Getting to Know Aquarium Snails
Aquarium snails can fall into the category of those that can improve the environment or those that destroy an environment. Some aquarium snails are considered essential to create the appropriate habitat for certain types of fish that tank owners catch them or buy them to introduce them into a fresh water tank. At other times, some plant that has been introduced into the tank of some other food source can end up contaminating the water by being a carrier of some unwanted varieties of snail. The jelly-like eggs of some types of snails can be introduced into an aquarium unintentionally if it attached to the leaves of some aquatic plant or even some other live feed.
Creating a home aquarium is a major responsibility in that you are creating a home for your fish. Whether you go with a fresh water aquarium or a sea water aquarium, it will be appropriate to do all that is possible to replicate the natural habitat of the creatures you choose. You will be given detailed instruction on everything from the best ambient light to the most conducive water temperature if you look for information on how to maintain an aquarium. Aquarium snails are also a critical component of what can help to make the tank a home for your fish. It is a good idea to know what kind of aquarium snails are good and also to know which are the ones to be avoided. Given below are some of the snails commonly seen in aquariums.
Trumpet – This is one of the most beneficial snails in an aquarium as it feeds on the debris in the substrate and helps keep the water clean. This spiral shaped snail usually stays hidden during the day and comes out during the night for its feeding. Early in the morning, before it is quite light, you may be able to catch sight of this snail near the water line.
Apple snail – These may well be the most commonly seen aquarium snails and they are said to be the most beneficial. There are four different kinds of apple snails and three of this four are plant eaters. An apple snail can get to grow to be the size of a tennis ball if the circumstances are conducive to its development.
Ramshorn – This snail comes in a variety of colors including red, black and checkered patterns and they make for a dramatic visual addition to tanks. They are the shape of ram’s horns and feed on aquatic plants. They are known to multiply fairly quickly and so this is a detail to keep in mind when introducing them into an aquarium.
Pond snail – This type of snail should probably be avoided in an aquarium but it tends to come in through live feed of plants and it settles down quickly and reproduces promptly. This football shaped snail is known to dominate the environment it enters fairly quickly. They consume plants and do so at an alarmingly rapid rate.
Aquarium snails feed on anything from algae and plants to fish food and the debris in the tank. The diet of a given species of snail actually determines how useful it can be in keeping the habitat clean and fresh. A snail that eats algae, for example, will help in maintaining high water quality.
Neon Tetras, Guppies, White Cloud Minnows and Danios are among the types of fish that are known to do well in a tank with aquarium snails. Clown and Skunk Loach, Dorid or Banjo Catfish and Puffers are among species of fish that eat snails. If you find snails start to over-crowd an aquarium these species can be introduced for natural population control.
An aquarist has to pick and choose aquarium snails in a way that fits in with his or her overall vision of the tank space. If you want the experience of growing them, pick fish that can co-exist with them. If you are hoping to use them just to enhance the atmosphere of the tank, you can choose accordingly and be prepared to replace them if your fish do end up eating them.