Are Aquarium Snails Good for your Fish Tank? Everything you Need to Know about Aquarium Snails

Love them or hate them, many aquarium keepers will have to deal with snails at some point. So, make sure you know all the basic facts and tips, either adding snails or getting rid of them from your tank. Here we have put together the all-you-could-need guide to aquarium snails from Pond Planet to help you get started. 

Aquarium Snails FAQs

Find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we see about aquarium snails here!

Are Aquarium Snails Good for your Tank?

Aquarium snails can play an important role in the maintenance of your tank, and this is why some people choose to introduce them to their aquariums. However, you must make sure you choose the right types of fish for your tank. This means if they sneak in on their own, you may want to be careful before welcoming them to stay. 

The majority of snails eat a diet of algae, dead fish, dead plant material and other detritus, which means they are an excellent helping hand for keeping your tank clean. 

Where do Aquarium Snails come from?

If you have not purposely introduced aquarium snails into your tank, but have found some stowaways, then you may be wondering where they have come from. The usual suspect is live aquarium plants; you may not realise there is a snail or two hidden in the leaves. Similarly, they may come in on decor or equipment that has been used in a previous tank. Occasionally, they can even be scooped up with fish you are purchasing from a dealer’s tank!

What Snails Should I Choose for my Tank?

If you’re in the market for aquarium snails for maintenance in your tank, then you should consider choosing the Mystery Snail and Nerite Snail species. These are often sold in pet shops and are nice additions to your tanks that do not multiply as rapidly as some other species. 

You should avoid Pond Snails, Rams Horn Snails and Trumpet Snails at all costs, as these types will quickly overrun a tank and are notoriously hard to maintain. 

How Do Snails Multiply in the Aquarium?

The mistake that many aquarium keepers make is to leave a lone snail be, as they assume just one small snail can do no harm. What many people don’t realise is that it only takes one snail to cause havoc in the tank as many species do not require a mate to be able to multiply. 

You also may not realise that you have as many snails in the aquarium as you do before it’s too late. One small snail spotted on a branch may have dozens of siblings hiding under the substrate, beneath rocks and between dense plants. Our advice is to put a stop to any snails in your tank as soon as you spot any that are not meant to be there. 

What Fish Eat Aquarium Snails?

For a simple and effective way of controlling snail levels in your tank, consider introducing fish that eat snails into your aquarium. If you have a large aquarium, consider adding Clown Loaches (Chromobotia macracanthus), and for smaller tanks, choose Zebra Loach (Botia striata) and Dwarf Chain Loach (Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki). These species of fish are ideal for smaller aquariums as they will not outgrow their space while still feeding on snails. 

If adding fish is not an option for your aquarium, then purchase an AssassinSsnail (Anentome Helena). While it is a slower means of controlling small snails, it is no less effective. Once your tank is free of the pesky, unwanted snails, your Assassin Snail will feed on frozen food or meaty sinking pellets.

How to Get Rid of Snails in Aquariums

Even though we have deduced that snails can easily hide in your tank and multiply rapidly, all is not lost! 

A simple and easy technique that we have found to be quite effective in reducing the number of snails in the tank is to simply clip a lettuce leaf to the side of the tank overnight. By morning the leaf will be home to a whole family of snails feasting on the leaf, which you can simply unclip and remove from the tank. Unfortunately, you won’t manage to eliminate every snail, but you can certainly put a dent in the numbers with minimal effort this way. 

You can also reduce the amount of food you are feeding your fish to ensure there are none left over for snails to tuck into. Plus, don’t forget the fish-eating snail method of controlling snail numbers that we mentioned earlier in the guide!

If all else fails, we recommend utilising a snail treatment for your aquarium, which will reduce the number of snails in your tank while still being safe for your fish and plants. You could also remove snails via a gravel vacuum or even physically changing and removing the substrate yourself. This is the usual hiding place for snails to bury themselves and remain hidden, so you will be able to remove the majority of the number in your tank this way. 

Understanding Aquarium Snails 

We hope that our guide to aquarium snails has answered all of your questions about adding or removing them from your tank, as well as giving you a breakdown of whether you should be welcoming them in or not! Shop snail treatments online now to help you control the numbers in your tank, or explore cleaning supplies and tools also available online now.

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