Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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AmyK 05-11-2009 03:48 PM

Snails for a 5 gallon?
I was gonna put a betta in my 5 gallon heated/filtered (almost cycled), but now I am really thinking about just a few snails. I've heard ramshorns don't get too big and don't reproduce like crazy. Is this correct?
What temp and ph do they like? Do they like planted tanks? Can you buy these mail order anywhere? I live out in the sticks.

Twistersmom 05-11-2009 07:46 PM

Ramshorn snails are very common and easy to find.
You can find them in different colors, red, orange, brown and blue. I have seen these snails for sale on, the classifieds on, and Ebay.
They love climbing on plant and will not eat them if food is available. The problem is, if alot of food is made available, they do tend to over populate.
A higher ph is needed to keep their shells healthy. They will do well in a broad range of tempt.
I have some in with my betta, and it is working for me, but some bettas have been known to nip at them.

AmyK 05-12-2009 07:53 AM

Thanks! I was looking at E-bay last night and saw some beautiful purple Briggs snail. Do you have any info on these? And my tank is currently 7.6 Ph - do they need it higher than that? Do snails need a calcium supplement? Thanks!!!!!

Twistersmom 05-12-2009 08:45 AM

2 briggs would work out well in a 5 gal.
7.6 ph should work well with these snails. I do add calcium to my snails diet. I make plaster of paris blocks, blanch high calcium veggies for them, make snail jello with added calcium, and buy snail food from
Lupin has a greeat post on here for making the plaster of paris blocks and veggies high in calcium. It should show up doing a search.

aunt kymmie 05-12-2009 08:49 AM

I think Lupin must be a whiz in the kitchen. :-D Here's the link:

AmyK 05-12-2009 09:44 AM

thank you so much!

Lupin 05-13-2009 05:19 PM

Amy dear, the ramshorns and brigs will work in planted tanks just fine. Be careful though with the canas. Canas are almost similar to brigs but they don't come in different colors fortunately and are stuck to brown, yellow and orange shell colors so you can rule out the possibility of encountering canas as these are illegal to ship. Only legal way to obtain them is by getting them within your state (if in USA). Canas are voracious plant eaters and can reach 3 inches in shell diameter. Brigs on the other hand grow no more than a golfball only.

If you want brigs, please keep the temperature at 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Any fast growth renders the snails vulnerable to damages and injuries due to thin shell growth. These are subtropical species and will not mix with bettas for this reason. Add to it that bettas sometimes harass the snails.

AmyK 05-14-2009 10:30 AM

Thanks Lupin!
Right now I am almost done (I hope) cycling my tank and have it set at about 82. I did not know the Briggs need it cooler - I am so glad you told me. Do I need to increase the temp after they are fully grown?
I will probably have 2 in my tank and no other critters.
What kind of tums or Caltrate do they prefer as a calcium supplement? How often do I put it in their tank?

Also - I have soooo much algae on the front of my tank from the cycling. Should I remove some of it when I add the snails - I don't want to overfeed them. Thanks again!

Lupin 05-14-2009 11:51 AM

No, Amy. Keep the temperature at 74-76 degrees only. Brigs will usually last only 2-3 years but if you have a number of brigs or assuming the two are exactly male and female, by the time they are ready to go, they will leave you several egg clutches to hatch. Freeze or crush the extras if you don't want any more snails. Remember each clutch has at least 50-200 eggs so be careful when you decide to hatch them. Warm temperature will only shorten their lifespan which must be avoided.

Yes, you can remove the algae. As for calcium pills, give them every other day or every 2-3 days. My snails prefer Tums in pink color the most, followed by orange, yellow and green. As for Caltrate, stick to the one without Vitamin D added.

AmyK 05-14-2009 12:14 PM

Thanks again!
I have Eco-Complete substrate - will this be okay for snails?

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