We know the garden snail varieties are not exactly something you can call cute. They are big slimy creatures. But Aquatic snails are are more presentable. There are many colorful types of freshwater snails which used as algae cleaners in aquariums. Also there are those who love to keep one of these colorful shelled creatures as a pet. Now like everything else there are good things and bad things about having a pet snail.
Things you need to know before buying snails
Sometimes these beautiful snails become a serious headache for fish keepers. Specially when they start multiplying. Having too many snails in your tank can be a disaster for your aqua plants and will mess the tanks eco system. Snails do produce waste just like any other creature so too much waste is bad for tank.
So lets see what are the options you have
Nerite Snails probably are the best choice if you want a pet snail or algae cleaner. There are several colorful varieties such as Brown Zebra Snails, Tracked Nerite Snails, Ruby Nerite Snails, Zebra Snails, Plain Zebra Snails, Marble Nerite Snails etc. Best thing about Nerite snails is they don’t reproduce in the aquarium, only breed in saltwater. And to make it even better these guys have exceptional algae eating abilities.
Mystery snails are a varsity of Apple snails. Apple snails are invasive spaces and banned in most US states. This invasive type is pomecea canaliculata/Insularum and Mystery snails are called Pomacea bridgesii/Diffusa. Mystery snails grow up to size of a golfballs and other type grow upto size of an apple. Mystery snails only eats rotten or dying leaves. They do not eat algae unless it’s the last resort. Invasive Apple snail type eats everything and distory plants. So you have to be very carefully buying these guys making sure buying the right snails.
It’s a good idea buying a young snail. They are not asexual but a female can keep males sperm stored for nearly an year so you might see they breed even there only single snail in tank.
Assassin Snails are a natural way to control snail problems in aquariums. They eat many types of pest snails such as pond snails, bladder snails, ramshorn snails, Malaysian trumpet snails etc. Assassin Snails only attack other snails so you can keep them with other Invertebrates such as shrimps or dwarf crayfish or dwarf crabs.
Giant Sulawesi Rabbit Snail is another suitable candidate as a pet snail. They don’t grow too big, only around 3 inches. They don’t breed readily either. Giant Sulawesi Rabbit Snails have a long shell which looks like a unicorn horn. A good tank cleaner too since they eat everything from rotten food, dead leaves and algae.
Have you seen Black Devil Snails ? They come in totally black color or in dark copper color. They are none aggressive scavengers who eat all sort of things like leftover food, decaying plant matter and green algae. They grow in to size of 3.5 – 4 inches. They don’t breed in your freshwater aquariums since eggs are hatch into a marine larval phase.
What Amazon has to offer
So when you are buying snails make sure to choose active snails rather than those stay upside down and show little activity. Also make sure you are buying an alive snail rather than a empty shell (yes it sounds stupid but seen that happens). Amazon store does have few good pet suppliers who offer quality aquarium snails. Here are few recommendations. Also check these pages to find out what buyers tell and also more information.