Originally Posted by fish monger
Think of dandelions in the rose garden or slugs on the hostas. It's not so much of a hate factor as much as it is that's not what you intended or wanted. I put up with snails aplenty because that's the way I am; however, at the the first sign of them eating plants, I'll be working on reducing the population.
This is not the best analogy to use
, because snails in the aquarium do no damage whatever [assuming here the type of snails likely to be introduced via plants] but in fact perform a very beneficial function that nothing else does. Whereas slugs in my garden if left alone will mean no garden by late Spring. Dandelions are rather a lovely flower when you look at them closely.
I recall Rhonda Wilson in one of her columns in TFH writing that any product that will effectively kill snails or algae will almost certainly harm the plants and may kill them, depending. She, like others here, and certainly myself, welcome these useful helpers. Snails eat solid waste and dead organic matter, breaking it down faster so the bacteria can then deal with it more easily and rapidly too. And the plants benefit. And the type of snails we are here discussing do not eat healthy plants, only dead, dying or decaying leaves. But they do eat algae off the leaves, another plus.
As for loaches, some species are better than others for snail control. I never recommend a fish specifically for such issues as the fish frequently carry other possible problems (depending upon the tank) like needing a group (as all loach do), needing larger tanks (the Clown Loach needs a 6-foot tank), possibly being incompatible with certain upper or substrate fish, etc.