What are these Little Creatures? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-08-2014, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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What are these Little Creatures?

What is this? A parasite? A snail? Should I destroy it? There are quite a few in my tank. How would I kill them? Would assassin snails do the job? What would you recommend?

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-08-2014, 05:12 PM
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Smile Interesting, Helpful Critters

Snails, common pond snails, lovely creatures just trying to earn a living in these tough economic times.

Generally an indication of overfeeding and less than pristine water conditions.

The population of these snails are self-regulating, pose no threat to any but some algae and excess food.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-08-2014, 05:23 PM
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Snails are really great for an aquarium. No natural freshwater system is a balanced ecosystem without them, so why should an aquarium be any different?

I never understood why people get so obsessive about culling snails. They eat algae, dead plant matter, and fish solids. What more could you ask for from an aquarium inhabitant?
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-08-2014, 05:37 PM
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they will eat plants beware.

-Jacklyn
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-08-2014, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmf3460 View Post
they will eat plants beware.
The guys in the picture? Oh please.

Healthy plants are not on the menu.

Joe
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-08-2014, 05:53 PM
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The guys in the picture? Oh please.

Healthy plants are not on the menu.
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OP do a search of pond snails or bladder snails and read their bad rap for eating plants. especially delicate new leaves and thin plants like blyxa. don't know how JoeRoun avoids it but they tend to be a nuisance more so than a blessing

-Jacklyn
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-08-2014, 06:51 PM
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I feel the same about snails as I do measles. A few on the neighbors doesn't bother me as long as they stay away from me. But then they tend to not do that so when I see them I don't want anymore than I can avoid. I have plenty of things to bug me.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-08-2014, 08:26 PM
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Smile Apologies for My Unworthy Views

Much experience with plants and critters, a few years ago started a study that focused on the wrongly accused Bristlenose nose catfish went on over the years to quite a few other critters including the lowly pond snail.

I keep snails and plants together including Blyxa japonica with snails, in fact one of the tanks with Blyxa japonica has less than ideal water conditions, but then it is a plant of stagnant, less than ideal water.

In my most unworthy, ever-humble-opinion, if a common pond snail is eating a plant, the plant is in some stage of decay. I generally suggest increasing at least the iron and perhaps micronutrients in general.

I understand this is a touchy subject with many and I apologize if I have offended. I do think people miss a real opportunity to understand the relationship of flora and fauna.

As unworthy of any respect as I may be my opinions are based on quite a bit of experience and research and indeed I do avoid the problem with snail.

I must confess I have no real experience with Bladder snails (Physidae), but I do with the closely related ram's horn snails (Planorbidae) and many of the common pond snails.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-08-2014, 08:46 PM
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I've got these guys in all my tanks; never had a problem with them eating live plants even quite delicate ones, though they'll zoom in on a damaged leaf like sharks to chum. Mine spend most of their time along the water line and floating upside down on the surface sucking up biofilm. My 37g community tank has nerites, rams horns, MTS, and three different varieties of the critters most of us just refer to as "pond snails". Healthy happy plants and a pristine substrate. I honestly can't recall the last time I had to manually remove any dead plant material other than right after a heavy prune.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-08-2014, 09:00 PM
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Smile Interesting, Helpful Critters

The little guys “floating” upside down are actually hang on to and eating biofilm made up by bacteria that also catches little bits of detritus.

Often when you see a snail grazing up and down they are laying a slime trail that catches little bits of stuff out of the water and on the return drips they feast on it. Just one of the many ways the little critters help improve water quality.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-08-2014, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeRoun View Post
Much experience with plants and critters, a few years ago started a study that focused on the wrongly accused Bristlenose nose catfish went on over the years to quite a few other critters including the lowly pond snail.

I keep snails and plants together including Blyxa japonica with snails, in fact one of the tanks with Blyxa japonica has less than ideal water conditions, but then it is a plant of stagnant, less than ideal water.

In my most unworthy, ever-humble-opinion, if a common pond snail is eating a plant, the plant is in some stage of decay. I generally suggest increasing at least the iron and perhaps micronutrients in general.

I understand this is a touchy subject with many and I apologize if I have offended. I do think people miss a real opportunity to understand the relationship of flora and fauna.

As unworthy of any respect as I may be my opinions are based on quite a bit of experience and research and indeed I do avoid the problem with snail.

I must confess I have no real experience with Bladder snails (Physidae), but I do with the closely related ram's horn snails (Planorbidae) and many of the common pond snails.

Joe
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YMMV. I personally don't like bladder snails in my tanks. They will eat holes in many of my plants (crypts, dwarf sag, vals, swords) if not enough food is available to them. I have seen them do it. Maybe not a problem in a well-fed or overfed tank, but I feed some of my nanos very sparsely. I have not had the same experience with ramshorn snails, which I keep in all of my tanks. But I have seen them eat camboba and juvenile java fern plants.

In my experience, most snails are relatively plant-safe if you feed them enough, but only nerites are completely plant-safe.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 01:35 AM
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JoeRoun you seem to have some good info to share. Could I ask why you post in that font?

