Aquarium snails - eternal companions of fish, they live in all types of aquariums, sometimes even where it seems impossible. We have described in some detail the most common snails in our articles. But, we will try to collect brief information on all the described species, and then the readers will already choose what interests them.
If you have ever had an aquarium, then you must have come across aquarium snails. All types of aquarium snails are often viewed as something that appears overnight, covers plants, muddies water and ruins fish. Sometimes, they do some of this, but the benefits of snails in the aquarium are much greater. Many species of aquarium snails eat leftover food and other garbage, some clean the glass and decor, and some are simply very beautiful.
To avoid problems with snails in an aquarium, you just need to understand what causes their rapid growth, and which species do not suit you. In this article, we will briefly describe the most popular types of aquarium snails, but if you want to learn more about any of them, then we have already written about almost every species, and you will find a description by clicking on the links in the article.
The role of snails in the aquarium
What eat aquarium snails? Although the type of food depends on the specific type of snail, most of them are omnivores, eating everything they can find. Usually snails eat rotting plants, dead fish, food debris and various algae. In this way, they serve the aquarist - cleaning the aquarium from excess feed residue, thereby maintaining cleanliness and lowering the level of toxins in the water.
Of course, different types of snails have disadvantages. The most common problem is that some species can spoil and even eat plants to the ground. In addition, all the snails will eat fish eggs, if they can get to it and should not keep them in the spawn.
The most frequent problem is that there are too many of them. We have already discussed this question in detail in the article - how to get rid of snails in an aquarium. There are listed both methods and causes of violent reproduction.
So, most often contain:
The coil is generally a classic snail, it can be found in almost any aquarium. It has no special features, small size, ease of reproduction and an interesting appearance made it quite popular. It is useful in moderation, does not cause excessive harm, only it spoils the appearance of the aquarium.
Ampulyaria is also quite common, but unlike coils, it is already quite demanding on the content. Since ampoules are one of the largest species of aquarium snails, they have a corresponding appetite. Can damage young and delicate plants with a lack of food. The rest - beautiful, large, interesting.
Tilomelania - rapidly growing popularity of aquarium snails. But, besides the fact that tilomeleanii very beautiful, they are also very demanding on the conditions of detention. They can rather be attributed to the exotic, which must be kept separately, and well cared for, than to simple species.
Melania - are common as coils, but differ from them not only in appearance, but also in lifestyle. Melania live in the ground, breed in the same place that benefits the aquarium, as they mix it up. But, they are prone to rapid growth, but it is not so easy to get rid of them.
Neretina is a beautiful and very useful snail. Quite small, about 2 cm, neretina perfectly clean the aquarium from algae. I advise you to follow the link and watch the video as it happens. Among the shortcomings - the price and a short lifespan, about a year.
Three types of neretin
Snails to be avoided
Of those that are listed above - there are none. Anyway, the main types of snails are completely harmless. But, very often in the markets they sell under the guise of aquarium snails, species that live in the natural waters of our latitudes. Prudovik, lawn, perlovitsa and other species. The fact is that they not only eat plants (often at the root), but also carry disease and parasites. And simply - to become a victim of fraud is very unpleasant. How to understand that these are local snails? View on the Internet the main types of snails and not buy those that do not apply to them.
Almost all types of aquarium snails are good inhabitants, only for some people need their own conditions, which are not suitable for a common aquarium. They become a problem only if something goes wrong in the aquarium, and even then this is not a problem - this is a signal. We have listed aspen species of snails that are kept in an aquarium, and in other articles have told about them in more detail. Read, think, choose.
Quite often in aquariums can be found freshwater ampullar (Pomacea). They are very unpretentious. Depending on the size, which can vary from 5 to 15 cm, an average of 10 liters of water per individual. Do not forget that the tank, which contains aquarium snails ampouleria, must have air space above the water level so that they can breathe. For them, aquariums of the closed type are suitable. This is due to the fact that representatives of this species can crawl out of the dwelling along its walls. With a long stay outside the aquatic environment, they die.
The life span of snails averages 4 years, and with increasing water temperature, it decreases. The optimal water temperature for ampullary is from 17 to 30 ° C. Acid values (pH) and water hardness (dH) are not critical. However, to maintain shell strength, it is desirable that there is sufficient calcium in the water.
