Ponds, Streams, Waterfalls & Fountains:
eBook on Amazon
Volume 1. Design & Construction
Volume 2. Maintenance, Stocking, Examples
eBook on Amazon
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Pond snail is slowing down
Our 3 week owned pond snail lives in a 10 gallon tank with a Betta.
<How was this system cycled? That is, biological filtration
A couple days ago we noticed a new baby snail. Our big
snail has slowed way down, seems to be sleeping a lot, and spends a lot
of time floating while closed up.
Tonight she just sat on the bottom of the tank not moving partially
open. She used to be fast. There are plants in the tank
that she likes to chew on. Her shell appears normal, no cracks or
The temperature is consistent, there is a filter.
<What species of snail is this? Where, how was it kept before your
acquiring it? If kept in cool/er water, this may be cause for trouble
A few days ago I shut off the filter off 24 hours to encourage algae
growth. The light is on only during the day. Any
tips? I feel bad for her/him.
<Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/PhysaF.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Pond snail is slowing down 2/7/12
Thanks for your quick response. Our tank is 70 degrees.
<Mmm, again... what species of snail is this? Have you read
where you were referred?>
We got him from the pet store and they said to put him with a filter in
a warm tank. The filtration system is a black box that runs the
water through a square filter. Our snail has now not moved for
His shell isn't closed.
He's kind of open about 1/2 an inch. I think he's a
goner. How do we know if he's dead?
<Pick it up, give it a whiff... anybody home?>
The baby snail is zipping around the tank though. It helps ease
the sadness for our little girl.
<... "and the linked files above..." BobF>
Re: Pond snail is slowing down 02/08/12
Thanks Bob. I did read the links where you sent me. I
don't really know what kind of snail it was. I gave my best
guess based on photos.
<Which is what?...>
When we sniffed him we almost passed out though so we guessed he was
<Sorry for the loss>
I appreciated your tips though. Hopefully the baby does
<Usually organisms borne into given settings do. Cheers,
Pond snails... stkg./sel.
My daughter brought home a pond snail from school that was raised in
our math & science center. Can we introduce this snail to our
established freshwater aquarium?
<No... are cold water organisms; not suitable for indoor use, and
too likely to harbor/vector disease... DO wash your hands after
touching. Bob Fenner>
Re: Pond snails 11/5/11
Even though our aquarium is not heated, it is keep at room temp.
Pond Snails. stkg./sel.
I've been reading lots of information on your website with regards
to pest snails and what's best to do.
My current situation that I would appreciate advice on is this:
So it's the same old story, so snails hitch hiked their way to my
tank on a plant. The snails I caught (wanted to avoid killing them) are
presently living in a tub with some cut off's from the plant and
the odd fish flake to eat. I gave the main plant itself a salty-warm
bath, to eradicate anything else, given it a through clean and have put
it back in the tank after giving it a weeks quarantine. So all is well
The snails also laid some eggs in their little tub. So yesterday I was
doing a quick clean (with a little pipette just sucking up the dirt)
and I was very careful to avoid the eggs (they'd fallen off the
plant they were
originally hanging on and were lying on the bottom) I then topped up
the water a little bit. However today I cannot see the eggs any more,
they seem to have disappeared?
There are no baby snails, as I doubt the eggs would have hatched after
5 days. So not sure what happened there?
<Could be just very small at this point; too small, transparent to
I was also considering taking the snails to my parents house, to live
in the ponds at their house. They have 2 wild life ponds, with mainly
frogs and newts. Would it be safe to release the snails there?
<Mmm, please don't do this. These are highly unlikely
indigenous... You could/might well be spreading a pest... Or worse;
many gastropods are vectors/carriers of parasitic disease... some for
I've read mixed things about it, some say no as snails may or may
not carry diseases, or some say yes, that they are a good addition?
<In general not.>
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdsnailwgm.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Pond Snails 10/20/11
Thanks so much!
I had briefly read that article, but I've now realised my snails
fall in the 'un wanted' category of belonging to the Physa
Is it okay to continue looking after them in the tub they currently
reside in, or should I kill them?
<Up to you...>
I've heard of people keeping snails in buckets and the tub they
currently have is like a mini bucket, 125mm across the entire top and
130mm high, usually filled about half way (there is also a lid with
small holes to stop any escapee's).
There's only 3 snails (that are currently sized around 7mm in
length) and I imagine the population will be fairly easy to control as
I will spot eggs and can then keep or destroy them depending on
I was considering moving them into a 21 litre tank that will be
available sometime early next year (maybe keeping a few guppies or
Betta with them?
