Aquarium Snails

Types of Aquarium Snails and How to Care for Their Needs

There are varied kinds of aquarium snails that are used as a part of the aquarium set up by people. What are these snails and how does one go about administering care to them is what we shall see in the article that follows.
Lettuce in hand
When someone sets up an aquarium, it is not simply the different species of fish that come to be important. There are, for example, varied plants, light fixtures, and rocks that are used as well. Some of which are put in there to help care for the fish, while others are put in there to lend an aesthetic value to the aquarium. Combining both these factors is where aquarium snails come in. There are varied types of these snails that are used in tanks. Some of these help clean the harmful bacteria that thrive in the water and thereby keep the tank clean, while others lend to the beauty of the aquarium with their unique colorings. In the following sections, we will look at some types of snails and understand how to care for them. Continue reading for more details.

The Different Types

There are many varieties of snails that people go in for to introduce as a part of their aquarium setup. Most of these snails help keep the tank clean by feeding on the debris and the decaying plants and bacteria. Here are some varieties of the same.
  • Ramshorn snails
  • Apple snails
  • Pond snails
  • Trumpet snails
  • Mystery snails
  • Lake and river limpets
  • Tadpole snails
  • Zebra snails
  • Trapdoor snails
Though there are several varieties available, one has to make sure that they choose those that are right for their tank. Each species of snails have unique sensibilities, in the sense that some might be prone to fast reproduction and therefore might involve a lot of work in keeping their numbers, as well as the eggs in control, while others might turn out to be a great feast for your fish. Thus knowing which aquarium snails are right for you is important. Make sure to ask the local pet store about these details before purchasing them.

Caring for the Snails

Plan Well
Though snails end up feeding on decaying plants, fish food debris, and bacteria or algae that grow in the tank―which is an advantage―it has to be understood that there are certain species that end up reproducing at an alarmingly high rate. Therefore, introducing more snails means that you're crowding your tank. It also means that there will be more pressure on the tank and will also affect the population of the fish in it. In matters when there are more snails than fish, the need to know how to get rid of these will be felt.

Tank Requirements
If you're planning on keeping many fish varieties and introducing snails in the aquarium as well, then it has to be seen that the tank is big enough. Most snails will grow to a size of 4 inches, some even to 6 and if the tank is not big enough, they will end up crowding the tank. Provide approximately 2-2 ½ gallons of water for each snail. Other than that make sure that the tank has a cover so that the snails do not escape through the gaps. All the gaps need to be taped. The tank will also require a proper filter so that it provides for well-oxygenated water throughout. Clean the water every 20 days by changing about 50% of the water.

Water Conditions
The water in which the snails are kept needs to be duly checked. The water has to be de-chlorinated as this can get toxic for the snails. Along with that, it has to be checked whether there is any copper content in the water as well. This will prove fatal for the snails and lower their life cycle as well. Make sure that the pH levels are maintained at a 7.0 count. The water should not be very soft, because this can corrode the snail's shell and make it brittle. The water temperature should be kept in the range of 75-80 ºF, ideally.

Aquarium snails eat a wide variety of things and can be seen feasting on algae, food fish, and the like. But there is a need to introduce small quantities of vegetables like lettuce and cabbage, as well as calcium and wood pieces to help keep their digestion running. Feed them at night when you turn off the lights because that's the time they are most active.

Aquarium snails come in many varieties and the kind of snails to keep in your tank depends entirely on your needs. Make sure that when you buy your snails, you get a complete understanding of what the variety is like. Other than that, this basic care sheet will help you care for your aquarium snails better.