Aquarium snails ampularia compatible with viviparous species of fish of small size or catfish, they do not get along with predatory fish that are able to completely exterminate them.
Members of the genus Ampullaria are omnivores, eat the same food as fish, some species of aquatic plants (with a lack of food). For large-scale aquariums overgrown with algae, with remnants of food they are simply indispensable.
Aquarium snails ampullaria are dioecious species. The female lays eggs in the dark, sticking them to the wall of the aquarium above the water level. The masonry formed by the female first has a soft texture. After about a day, it hardens and takes on a light pink color. As the small snails mature, the clutch darkens and at the time of their release becomes almost black. The whole process from the formation of masonry to maturation takes an average of no more than 24 days. Small individuals leave the eggs on their own, without assistance, provided that favorable conditions are created (optimal temperature and humidity conditions). They are kept separately from adult snails in small tanks, fed with cyclops or algae with crustaceans, they monitor the purity of the water. Small ampullia grows very quickly. The female is able to lay eggs year round.
Shell color can vary greatly. Aquarium snails are yellow with wide stripes of a darker shade - truly a beautiful decoration of any small artificial reservoir.
Representatives of the genus: P. bridgesii, P. canaliculata, P. paludosa.
Another common species that lives in an aquarium is a coil (Planorbarius). Having a short length (up to 3 cm) and a high reproduction rate, the individuals of this species are able to fill the entire aquarium as soon as possible. They are characterized by extraordinary vitality even in the most polluted water. They do not die when there is no food, only they become shallow. Often they can be brought to the aquarium with new plants to which the caviar is attached. This type of snail can be recognized by a spiral-twisted shell often dark brown.
For breathing, they can use both atmospheric oxygen and dissolved in water. They feed on the remnants of food and algae. In addition, aquarium coil snails as food are able to consume bacterial films on the surface of the water, which is their positive role for the aquarium.
Coils are hermaphrodites - one individual carries both male and female sex glands. The mollusk can lay eggs on any underwater objects and plants. The whole process, from laying eggs to small snails, takes several weeks. Almost all eggs remain viable due to hard coating with a thick layer of mucus that protects them from fish, and give rise to new mollusks. Adult aquarium snails live an average of 3-4 years.
Representatives of the genus: P.corneus, P. carinatus.
Another prominent representative of the fauna of an artificial reservoir are aquarium snails of the genus Physa. They are small in size (up to 2 cm in length). Due to the shape of the shell, pointed at the top, the fiz is able to crawl into all sorts, even inaccessible corners. In no case it is impossible to settle snails of this genus with live aquatic plants, as this is the most delicious kind of food for them.
Physicists feel fine without water due to the presence of pulmonary respiration. There are individuals with a shell of yellow-brown or brown color.
Representatives of the genus Physa are endowed with an amazing ability to move up and down along the sticky thread, which they themselves produce. Usually clam attaches it for water objects (stones, decorative elements) and for the leaves of plants. The thread is stored for quite a long time, from 15 to 20 days, and can serve as a bridge for several copies at once.
Physicals - aquarium snails, the reproduction of which occurs due to the laying of eggs (at least 20 in one laying) in the form of a bunch attached to underwater objects and plants. Having a high reproduction rate, fizy are not always desirable in aquariums. In the absence of adjustment of their numbers by fish or aquarists, they are able to completely inhabit the entire artificial reservoir.
It is important to note that these snails act as attendants of an aquarium, cleaning the surface of the water from bacterial films, the walls from the green residue and food debris.
For them, as well as for other types of snails, it is desirable to maintain the water temperature not lower than 20 ° C and dH from 8 to 18 °. Too soft water leads to the destruction of the shell fizy.
Recently, aquarium snails are gaining in popularity, the species of which in nature can be found only in tropical climates. These are, above all, Neritina. For them, it is desirable to choose aquariums in which you can maintain the water temperature at a level not lower than +24. +27 ° C, and acidity in the range of 7.5. Water should be hard or medium hard, as for most types of snails. For normal life neritin important water quality. It should be changed as often as possible and to prevent the accumulation of ammonia and nitrates in it.
