View Full Version : Snail questions

02-02-2008, 10:55 PM
I've read a good bit about snails, but have not found answers to a couple of questions.

I'm getting ready to cycle a new tank - the heater and filter are en route. I was convinced by reading this forum that sand was a good (cheap) substrate to use, and am happy with how it looks compared to gravel. I also read that malaysian trumpet snails (MTS) are good at stirring sand. When can some MTS be added to a tank? Do they require a cycled tank to thrive (i.e., how sensitive are they to Ammonia)?

Also, for those of you who have MTS in your aquariums, how did you get them? Does your LFS carry them or did you get them online/from a friend? Mine does not and I have never seen any for sale? The only snails my LFS have are mystery snails.

02-02-2008, 11:02 PM
i got mine from a petco/petsmart. they usually have a bunch in their tanks and consider them pests. i saw some and asked about the price of them, the guy working told me they weren't selling them but he would give me a bunch for free. they are great snails, but they reproduce like crazy. they don't eat plants a do a good job of stirring up substrate.
i am not sure if they actually need a cycled tank.
i am assuming they don't cos i have some in a fishbowl and they are doing just fine.

02-03-2008, 02:06 AM
i also got mine for free due to the view that they are pests. they are great at moving around your substrate and eating leftover crud that would normally have to degrade or be vacuumed out. quite useful for planted tanks.

a few things to bear in mind...

MTS will reproduce if you have even one. they are livebearers too so you will never see eggs or antyhing like that. you literally go from one to dozens in a period of a few weeks. they reproduce more frequently (over 76 in my experience) and in greater number if the water is warmer or if there is a lot of food.

also, they are nocturnal. you'll rarely see them, especially the adults (bout 1 inch) until the lights go out. this makes it hard to gauge exactly how many of the little buggers you actually have. but if you have a light colored substrate you'll regularly see the smaller ones if you look closely enough. if at any time you see a LOT of the adults at the same time, in bright light, and they are headng up the walls, do a water check and make sure your filter/air stones are working. something is likely VERY wrong.

also, the buggers are tough. geting rid of them is all but impossible short of chems designed to kill snails outright. and bear in mind that you iwll have a LOT of dead snail buried in your substrate afterwards. all but guarenteed to screw with your water chemistry. they have one of hte toughest shells of any aquarium snail. as a result most snail eating fish have a hard time ith them. even if they do find a way to munch em, they hide most the time so populations will probably never be outright eliminated. you'll always have a few that survive. fish i know can deal with em are clown loaches, yoyo loaches, zebra loaches and polkadot loaches. jsut bear in mind the social aspect of those fish and their final sizes.

02-03-2008, 02:17 AM
Thanks for the replies and sorry to the mods for not posting this in the snails forum to start off - I didn't even know there was one!

I'll check to see if any of the tanks have them at PETCO here. I always forget that there is a PETCO here ever since buying fish there once and having most of them die.

Currently, I have pond snails in my 10g and they are NOT a nuisance. When I notice their numbers increase I crunch a few.

As far as dead snails messing with water quality.. how difficult would this be to keep in check with regular stirring and vacuuming of detritus from the sand?

02-04-2008, 02:39 PM
dead snails won't really be a problem unless you introduce a chemical to kill them all off at once. least thats what i was referring to

02-04-2008, 05:37 PM
i just got some hitch hikers who are mass producing... ill send them to you fed-ex. lol They are really adorable though.

02-04-2008, 07:19 PM
netting them or reducing the nutrients in the water will get rid of them but they are such awesome little cleaners.....

02-04-2008, 08:28 PM
netting them or reducing the nutrients in the water will get rid of them but they are such awesome little cleaners.....

Agree. Never have to clean my tank.