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FAQs on Snails in Freshwater Aquariums 2

Related Articles: Snails and Freshwater Aquariums by Bob Fenner,  In vertebrates for Freshwater Aquariums by Neale Monks, Fresh and Brackish Water Nerites by Neale Monks,  Assassin Snails and Sulawesi Elephant Snails. Keeping Clea and Tylomelania in the Aquarium by Neale Monks, 

Related FAQs:  Freshwater Snails 1, Freshwater Snail Identification, Freshwater Snail Behavior, Freshwater Snail Compatibility, Freshwater Snail Selection, Freshwater Snail Systems, Freshwater Snail Feeding, Freshwater Snail Disease, Freshwater Snail Reproduction, Snails by Species: Mystery Snails, Apple/Baseball Snails, Malaysian/Trumpet Snails, Ramshorn Snails,

My snails seem to be filtering the top of the water     8/19/19
Hi, a few days ago i noticed my apple snails taking their foot and what  could only be described as siphoning the top of the water while doing an eating motion whilst at the top of the water level. Mind you the tank is a 10 gallon tank that i have sitting out on my porch. So algae levels are great because of sun. I check the temp of the water every day to make sure its not too hot. Could it just be they are eating the algae film at the top of the water?
<Possibly, but there are other possibilities (see below)>
If you guys could help out by answering my question that would be great.
<This behavior is troublesome in that it may be resultant from a lack of oxygen... OR elevated pH due to the overgrowth of the algae you mention. I would execute a series of large/r water changes (25-30% per day) for a few days, removing a good deal of the algae, gravel vacuuming... and shading the tank to reduce further algal proliferation. Bob Fenner>
Re: My snails seem to be filtering the top of the water       8/20/19

Thank you for your email, i will make sure to do that.
<Ah, and please make it known how your actions unfold. Cheers, BobF>
Re: My snails seem to be filtering the top of the water       9/11/19

Hey, its Alex again. Just wanted you to know that my snails are happier than can be. So happy i discovered two of my snails becoming parents tonight! Thank you so much for the advice. They still do the weird tunnel thing with the surface of the water but it might just be a weird habit that my snail children do.
<Fab. Thanks for the report Alex. BobF>

F8 Puffer; diet, snails       12/28/14
Recently got a F8P and I was doing research on their diet and found they love snails.
<Presumably your research revealed this Puffer doesn't live as long in freshwater. Water chemistry and water quality are much more important to this species. Apart from snails, things like krill and Mysis can be used to supplement their diet, alongside softer prey like bloodworms. A varied diet is important for all sorts of reasons, but vitamins are the key. Many
puffers will gladly eat bloodworms all day long, but these aren't very nutrient rich. Similarly, while shrimp and mussel are consumed as well, both contain Thiaminase, which causes vitamin D deficiency. It's a complex issue, which is one reason puffers often do well for a while (months, even a year or two) but then die for no apparent reason. Brackish water and a
varied diet are central to maintaining this pufferfish species.>
I bought a black mystery snail from my local PetSmart, but my F8 hasn't touched it. I was wondering what's the best type of snail for my puffer,
<Hard to say, but generally small Physa and Physella species seem most readily accepted, rather than thicker shelled species like Melanoides spp.>

and will he eat the mystery snail?
<Not all at once, no. But nip by nip it will eventually damage the snail, and that snail will die. In any event, Mystery Snails (also called Apple Snails) won't live long in brackish water, so you aren't going to add one to a Figure-8 Pufferfish aquarium, are you? A dead Mystery Snail is simply a source of massive pollution, so be sure to remove it from your brackish
water aquarium ASAP. Cheers, Neale.>

What tiny pond snail is this?   6/17/14
<See WWM re FW Snail ID>

Had some tiny snail hitchhikers on some of my plants. Bob has already
suggested that they are a type of pond snail. But what species are they
Here is a photo of the largest snail.
Kind of a pretty fellow. But sadly they are reproducing very quickly, as is
normal for many snail species.
Here is a photo of some of their eggs.
Also, will guppies or neon tetras eat these small snails and their eggs? Is
there any type of fish, besides goldfish, that will eat them and their
<This is archived over and over as well. READ>
Thank you.

What looks like snails have just appeared in our tank?    8/12/11
My friends gave us a thirty six litre tank. We cleaned it out and left it empty for a couple of months. We kept the stones that were originally in the tank and bought a new pump and heater and let it run for a month before we introduced any fish to it. We purchased some live plants
<Source of the snails>
along with our fish and they've been in the tank for about three months. I apologize as this is all new to me but I looked into the tank tonight and I noticed what look like tiny snails but they're about the size of pin heads at the moment and I can only count about twenty of them. I'm concerned due to the fact that we've never had snails in our tank and could our fish be in any danger?
<Mmm, not likely from the snails>
Again I apologize because I'm not 100% sure of the names. We have two eels, two algae eaters, three neon tetras, three orange tetras, two penguin tetras, one guppy and two platys. I really hope you can help me and should they be a danger to our fish I'd really appreciate some advice on how to deal with them?
Thank you,
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsnails.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: New Aquarium w/ Neon Moon Fish    6/27/11
Hi Bob,
I thought I would check in with you again....
I believe that I have successfully cycled my aquarium... I unfortunately lost the female platy in the process. I was left with only the male platy...I watched him during the month and decided to get another female (she has been with us for 2 weeks). All the chemistry seems great, I feel that I have gotten beyond all the initial issues.
My plan is to bring home a little "blue snail" for clean-up.
My question today is: What do I need to consider, for this new community addition? What can you tell me about snails and what water levels should I have to make everyone happy?
<Mmm, I'd have a read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsnails.htm
and the linked files above.>
Thanks again for wonderful insight & knowledge!
<Glad to share. BobF>