For snails of the genus Neritina, the size and volume of the aquarium do not matter. But their sensitivity to water quality and lack of food should be taken into account. Therefore, for a container of 40 liters is enough two or three individuals.
Life expectancy for neritin is on average one year. Some mollusks die immediately after being moved to another aquarium due to abrupt changes in conditions, as well as hypothermia during transportation. When creating ideal conditions for neritin, individual specimens can live up to two years.
The size of the snails of this genus vary greatly depending on the species. The largest aquarium snails reach a length of 2.5 cm.
The color of the shells is also very diverse - from almost black to rich olive. For example, the tiger snail shell is decorated with black and golden stripes, which distinguishes it favorably from other species.
Representatives of the genus Neritina - destroy algae. They eat all kinds of aquatic plants. In heavily overgrown aquariums, they always find work.
Neritins are aquatic snails, the reproduction of which is possible only in salt water. In the freshwater aquarium, they lay eggs, but young mollusks are not derived from it.
Representatives of the genus - Zebra Nerite Snail, Tiger Nerite Snail, Olive Nerite Snail, Horned Nerite Snail.
Representatives of the genus Melanoides are common aquarium snails (photos and names are presented below). For the aquarium ecosystem, they bring both benefit, eating waste, algae, mixing soil, and harm, multiplying at incredible speed and populating the entire body of water. Can get into the system without the knowledge of the aquarist, with new plants and decor.
The content of melanium provides for a certain temperature regime from 18 to 28 ° C. In too cold water, melania will not last long. For the rest of the parameters of the aquatic environment, they are almost indifferent.
The shell of this genus of snails, as a rule, is painted in a gray-green color, with longitudinal dark inclusions. It has a specific conical shape and a very solid texture, which makes them inaccessible to many predatory fish. Adult size does not exceed 3.5 cm.
In an aquarium, representatives of this genus are imperceptible, almost all the time they are in the ground, burrowing deeply into it. At night, they can be seen on the surface of the soil or the walls of the reservoir.
Melania aquarium snails are unpretentious to food - they consume everything that remains from other inhabitants, as well as small aquatic plants, thereby clearing the aquarium from them.
Breeding snails of the genus Melanoides is easy. They belong to viviparous species. For a certain time, an adult individual bears an egg, from which completely formed small melania, from 10 to 60 pieces, appear. Immediately after being born, they burrow into the ground. Only a few specimens in an aquarium can populate the entire space in a short time and spoil its aesthetic appearance.
Representatives of the genus - Melanoides tuberculata, M. turricula, M. granifera.
Tylomelania (Tylomelania) - aquarium snails (the photo is shown here), striking the beauty of color, unusual shape of the shell and quite large in size (up to 12 cm). The shell of an adult can be smooth or spiked, in a wide variety of colors, like the body of a clam.
Representatives of this genus are extremely quarrelsome, do not tolerate their own kind, snails of other species. They can be planted with small fish and shrimps. Unlike other types of mollusks, they need soft water with high acidity. It is desirable to maintain the temperature in the range from 20 to 32 ° C.
What to feed aquarium snails, in particular tilomeleany? They are omnivorous and rather insatiable, require a large amount of food, the absence of which can affect aquatic plants - hungry individuals can spoil the leaves of algae. Therefore, they need to be fed several times a day.
Snails of the genus Tylomelania are dioecious and viviparous species. The fecundity of the female is low. As a rule, she bears one egg, from which very small young emerge. Small tilomeleaniya quickly grow and are characterized by increased activity.
In the aquarium, where snails live, there must be equipped shelters, because they do not like bright light. You should not decorate such an aquarium with a large number of aquatic plants, since mollusks need a lot of space to live. For large individuals, you should choose a container with a length of at least 80 cm.
The representative of the genus - Tylomelania towutensis.
There are aquarium snails, species of which are able to exterminate their own kind. These include snail helena (Anentome helena). To breed it is very simple. It does not require special conditions. Helen is often used to regulate the numbers of other types of snails.
The clam shell is colored yellow with a characteristic spiral dark brown stripe. The form is conic, ridge, without tip. The length of an adult individual is up to 2 cm.
Aquarium snail Helena likes to dig in the ground. For her, a soft consistency soil (sand, fine gravel) is suitable. In addition, such a measure allows it to multiply more fruitfully, since the young spend most of their time buried in sand or small gravel.
