maintenance, care, compatibility
Aquarium snails – the eternal companions of fish, they live in all types of aquariums, sometimes even where it seems impossible. We have described in some detail the most common snails in our articles.
But, we will try to collect brief information on all the described species, and then the readers will already choose what interests them.
If you have ever had an aquarium, then you must have come across aquarium snails. All types of aquarium snails are often viewed as something that appears in one night, covers plants, muddies water and ruins fish.
Sometimes, they do some of this, but the benefits of snails in an aquarium are much greater. Many species of aquarium snails eat leftover food and other garbage, some clean the glass and decor, and some are simply very beautiful.
To avoid problems with snails in an aquarium, you just need to understand what causes their rapid growth, and which species do not suit you. In this article, we will briefly describe the most popular types of aquarium snails, but if you want to learn more about any of them, then we have already written about almost every species, and you will find a description by clicking on the links in the article.
What feed aquarium snails? Although the type of food depends on the specific type of snail, most of them are omnivores, they eat everything they can find.
Usually snails eat rotting plants, dead fish, food debris and various algae. In this way, they serve the aquarist – cleaning the aquarium from excess food residue, thereby maintaining cleanliness and lowering the level of toxins in the water.
Of course, different types of snails have disadvantages. The most common problem is that some species can spoil and even eat plants to the ground.
In addition, all the snails will eat fish eggs, if they can get to it and should not keep them in spawning.
The most frequent problem is that there are too many of them. We have already discussed this question in detail in the article – how to get rid of snails in an aquarium.
There are listed both the ways and causes of violent reproduction.
So, most often contain:
The coil is generally a classic snail, it can be found in almost any aquarium. It does not have any particular features, its small size, ease of reproduction and an interesting appearance have made it quite popular.
It is useful in moderation, does not cause excessive harm, only it spoils the appearance of the aquarium.
Ampulyaria is also quite common, but unlike coils, it is already quite demanding on the content. Since ampoules are one of the largest species of aquarium snails, they have a corresponding appetite. Can damage young and delicate plants with a lack of food.
The rest is beautiful, big, interesting.
Tilomelania – rapidly growing popularity of aquarium snails. But, besides the fact that tilomeleanii very beautiful, they are also very demanding on the conditions of detention.
They can rather be attributed to the exotic, which must be kept separately, and well cared for, than to simple species.
Melania – are common as coils, but differ from them not only in appearance, but also in lifestyle. Melania live in the ground, breed in the same place, which is beneficial to the aquarium, as they mix it.
But, they are prone to rapid growth, and getting rid of them is not so easy.
Neretina is a beautiful and very useful snail. Quite small, about 2 cm, neretina perfectly clean the aquarium from algae. I advise you to follow the link and watch the video as it happens.
Among the shortcomings – the price and a short lifespan, about a year.
Three types of neretin
Marisa is a real monster that can grow up to 6 cm or more. Large and very voracious, the marisa is not very suitable for general aquariums, as it eats away the plants at the root.
Helena is one of the most unusual species. The fact is that they eat … other snails. If you have a lot of snails, then Helena is one of the ways to get rid of them.
Details about the content of Helen on the link.
Fiza is also a very common snail. Small, easily propagated, lives in very harsh conditions.
Among the shortcomings, it can gnaw through holes in the leaves of rather hard plants, such as echinodorus. What spoils their appearance, so if you are a fan of plants, then it is better to get rid of nat.
Of those that are listed above – there are none. Anyway, the main types of snails are completely harmless.
But, very often in the markets they sell under the guise of aquarium snails, species that live in the natural waters of our latitudes. Prudovik, lawn, perlovitsa and other species. The fact is that they not only eat plants (often at the root), but also carry disease and parasites.
And just to become a victim of fraud is very unpleasant. How to understand that these are local snails?
View on the Internet the main types of snails and not buy those that do not apply to them.
Almost all types of aquarium snails are good inhabitants, only for some people need their own conditions, which are not suitable for a common aquarium. They become a problem only if something goes wrong in the aquarium, and even then this is not a problem – this is a signal. We have listed aspen species of snails that are kept in an aquarium, and in other articles have told about them in more detail.
Read, think, choose.
Quite often, novice aquarists in the process of arranging an aquarium think about whether snails are needed in an aquarium. To address this issue, you need to know why they are allowed into the aquarium at all and what is the use of it.
These little inhabitants are able to bring both benefits and damage to your tank. Here, as in the case of drugs, it all depends on the dose. Snails are natural orderlies.
They eat all the remnants of food and dead plants. In addition, the snails are used to clean the aquarium, they clean off the deposits from the walls and absorb the waste products of fish.
There are some types of snails that you can safely use as indicators of the quality of water in an aquarium. And small snails in the aquarium often serve as a decorative element.
But these creatures breed very quickly, so over time you will have to artificially regulate their population. If too many snails gather in the aquarium, this will lead to a lack of oxygen.