Snail shell 4/4/2011
I have a mystery fish in a 6 1/2 gal separated tank. I have a Betta in each separation (three) as well. I have had the set up for about two months. About after the first two weeks, I noticed what seemed to be one small snail offspring which the Betta delightfully used as an early morning meal...shell and all. It was about the size of the top of a pencil eraser. All of a sudden, my parent snails shell is getting what looks like black mold or algae on it. Should I scrape this off or is the a natural process? My environment seems to be good, but after reading some of your articles, I need a heater of some sort.
<Algae on Apple/Mystery snails is quite normal. If you want, remove the snail gently and wipe with kitchen towel. But don't do anything more abrasive. Algae has a green sort of smell, like nice compost. Actual mould will smell quite nasty, obviously rotten. Cheers, Neale.>

Snails 8/6/09
My mom recently bought a snail from Petco. We have no idea what kind of snail it is. She had it for not even a month and this morning looked in the tank and there were two tiny snails. Where did they come from? How did they get their shells?
<Snails are (often) hermaphrodites and can store sperm (or fertilised embryos) for a certain length of time. This allows them to produce clutches of eggs even when they are the only ones in a tank or pond. The eggs are not particularly conspicuous, and the juvenile snails that emerge seem to do well in most aquaria. That's why you're seeing here. As for how they make their shells, like most molluscs, snails have a layer of tissue called the mantle. This secretes calcium carbonate, and so forms the shell. As the snail grows, the mantle adds more and more calcium carbonate to the edge of the shell, making it bigger. Cheers, Neale.>

baby snails fighting 4/17/09
Hello, my name is Julie, and I thank you in advance for any help you may give me.
<Hello Julie,>
Last week, I brought home some live plants for my new Betta, and ended up a snail mom!
<OK. Now, your move. Leave them alone and they'll likely thrive, and to some degree you'll be removing them to keep the numbers down. Remove them now, and you'll have one less problem. On the other hand, snails do add a certain extra something to aquaria, making them look more like a habitat and less like a glass box.>
I was able to rescue 1 of about 5 that I saw, and put him/her in a separate bowl with water, rocks if he/she wants to get out of the water, ground egg shell, and a fresh supply of peas and broccoli.
I change about ¾ of its water every day. Today, after doing a water change on my Betta, I found another baby snail. I was very excited as I have been constantly checking my Betta tank for more babies. I put the new snail in with Andalé (my first baby snail), and once they found each other, they have been attached, and it almost looks as if the bigger one is trying to yank the smaller ones shell off. Are they fighting?
I am very concerned and don't want any harm to come to them.
<Just leave them in the Betta habitat; trust me, snails are well able to look after themselves. Many people find them rather too good at adapting to aquaria! Me, I like them, but do take care not to overfeed your Betta and to make sure you remove uneaten food and dead plants from the tank, otherwise you can end up with literally thousands of snails.>
But they are so small that it is very difficult to even make out what is really going on. Also, I was wondering if I can give them human calcium w/ D as a supplement.
<No need.>
Oh, as far as a set up for them, they are in a 3 cup bowl with 1 ½ inches of water. As I mentioned earlier, daily water changes. When they no longer fit in the Betta's mouth, they will go into a 15 gal. tank. Thank you again for your time.
<Do read here:
Snails are generally no work at all, and provided your water isn't acidic, there's really nothing you need to do for them to be happy. The only thing to worry about is if you have too many snails, and then add a copper-based medication, they can die, polluting the water. Otherwise, just forget about them, and Nature will takes its course (usually in the snails' favour). Cheers, Neale.>
PS. The snails you have are Physa spp. "tadpole snails". These are generally easy to keep, and don't normally reach plague proportions except in really dirty tanks. They will eat very tender plants though, so keep an eye on them. I have them in my planted tanks and they don't do much harm, but if you grow very sensitive plant species, they might nibble on new shoots. Cheers, Neale.>

Not fighting. RMF
Re: baby snails fighting 4/17/09
Thank you very much for your help. I currently have about 40 tiny babies, and a very happy Betta that gets a constant supply of snail eggs!!
<Glad to help. Enjoy your snails and your fish! Neale.>