Or will they just kill the snails?)
<They'll all get along>
only issue really is that the top of the tank has grates, so I imagine
they may try to escape and/or the population may be difficult to
control, losing track of how many are in there?
<Highly unlikely an issue>
I know it may sound a bit crazy looking after snails that are
considered pests, but they are so interesting to watch and observe and
their shells have such lovely colours and patterns! What do you think
would be best to do?
<I have this genus of Gastropod...>
I'm a bit unsure on which option is best to take!
<Then wait till you are sure. BobF>
Thanks, I appreciate the help!
Freshwater "Pond" Snails... NOT
releasing to wild 9/28/11
Hello, I have already spent many hours reading your website, somewhat
aimlessly, as the information is always interesting. After reading the
posts on pest snails, one question remains:
I live in the temperate Midwest. I have a container of snails I have
collected from my freshwater aquariums that presumably hitchhiked on
the many plants that I have bought for these tanks. Rather than kill
them, I'd like to release them into a local pond and leave the
question of their survival to nature. Is there any reason I
shouldn't do this?
<I wouldn't release them. There's a risk they can carry
diseases from the tropical fish trade into native waters. If you need
to get rid of them, then kill them (squishing does the trick) and you
can actually use the squished snails as food for many fish, including
loaches, cichlids and many catfish.>
By-the-way, I am one of the unsuspecting and naive aquarists that
purchased "apple" snails when I (re)started with this hobby.
I have two. Unlike the fish and plants I keep, I never researched them.
After one and half years, they seem quite healthy and have grown rather
<Well done! It's pretty uncommon for them to live their full
lifespan in tropical aquaria, but it does happen. I've seen
specimens get to tennis ball size.>
Thanks for your help,
<And thanks for writing. Cheers, Neale.>
Pond Snails, repro.
I just found my pond snails mating, so I would like to know, where do
they lay the eggs? Above the water level? If so, how high up? I want to
know because at the moment, there's 1.5 inches of water that
doesn't fill the tank, is that high enough so the pond snails
don't crawl out of the tank?
Also, what do I need to feed the hatchlings?
<Greetings. Generally, snail babies are entirely self-sufficient and
you won't need to do anything! Physa, Lymnaea, Planorbis, and most
of the other pond snails lay their eggs underwater in jelly-like
clumps, and the snails that emerge from the eggs are easily big enough
to fend for themselves.
Pomacea spp. (Apple or Mystery snails) are a bit different because they
lay their eggs in calcareous rose-coloured masses above the waterline.
In the wild, they climb around 30 cm up from the surface of the water,
but in aquaria they usually lay their eggs on the underside of the
hood. Either way, the eggs hatch and the baby snails then go into the
water and develop there. They aren't especially difficult to rear,
but some algae and blanched lettuce leaves will be much appreciated.
Apple Snail Question 05/27/09
Hi there. Nine days ago, we purchased two apple snails for our new pond
(the guy at the pet store said this was fine), we soon learned this
wasn't good at all.
<Does depend where you live; if you happen to live in the subtropics
or tropics, then Pomacea snails can adapt well to pond life. But they
aren't at all suitable for ponds in the temperate zone, and even in
warmer parts of the world they do need a "resting period"
lasting some months. Personally, I don't rate Apple snails as
particularly good pets, and the overwhelming majority of them die
within a year, never reaching anything like their full size.>
In our crash course on water care and snails we lost one and
surprisingly the other is still alive. We put in a new, bigger pond and
placed him in there to get him out of the old toxic water and he
started moving up and down the sides (it's about a 200 gallon
pond).We were so happy that he was still alive that we bought a ten
gallon tank for him and got him to other apple snails for company.
<They actually couldn't care less about company... more
important you provide optimal conditions for one snail than try to
house a bunch of them under less than perfect conditions.>
Well, the first day we put all three in the tank, he was partially out
of his shell and wasn't moving for about twelve hours, and he
appeared to be defecating and producing excess slime. We got worried
and read that you should remove the snail immediately from the tank if
they appear as if they are dying.
<You should certainly remove a dead snail from any aquarium, yes.
But removing one that's merely behaving oddly isn't a good
idea. Periodically shedding mucous and producing copious faeces are
both normal behaviours. Unless the snail is constantly shedding
mucous, small amounts aren't anything to worry about, and like all
herbivores, the more fibre-rich their diet, the more solid waste they
We put him in a 1.5 gallon tank with a filtering system and there are
times he's floating on the bottom or in the middle of the tank and
the next day he'll be sucked to the side.
