How many snails are safe...? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-07-2009, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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How many snails are safe...?

So about 3 weeks ago I posted a thread that asked... how did the snail get there???? I'm now finding out that this answer gets answered fairly often here.

I was told that snails are actually fairly safe in a tank and that they are an indication of a healthy system... which I have no reason to disbelieve (especially since it came from Byron!).

So my question now is this: is there a safe number of snails in a tank?

I am finding the, everywhere! Under decor, on plants, etc. Is there a point that snails actually become a problem?

Don't get me wrong... I actually like the little buggers. I find they bring variety to the tank. But should I be worried about the amount of snails in my tank?
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-07-2009, 09:11 PM
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i would keep a eye on them, there will be a day you wake up and cant see into your tank without cathing sight of 100's of them. if they go unchgecked they will become a issue, to reduce the amount every now and then soak a spinach leaf or two overnight and then pull it out to help control their population.
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-07-2009, 10:13 PM
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I can only second Mitch there. While in a decent amount they're really helpful in your tank each of 1 of them laying I donno how many many eggs can quickly start to become a problem and they will eventually take over your tank.
Now in my old Rainbow tank that wasn't too much issue cause I only fed the Rainbow's every other day, so they "snacked" on babies. In my friends tetra tank whole nother story, she had best results placing a slice of cucumber on a fork in the tank and taking it out (covered in snails) the next day. But she seriously had like half a million in there...kinda like a whole nother layer of "substrate" after few months.
Just keep an eye on them, if they're too many in your opinion remove some.

~ Life Is Too Short, Break The Rules, Forgive Quickly, Kiss Slowly, Love Truly, Laugh Uncontrollably And Never Regret Anything that Made You Smile.
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-08-2009, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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Uummm... all right then. I only see them when I do a WC but that's because they're the same color as my substrate which makes it very difficult to distinguish a snail from a rock... cucumber and spinach eh? I guess I'll just have to make sure the rainbow shark doesn't come out with the snails when I pull it out! LOL
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-08-2009, 11:49 AM
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Which snail are they? I have Malaysian livebearers (trumpet snail, horn of plenty snail) in my tank, and a lot of them except in the 70g where I suspect the loaches snack on the young ones. I read elsewhere that loaches cannot get at the large Malaysian snails because the snail can close into its shell quite well and the shell is hard when adult. But young ones are a different story. I like these, they burrow through the substrate improving conditions down there and the plants seem to be doing very well. They also fare better in very soft water; the other species need calcium for their shells and usually do not multiply so fast in soft water.

I also have either pond snails or bladder snails, only in the 90g and 115g, none last in the 70g with the loaches (again my assumption this is the reason). These do eat algae, and none of the three species I've mentioned eat plants. The very soft water may be the reason this snail is not as plentiful in my tanks as the Malaysian.

Of course, they wouldn't be there if food was not available. So an explosion of snails may mean there is too much food for them.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-08-2009, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Well to be perfectly honest I wouldn't know how to differentiate one type of snail from the other... they are still very small (the biggest one is maybe 1/4 inch in diameter) and most have a black shell, some with a pointed white cap. The bigger one has a brown shell but other than that, this is as detailed as I can get. How do I tell one species apart from the other?
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post #7 of 13 Old 12-08-2009, 02:39 PM
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Here's a good site with pictures if you really wanna know (i just call mine 'snails' lol) Various freshwater snails

~ Life Is Too Short, Break The Rules, Forgive Quickly, Kiss Slowly, Love Truly, Laugh Uncontrollably And Never Regret Anything that Made You Smile.
Life May Not Be The Party We Hoped For, But While We're Here, We Should Dance. ~
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-08-2009, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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OK so based on the link Angel posted, the snails in my tank are of the Physidae family (small conical shell), other than that I don't know what that means...
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-08-2009, 04:34 PM
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Physidae are the bladder snails. Harmless to live plants (will eat decaying plant matter), eat algae (somewhat) and any food missed by the fish. B.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-08-2009, 05:12 PM
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I think you're worrying too much, like I said in your other post about this: To have some snails is good for you tank.
If you start having half a million then I'd remove some and/ or cut back on my feeding.

Others then that...just let them do their natural thing

~ Life Is Too Short, Break The Rules, Forgive Quickly, Kiss Slowly, Love Truly, Laugh Uncontrollably And Never Regret Anything that Made You Smile.
Life May Not Be The Party We Hoped For, But While We're Here, We Should Dance. ~
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