Plant hitch hiker snail identification - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-19-2011, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
Wink Plant hitch hiker snail identification

Out of all the plants I am always buying from Petsmart and LFS I got my first hitch hiking snail in my 15g!!! It is super dooper TINY!!! Way too small for my crappy point and shoot digital to get a pic I will do my best to describe the little thing in hopes that someone can confirm what type of snail it might be.

I am 95% sure it came on my wisteria plant purchased from petsmart (or some of the moneyworts...either way the plants that it could be were all from Petsmart as the others were bought at the LFS 6+ months ago, or came in the "snail free" tubes).

I asked my Petsmart if they knew what kind of snails inhabit their tanks, they looked at me with a blank stare, so I named off a few, they had no idea and seemed to only respond when I said pond snail. She said she doubted it was a MTS, ramshorn, nerite or any other, but to be honest, I think the only snail she would recognize is a mystery snail and thats only because they sell them. My best guess is it is the kind of snail that invades Petsmart tanks daily... not sure what they are either so looking for that answer too.

So this little thing cruises around the tank, and I see it about 2-3 times every other day. It goes out of water about 1/2 inch above tank water and comes back after its explored. It even walks along the water surface in the middle of the tank with its shell pointing down to the sand and plants...first time I saw that it creeped me out!! LOL

Its a dark chocolate brown right now, but when its in the light I can see red hues and it reminds me of a ladybug. None of the loaches, rasboras, or betta bother it, and it does not appear to be eating on any of my many plants in the tank (wisteria, moneywort, brazillian pennywort, amazon sword, java fern, crypt wendtii).

Would like to know what I am dealing with especially in regards to breeding speeds as I hear a lot of small annoying snails are asexual and dont need a partner to reproduce. I am sure I am unlucky and got a super easy to breed bladder snail or something that will take over my tank with babies in a couple of months, but I hold some hope for brighter news.

The snail is super tiny, smaller than a 1/4 of an inch!! When I first noticed it on the back of the rock cave I thought it was a piece of debris slowly moving along the rock cave via filter movement...then in horror realized it was a snail!!! (Okay, so horror isnt an accurate description of how I felt and is totally an overstatement, but it works for story purposes I guess. LOL )

So, any of you snail experts out there able to identify this guy/gal without a photo???

*They call me, Amanda*
Tank 1: (29 gal planted) empty
Tank 2: (15 gal) empty
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-19-2011, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
Side Note: If they are bladder snails I feel like going and setting up my 5g again and having an LFS special order me a dwarf puffer!!! LOL

*They call me, Amanda*
Tank 1: (29 gal planted) empty
Tank 2: (15 gal) empty
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-19-2011, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
Okay, I poked around through google and such, and based on what I can see from my tiny snail it looks similar to a bladder snail and to a snail called Physella acuta (wikipedia link: ). Hope that helps further.

*They call me, Amanda*
Tank 1: (29 gal planted) empty
Tank 2: (15 gal) empty
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-19-2011, 09:29 PM
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It is hard to tell without a pic but I would say its either a bladder snail or a pond snail. I have tons of bladder snails in my tank. I have never seen them eat my plants. Just the algae or dying plant matter. I actually like the little guys they do cleaning that I can't. I had one ramshorn snail in my tank but it is MIA. Now I have heard they will eat plants. If they are bladder or pond snails I wouldn't worry about them. when it gets bigger try and take a pic and the will help ppl to identify it better.
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-19-2011, 11:04 PM
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I'm curious to see what it is. When I heard dark chocolate brown with red hues I thought ramshorn. I am an invert lover so I've got to know! It may be easier to identify as it grows.


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post #6 of 16 Old 05-20-2011, 01:29 AM
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It could be Pond, Bladder or pouch. its basically all the same. They are very prolific so the reproduction rate is very high. at sexual maturity the snail will probably produce 50-80 eggs in one month if not more. they are pest snails so have fun.

I always go to petsmart to collect pest snails, usually pond/bladder/pouch snails for my assassin snails. about 50/week.
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-20-2011, 06:09 AM
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I've got the same little buggers in my 5 gal. betta tank. They hitched a ride in on a bunch of Wisteria. They multiply like crazy. I started out seeing only two and now each week I have to crush about 50 or so at the top of the tank (just out of the water under the rim).

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-20-2011, 06:36 PM
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just use an old credit card ;)

If you think I am too abrasive there is a little triangle icon in the bottom left of your screen to "report post".
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-20-2011, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
Looking at the shell shape I can say for sure it isnt a ramshorn. So I would guess its a pouch, pond, or bladder...all the same practically I hear/read.

Thanks guys! When it gets big enough I will post a pic, or when I have 2,358,459 of them crawling around my tank in the next few months I will post a pic, LOL!!!

*They call me, Amanda*
Tank 1: (29 gal planted) empty
Tank 2: (15 gal) empty
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-21-2011, 01:58 AM
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pouch pond or bladder are all the same species but not the same. its just names i guess. they are very similar but the name is very irrelevant since they all produce/live at the same rate just about.. the name is up to you to choose but it is only important if you are indepth in researching the species.
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