Snails in an aquarium – a topic that causes a lot of controversy and discussion. What more of them: good or harm? Why they suddenly begin to multiply sharply or quickly disappear the whole company?
Why are some species are “vegetarians” and others are carnivorous, like real predators? There are many questions, the answers – in the characteristics of each species.
The appearance of snails in the aquarium sometimes occurs unnoticed. Observing the life flowing there, the aquarist unexpectedly notices that on the wide leaves, walls, shells or just the ground, there appeared a small, pebble-like placer, hard to the touch and almost black. After a few days it becomes clear: these are young snails.
In bright light, you can see their reddish or brown color. They move quickly, and at the moment of movement from the dark shell there appears a gentle, soft body, half of which is a leg.
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At the moment of danger, the snail hides itself in a calcined house and waits there for danger. She recognizes her with a pair of neat horns and eyes, located at their base.
Kids are brought to the aquarium along with the soil or vegetation in which the caviar has been deposited. It is light and hardly visible to the naked eye.
With each egg, a small snail appears over time. It digs into soft ground for its development and growth. After a couple of months, a viable individual appears in the water and begins its activity:
- moving quickly along the walls, with its mouth apparatus it scrubs off the mucus and green growths from them, which provides a service for maintaining the sanitary state of the artificial reservoir;
- pick up the remnants of food intended for fish. Eating this kind of litter, settled on the bottom, they are struggling with possible processes of decay, prevent the release of decay products into the water;
- Some species of snails feed on fish carrion, thus preventing organic pollution of water.
But all the activities described are nothing compared to the practical use of the biological regulation of the number of snails themselves.
Few would argue: with the snails, the aquarium looks more natural. Its natural biocenosis has been formed and acts as a single biological system. Snails here assigned a very specific role.
It will be determined by which options these residents have chosen for this water kingdom.
There are a lot of popular species today. Among them:
- harmless coil;
- voracious helens;
- mucus fizy;
- interesting but demanding ampouleries;
- exotic tilomelania;
- obsessive melania;
- low-life neretins;
- Voracious monsters Mariz and many others.
Each has its own characteristics, habits and requirements for conditions of detention.
The descriptive list is not in vain begins with this kind. Ampulyaria (Pomacea bridgesii) is a beautiful, bright and well-marked snail.
It is characterized by a large size (up to 7 cm) and an intense color (usually yellow, but possibly blue, burgundy, black or brown). It is voracious enough, which is explained by the need for forces to move its large body and successfully exist.
Long mustache taper upward, and the leg sometimes has a beautiful gilded glow. The snail breathes air, but every time it floats to the surface it is lazy.
Therefore, nature gave her a special tube – a siphon, which is exposed from the water to suck in oxygen.
Ampularia considers the temperature of water in the range from 15 to 28 ° C to be favorable living conditions. However, it does not impose any special requirements on the hardness and acidity of water.
To the negative characteristics of the characteristics include its ability to eat green shoots of plants. However, if she is well fed with special food, she will not do that.
You can feed on lettuce, cucumber, chopped zucchini and other juicy natural foods.
Having made friends with it and provided favorable living conditions, you can count on a rather long life of a gastropod in an aquarium – for several years.
You can read more about this type of snail in this article: Snail ampoule: what does attracts lovers of the water world in it?
Physa can not boast of large size. Its shell is rounded with a pointed elongated end.
The color is attractive and original: gray-brown or brown with gold specks.
A feature of fizy is its increased ability to mucus formation. Because of this, it can crawl into any, the most difficult places in the aquarium.
There is one more negative characteristic: if the fize lacks feed, it is able to nibble the hardest vegetable stalks and leaves – its mouth apparatus allows it to be done.
Performs sanitary functions in good faith and quickly: with the help of e the bottom of a medium-sized aquarium can be completely cleaned in a couple of days.
If the feed is too much, the fats quickly multiply and then not do without measures to regulate their numbers.
Neritins – guests in our aquariums, who came from tropical reservoirs and took quite a worthy place in them. The predominant color gamut is olive-black with golden stripes.
Their beauty is worthy of the harsh conditions that are required for the content. Neritina is not interested in the volume of the aquarium, but it makes serious demands on the quality of the water:
- temperature – 25-27 ° C;
- the water is clean and fresh;
- above the water surface there is an air space saturated with oxygen;
- soft water should not be, it will adversely affect the quality of its sink.