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-10-2014, 12:55 AM
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If they get out of control then get an assassin snail or add some aquarium salt to your tank, depending on your setup of course as excess salinity may be detrimental. But I agree with the others, they are more helpful than detrimental (as long as kept under control).

Once and awhile just hang a lettuce leaf and let a bunch of them gather on it to catch and release (into your toilet). =)
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-10-2014, 02:43 AM
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Red face Comic Sans Reminds Me Of, Well Me...

The font, Comic Sans MS, is a signature of sorts, kind of from the days when I had to make sure what I wrote was legible, in the long ago days before computer printers and online anything.
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
The easiest way to control snails is water quality, if you have a snail bloom, it is a message that for whatever reasons your water quality has slipped. The snails I raise as food, I keep in frankly a rather funky tank, one of my favorite tanks, oddly enough.

As I mentioned earlier I really do not have much (if any) experience with bladder snails but there are not many freshwater pond snails that eat healthy live plants, this is an issue that reason is not going to resolve.

If you saw a snail devour and destroy an otherwise healthy robust plant and you are sure of the identification; of course you would never want such a critter anywhere around.

The easy test is a couple dozen mason jars a little of whatever you use for substrate a snail or six, some plants, perhaps give the plants a head start. In some of the jars raise the plants with an abundance of macro and micronutrients. It would be nice for each variation to have several jars (the more the better). Say a set with deficient in iron; different deficiencies for different sets of jars.

Make sure you are doing the same water changes in each, simulate plants with and without CO2, vary the Co2 levels using seltzer water. Each group of jars, one as a control (no snails, or potential miscreant of choice) label each. Keep the same lighting conditions as best you can air stone or a mix a couple times a day, but what you do for one do for all. Partial water changes each day is a good idea. When doing dozens or hundreds you find you become very clever in automating the tasks.

This or some variation is a model to test almost anything, substrate, fertilizer mixtures, CO2 levels, lighting what have you. Remember though for serious research you need dozens if not hundreds of trials. To get a basic idea, a feel, and figure out people trying to swindle you in the advertising, or online posts, it really does not usually take that long.

I actually do some of these with sandwich bags and hang ‘em on a cork board it is easier to track in some tests.

By the way (BTW in online speak) I am confident my little pond snails will pass any honest test, ‘cause I have done them. Still nothing beats trying these things for yourself, even on a small scale.

Joe
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-10-2014, 03:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeRoun View Post
The font, Comic Sans MS, is a signature of sorts, kind of from the days when I had to make sure what I wrote was legible, in the long ago days before computer printers and online anything.
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
The easiest way to control snails is water quality, if you have a snail bloom, it is a message that for whatever reasons your water quality has slipped. The snails I raise as food, I keep in frankly a rather funky tank, one of my favorite tanks, oddly enough.

As I mentioned earlier I really do not have much (if any) experience with bladder snails but there are not many freshwater pond snails that eat healthy live plants, this is an issue that reason is not going to resolve.

If you saw a snail devour and destroy an otherwise healthy robust plant and you are sure of the identification; of course you would never want such a critter anywhere around.

The easy test is a couple dozen mason jars a little of whatever you use for substrate a snail or six, some plants, perhaps give the plants a head start. In some of the jars raise the plants with an abundance of macro and micronutrients. It would be nice for each variation to have several jars (the more the better). Say a set with deficient in iron; different deficiencies for different sets of jars.

Make sure you are doing the same water changes in each, simulate plants with and without CO2, vary the Co2 levels using seltzer water. Each group of jars, one as a control (no snails, or potential miscreant of choice) label each. Keep the same lighting conditions as best you can air stone or a mix a couple times a day, but what you do for one do for all. Partial water changes each day is a good idea. When doing dozens or hundreds you find you become very clever in automating the tasks.

This or some variation is a model to test almost anything, substrate, fertilizer mixtures, CO2 levels, lighting what have you. Remember though for serious research you need dozens if not hundreds of trials. To get a basic idea, a feel, and figure out people trying to swindle you in the advertising, or online posts, it really does not usually take that long.

I actually do some of these with sandwich bags and hang ‘em on a cork board it is easier to track in some tests.

By the way (BTW in online speak) I am confident my little pond snails will pass any honest test, ‘cause I have done them. Still nothing beats trying these things for yourself, even on a small scale.

Joe
FBTB
Jeez, that sounds like a lot of work! I do have a number of jars of various sizes that I use for growing out plants and moss. I have ramshorn snails in all of them. I just don't put in plants I know they'll eat, because I only feed them once or twice a week. I usually drop in a few pellets when I dose Flourish and Excel.

As I said, YMMV, but I have dwarf sag in almost all of my tanks. And the only tank where it has holes is the one tank where I haven't eliminated all the bladder snails.

I'm a pretty big fan of snails. They are a very useful addition to the aquarium. I welcome rams and MTS (although they always find a way into my filters, even through the pre-sponges). But I've just had too many bad experiences with bladder snails. Assassins will wipe them out, but once they're gone, the assassins will go after all the other snails and shrimp if they're lucky enough to find one freshly-molted. I find the best way to deal with bladder snails is to squish and let the fish and shrimp enjoy a snack

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