hey guys, does the snails creep out of the tank if we dont place tank covers in it? and how long do they reproduce?
It depends on the species. The common pond snails I have come up above the surface of the water a few inches at most. The red ramshorns I have don't break the surface, and just come up for air.

Snails reproduce like mad if given the right conditions (lots of food, good temp, no predators). You could have an infestation scale population if you let it get that way in about a month.

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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-21-2006, 03:08 PM
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some apple snails will crawl out, especially when they are trying to lay eggs (i've had this happen), but your typical MTS or pond snail tends to stay in the water (at least as far as i've seen)
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