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madcaptains
11-26-2008, 05:10 PM
Hello,
I am working on a little something for my blog (aquariumslife.com). Its about snails for the reef aquarium. There is still some missing things and I would love to make sure the information I have is exact.

Here is what I have:

Turbo Snails - Turbo sp
Distribution: Gulf of California off the coast of Mexico
Water condition: 72-78 F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.023-1.025, pH 8.4-8.4
Active time: Day
Size: 3 in.
Diet: Herbivore
Zone: They will go over every inch of your aquarium
Pros: Excellent against green hair algae.
Cons: Will bulldoze loose rocks in search for food so make sure rocks are well-secured. They cannot right themselves if they fall and land on their back. You will have to right it to prevent its demise.

Tip: If you have some type of rubble in your sandbed, Turbo snails can manage to right themselves.

Astraea Snails - Astraea tectra, Astraea phoebia
Distribution: Caribbean
Water condition: 72-78 F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.023-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4
Active time: Day
Size: 1 in.
Diet: Herbivore
Zone: All
Pros: Excellent against cyanobacteria, green and brown film algae (maybe not green hair algae). Should not nock over corals and loose rocks (They do in my tank)
Cons: They cannot right themselves if they fall and land on their back. You will have to right it to prevent its demise.

Tip: If you have some type of rubble in your sandbed, Astraea snails can manage to right themselves.

Trochus or Turban Snails - Trochus sp.
Distribution: Indo-Pacific
Water condition: 72-78F; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4
Active time:
Size: 1 inch
Diet: Herbivorous
Zone: All (including glass)
Pros: Excellent against green hair algae, slime algae, green algae, cyanobacteria and diatoms. They leave nothing behind. They are able to right themselves if they fall on their backs.
Cons:

Nerite Snails - Nerita and Neritina
Distribution: Caribbean, Pacific Ocean
Water condition: 72-78F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4; dKH 8-12
Active time:
Size: 1 in.
Diet: Herbivorous
Zone: Rocks and Glass
Pros: Excellent against cyanobacteria, green algae and are just great to remove algae film on glass. They are able to right themselves if they fall on their backs. Do not disturb the landscaping.
Cons: Commonly reported to escapes from tanks.

Stomatella Snails (Stomatella varia)
Distribution: Western Central Pacific: Indonesia, Philippines and Guam
Water condition: 72-78F; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4
Active time: Day and Night (mostly night)
Size: 3/4 inch.
Diet: Herbivorous
Zone: live rock, will clean the glass
Pros: They are herbivores and feed upon micro algae in the reef tank. They are to small to ever knock corals over. Reproduction is easy: more food = more snails
Cons: Sometime considered as a nuisance because of its rapid reproduction. Peppermint shrimp are known to eat this snail.

Bumble Bee Snails - Engina mendicaria, Pusiostoma sp
Distribution: Marshall Islands
Water condition: 72-78 F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.023-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4
Active time:
Size: 1/2 in.
Diet: Carnivore, Detritus.
Zone:
Pros:
Cons: Lack any ability to feed from algae although they are commonly sold as good algae eater. Feed on sand bed fauna and have been reported to prey on other snails.

Margarita Snails - Margarites sp.
Distribution: Eastern Pacific region, the Caribbean Sea including Alaska and Baja California.
Water condition: 50-68 F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.023-1.025, pH 8.0-8.4
Active time: Night
Size: 1 in
Diet: Herbivore
Zone: rocks, sand
Pros: Good against green hair algae, Cyanobacteria and diatoms
Cons: Do not survive in a typical reef system kept at 80F.

