Originally Posted by Boscobear
Byron, caught your remark in reference to your aquarium, about a lot of snails. What are the pros, and cons with the snails. I have looked at some cool snails at the LPS, and thought about adding a few. They reproduce quickly? How is the population controlled? I have soft acidic water, are there snails that would not live in this type. I read of one that needs brackish water to reproduce.
I should also quarantine any snail before placing it into the community? Do they carry diseases that can transfer to fish? What would I look for, or watch out for on a snail?
Other members have answered this, but I just wanted to add my thoughts. I only have two snails, the Malaysian Livebearing and the pond (might be acute bladder) snail; both are strictly freshwater. The MLS is the best to have, due to its constant burrowing throughout the substrate. The pond to my knowledge stays above. Snails do need calcium for their shells so most fare better in medium hard/basic water--except for the MLS which will thrive no matter what the hardness or pH. m Neither will eat plants, but they will devour any decaying vegetation and all fish waste, along with some algae, excess fish food should that happen, etc.
I looked long for MLS until I finally found them in one little store three years ago. I bought three for $2.50 each, and placed them in separate tanks. Today I have hundreds in each tank; the other day I decided for fun as I was sitting in front of the 115g 5-foot tank to count the MLS that I could see--so these were the snails out and about in full daylight. I got over 300 before I gave up. And these were just the ones I could see without moving my chair.
Since I am a scanty fish feeder, I know that these guys are doing an incredible job (that I could never equal) by consuminig all the waste organics and breaking it down so the various bacteria in the substrate can more easily handle it. And as I pointed out in my article on bacteria, this substrate activity is a vital part of a healthy aquarium.
Quarantining new snails that come from tanks with fish is probably wise, same as for fish or plants from such tanks (with fish). The ramshorn is another species similar in size and behaviour to the pond, but some members have reported ramshorn eating plants. I have never had healthy plants being eaten by my MLS or pond snails.