Snail tank water quality issues... 10/23/08 Hi everyone, <Hello,> I have a 10g tank set up for 4 apple snails. I'm pretty sure they're P. bridgesi. Here's the set up. Hydro Lustar Sponge filter I hooked to a Rena Air 3 pump and an air stone so I get 40GPH. Rena Air 50W heater set to 77 degrees F Standard aquarium gravel and some fake plants and décor Limnobium Spongia floating on top <All sounds good, but do remember Apple Snails will not live more than a year if kept warm all year around. It's difficult to accommodate this in the aquarium, which is why aquarium specimens rarely last a year in captivity, compared with 3-4 years in the wild. You could try removing them to a bucket of muddy water in early summer and then slowly remove the water, encouraging the snails to become dormant. Store them thus for a few months. Some aquarists have got the snails to go dormant by cooling the tank to around 18 C or slightly less, and when the snails stop moving about leave the tank running like that for at least a couple of months. Sure, this sounds like a lot of work, but full grown (tennis ball-sized) Apple Snails are very impressive.> Everyone seems happy, but here are the numbers: NH3/4=0, NO2=0, NO3= 5.00, pH=6.8, KH=40, GH=25 <Slightly on the acidic side, but not critical.> Mainly what I'm concerned about is KH and GH. I'm concerned that these aren't high enough to support good shell growth and protection. After reading the FAQ section, I tried putting 3 small pieces of Cuddle bone in the tank, but after 24 hours the numbers are the same. <Cuttlebone isn't really what you want here. Instead try using a Malawi Salt mix to harden the water. You can make your own, very cheaply, literally pennies per water change, using marine salt mix plus two things from the shops. Here's one mix, per 5 gallons/20 litres: 1 teaspoon baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) 1 tablespoon Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) 1 teaspoon marine salt mix (sodium chloride + trace elements) Give you don't need incredibly hard water, even 50% the dose listed here should work just fine.> I know better than to mess to much with things like pH, because stable is better, but one of the snails appears to have a small area of pitting in his shell and I don't want it to get to a level where it's harming him. Also, I'm nervous that an entire 4? cuddle bone in a 10G tank will throw the whole system out of whack. So, if you guys have any hints on what to do, or not to do for my snails, I'd appreciate it. <Take the cuttlebone out and replace with the mix listed above. Note that sea salt alone isn't the thing, but the combination of mostly Epsom salt, a bit of baking powder, and a bit of salt that does the hardening.> Thanks, Laura <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Snail tank water quality issues... 10/23/08
When you say, slowly remove the water, do you mean until there's no water in
the bucket?
<Pretty much. There's really no sure fire way to keep Apple Snails alive for their full lifespan in captivity. As I say, almost all die within the first year or so. So I'd recommend reading up on Apple Snails (there are numerous web sites as well as an excellent book by Perera & Walls) and experimenting. Breeding Apple Snails (if you want to) is easy, so you'll soon get dozens of youngsters to play around with. Bear in mind what the aim is -- getting the snails to "aestivate" -- and work from there. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Snail tank water quality issues... 10/23/08
Sorry for the trouble but I was re-reading your answer and want to be sure. In one place you say baking soda and in another you say baking powder. Baking powder has (usually) crème of tartar in it. Which did you mean?
<Ah, my mistake. Baking soda: sodium bicarbonate.>
<Sorry for the confusion. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Snail tank water quality issues... 10/23/08
One last thing, I promise. Do you think I should use this solution in my other two tanks as well? One is a 10g with a Crowntail Betta, and the other is a 55g with 5 African Clawed Frogs.
<Shouldn't be necessary for these fish. Neither Bettas nor Frogs particularly need hard water conditions. So if they're happy now, leave 'em be. The "magic potion" you're making is all about making water harder and more alkaline. Snails like that sort of water, as do certain types of fish: livebearers, goldfish, Rift Valley cichlids, Central American cichlids and so on.>
Thanks again!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Follow up on Snail tank water quality issues...  10/25/08
Hi again,
So, I changed the water yesterday and replaced it with the Malawi Salt Mix you recommended. The water certainly got harder and I thought everything was ok. Then, this afternoon all of the snails were racing about with their siphons out. I tested the water. The numbers were:
And no chlorine.
Thinking GH of 300 might be too high, I did a water change and used the Salt Mix at 50% the dose per 5g, then tested again. pH came down to 7.8 but GH and KH remained largely unchanged. The snails stopped racing about but they all are stretching their siphons farther than I've seen before. They're not going to the surface, mind you. Just stretching them out. I don't know what else to test. Do they not like the salt? Am I worried for nothing?
Thanks in advance.
<Hello Laura, It's unwise to completely change all the water at once. Forgive me if I didn't make that clear. What one normally does when changing water chemistry is to stick with your normal water change routine (e.g., 25% per week) but with each new batch of water that goes in, add the salt mix. So over the weeks the water will steadily become harder and more alkaline. In any case, if the snails aren't at the surface "gasping", and are otherwise active and feeding normally, I wouldn't be too concerned. Going by your numbers, a 50% dose should be ample. Cheers, Neale.>
Ok, thanks.
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Freshwater snails  - 05/01/07 Hi                                                                   <Hello there>        I found some really large snails some the size of base balls and oranges I think they are a species of apple snail but I am not sure can you give me some info <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsnails.htm and the linked files above. BobF> and is there a market for these snails because there is a large quantity Thanks WHi53