Super Tongan Nassarius - Nassarius distortus
Distribution: Tonga
Water condition: 72-78F; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4; dKH 8-12
Active time: Day
Size: 1 in.
Diet: Omnivore
Zone: Sand
Pros: Excellent to remove detritus from the sandbed. Will keep the sandbed stirred and oxygenated. Will not nock over corals and loose rocks. A must with deep sandbed.
Cons:

Nassarius Snails - nassarius vibex
Distribution: Caribbean
Water condition: 72-78 F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.023-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4
Active time: Day
Size: 1/2 in.
Diet: scavenger
Zone: Sand
Pros: Excellent to remove detritus from the sandbed. Will keep the sandbed stirred and oxygenated. Will not nock over corals and loose rocks. A must with deep sandbed.
Cons:

Keyhole Limpet snails - Megathura crenulata
Distribution: Eastern Pacific
Water condition: 72-78F; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4
Active time:
Size: 3 in.
Diet:
Zone:
Pros: They are great for eating hydroids and will also feed upon all forms of microalgae.
Cons: They have been known to sometimes graze on Acropora, Montipora and other similar species.

Cerith Snails - Cerithium sp.
Distribution: Mostly found in Caribbean
Water condition: 72-78 F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.023-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4
Active time: night
Size: less than 1 in.
Diet: Omnivore
Zone: Sand
Pros: Very active eaters. Excellent to remove detritus from the sandbed. Will keep the sandbed stirred and oxygenated. Excellent against brown diatoms and slime algae that grow on the sand. One of the only snails that will eat algae that grow below the sand near the front of your aquarium. Do not bother invertebrates.
Cons:

Red Footed Conch or Thorn Latirus - Opeatostoma pseudodon
Distribution: Nicaragua
Water condition: 72-78 F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.023-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4
Active time:
Size:
Diet: Omnivore
Zone:
Pros: Will eat both algae and detritus.
Cons:

Florida Fighting Conch - Strombus Alatus
Distribution:
Water condition: 72-78 F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.023-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4
Active time: Night
Size: 1 in.
Diet: Omnivore
Zone: Sand
Pros: Excellent to remove detritus from the sandbed. Will keep the sandbed stirred and oxygenated. Excellent against brown diatoms and slime algae that grow on the sand. Do not bother invertebrates.
Cons: They have been reported to hunt other snails.

Abalone - Haliotis sp
Distribution:
Water condition: 64-75F; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4
Active time: Night
Size:
Diet: Herbivore
Zone:
Pros: Some say it is the best herbivore for the reef aquarium.
Cons: They may become somewhat of a nuisance, as they can clog pumps and monitor impellers. They prefer a cooler aquarium.

Tiger Cowrie
Distribution: Indo-Pacific
Water condition: 72-78F; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4
Active time:
Size: 4 in.
Diet: Omnivore
Zone:
Pros:
Cons: Mature specimens has been reported to eat anemones, soft corals and tube worms.

Chestnut Cowrie - Cypraea tigris
Distribution: Indo-Pacific
Water condition: 72-78F; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4
Active time: Day
Size: 4 in
Diet: Carnivore
Zone:
Pros: Great algae and detritus eater.
Cons: Mature specimes will eat soft coral and sponges.

Stomatella
Distribution:
Water condition:
Active time:
Size:
Diet:
Zone:
Pros: Known to eat algae.
Cons:

Dwarf Sea Hare - Aplysia sp
Distribution: Nicaragua
Water condition: 72-78 F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.023-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4
Active time:
Size: 1 in.
Diet: Herbivore
Zone:
Pros: Will graze on algae and eat any Caulerpa (a macroalgae species).
Cons: Difficult to keep. Release a purple toxic dye to repel attacking fish. A good chemical is needed to quickly remove this toxic dye.

madcaptains
11-26-2008, 05:11 PM
this one is a test

labnjab
11-26-2008, 05:14 PM
If I remember correctly the turbos have no problems righting themselves. I've seen mine do it with no problems without any rocks around.

madcaptains
11-26-2008, 05:42 PM
It was the same for me but so many people told me about this that I decided to add this notice. Let's see what other have to say. maybe it's not that bad.

labnjab
11-26-2008, 06:43 PM
BTW, nice write up. I've been trying to decide what snails to get next to finish out our CUC, and this info will certainly help me make that decision

kaybee
11-26-2008, 09:49 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think snails are effective cyanobacteria control.

One con for nassarius snails, I suppose, could be that they require 'left overs'. If there's not enough to scavenge they may not do so well.