This species is predatory, feeds on live snails. In their absence, the mollusk switches to the usual feed intended for aquarium fish.
Helena - sex snails. Their fertility is low. The female lays an egg on decor items, snags or stones. After hatching, the young immediately dig in the ground and do not come to the surface for 6 months. A small number of individuals live to adulthood due to cannibalism among the young.
For aquarium lovers, the large snail Marisa (Marisa cornuarietis) is very popular. Shell color can vary greatly - from yellow to brown with characteristic dark stripes.
This type requires the creation of special conditions for it. Water temperature should be in the range from 21 to 25 ° C, the presence of moderate hardness and acidity is required. They need closed-type aquariums with mandatory airspace under the lid.
Mariza Dicate. To successfully produce offspring, you must have a female and a male. A female laying eggs on aquatic plants and decor. After two weeks of caviar hatchling juveniles. It is almost not visible in the aquarium because of its small size. Кормить маленьких мариз следует так же, как и взрослых особей - любыми видами корма (живым, искусственным, замороженным). При отсутствии корма они могут объедать растения.
Редко встречающимся видом является аквариумная улитка пагода (Brotia pagodula). В длину может достигать 6 см. Она чувствительна к содержанию кислорода в воде. Допустимая температура воды – от 20 до 26 °C. The bottom of the aquarium in which the pagodas live is preferably decorated with boulders. Sand should be used as a primer.
What do aquarium snails eat, in particular brotias? They feed on algae and dry fish food.
Pagodas belong to viviparous dioecious species. In artificial conditions divorced poorly, almost all young die. Adult individuals also do not live long (on average no more than half a year). This species can live together with shrimps and small catfish.
Some features of feeding and maintenance of snails
If you are going to get an aquarium with snails, you should consider a few basic rules.
- Do not place individuals caught from local water bodies in an aquarium. This will help avoid possible contamination by dangerous infectious diseases of the entire underwater population.
- You need to purchase mollusks only at pet stores, from trusted suppliers and, if possible, keep them in quarantine.
- It is advisable to equip the aquarium cover, because most of the representatives of the snails can crawl out of its limits and for a long time without water to die.
- It is necessary to create the necessary conditions in an artificial reservoir (temperature, ventilation, hardness and acidity of water).
- Pick up the soil should be according to the preferences of the selected type of snail.
- Make sure that the clams always have something to eat. Otherwise, they will begin to spoil the aquatic plants and, accordingly, the appearance of the aquarium.
- If necessary, it is necessary to regulate the number of snails, especially quickly breeding species (coils, nat, melaniy).
- Do not use drugs containing copper for treatment. They are disastrous for most species of snails.
- Carefully check the aquatic plants purchased in specialized stores or decor. This will help to avoid unwanted colonization of the aquarium by some representatives of mollusks.
The snail is a habitual inhabitant of almost every aquarium. Keep them will not be difficult. Most of them are unpretentious and do not require the creation of additional conditions. Eating the remnants of food, excessively overgrown aquatic plants, bacterial films, they play the role of orderlies and keep the artificial reservoir clean. However, in the absence of regulation of their numbers, all free space can be settled, as a result of which the balance in the aquarium is disturbed and its aesthetic appearance deteriorates.
There are several main types of these animals that can be found in a home aquarium. Some of them are added by people, others get themselves. Not all types of aquarium snails are useful. But some of them can be very useful. But to do snails at home is not so simple. Therefore, it is necessary to think carefully whether snails are needed in an aquarium.
This species is the smallest of all those that are usually present in the aquarium. Animals they are rather secretive and begin any active actions usually in the dark. Many aquarists, especially beginners, are very surprised, suddenly turning on the light at night and finding acrolux on the foliage of plants. But you should not be afraid of them and think that snails of this species do not eat either - they are harmless and feed mainly on dead plants.
Most often, such aquarium snails actively reproduce in conditions of too much food, which is not fully eaten by the fish. If you find a large number of acroluxes, then you need to reduce the power.
These aquarium snails are a type of melanide family. Melanie granifer is one of the most common options. It is easy enough to breed these animals, it is necessary to plant only one of them to receive replenishment soon.