FW red snails, removal, reading... 02/17/07 Good morning, my wife has recently had  a snail infestation, <Heeee!> they are red in color. Two days ago i <I> picked 54 of them out of her 55 gallon freshwater tank. This morning I noticed more. She has gravel on the bottom of her tank with artificial plants. Any ideas on how I get rid of them. I've been picking them out for over a month. THANK YOU. REVS <Mmm, Ramshorns likely. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsnails.htm and the linked files above. BobF>

FW Snail concerns  9/28/06 Hello WWM! I really appreciated your help in the past- and I fear I have another question... <No fears> I just found this tiny snail in my 10gallon freshwater tank (Platies and guppies only). I already have a gold mystery snail- but a male. This tiny snail appears to be about 1cm long, blackish brown shell with lighter brown spots..? <Mmm, likely a juvenile Ramshorn...> It's kind of see-thru as well. I can't find anymore for the moment. I figure it must of come in with the plant i bought- <Yes, very common> I can't name the plant either.. hm. Anyways, to get to the point, I would really appreciate some advice on what kind of snail this one may be, and should I throw it out before my tank gets overpopulated. Thanks! Anitra <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsnails.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

FW Snails 9/12/06 Hello, <Hi> I recently inherited a snail (I'm unsure of what kind it is) but it is living in my freshwater aquarium and seems to be doing great....I know nothing about snails and have been reading your website to get some tips...but I have yet to find out....Do Snails Need To Change Shells As They Grow???? <No, the shells grow with them.> and if so, where would I find these shells???? <No need> I've never seen them in a pet store.  I hope this doesn't sound like a silly question. <No silly questions, just silly crew members.> Thanks for your time, Erin <Anytime> <Chris>

FW Snails ... why?   8/6/06 Hello!  I'm back with yet another question.  My son (almost 8) has  a 10 gallon community tank.  He wanted a plant for his tank, so we  purchased one about 3 weeks ago.  This week, we started spotting tiny  snails.  The most we've seen is three at a time, but they are close to the  color of our gravel, so who knows how many he has.  What do we do?   Will they harm the tank?  He works so hard to keep his tank balanced!  Thank you-Lou < Little snails are common hitchhikers on aquatic plants. They usually eat leftover food and act as scavengers. Sometimes they can eat some soft plants. They can be easily removed by using Fluke-Tabs.-Chuck>

FW Snails and Praziquantel   7/12/06 Hello to all. I have been having a freshwater snail problem. I have a 45G breeder with many live plants and a peaceful community of fish, mainly tetras and guppies, but there some "oddballs" as well: 3 Kuhli loaches, 2 yo-yo Botias, a clown loach, and a clown Pleco. The tank also uses an undergravel filter. <Okay> My problem: I have a snail population like you wouldn't believe. It's been this way for months. When I vacuum the gravel, it looks like shiny gold flecks of vermiculite are swirling around, but they are actually baby snails. They even come out in the daytime. There are hundreds (thousands perhaps?) of them, of two species: one set is like miniature trumpet snails, the other species have a spiral form, like miniature cinnamon rolls. <Ah, yes> I have tried the lettuce trick; I added the clown loaches and yo-yo Botias. Not even a dent in the snail population. I have heard/read that Praziquantel will kill them, and that Prazi is fish- and plant-safe. On the koivet site, I found that the recommended treatment level for such is: 3.5 Tbls / 1000 G (or sized down for me, either ½ tsp / 50 G or 1/3 tsp / 33 G ) I figure it'll take two to three doses in order to kill off all newly-hatched snails. <Mmm... maybe> My questions are: if the Prazi works, won't there be an unholy spike in ammonia from all the dead snails? <Is a possibility, yes...> Will ammonia-absorbing media (like those ammonia granules at the LFS) prevent the spike from killing the fish? Must I remove all fish, even though Prazi is fish-safe? <I would remove your fishes if you have a concern here> Thanks in advance for any guidance on this issue. Karl (in San Antonio) <Have you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsnails.htm and the linked file on "Compatibility" above? I might first try a glass tray/attractant with sinking algal-based tablets for a few nights to rid most of the snails here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Snails and Praziquantel  7/12/06 Bob, thank you for your reply. I had, indeed, read your excellent snail page (I remember laughing when I read your suggestion that hand-removal can be instructive "as a lesson in religious tolerance"). The Botias and clown loach were added as biological controls some time ago (months). <Strange they didn't gobble them all up> As you can see, I have no desire to use poison if I can avoid it. <Good> After all these months, though, I admit defeat. I will use the tray-and-bait method to ameliorate the worst of any ammonia spike. <This should help a great deal> Allow me to offer a brief but heartfelt paean to you and the Crew. I have utilized WWM as a resource for well over a year, mainly the saltwater pages. I have never once (till now) posted a question for your Crew. Why not? Because I have spent uncounted hours reading -- engrossing, happy, interesting hours. I have had scores of questions, and found pointers or advice or answers to all of them through reading and Googling the site. The creatures in my care have benefited enormously. The amount of work you and your friends have done and continue to do, for no other reason than to share and advance knowledge in the hobby, is nothing short of amazing. I am continually inspired to thinking, experimenting, and improving. I like to think that this is just the sort of effect you intended. Truly, thank you. Karl (in San Antonio) <Thank you so much for your kind, encouraging words... You are just the sort of fellow aquarist we are endeavoring to share with. Excelsior! Bob Fenner>

