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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why Snails Are Good For Your Aquarium

Snails have gotten a bad rep over the ways in which they can destroy your aquarium. Although it is true to some extent, snails can be more beneficial to your aquarium rather than harmful (if you choose the right type of snail).Gary the Snail Aquarium Ornament - Large - 3 3/4 in. x 1 3/4 in. x 3 in.

Snails can provide many services to your aquarium:

-Snails can help rid your aquarium of algae.

Though they can’t get rid of ALL the algae, they do help keep the algae under control.

Note: You are not relinquished of your duties of cleaning the algae in your aquarium on a regular basis by adding snails to the tank.

- Snails will eat uneaten food left behind from your fish.

Again, the snails don’t get rid of ALL the uneaten food but they can help clean it up. Snails are little scavengers that can be found anywhere in your aquarium scavenging for food.

- Snails can provide a nutritious snack for your fish. Fish need a varied diet and the snails could supply a portion of that. Some fish will eat all the snails leaving none behind to clean the aquarium.

Snails that are the most beneficial to your aquarium include apple snails, trumpet snails, and mystery snails. (Some of these snails do eat live plants in aquariums so it is advisable to research the snails before purchasing.)

*The snails that are discussed here are not the troublesome little snails that aquarists try to avoid getting in their tank. Those are the type of snails that can overpopulate in some cases and can enter your filtration system. It is always a good idea to regularly check the filtration system to make sure that it is in proper working order. These snails can enter your tank accidentally when you add live plants to the aquarium.

If you should find these little snails in your aquarium and overpopulation occurs, there are a few options.

As ironic and comical as it may sound, other snails may be purchased to control the snail population. There is a specific snail called “Assassin Snail” that will specifically target the baby snails in the tank. This is the best option to control snails rather than use chemicals in the water and harm your fish.

You may also purchase clown loaches. Clown loaches enjoy feasting on snails and will have no problems getting the snail population under control. If you do decide to purchase clown loaches, they are best kept in groups of at least 5.

Last but not least, you can remove the snails by putting a trap in your aquarium. You can use a jar that has small holes drilled into the top. Add a piece of lettuce inside the jar and seal it with the top on it. Soon enough, you will have snails inside the jar that you can remove manually.