Neritins love to eat vegetation, so where there is a neglected thickets, they will be able to provide practical help.
A special feature is the ability to multiply only in salt water. If the caviar was deposited in a fresh water body, it will not be viable in the future.
Melanoides has a different appearance. The conical shell, very hard and practical, does not grow more than 3.5 cm.
Her striped staining with dark patches is unobtrusive in the afternoon. The reason for this is nightlife.
During the day, the snail digs into the ground and gains strength. This habit plays to the benefit of the whole aquarium.
Thanks to her, the soil does not stagnate, is periodically ventilated and mixed.
All kinds of food snails are unpretentious and will eat any remnants of fish food, as well as small vegetation.
Unlike ampulyarii, respiration in melania is gill. Therefore, the enrichment of water with oxygen is an important condition for a safe life.
Of the requirements that melania makes to living conditions, the most significant is the water temperature: the snail does not tolerate its decline, it is still a tropical resident.
The species belongs to viviparous.
A harmless and cute snail reel will never harm the aquarium. Her reddish-brown color gives the natural element to the water element, and looks spectacular against the background of bright green plants.
Do not believe the opinion that the coil eats plants. This can only be the case if she finds leaves unfit for later life. These are rotting pieces of plants, stalks of fish and other greens.
Confirms this structure of the oral apparatus of the coil. He is not fit to gnaw the hard parts of the plant, his lot – the remnants of softened fish feed and leaves starting to rot.
For the negative quality, many consider the ability of these snails to quickly fill the space of the aquarium. But this factor can also be regulated: it is enough not to overfeed the fish and clean the bitten off parts of the plants in time.
But on the behavior of the coils, you can get a signal about water pollution in time. In such a situation, they quickly float to the surface and float under the surface.
You can read more about this species of snails in this article: Snail – coil: not a guest or orderly aquarium?
Tylomelania sp. – coveted by many instance for settlement in the home aquarium. The reason for this is their extraordinary appearance, albeit very diverse.
The shell can be smooth, have thorns or outgrowths, have sharp edges or be decorated with curlicues. The body is also immodest: it can be decorated with white or yellow dots, be orange or completely black.
Eyes are rising above this magnificence – two beads, which are located on thin high processes – legs.
However, rarely does anyone get good friends with her: the snail is not in a hurry to get acclimatized in typical aquariums, especially.
For a successful life tilomeleanii need a lot of space and clean water. If the vegetation has grown and takes up a lot of space, the snail may be cramped.
She does not want to share her food: it is better to make a water collective of fish that live in the upper and lower layers of water.
The coiled snail with the pointed shape of a shell has dimensions much larger than its relatives (it can reach a length of 7–9 cm), for which it has received the name “giant”.
There are few aquarists who are not aware of the nature and habits of such a snail. Its difference from all is undoubted and pronounced: it is a predator eating its own kind. Helena is the best helper in regulating the number of snails in an aquarium.
Such a method of their destruction is most acceptable, since it eliminates the ingress of chemicals and other aggressive effects into the water.
Anentome helena also has its whims. She likes to dig in the ground and spend a lot of time there.
Therefore, settling it in an aquarium, you should make sure that it was sandy or from small gravel.
Another feature is that, helena, unlike, for example, from coils, is not hermaphrodite. For offspring required female and male individuals.
In addition, having one such pair, the probability of obtaining offspring is not great. It is better to have a certain amount of them.
You can read more about this species of snails in this article: Helena snail: a bright decoration and a cunning predator at the same time
Marissa cornuarietus is a large snail with a body twisted into 2-3 curls. Yellow brown with black dots – a guarantee that it will be noticed.
Snail is capricious and has its own character. She needs limited conditions of existence, for example, water with a temperature of 21-25 ° C and a rather high rigidity. The presence of salts insures a strong and dense composition of shells.
A cover is needed on the aquarium, as Marisa loves to leave the water house and travel by land. She is unlikely to be able to return back, so this campaign will end miserably.
Breathes atmospheric air. However, in order to swallow it, she does not have to lean out to the surface.
Having a special tubule, which she puts into the over-aquarium air space, Marise breathes as much as she wishes.
Can live in salted water, but the offspring in this case wait in vain.
Marisa the snail
Bithynia snails – who will help to cope with fungi and bacteria in the aquarium. Small brown limestone caps in 5-6 turns, a high ability to penetrate into hard-to-reach places, the desire to live in clean running water is what is characteristic of this snail.