Killing freshwater snails?  - 06/07/06 Hi Bob, Quick question.  Now that I've removed a good number of snails (upwards of 30 trumpet snails!) what's the best way to "dispose" of them?  The same way as fish? <Mmm, possibly... placing these in a plastic bag and putting them in the freezer is best IMO. Turfing out on trash day...> They're of varying sizes, currently in a cup with some tank water, and I was considering popping it in the freezer. <Oh!>   (I may have some clove oil as well, but I'm not really sure whether that would work on snails...) I did read of cracking their shells and feeding them to the fish, but I have to admit I'm a bit squeamish about doing so. <I would not do this. There is too much likelihood that the fish will be damaged on/with the shell bits, and even the risk of disease/parasite spread... wash your hands...> By the way, I haven't gotten email responses to my last two questions-- not a problem, since I easily found them on the site, just letting you know. Thanks! Rachel <Strange... and disturbing. Sabrina has been working with our ISP, DataPipe to upgrade our webmail (we need it), but haven't thus far found a program that meets our needs (mainly to log on simultaneously, not lose incoming, block spam...) Cheers. Bob Fenner> <<....and indeed I am still striving to find a solution....  -Sabrina>> FW snail problems 6/5/06 I have a 45 gallon FW tank which I converted to a planted aquarium with a small population of tetras, Endler's Livebearers, and a pair of Rainbows. <Sounds nice.> It's beautiful, and the plants and fish all look great.  My snail population is starting to get out of control. <Hate those things.> I am considering getting a couple of Clown Loaches, however, I have a small population of Cherry Shrimp and would like to purchase more. <Clown loaches get FAR too big for that sized tank.  Botia Striata would be far more appropriate.  I have them and love them.> I am concerned that any fish that would eat snails would also find small shrimp quite tasty.   <Most any fish that can fit a shrimp in its mouth will.  I keep some smallish shrimp with them without a problem, but cherries are quite tiny so it's a gamble.> Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank You <Welcome> <Chris>

Attn: Bob Fenner, Variety of questions... on Bettas.... health... and snails... comp.... and algae    5/2/06 Hi Bob (if you don't mind the familiarity), <Not at all... is my name...> Thanks for your reassurances.  Terrence and Edmund are both doing fine, in fact Edmund's fins look a bit less curly.  I did get Terrence to try bloodworms and he loves them. <Few Bettas can resist these>   The patchy white spot hasn't spread, though I haven't seen him blow any bubble nests lately. With more frequent water changes (10% 2x a week, 40% once a week out of a 2.5 gallon tank) the water is still 0 ammonia, now 0 nitrites, and the nitrates are hovering around 20 ppm.  I've been feeding less-- skipping a day occasionally, and when I do feed, 2-3 Betta pellets with sometimes a bit of bloodworm, or sometimes just a bloodworm.  Still too much? <Not likely> I have a good number of Malaysian burrowing snails-- I'd hazard a guess of 10. <Soon to be more>   Except for two old ones of maybe 3/4 of an inch, they're all about 1/4 inch or smaller.  I used to have a large population of small Ramshorns, but not long after the move to this new tank, the Ramshorns have gradually died off except for one, whose shell is covered with white scratches.  (I'm it's because my water is soft and slightly acidic.  All the Ramshorns started looking that way as time went on, though the burrowing ones haven't shown any shell problems.)  I was wondering if the die-off may have raised my nitrate levels, and if the waste of the current population could be contributing.  The snails came in with plants from my LFS (and then proceeded to multiply); I knew they were coming and kept them in hopes they'd help keep the tank clean.  If you think they should go, I'll remove them via blanched zucchini or something similar. <Might want to just do this occasionally to keep the numbers in check> I've also had some small smudges of algae on my tank walls, and true to your word in the snail article, the snails aren't eating it.  It's not very noticeable unless it's right between you and the tank light.  It showed up after I added aquarium salt-- any connection? <Likely so> There is also some green on my filter floss where it's moist but not underwater, as well as an iridescent sheen on the surface of my water.  The filmy iridescence has always been there and I take out as much as I can with water changes.  The green growth I've seen before.  Any advice for getting rid of any of the above stuff? <Posted... see WWM re>   I have been keeping my light on too long (about 14 hrs) so I'm setting up a 10-hr timer, and I'm assuming the growth has to do with the high nitrates as well.  I scraped some of the algae off the walls... should I go after the green stuff on the filter floss? Thanks again, Terrence's mom (attached is my last email) <Be chatting, reading. Bob Fenner>

