Aquarium Snails - Pets or Pests?

by Lee Dobbins - Date: 2007-04-15 - Word Count: 474 Share This!

There are many different types of aquarium snails many of which can be good to have in your tank. While some people think of snails as pests (and some are), others buy them on purpose to keep in their tanks. Sometimes, when you purchase plants for your aquarium tiny little snails can be hiding in the plants and you may wake up a week or two later and find your tank to be overrun by snails! Usually, however you can buy large snails at your pet store.

There are several types of snails you might consider. Each one looks different and has a different demeanor in the tank.

The Ramshorn snail is thusly named as it's shape looks like a rams horn. They come in black, red and sometimes checked patterns. This snail will dine on your plants and can reproduce quite quickly.

The Trumpet snail is a live bearing snail that eats that food and other stuff that has fallen into the substrate. They rarely eat plants so this is a good one to have if you have a lot of plants in your aquarium. Usually they hide during daylight and come out at night, but you will probably see them hanging out on the glass of your tank just below the water line when you first get up in the morning. The Trumpet snail can help clean the debris on the bottom of your tank.

The Pond snail is the one that typically hitches a free ride into your tank on aquarium plants. Shaped like a football, they reproduce quite quickly and have a veracious appetite for your aquarium plants quickly devouring them.

The Apple snail is a popular aquarium inhabitant and comes in 4 different species. These snails can eat aquarium plants so you will have to be careful. This snail can live quite a while and may grow as large as a tennis ball if given great care!

Most aquarium snails will do will in a community tank. Some eat algae and some eat the debris on the bottom so these snails can be quite beneficial to the tank. Other species eat aquarium plants, so be sure you know what you are buying if you have plants in the tank.

Snails get along good with many types of aquarium fish including Neon Tetras, Guppies, White Cloud Minnows and Danios. However, if you find that some uninvited snails have appeared in your tank, you might try introducing a Skink or Clown Loach into the tank as these guys will happily eat all the snails they can find.

Aquarium snails are a great way to add something a bit different into your tank, but you must be sure you get snails that are compatible with your fish. When in doubt just ask the clerk at your fish store and they will be sure to point you in the right direction.

Related Tags: snails, aquarium snail, fish tank aquarium, apple snail, ramshorn snail, pond snails

Lee Dobbins writes for Fish Tank Guide where you can get more information on setting up and maintaining a fish tank as well as more in depth information on aquarium snails.

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