<See, this is the thing. Conditions in a 1.5 gallon "tank"
aren't tenable for an Apple snail, and really, such
"tanks" are useless. Buckets are bigger! So, buying such a
tank is a total waste of money. On top of that, because water quality
WILL be less stable and likely less good in such a tank, moving from
the 10 gallon to the 1.5 gallon will simply make a bad situation worse.
Much better to identify the problem, and them act accordingly.>
Many times my husband has told me to just put him in the freezer, but I
<And shouldn't; freezing animals is not a humane way to kill
them. While I admit it's hard to empathize for a snail, what makes
special is our ability to see what's cruel from what's humane.
If you must euthanize a snail, use a humane method as described for
fish. In any case, snails tend to be either "healthy" or
"dead", so if the snail is active, there's hope! Put the
snail in the right conditions, with the right water quality, and at the
right temperature. In other words, an 8-10 gallon aquarium, with hard
(10+ degrees dH) water at pH 7.5 to 8, with no salt, and at a middling
to low temperature around 22-24 C. Ammonia and nitrite should be zero
at all times, and the snail must have access to air, so allow a good
couple of inches space between the waterline and the hood. For at least
three months of the year, keep the temperature lower so the thing can
go dormant; ideally, remove it from the water and keep in damp soil at
around 18 C. Do note that Apple snails are neither tropical nor
coldwater animals, and can't be kept indefinitely in either
unheated tanks (outside of the subtropics, of course) or tropical
Then later on he'll look good and surprise us by how active he is.
Any way, he's been in separated for a day and a half now. How long
do I wait to put him back, I feel like all I'm doing is testing
water on both tanks and the pond. Is he behaving normal? The other two
snails have not floated at all yet. I've read they do this but he
does it quite a bit and doesn't close all of the way. Is he
permanently damaged by being put into the untreated pond water? The
nitrites were VERY high as was the ammonia.
<This is what's killing the snail; keep the snail in good
conditions and it should pep up.>
He's in stable conditions now. Any info would be a great help.
Re: Apple Snail Question 5/28/2009
Thank you so much, I'm determined to keep them alive. I appreciate
your help, I couldn't get useful information anywhere else.
<Happy to help. Do try and track down "Apple Snails in the
Aquarium" by Gloria Perrera and Jerry G. Walls; it's the
single best book on the topic
published. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Apple Snail Question 05/29/09
Hi again, Thank you so much.
<Well, that's good news!>
He perked right up in the ten gallon tank. He's moving along with
the other two as if nothing happened. He must've just been
adjusting to the new environment before or something.
<Sounds like you have everything under control. Good luck,
Swimmer itch ... nematodes, ponds... 5/9/06
greetings- i have been enjoying your snail reading- We have the
"swimmer itch"- so our water dogs tell us- so the
reading on this subject says some varieties of snails are hosts- so i
am looking for predator snails to eat all the other ones- or turtles
etc... what do you think- and where could we purchase? <I would
utilize either a copper based algicide to kill the intermediate hosts
(the snails) or other purposeful molluscicide here. Are you in the
U.S.? There may well be a government or university agency that can/will
tell you what they specifically advise here. We used to use "blue
stone", copper sulfate... with about ten percent citric acid mixed
in... in the infested lakes we maintained, for this purpose. Bob
Fenner> > thank you > Alexander Eriksson
Re: New pond, worms 8/18/05 Hi Bob <Wendy> Decided to
get back to you and update you on the worms. My vet said she could not
dispense medication without seeing a patient. I told her my
dead fish are buried in the garden. I found this site: http://www.kensfish.com to be
EXTREMELY helpful. I was able to obtain some Prazi
(Praziquantel) without any difficulty, and have used it. 2
doses recommended to get rid of eggs etc that may have been shielded by
the adult worm/fish on 1st application. I still have newts in my pond,
and have seen then swimming around with the fish and eating the fish
food at feeding time! Lovely! I am so glad the
Prazi didn't harm them. <Ah, good> I am thinking of adding a
few pond snails. Could you tell me what fish medications
would harm them. <Most any of the metals, dyes... when, where in
doubt, leave them out> Anyway, thanks for all your
help. I really want to recommend Kens fish site to anyone
having difficulty getting Prazi in the UK. They are
excellent. Wendy. <Thank you for this valuable input. Bob Fenner>
Need to buy pond Snails 6/29/05 Hi Robert I am looking to buy
snail here in Orlando Florida can you tell me of any place that may
carry snails. They are for a pond. Thank you for your help. Marie.