Keeping FW Snails  12/30/2005 I did add these fish to a tank that I've had for a few years, about 3 months ago. The previous fish had died because my tank temp. accidentally dropped too low. I did get a little of the water from the pet store in the tank when I put the fish in so the snails must have come from there. Is there anything I can do to keep these snails alive with the fish in this tank? < They will pretty much multiply, eat bits of algae and leftover food. Puffers and some loaches eat them but for the most part you can just leave them alone and don't worry about them. Some medications may affect them so read labels .-Chuck> Snails Don't Come from Brine Shrimp   12/28/05 I have a dwarf frog in my fish tank, and I feed it frozen brine. I also have tiger barbs and tetras in the same tank. I recently found a lot of new baby snails in the same tank. I have no idea how I got them except maybe from the frozen brine. Does this make any kind of sense to you. This all has me so curious. < You probably got the snails from a plant or some gravel from the fish store when you purchased some of the other fish. Brine shrimp comes from water that is very salty and not very good for snails.-Chuck>

Snail  12/24/05 Hi, <Hello>      I was looking at my fish today, and I saw a little snail on the top of my fake tree.  I'm not sure if am supposed to do anything with it or just let it be.  Please help!      Thanks,   Kelsey <Some folks like these... for cleaner-uppers, pets... others loathe them... reasons, approaches here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsnails.htm Bob Fenner>

Getting Into FW Snails, I'm Telling You, I'm Gonna Post It!  12/10/05 Hi, My 5 year old son is getting into fish and snails... hence that means that I am getting into them as well! We bought two snails for our freshwater aquarium. They are about the size of a quarter. How do you know who is the male and the female? < Hard to tell. Males are said to have a rounder shell opening.> At Petsmart, they have about 25 snails in 1 clear box with a wedge of zucchini in it, and long (arm-like) tentacles were coming out of some of these snails.... I mean, seemed as long as the snail itself, almost like he had a garden hose in there! I imagine that that was a reproductive organ of some type? (male or female... who knows?) I could take a guess, but might be wrong! :-) < The appendage is actually a snorkel for breathing and both sexes have it.> The questions are: How can you tell male/female? What was the long thing? Do snails eat raw zucchini? < In the wild they do not come in contact will zucchini. Years ago an aquarist figured out that this could be used as feed to herbivorous aquatic animals.> Do snails need an aerator in the tank? < Not really but they will do better with a clean aquarium.> Background info: (We started a fish tank after Hurricane Charlie in Florida.... we live across from a lake... during Hurricane Charley, we lost power, and the sewer didn't pump... so the water from the lake came up through the sewer drain in the middle of our street, and formed a puddle in the front driveway. We thought they were tadpoles... and many were , so we raised them... but we wound up with 5 one-inch long transparent looking fish... who have managed to survive from tap water and a filter in our 10 gallon aquarium. (They also have lake sand, and some plants that we have bought at the fish store. ) They even had babies, but they ate the babies before we learned we had to separate them. So, now the snails have been added to this.... I just bought an aerator, but perhaps this could kill them all? < No .> Do some fish need low oxygen? <You can not provide too much oxygen with an aerator.> Can too much oxygen kill them? < Too much of anything can kill. But this is not a problem in the aquarium.> I could never imagine being a fish owner... or a snail owner.... but this is kind of neat.... (We even bought them a castle in the tank! )  Thanks! (You don't have to post this on your website if these questions are too basic or silly) Nathalie Day < We post everything!-Chuck>

Getting Rid Of Snails With Chemistry  11/17/05 Hello! How are you? < Fine thanks.> I've got a problem. There are snails taking over my 10 gallon tank. I pick them out whenever I see them, but they just keep popping out of nowhere. These are tiny brown snails, only about 3mm across and they are driving me crazy. Is there anything I can do to get rid of them for good? Would salt do anything? My tank is a livebearer tank with platies and one guppy, everything is normal and the temp is around 82 degrees. Thank you for your help! Shelley < I have had very good luck with Fluke-Tabs to get rid of snails.-Chuck>

