View Full Version : 1 snail per gallon?!

02-18-2009, 02:36 PM
So I have been getting a lot of conflicting information recently and wanted to see if the experienced people here (love you guys!) can help me sort some of this out.

I have a 110 gallon reef tank connected to a refugium (mainly full of red algae and chaetomorpha) containing 6 bubble tip anemones and 3 clark's clownfish.

Recently, my tank has developed a really bad algae (green and brown) problem, so I decided I was going to get some snails. The first place I turned was a teacher of mine, who said cerith, nassarius, turbo, and trochus snails were the best. I looked these kinds up on the internet and read that trochus and turbo snails will go up on the glass and clean it and nassarius and cerith mainly stick to stuff in the sand. The internet site I read also said nassarius would eat anything (I also saw a post on here that said that), including red slime algae.
So I went to my LFS (last Friday) to look for snails and they had trochus, nassarius, and turbo snails. I talked to a guy that worked there and told him about my tank and asked what kind of snails I should get. He put about 10, maybe 12 snails in a small bucket and said "This is what you'll need." I was like, great.
Then I came in again on Sunday to check prices and a different guy was there. I told him the same things I told the guy on Friday and he said "Well if you have a 110-gallon tank, you'll need 110 snails. Plus, the snails won't eat red slim algae, they'll just look at it and go 'eh that's nice.' Plus, they won't clean your glass. You just have to scrub that." (I really hope the last part was wrong - I have some green algae that like won't come off the glass even when I scrub really hard).
Which guy is right? Do I really need 110 snails? And which ones will clean glass and which ones won't?

02-18-2009, 02:55 PM
I know absolutely nothing about saltwater tanks, but I would think 110 snail in a 110 gallon tank is over doing it juuuust a little. But, that's just my inexperienced opinion. :)

02-18-2009, 03:05 PM
Lol yea. The guy told me 110 snails and i was like, um...I don't think so... I mean, if I got 110 nassarius snails, my whole tank would be black! I think he based this on the fact that they had 30 snails in their 30-gallon tank...I don't know...I just wanted to make sure that that isn't an actual rule of thumb because if it is, snails would go from being cheap helpers to a very expensive purchase. Plus, if I get a lot of snails to start with, I would think that they'd end up dying because they'd run out of food quickly. I think it would be better to get a smaller amount of snails and add more if they can't keep up with the algae growth than get too many and have to supplement their food or let them die.

02-18-2009, 03:17 PM
No way. 1 snail per gallon is way too many. Your clean up crew needs will change as your tank matures. When you first start the tank you will need more then you will as the tank matures. I have always gone lighter on the snails and crabs. In my 125gal I currently have 6 turbo snails and that is plenty. I have half a dozen nassarius snails but they are sand sifters and they only come out to clean up extra food off the bottom. The thing to remember though, is that different snails have different food preferences. Some like green hair algae and some will eat the diatoms. I'd say half a dozen Trochus and 3 Turbos would do just fine as turbos will also clean your live rock.