If there is a shortage of food, they will begin to eat the plants, and some species secrete mucus, which will lead to contamination of the aquarium.
To get rid of overgrown snails in several ways. It is enough to manually catch and remove unnecessary individuals.
Experienced experts advise a simpler way. At the bottom of the aquarium, place the saucer with the bait.
When the snails gather in it, simply pull out the saucer from the aquarium. In addition, the pet store will offer you special tools to deal with snails, which will greatly simplify the solution to the problem.
Under natural conditions, the snails eat algae and bacterial growths. In the aquarium snails can eat gray films on the glass, algae leaves. Snails ampullary perfectly scraped from the glasses and plants all plaque.
They can eat and young plants, but this happens very rarely and from lack of food.
As a rule, snails eat dead algae and this helps to maintain water quality at the right level. Ampullaria can eat almost anything that can grind and swallow.
Here is the basic list of what snails eat in an aquarium: spinach, cucumbers, carrots, fish food. Snails can also eat dead fish and their eggs. Food should be quite soft.
You can offer them scalded meat or boiled lettuce. Throw a few pieces of soaked white bread.
For the development and construction of the house snails need calcium. Make sure that the pH of the water does not fall below 7, if it is higher – this is only good.
If the water in the aquarium is too soft, you should add crushed marble, limestone. You can grind sea shells or buy specially designed preparations for this at the pet store.
They increase the water hardness in the aquarium.
It happens that the snails in the aquarium appeared suddenly, when you absolutely did not plan to start them. A snail could get in with ground or plants.
If you did not boil the soil before pouring it into the aquarium, then there might well have been a shell with a snail. Often in the aquarium snails appear in the form of eggs on the leaves of algae.
There are only two reasons for the death of snails. Too soft water and lack of food lead to such sad consequences.
Periodically feed your pets with boiled cabbage or lettuce. This will not spoil the water, but will allow the snails to get enough of it. Consider that an ampullary requires about 10 liters per specimen.
Always carefully monitor the hardness of the water and then there will be no problems.
If you have an aquarium, and if you are tormented by nighttime insomnia, you wish to turn on the light in it, then you will definitely see a lot of aquarium snails on the glass walls of the fish tank. It is not necessary to be frightened of this, these microscopic mollusks sometimes live near any aquarium fish and in open reservoirs. You just need to know what snails eat in your tank, where they come from, and whether they are needed at all.
I must say, much depends on what kind of species settled in your aquarium.
The question of whether snails are needed in an aquarium sometimes stirs the minds of all novice aquarists. Do they not harm the fish, do they spoil the plants, and bring some dangerous parasites to the tender aquarium world? The answer here is not straightforward, for the snail and the snail are different.
And among this fraternity there are all sorts. Let’s go through the most common.
- Acroluxes. These are the smallest snails that can be found in an aquarium. The shell resembles their miniature cap.
- These babies feed on organic residues deposited on the bottom of the aquarium, for example, the remains of fish feed. Life they lead secretive, creep out into the light of God only at night. If you turn on the backlight, you will see the hordes of these tiny clams, think, and do not you overfeed your scaly pets? Maybe you should turn down their daily ration? By the way, with a decrease in the amount of feed and acroluxes will reduce their population.
- Horn coil. This is a classic snail, to the form of which we are accustomed from early childhood. It periodically rises to the surface of the water to take a breath of fresh air. In nature, this snail eats algae, and in an aquarium it becomes a sweeper, eating mucous membranes from the aquarium walls. Although, the cleaner from it is not so hot, besides, this mollusk is not averse to eat delicate aquarium plants and can infect fish with dangerous parasites.
- Prudoviki. Snail for aquarium is absolutely useless. Not only will it spoil and mop up aquarium plants, it can also infect fish with trematode larvae.
- Fiza. These are small, rather beautiful snails. They do not bring much harm to the fish, as well as special benefits, but green plantings will spoil them thoroughly, despite their microscopic nature.
- Melania. And this is exactly what we need. Small snails for an aquarium are simply irreplaceable. First, they are all the time, like good gardeners, digging up the soil, improving its drainage and removing all organic residues. At the same time, they do not damage the roots of aquarium plants and cannot infect fish with anything. In short, these are the best snails for cleaning the aquarium. And secondly, melania much sooner than the other inhabitants of the aquarium sense the lack of oxygen and announce it, crawling out of the ground to the walls of the aquarium and the water surface.
This is another headache for those who are just starting their journey in the field of aquarism. We have already partially announced the answer, but this is not enough.
Therefore, let’s talk about what snails eat in the aquarium in more detail.
So, what do aquarium snails eat? And all. These creatures are so unpretentious that they can eat everything that is bad.
For them, food will be a raid on the aquarium walls, and stray pieces of fish food, and rotting plant debris, and the deceased inhabitant of the aquarium. The exception will be only artificially derived species of snails. Caring for them is quite laborious, and they can only eat very soft foods.
If you have just started to engage in an aquarium, then you should not start such sissies.