Snail Breeding Tank for Puffer food 5/28/05 Hi Crew. <Hi, Pufferpunk here> Thank you for your wonderful website. I've learned so much from you. <You're very welcome, that's what we're here for!> I'm getting ready to set up my first "big" 100 gal aquarium, and have been reading your site every day for about 3 weeks. I haven't even made a dent in it. I have two juvenile figure eight puffers. I also have a 2.5 gal "snail tank" for them. I put in 6 1.5 centimeter snails, and waited for babies. Finally, after much agonizing, they've laid 3 batches of eggs! Once the eggs hatch and I have a reasonable "infestation" of snails I'd like to put something in this tank with the snails. It looks empty and sad. I was thinking maybe a Betta or a male guppy, maybe even a couple tetras. That said I do not want to do this if the fish will eat all the snails, leaving none for the puffer babies. I was hoping you could advise me if this would be okay. <I have kept a Betta in my 2g snail tank, with no problems. Just keep an eye on the water parameters & make sure the tank stays nice & clean for the Betta. Congrats on your snail breeding success!> This question is less important and I am just curious. My husband is an automation engineer. He thinks changing the water in a tank is inefficient. He seems to think that nitrates could be removed from water using an "ion plate." I told him I had never heard of such a thing. He responded "It should work. I wonder if anybody is doing it. He asked if you all had ever heard of such a thing. <I am not familiar with this "ion plate" but there are many products on the market that claim to remove nitrates. The fish are still living in a toilet bowl, no less...> PS Pufferpunk was so helpful in teaching me about my "babies" that we decided to name them after her. They are Pufferpunk, and Pufferpink aka Pufferpigger :) <Awwww shucks, I'm honored! At least your "human" children aren't stuck with that name! ~PP> 

Apple Snail Info The other day I bought a large apple snail, and I mean large. But after having him (or her) for about a week he's full of antics and great fun. Climbing all over stuff, and he's very fast for a snail. But I might be interested in breeding them. So my question is, do they actually have male and female sides to the species, or should I just get another snail and they will do their thing? < Apple snails do have male and female sexes. The difference is very slight but you are suppose to be able to tell from the spiral on the shell. One of the sexes spiral is supposed to be more pronounced.-Chuck> 

Help!! My snails are dyeing (new tie-dyed gastropods!> Hi guys. I am a newbie to your site and also to a 10 gallon tank. I have 3 fire bellied toads, one platy and some snails. Some of the snails are Ramshorn and I don't know what the others are. Just your basic fresh water snails??? <Is there such a thing?> My snails are dyeing and the ones left are looking pretty lifeless. Could it be the toads?? <Mmm, yes> Half of the tank is built up with rock for the toads and the other half is of course water. I bought these at our local pet store. I have been feeding the snails and the platy sinking algae wafers since the tank is new and there's not much built up gunk yet for them to eat. Do you have any suggestions as to why this may be happening? Thanks SO MUCH for a very informative site!! Connie Howard <Many possibilities here... from nutrition as you mention, to possible water quality issues... Is this system cycled? Do you have test kits for the latter? Bob Fenner>

Snails for Bug Tank Hi, I just started a 10 gallon tank for predacious water bugs. Right now I only have ferocious water bugs (Abedus herberti) in there but I would like to add some other non-fish animals/bugs to my collection. I want to add a snail to the mix, but I am afraid that 1, snails will take over the tank, and 2, parasites from the snails will hurt the water bugs. The ferocious water bug supposedly will eat snails, which has led to another problem; I can only get a large snail for the tank. I live in southern New York and know of a pond where there are these really big snails (about 2 inches). I would love to put one of these in the tank, because I know the bugs won't eat them and they look cool. I was wondering what you thought about this. I've read that the parasites can be harmful to fish, but are they to water bugs? < Bugs in general have a pretty short life span and probably over winter as eggs so I wouldn't worry about parasites on your bugs.> And another question is: what kind of snails do you think they are.  And how do they reproduce? < My guess is that these are black mystery snails released from an aquarium. There are males and females. They will mate and the female will lay a clutch of eggs outside the water. Usually on the inside lid on the tank. They will stay there for about a month. After that they will hatch and fall into the water where they will become food for your bugs.> They are large, usually black (that's all I've ever found), have a trap door, and are more blunt, not conical. Thank you so much for the help. Jeff Osborne < You could always buy some snails at a local fish store. This way you will know exactly what you have.-Chuck>

FW Snail reproduction Ok, I bought a gold and a black mystery snail a couple weeks ago. If they laid eggs, would they have been at the water line? <Yes> And if the eggs hatched, what do the new born snails look like? <Like small versions of adults, light tan/brown> I'm seeing 5 or 6 very small, mostly clear snails with good sized antennae, with shells that curl off to one side instead of just being very vertical like the nuisance snails that take over your tank. They might not be mysteries, as I have Frogbit that I put in there when I got the big snails, so they could've come with that (after all I found a dragon fly larvae in it too). Or they could be from the big mysteries. I just need to know what new born mysteries look like. Thanks! Get more from the Web. <I suspect these are Mystery young. Bob Fenner>

Breeding Snails Hi Chuck Thanks so much for replying. If I was a week later I could have answered my question - I actually got to see a snail laying eggs! It was the most amazing thing to watch and I most definitely feel for the poor girl having to be there so long. Anyway, I have 2 more questions for you please. I know that the snails lay their eggs outside the water and that it will be around 4 weeks before they hatch. What I'm worried about is that 5 clusters of eggs have fallen into the water and sunk to the bottom of the tank. Is this normal and if not is there anything I can do? Thank you once again. Trish <The clusters should remain dry until the eggs hatch. Sometimes the materials used for hoods like plastic, glass and metal don't make very good repositories for snail eggs. In the wild they lay their eggs on vertical stems of aquatic plants. Try placing a few branches of driftwood in the back of the tank to see if the females will lay their eggs on it instead next time.-Chuck>