<Mmm, I'd look in your local "Yellow Pages", under
"Gardens", "Ponds" or call your local fish stores
re such. Bob Fenner>
Snails in the Winter I purchased 3 gold Inca's for my
1000 gallon pond this summer and they sure kept it
clean. The filter never had to be changed it was
wonderful. Now winter is coming upon us fast here in
Connecticut and from what I have read I do not believe they are hardy
snails. <Definitely coincides with what I've read,
as well.> Will I have to bring them indoors and how do I keep them
alive for 5 months? <A great informative site on apple
snails (gold Incas are in this group, I think): http://www.applesnail.net/
. I'd probably bring them in for the winter, in perhaps
a 20 gallon 'long' or 'breeder' type aquarium, with the
water level a couple of inches low (to facilitate egg laying if it
happens and prevent the urge to escape). A small power
filter, heater, lid and light, a bit of substrate, and some
Anacharis/elodea to munch on, some dechlorinated tap water, and
you're all set. I hate to see them die. Sandy Rich
<I'll admit, I'm a plant-tank gal myself, so snails are
pretty much, eh, how do I put it nicely....
"evil".... in my tanks, and become fish
food. I am quite fascinated with the apple snail-types,
though, and perhaps will try some for my ponds some
Pond snails in the winter Hello, I have a small water garden
in a pot, about 30 gallons (I think), <Pi R squared times height...
in inches... divided by 231 (cubic inches per gallon)... will give you
an approximation for cylinder volume> on my front porch. A
landscaper friend gave me several snails out of her man-made ponds and
now I am wondering what to do with them for the winter. <Best to
"bring them in"... perhaps your container can be re-set up in
a garage (if it doesn't get freezing cold, or an enclosed
patio...> I live in NE Ohio and already the nights get
down to 50 degrees. I am planning on bringing in the plants
and just keeping them in my basement in buckets of water. <Do the
same with the snails> I had thought to just put the
snails in the buckets with the plants but now I am thinking I might
find a tank and keep them as "pets" for the
winter. What do I need to do and should I go ahead and bring
them in now? <I would bring all in before it gets any colder. The
tank can be run with a simple "box filter" or even easier, a
hang on power filter. Your local fish store can show you these> Will
this work, and do they need water to live in or just moist soil?
<Likely in, as totally aquatic conditions. You can ask your friend
if these are amphibious species or not> I am assuming they are pond
snails and will need at least several inches of water. How do I set up
this temporary home for my snails (and the many babies I have noticed
clinging to the roots of my floater plants!). Speaking of,
will I have too many for a small tank? <Doubtful... most larger
species (Ampullaria) are not bisexual... are slower to reproduce> If
so, what do I do with the extras? <Trade them in at a shop, give
them to neighbor children...> How do I feed them, or can
I add some of my floater plants for them to nibble on ( I have plenty
and can get more for free if they devour them). So far I
have just used water from my spigot (un-softened, well water) and they
have survived the summer, so I assume I can just use the same for the
tank. I have a lot of questions and any info you can give me will be
helpful. Thanks! Kim in Ohio <Please peruse the many pond and
freshwater snail files (articles and FAQs) archived on these subwebs on
WetWebMedia.com for much more of a complete understanding of what you
are about. Bob Fenner>
Giving Snails the heave-ho from a Taro farm Hi, I am a Hawaii
taro farmer and I was wondering how can I eliminate the golden apple
snails or is there a method used that I have tried to kill these plant
killers ??? Without destroying my crops.. Thanks and Aloha James....
