thinking about getting a nerite snail...
I've recently switched to live plants in my 10 gallon betta tank (wisteria and amazon swords, though the swords are only being housed here temporarily) I leave the 10 watt light on for about 8 hours a day and though they've only been planted since Sunday the plants are blooming...and so is the algae. I've read that nerite snails are great for keeping the tank clean of all kinds of algae but I have a few questions.
The Zebra nerites are the ones I'm interested in, and for a ten gallon tank would one or two keep it clean, or would I need to get more? I know that I would need to add algae wafers also as they can't live off of the algae alone, but how many a day should I give them? What kinds of vegetables, if any, would I be able to add to give them extra nutrition? Also, what type of water parameters are required for these? My pH is 7.6 and I keep the temperature at 75. I've never had a snail before so I'm kind of in the dark and sure google is great, but I'd rather talk to someone who has experience.
Nerites are awesome I keep 3 breeds... the zebra, olive, horned corona. They all have different traits or different habits. The zebras tend to do a lot more cleaning on glass than the others. One or two would be fine in a 10 gallon...they will definately clean in no time. That's probably a good number to stay around especially if you are going to have other inhabits making waste. Snails are messy creatures and produce a lot of waste but you could put more if you wanted to do very frequent water changes...this would become very monotonous and may get old really quick. Just depends on how much time you want to commit to your snails. With two you would just want to stick to at least weekly water changes. What other inhabits will you have with them?
As far as feeding you may want to break an algae wafer in half and only feed them the 1/2...But break it again so they can eat at the same time if they want otherwise you will have 2 snails sucked together trying to eat the same piece. I am particular about the way I do things. Most people would probably just throw the food in and forget it. Depending on what habitants you have they may also like the algae wafers so you want to see if they are eating it or the snails. Then just adjust how much you feed them accordingly. Sometimes I feed mine every day but I have ALOT of snails that will eat the leftover food. You might want to feed yours 1/2 a wafer every other day...but you will have to make your own judgement...sometime your's snails won't be hungry and will leave the wafer then you definately wouldn't want to add anymore. Once you have them long enough you will be able to tell about how much they eat.
Your temp is perfect it should be between 65-85 degrees. You pH is perfect. You just want to keep them in hard water or their shell will deteroriate and kill them. So keep your Ph above 7. Some test kits "required" for having snails/ invertebrates are Copper Test Kit (Copper is toxic to them), KH Test Kit, GH Test Kit, Calcium Test Kit. You really only need to test if you have funky water out of the tap. You are in luck if you have natural hard water. If you use Reverse Osmosis water you have to put the calcium and other minerals back in. (This is a whole other chapter)
You can google a list of fruits and veggies that are high in calcium. I have thrown a lot of different types of fruits and veggies in but the only really like spinach, squash, cucumber, and lettuce. If you put these in the tank you should only leave them in maybe 24hrs, others will argue to be less than that. But from my experience after about 48hrs the veggies get a disgusting jello like coating that the snails love. i think they like decaying food rather than fresh..but I wouldn't put molding food in.
Hope this helps since I wrote you a book..lol
Let me know if you have other questions.
Thank you so much for replying. That is very helpful. The only inhabitant is a male betta, and I only ordered one zebra nerite snail from sweetaquatics.com. It should be here in a couple of days. I checked all of my local pet stores and all they had were apple and "mystery" snails. My betta is pretty relaxed but if he does show any aggression towards the snail it will be moved to a 45 gallon tank that has 4 platies and 2 mollies. As for water changes, I do one 20%, and two 10% water changes a week. Spinach is high in calcium and I always have some in my house so I guess I'll just give it some of that once or twice a week depending on how often it eats. Again, thanks for the help. I'll make sure to contact you if I have any other questions.
Thankyou for starting up this thread.
I've got a planted tank too, plus a betta tank, and I'd really like a snail species for the Edge. My striped apple snail is in the doghouse at the moment because three new still-under-warranty neons died and he ate their bodies over night before I could take them back for refills. *grumblegrumble* Hopefully I won't have to deal with that if I was to have a nerite snail.
I have one more question. What is the best way to acclimate a snail to the new aquarium? I know with fish you're supposed to set the bag in the water for 15 to 20 minutes to let the temperature in the bag change, and then slowly add a little bit of the tank water to the bag at a time to let them get used to the different water, and then add the fish to the tank. Should this also be done for snails? I've never had one before and I'm not sure what the proper procedure is.
Snails aren't as sensitive to water temp change. With pond snails I have take them from an 84 degree tank and threw them in a 69 degree tank and they were fine..but they aren't necessarily my prized snails either. With my MTS, Nerites, and Golden Apple snails I wouldn't ever give them a water temp change out of 8 degrees difference. When doing water changes I usually stay within a degree or 2 of the temp of water they are in. This is probably overkill but I really try to keep the temp close. It wouldn't hurt to acclimate them to your aquarium temp by putting them in a bag on the water but as long as your temps are close its not necessary.
The most important thing ...like I mentioned above is keeping the PH above 7 and keep the calcium in their diet. Once their shell corrodes it may take years if ever to repair itself. unofortunatlely I have gotten some snails that had damaged shells most of them died and the few that are living still have deep cracks and hole in their shell even after boosting their calcium for months.
You can apply a thin layer of nail polish to severely damaged shells. Just be sure not to touch any part of the living snail.
I wouldn't recommend putting nail polish on a snails shell. That is such a harsh chemical. Even after long periods of wear with humans it can damage your nails and cause fungus.
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