Moving quickly along the inner walls of the aquarium, she carefully cleans them from green and yellow patina, and conducts a kind of disinfection. The same help can be expected when cleaning artificial decorations.
Bithonias are divided, and the differences between males and females are visible even with the naked eye. The female is bigger and darker than the male.
Beetinia eggs are different from other snails. They are shaped like a regular hexagon, which is surrounded by natural mucus.
Eggs can be found on the stems and leaves of aquatic plants, as well as surfaces that bitinia deems appropriate.
Tentacle bitiniya is the most popular option for aquarists. The shell has a characteristic acute-angular character, it can be painted in a light or dark brown color.
It is thick and durable, depending on the presence of calcium salts in the water.
However, you should be careful with it. Mollusk is a frequent carrier of parasitic worms, for example, double-barrels.
Among the snails known species and with a thin shell. An example is a lawn – a pale brown with a greenish tinge and dark stripes snail, the color of which changes as it grows.
It is interesting that when the body hides inside the shell, a special lid closes behind it, on which you can see rounded stripes.
Typical coloration can confuse the lawn, for example, with ampoules.
The snout snout has the shape of a blade, on which there are special formations – tentacles – reliable organs of touch. At the base of these tentacles are lurking eyes.
The peculiarity of the lawn is breathing with oxygen dissolved in water. However, this imposes strict requirements on its quality and purity.
The optimal aquarium for lawns – a shallow long vessel with a thick layer of poured soil. Snails love to rummage through it independently, realizing their food instinct.
That is why the question of their feeding is practically not worth it, but it will be useful to offer calcium-containing feed to her.
Genus Romacea, family Ampullariidae. The second name is Apple Snails.
The tube for inhalation of oxygen (siphon) can significantly exceed the size of the cochlea itself. It is pulled up so that it allows you to breathe air while under water.
Natural lifestyle – evening and night. During the day, she sits quietly, hiding from everyone and gaining strength for the evening hikes.
The color of the snail often corresponds to the color enclosed in the name, but sometimes gold or brown dots appear on the black background. Possible common greenish tint.
Pretty unpretentious. In small aquariums can grow even faster than in large ones.
On the contrary, they will be grateful that in search of food they will not have to travel long along the bottom.
Water, rather, prefer warm, rather than below 20 ° C. The level of acidity is of no particular importance, but the presence of salts in it is necessary to build a fortress with a shell house.
In terms of behavior in an aquarium, originality is no different: the same sanitary facilities of the bottom and walls, as well as relatives. However, the fallen fish would prefer to eat if their life ended no more than one day ago.
This view can be given the name of a mini-neritina. Small, with a beautiful yellow-black shell and original horns, it can even leave a wound on a person’s skin.
This is due to the special structure of the horns: they are sharp, durable and rough.
The snail will never be left without attention. She is attractive and mobile.
Having only 1 cm in diameter, it amazes with the number of possible shapes, lengths and locations of its horns.
The type description will be incomplete without characterizing a restless character. She tries to escape from the aquarium and travel by land.
If a little time has passed from her escape, you can catch her and return her back to the water.
They will not breed in the home aquarium, because for this they need sea water.
All types of aquarium snails have many similarities. They are beneficial in cleaning the aquarium from unnecessary vegetation, remnants of settled food, dead fish and other biological debris.
Such as Helena, can help in the regulation of the number, for example, coils. Being a natural predator, they eat their internal contents, which means they reduce unnecessary livestock.
However, there are negative aspects of such an aquarium inhabitant. Many of them are carriers of infectious diseases, parasites and other harmful microorganisms.
Getting into the aquarium in infancy (almost imperceptible to the eyes) along with the transplanted plants or in the process of replacing the soil, they eventually gain strength for life, grow and spread the pathogens brought.
Choosing snails for the aquarium, you need to analyze:
- what do they eat?
- what are their diseases?
- What is the necessary care?
- What kind of water do you prefer?
- with which of the fish get on favorably, and with whom they will be eaten?
- What is the attitude to the plant world and how likely is it to be fed?
Each particular case requires the selection of snails, the nature of which does not contradict the main biocenosis.
The snail is an interesting and controversial resident of the aquarium world (photos and videos on the Internet confirm this). They have their own habits, character and content requirements. And those who unequivocally see in them the enemies of aquarism are not right.
For each situation, you can choose not only a harmless look, but an option that benefits.