<There are indeed commercial molluscicides... do you have any other
invertebrate or fish in culture with your taro/poi plants? If not, I
would look into using simple "blue stone" (copper sulfate
pentahydrate) with about ten percent (by weight) citric acid mixed in
(to keep the cupric ion in suspension longer) and broadcast this (with
a hand spreader) at about two ounces per hundred square feet. Won't
hurt your plants (but will kill back algae). Bob Fenner>
Re: floating snails I bought a couple of snails for a very
small pond last summer. I don't remember what kind they
are (they're large and yellow in color). Almost
immediately, they disappeared into the "depths" of the pond
and we didn't see them again. Today my husband found
them both floating on top of the water. We live in the
northwestern U.S. (500 feet from the Canadian border). <Brrrrr!>
We've never changed the water in the pond, though in the summer we
added fresh water and lately we've had A LOT of rain. There is also
no fresh vegetation, since most everything has shut down for the
winter. Are the snails okay? Are they dead? <Not okay,
but not dead yet hopefully> Do I need to do something
different? This is the first "artificial" pond
we've had - as opposed to natural ponds with their own
ecosystems. <Also coldwater... the snails you have
don't, can't live in such cold water. Do collect them and bring
them in (to the garage if it's attached to the house) at least...
and if they still are floating a week from now, into an unheated
aquarium or other large container in the house till a few weeks after
freezing weather next year. Perhaps take a read through our snail and
pond articles, FAQs stored here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm>
Thanks for you help. <And you for your concern. Be chatting, Bob
Fenner> Cynthia Bateman
Golden snail We have couple of about 3 inch size snails in
our pound. They laid eggs frequently however none of the eggs produced
baby snails. Perhaps we need to get male snails, is there any way one
can differentiate male from female snail when we buy them?
<Mmm, not this species. Please see here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snailspds.htm> Also once in a while one
of the snail would venture out of the pond and travel on the land. I s
this normal? <Not normal unless there is "something"
wrong for them in your system... Your baby snails may be being lost for
related reasons. Do you have sufficient alkalinity in this pond? Do you
ever see any young at all, or do the eggs just disappear? Maybe a
predator is eating the young (turtles, fishes...), or they're
unable to find sufficient food, biominerals in your pond to build their
shells. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your help. sincerely yours, T, C,
Snails, again Hi Bob, Hey do you write in French too or did
someone translate for you? I was looking around on the net and found
your article on snails in Le jardinier aquatique. As I was glancing
through it I thought, gee that sounds like Bob's article... and
then saw your name at the top! <Interesting... could be our friend
Claude who transliterates, provides our website in French (there are
other folks in German, Japanese)... Ces magnifique!> Anyway, could
you please tell me the difference between Viviparus malleatus and
Ampullaria cuprina? And which one is called the Japanese Trapdoor
Snail? <Neither as far as I know... please use your search engines
here (am on holiday in Miami, on way out on a liveaboard... so no
access> Would you have another identification for those cone-shaped
snails that are in two of the photos, since they're from our pond
here in northwest Indiana and can't be Melanoides tuberculata,
which aren't hardy around here? <Oh they might... very commonly
"let go" in the wild...> Also, just fyi, we are switching
over to computer-to-plate for printing and have picked up a new place
to do scanning of photos, and we're adding a week to the production
schedule to make sure everything works out okay. This means that
we'll need copy for the Jan/Feb 2002 issue by October 8 if
possible... Just let me know if this will be a problem. <Copy of?
The swimming pool to pond piece? Other title?> Thanks much Best Sue
<Chat with you soon. Back on the 30th. Bob Fenner>
Pond Snails We have a couple of Ampullaria austrailis in our
pond. Lately they laid orange colored egg clusters on the rock and
plant stems near the water surface. However these eggs never seem to
hatch. After couple, three weeks the cluster just drop off into the
pond. Is there any way we can help to hatch these eggs? Thanks, we
appreciate your time to help us out. Sincerely T. C. <Could be a few
things at play here... You may have a "couple" of females!
And need a male (these are dioecious species, boys/girls)... Could be
your temperature is too low (not likely too high)... and you would have
more luck moving them egg clusters indoors... to a heater aquarium
setting... Bob Fenner>
comments on: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snailsagb.htm Hello
Robert, I just wanted to say I really enjoyed reading your webpages.
Very thorough, descriptive, and fun to read! I have bookmarked your
page for further perusal. <Thank you for your kind words. Very
encouraging> I just added some black mystery snails to my goldfish
tank....and boy am I glad I picked those ones and not some of the other
more prolific kinds. I just felt after reading your information on
snails and plants in aquariums. I had to say thank you, extremely well
done!! I also enjoy the humour you put into the descriptions makes it
highly enjoyable to read. <Thank you again my friend. Be chatting.
Bob Fenner> Best regards, Heather O'Connor :)
Ponds, Streams, Waterfalls & Fountains:
eBook on Amazon
Volume 1. Design & Construction
Volume 2. Maintenance, Stocking, Examples
eBook on Amazon
by Robert (Bob) Fenner