Melanias are very useful creatures in the aquarium. They eat dead organic tissue, remnants of food, and even loosen the soil. Thanks to them, at the bottom of the aquarium do not appear anaerobic zones in the soil, and therefore there is no hydrogen sulfide dangerous for fish.
Melania is an excellent indicator of the status of an aquarium ecosystem. If they suddenly began to crawl along the walls, climb to the surface, then you need to saturate the water with oxygen, it is possible to change the filter.
Tilomelia snail is very beautiful due to the large number of possible forms of shells and its colors. Because of this, they are often chosen to be kept in an aquarium. But, unfortunately, tilomelia badly gets on with other animals, including small fishes or snails. Therefore, it is better to keep it separate, with a maximum of a pair of the same individuals.
Tilomelania prefers to live in water with a temperature of 28 degrees, with medium hardness. She is very reverent to the composition of the water. Too hard water causes it to hibernate, and too soft destroys the shell. Calculation of water per individual - at least 10 liters. The soil needs clay or loamy, but gravel is not suitable.
Another name tilomeleanii: "orange rabbit." The photo clearly shows the unique shade of the body, with which she deserved this name.
This is one of the most famous species. That it can often be found in nature, near water bodies and other sources of moisture. But the coil can perfectly live in an aquarium. It feeds on algae and bacterial deposits.
Keeping such snails in an aquarium is not a good idea. They will eat not only the deposits of algae and bacteria, but also normal plants. In addition, the snail coil transports trematodoses, which cause dangerous clay diseases in fish and can infect the entire aquarium. Therefore, if the horn coil is still wound up in your aquarium, it is better to get rid of it.
Unlike other snails presented above, Achatina is a land creature. In addition, it is quite large - only one shell can reach twelve centimeters. Keeping Achatina as a pet is very popular.
You need an aquarium for snails Akhatin, with a capacity of at least 3 liters, if you are going to contain only one snail. The bottom must be covered with a layer of substrate.
A small individual, which is often enough to be found in aquariums. But it is better not to keep it in the event that you have living plants - Fiz will quickly fill them with leaves. At the same time, many species of fish are not against eating these snails. And yet, it does not belong to the most preferred tenants of aquariums and you should not start it on purpose.
A popular species among aquarists. The main advantage in ampoules is the cleaning of algae walls from the aquarium. In addition to the dead, can eat living soft-leaved plants. An interesting feature of this species is its heterogeneity, so that for its stable reproduction it is necessary to place both the female and the male in the aquarium. Calculation of water per individual - at least 10 liters.
Maintenance and care
Regardless of whether you keep these animals with fish or separately, you will have to take care of them in a certain way. And also know what snails eat in an aquarium, how to breed. However, most of these animals are completely unpretentious in their content and do not require any special tricks from the owner. But you need to know what to feed aquarium snails, which requires an aquarium and some other aspects.
As for feeding, in this aspect, most species can be said to provide for themselves. They are able to feed on organic waste of fish, dead algae and various microorganisms. Also, aquarium snails are not off to eat the remnants of food, and if you add it to the aquarium too much, domestic snails will start to multiply rapidly.
Feeding individuals should be carried out in accordance with their type. It depends on this and how to feed the snails in the aquarium and whether they need extra food at all.
If you keep them with fish, then you will not have any special difficulties. Interesting is how to maintain land species of snails, such as Achatina and others. You need to proceed from the required length of their breed volume, as well as what is required design. Typically, the maintenance of snails requires at least 3-4 liters per individual.
If you are going to contain several large individuals at once, then choose containers with a size of at least 30 liters.
Most species are hermaphroditic, that is, each individual can be both female and male. Because of this, they multiply easily and quickly. Moreover, you may be faced with the fact that there are too many individuals. Care must be taken to ensure that the population does not become too large. In this case, the care of snails requires reducing it.
How to care for eggs
These animals of most species are not too whimsical creatures. The clutch left by them is capable of developing independently. Your primary task in the matter of how to care for eggs is not to interfere in this process. The second is to provide typical conditions for this type, primarily temperature.
To understand which are required, study the reproduction characteristics of each species. Then you will understand what care is needed for the eggs of the snails that live in your home.
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