Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Suggest me snails to consume dead plant matter. (

Winner 07-12-2010 12:12 AM

Suggest me snails to consume dead plant matter.
Even with healthy plants (and everything I have in my aquaria is growing quite well) parts will grow old and die off. I do my best to remove them from the aquarium myself, but I wouldn't mind a little help from the residents too. ;)

What varieties of snails have a good appetite for dead plant matter? Hopefully ones that wouldn't touch the thriving alive portions of the plants.

bettababy 07-12-2010 02:17 PM

If the snails are going to consume dead plant matter then it should be expected they will also thrive on healthy plant matter as well. The only snails I can think of off the top of my head that may be of some help to you are Malaysian trumpet snails. They tend to eat most specifically detritus rather than attacking live plants as most other snails will do. Freshwater nerite snails may also work for you.

Snails to avoid:
apple snails
mystery snails
ram's horn snails

Winner 07-13-2010 06:15 PM

Thank you for the advice! I know from some prior experience that an apple snail of mine eagerly ate up live plants. Was just wondering if different species had different eating habits.

aunt kymmie 07-13-2010 06:26 PM

+1 on the Malaysian Trumpet Snails. I have them in my tanks and they don't bother the plants at all.

mordalphus 07-14-2010 08:30 PM

4 Attachment(s)
I have japanese trapdoor snails in all of my tanks, and MTS in most of them for exactly this reason. Trapdoor snails gnaw on dead leaves, algae, and they filter feed as well. I love these things. They're fairly expensive though, larger ones can run you 5 bucks a piece (ouch) and they grow pretty slow. They will not eat living plants. They will crawl on your plants, but only to eat the algae.

The MTS are the same, they spend most of their time on the floor of the tank or under the substrate eating detritus.

As you can see from my pictures, both species are extremely attractive!

bettababy 07-14-2010 10:50 PM

It has been a long time since I have seen trapdoor snails... those are impossible to find around here. My past experience with them tells me they do better in colder water, not sure what water temp you are keeping them at?

mordalphus 07-14-2010 11:49 PM

They're at 75 degrees. They will accept up to 82, however they mature much faster, and they die much faster as well.

At 75 degrees they should live around 3 years, they can live much longer with temps in the 60's, and they only last about 16 months at 80 degrees.

They're beautiful snails though, I love it when the bigger adults grow an algae mat on their backs. My shrimp take turns going on a snail ride while chowing down.


-- liam

Winner 07-15-2010 07:59 PM

I acquired 3 (soon to be 30, I'm sure) trumpet snails from a local shop for free, I just asked him to knock some in the bag along with some ghost shrimp I bought.

They're already going to work on some detritus. :)

eileen 07-17-2010 12:25 AM

Yeah, don't buy MTS snails. Two local pet store in my area has tons of them in the tanks. I think if you ask you can get them for free also. The only snail that they are selling are the Assassin snails at 6 for $12 and other types that most people want. I don't know why people buy MTS on Aquabid as most people that have them have alot and are happy to give some to you. If you can't find them free at the local pet or fish shop try here on this forum. You might have to pay for shipping unless you do a trade with someone.

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