Mystery/random snails - are they "bad"? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-20-2019, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Mystery/random snails - are they "bad"?

I got a few hitchhikers that have shown up in my tank since I bought my plants online. I didn't rinse/wash them. I've noticed a handful of snails here and there in the past couple of weeks. Are they bad? Should I do something to get rid of them or just wait and see what happens? It seems like they are eating the algae that's around, so that could be a plus?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-20-2019, 08:46 PM
snails are your friend
 
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They're a net positive in most any aquarium. They eat dying leaves, film algae and uneaten food, can help aerate substrate, and don't bother healthy plant growth. In a poorly maintained, overfed aquarium their numbers can explode, but nothing reproduces past its resources, and we provide the resources.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-21-2019, 02:57 AM
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They are actually good for the tank and part of a natural ecosystem but not particularly aesthetic if you don’t want to see the little guys all over you plants and hardscape.

Despite what people say about overfeeding, I feed my rasboras in tiny amounts and the population of pest snails in my tank has still exploded. I’d you don’t want this to happen in your tank I’d recommend removing them manually when you do your water changes.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-21-2019, 03:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joemomma View Post
I got a few hitchhikers that have shown up in my tank since I bought my plants online.
I didn't rinse/wash them.
I've noticed a handful of snails here and there in the past couple of weeks.
Are they bad?
Should I do something to get rid of them or just wait and see what happens?
It seems like they are eating the algae that's around, so that could be a plus?
I can't stand them but on the other token I don't take action to get rid of them.

Always put plants in a tray of tank water and give then a good look over.
Larva, scuds, etc... could end up in your tank.

Snails will clean up debris, excess food, algae, and dying plant matter.
Very seldom will they feed on healthy plants.

Overfeeding can make them multiply like no other.
I only feed my phish every 4-5 days and vary their diet.
Have plenty of snails but they are not unsightly by any means.


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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-21-2019, 03:37 AM
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Just go out and buy a loach or two and they will make quick work of your snails..I don’t like them either. Wish I did bc they do a great job of cleaning. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have loaches so I could get some shrimp in my tank. Oh well. I feel a new tank is my near future anyway ha
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-21-2019, 06:21 PM
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No guarantee that loaches will eat snails.

A 'loach expert' (has bred many different species of loaches) said he had 39 tanks of loaches.... (many different species, too!) and 39 tanks of snails!

I can also say I've had a tank of loaches.... with snails.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-22-2019, 12:10 AM
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I've found that loaches will sometimes do a good job on snails when the loaches are young, but as they get older and more cunning, they decide the fish food is a more pleasant meal.

I've also found that if I don't put algae wafers in the tanks, I lose ottos and anicstrus from starvation. If I put algae wafers in the tank, the snails share them. No-win situation. I live with having to trap and remove snails regularly.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-22-2019, 12:48 AM
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[QUOTE=Zoidburg;11287387]No guarantee that loaches will eat snails.

A 'loach expert' (has bred many different species of loaches) said he had 39 tanks of loaches.... (many different species, too!) and 39 tanks of snails!

I can also say I've had a tank of loaches.... with snails.[/

All I know is that my tiger loach ate any shrimp or snail that was in my tank. When I had my clown loach years ago, he did the same. They will at the very least control the population.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-23-2019, 07:08 PM
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Do they look like this guy? I got a few hitchhikers but I really enjoy them so far. I have no idea what kind, any thoughts?

Sorry if a pic ends up sideways. Click image for larger version

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-23-2019, 07:25 PM
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Do they look like this guy? I got a few hitchhikers but I really enjoy them so far. I have no idea what kind, any thoughts?

Sorry if a pic ends up sideways. Attachment 891043
Those are pond snails. You can tell the difference by the antennae - pond snails have long and slender antennae, bladder snails have short basically triangular antennae. Bladder snails and pond snails also have different rotations to their shell, right hand vs left hand rotation...can't remember which is which, but I typically just go by antennae.

Like others have stated, snails are an integral part of the tank. They're a wonderful cleanup crew and generally add little to the bio-load, with the exception being massive population explosions. I keep Malaysian Trumpet Snails in all my tanks to turn the sand substrate, and I've also got bladder, ramshorns, and pond snails in each of my tanks...except the puffer tank. That dude is a murder machine, no snails except MTS and large Nerites can survive in there. Anything that typically grazes on plants is easy pickin's for that guy.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-23-2019, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mgeorges View Post
Those are pond snails. You can tell the difference by the antennae - pond snails have long and slender antennae, bladder snails have short basically triangular antennae. Bladder snails and pond snails also have different rotations to their shell, right hand vs left hand rotation...can't remember which is which, but I typically just go by antennae.
Other way around. Pond snails have short antennae and bladders have long thin ones. Pond snails usually get much larger and are "right handed.'"
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Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-23-2019, 09:00 PM
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Other way around. Pond snails have short antennae and bladders have long thin ones. Pond snails usually get much larger and are "right handed.'"
Thanks for catching that!
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-24-2019, 01:05 AM
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Not sure of the name, but I have had issues with tiny greyish "seed snails". Crushing them with tweezers kept the population under control, but now that I'm also vacuuming them up with a pipette, their numbers seem to be plummeting. There were some bladder snails early on, but were easily exterminated. All provide food for the other inverts and the plants.

Snail Glades,
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-24-2019, 01:35 PM
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Not sure of the name, but I have had issues with tiny greyish "seed snails". Crushing them with tweezers kept the population under control, but now that I'm also vacuuming them up with a pipette, their numbers seem to be plummeting. There were some bladder snails early on, but were easily exterminated. All provide food for the other inverts and the plants.
Freshwater limpets?
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-24-2019, 07:14 PM
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They look like tiny greyish/opaque snails but are oriented horizontally instead of vertically. They also move up and down the water column freely, instead of relatively fixed as I imagine limpets to do.

Until I saw the pics in this thread, I'd assumed they were pond snails.

Snail Glades,
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