Snail Problem I thought my snail was resting by my power head in my tank for 2 days and then I decided to pick him up. He had the front of him stuck in the power head. The thing that he uses to breath was pink and white. I left him alone for 1 day in the bottom of the tank and the next day he hadn't moved. I took him out of the tank for a night (thinking he would drown without air) and put him in a cup. He hasn't come out of his shell since it happened. He seemed fine this morning (poking out of his shell) so I put him back in the tank and he seems a little better. Is there anything that I can do or give him so that he heals quickly. I have had Sluggo for about 5 years. Jeanette Browning <Snails are pretty resilient and will probably be out in a few days. If there is no white fuzzy growth (fungus) then I think Sluggo will be fine in a few days.-Chuck>

Snail Problem "Had-A-Snail"? Forgot to ask one more thing: how do you handle a bad snail problem in an 80 gallon. I've already tried "Had a Snail" (copper treatment or something like that), keeps em down but doesn't get rid of them. I also have a clown loach, but he doesn't seem to be able to keep up with them, although he's very fat because of them. Any ideas would be appreciated. I'd buy another clown loach, but I've got too many fish as it is. < Fluke Tabs will take care of all you snail problems.-Chuck>

Tired of Reading? Snail Eggs Hi Sorry to trouble you, I no longer have the energy to keep reading to find my answers. We have an established tank with 2 Oscars, 1 small yellow unknown and 4 yellow snails (species unknown also). Recently we found 2 growths near the roof of the tank (out of the water). I thought it was due to bad housekeeping and promptly removed them however there are now another 2 growths back same area but situated differently. They appear to be cylindrical in shape, about 3cm long and 1 cm width and depth. They are a brown/white colour and there are a lot of round "bubbles". We do regular testing and all levels are normal however our snails do venture out regularly above the water line - I'm just assuming they're adventurous. Upon assuming this, I'm also hoping that these "growths" are snail eggs? If not, what? If so, any idea how long before they hatch? Would love to see them before the Oscars eat them. On a side note, when we first introduced the snails, it was quite a sight to see one of the Oscars suck on a snail and take it to the other side of the tank. I thank you very much for any feed back you can give me. Kind Regards Trish < Those are indeed snail eggs. The Oscars probably won't eat the eggs but will try and eat the smaller snails.-Chuck>

Nasty Snails Hello. I have a small tank with two goldfish and several snails in it. I'm not sure of their type but they are about 4cms long and have pale brown shells.  <The goldfish or the snails? Cause if the fish have shells we got a different set of problems!>  Today, I noticed one of the snails was in the bottom of the tank almost upside down, with a large (2cms in diameter approximately) bubble coming out of it. Could you tell me what this is possibly? It looks very pearly and not like an air bubble. Thank you very much. Katrina. <Could be an egg mass. Jelly like with tiny dots. Unless you want more snails you should remove it from the tank. Don>   Snail Question Dear WWM Crew, <Lynn> I'm hoping you will know my snail by a description, as I don't have a picture to send. I've searched the net for a pic or description that suits him but haven't found anything thus far. I'm asking because I'm quite fond of him and would like to make sure I'm taking proper care of him. 'Garfunkle' is about 1cm, or 1/2 an inch, and his shell has stripes of black and orange-yellowish that run from the front to back. There is one small turn in his shell, toward the back on his right side, where all the stripes end (or begin?). He has a door that he can close and only two tentacles, and his skin is striped as well. He doesn't eat my plants, has never multiplied, keeps the (freshwater) tank spotless, and is growing very slowly (if at all). I'd appreciate your help if you can offer any info such as: his name, what he eats, any special needs, where his kind comes from. I'd like to keep him alive and well as long as possible. Regards, Lynn VanAsseldonk <Have no idea... you might try writing your description on the larger hobbyist BB's re live plants... like the Krib... Send along a pic if you can make one. Bob Fenner>

Freshwater Abalone      Hello all     I purchased a few mollusks that were called Freshwater Abalone recently (please see picts). <Mmm, there are no freshwater abalone per se (family Haliotidae... all marine), but there are some freshwater limpets... which of a few family possibilities is what these appear to be> They seem to do well in my plant tank. They devour algae voraciously and have grown considerably. I currently keep them in a 100 gallon tank with gold clams, gold mussels, Malaysian trumpet Snails, Amano Shrimp, SAEs and a Farlowella. Are they truly Abalone? Also, are those eggs that are seen in the background of the pictures? <Look like it> Thanks for any information, Stan <Please put the term "freshwater limpets" in your search tools... Much to be found/read re these fascinating mollusks. Bob Fenner>

Re: Freshwater Abalone Hello Bob Thanks for your response. These guys are constantly in motion. The few limpets I encountered in the past (all freshwater) were fairly stationary. The eggs I showed you are definitely being laid by these mollusks but I have as yet to see any offspring. Perhaps this species requires brackish or fully marine conditions to hatch properly. Regardless, thanks for your help. I am going to try researching these further. Stan

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