Cleaner Snail Profile – Types of Aquarium Snails

You can only keep fish in your tanks? No. Exactly, aquarium snails are another excellent option. Have you ever heard about that? Some aquarium snails are helpful to remove algae and clean up your fish tank. If you know little about them at present, it does not matter, let’s get into a deeper learning about aquarium snails in today’s article. Without any more delay, let’s get started.

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Aquarium snails

Are snails aquarium pets or aquarium pests? In fact, it depends on the snail species. Some are safe for your tank, while others may be damaging to your aquarium. For instance, some aquarium snails may eat fish or vice versa. On the other side, aquarium snails are not all bad. Exactly, some are beneficial. They are helpful to remove unnecessary or harmful debris and waste, as well as dead plants leaves, and algae.

Then how can the aquarium snails get into your fish tank? They enter your tank by attaching to aquatic plants. Because snails’ eggs and the young aquarium snails always possess translucent shells, which makes they are hard to be found. Also, you may manually introduce some beneficial snails to your aquariums.

Types of snails

Usually, aquarium snails are classified into two types – beneficial aquarium snails and harmful aquarium snails. Next, we will list some of these two types of snails.

Beneficial aquarium snails

  • Nerite snails
  • Mystery snails
  • Black devil snails
  • Ivory snails
  • Assassin snails
  • Rabbit snails
  • Japanese trapdoor snails
  • Ramshorn snails
  • Bladder snails
  • Apple snails
  • Brotia pagodula snails
  • Gold Inca snails
  • Pagoda snails
  • Tower cap snail

Harmful aquarium snails

  • Malaysian trumpet snails
  • Pond snails
  • Trumpet snails
  • Bumble bee snails
  • Murex snails
  • Crown conchs
  • Keyhole limpets

Aside from that, we will share some common freshwater aquarium snails, including basic information, as well as pros and cons.

Nerite snails

Nerite snails, like tiger nerite snails, zebra nerite snails, and Horned nerite snails, are popular ones. They can be kept in freshwater and saltwater. Actually, nerite snails are great algae eaters. Additionally, there are some pros and cons of nerite snails:

Pros:

  • Great algae eaters
  • Peaceful
  • Do not eat plants

Cons:

  • Unable to reproduce in freshwater aquarium
  • Go out from the aquarium

Scientific name

Neritina natalensis

Size

1 inch in diameter

Diet

Omnivores

Water temperature

71-79℉

pH level

8.0-8.4

Minimum tank size

5 gallon

Mystery snails

Mystery snails come in diverse shell patterns and colors, like black, white, gold, and blue. However, they may eat a lot and produce many feces, which can be a food source for fish fry and young shrimp. Additionally, there are some pros and cons of mystery snails:

Pros:

  • Hardy, active, and easy to care for
  • Great algae eaters and aquarium cleaners
  • Peaceful

Cons:

  • Go out from the aquarium
  • Lay eggs on the water’s surface

Scientific name

Pomacea bridgesii

Size

2 inches in diameter

Diet

Omnivores

Water temperature

68-82℉

pH level

7.6-8.4

Minimum tank size

5 gallon

Black devil snails

Black devil snails are large aquarium snails, which can be kept both in freshwater and saltwater aquarium. Nevertheless, may be difficult to breed. Accordingly, black devil snails would not overpopulate your tank. In addition, there are some pros and cons of black devil snails:

Pros:

  • Hardy, active, and easy to care for
  • Great algae eaters and aquarium cleaners
  • Peaceful

Cons:

  • Only reproduce in brackish water
  • Eat aquatic plants when hungry

Scientific name

Faunus Ater

Size

2-3 inches

Diet

Omnivores

Water temperature

71-82℉

pH level

7.0-8.5

Minimum tank size

10 gallon

What do fish tank snails eat

Now that some aquarium snails are helpful, what do they eat in a fish tank? Actually, there are many available food choices for aquarium snails: algae, uneaten food, vegetables and fruits, rotted or dead plants, bloodworms, earthworms, brine shrimp, and commercial snails food (e.g. fish pellet and shrimp pellet). However, the food needs may be a little bit different in diverse snail species. Next, we will cover some info about it.

  • Herbivores snails: algae, organic debris, bacteria on the substrate and rocks, decaying or dead plants, fish food, uneaten food
  • Carnivores snails: bloodworms, earthworms, small brine shrimp, feeder snails, pellets
  • Detritivores snails: almost anything available in the aquarium
  • Omnivores snails: algae, carrots, peas, watermelon, apple, decaying or dead plants, blood worms, brine shrimp, shrimp pellets

In addition, some food should be avoided, like artificial colors, flavors, and poultry. By the way, it is recommended to feed the aquarium snails twice a day. And you should make sure that they can finish eating within 2-3 minutes.

Do snails need warm water?

Aquarium snails can not regulate their body temperature and require an ideal water temperature of 64-83℉. And whether should you add an aquarium heater is determined by the living environment. Nevertheless, it is best to add one to reduce the risk of water temperature drops suddenly, especially on winter days. An aquarium heater can reduce water temperature changes and maintain a stable water temperature. As a result, the waste in your tank would be reduced accordingly. Because a too-high water temperature would accelerate the metabolism and produce more waste. While lower water temp would cause less active snails but would extend their lifespan.

Is there any benefit to having snails in a fish tank

Though holding aquarium snails may harm your fish tank, it is also beneficial. In this segment, we will share the benefits and faults of keeping aquarium snails in a fish tank.

The benefits of having aquarium snails in a fish tank

Aquarium snails can be aquarium cleaners, and make sense in removing waste, unnecessary substances, uneaten food, algae, and something like this. Consequently, it helps to keep clean fish tanks. Besides that, some snail would dig the substrate and their feces can supplement nutrients for plants. Furthermore, most aquarium snails are hardy and easy to care for.

The faults of having aquarium snails in a fish tank

Snails overbreeding may lead to overstock and imbalance in your tank. And snails and snail eggs would stick on the aquarium glass, which decreases the ornamental value of the aquarium. Moreover, some freshwater snails may eat live aquatic plants. But it is not common. Anyway, facing these bad situations, you’d better not keep snails in your tank.

Reminder

Finally, here are some tips for aquarium snails’ daily maintenance. On the one hand, inappropriate tank mates should be avoided. Some fish would eat snails, while some snails also eat fish. Hence, you should consider the compatibility of tank mates before adding to your aquarium. Take fish as an example, dwarf chain loaches, and catfish would eat aquarium snails.

On the other hand, you would need to remove the harmful aquarium snails sometimes. Then how to remove the harmful aquarium snails? You can create a trap, and lure them with food. Once they enter the trap, you can remove them. Additionally, add some fish that eat snails, such as freshwater puffer fish, Oscars, clowns, and zebra. Furthermore, snail removal solutions are another alternative. But it is best not to add the solution while there are other live creatures in the aquarium. Otherwise, these creatures may face death.

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