Snails Provide a Helping Hand in Cleaning the Aquarium

Don't expect wonders from these scavengers. It is not reasonable to expect them to do all of the dirty work, but they do assist by eating any excess food, and in my opinion that alone warrants them a place in every aquarium.

Snails also maintain down algae by removing it from plants and also the glass sides, and their paths are effortlessly traced by a clean cut, but irregular, line via the algae patch. They don't, nevertheless, totally clean the glass, though they make a great job of it.

My own favorite snails are the red ramshorns (Planorbis corneus var. ruber). Despite the reality they're European they've an exotic appearance, the very best ones being bright red. Red ramshorns are also the largest of the species. They produce from 60 to 120 eggs in one season, which they lay in jelly masses containing 20 to 40 eggs.

These hatch in 10 to 40 days, depending upon the temperature. Should you especially wish to rear them, you should remove the eggs on the plant to an aquarium with out any fish, as tropical fish will destroy the newly hatched youngsters. Pond snails, though not so spectacular as red ramshorns, perform their duties fairly satisfactorily.

Usually snails tend to eat the plants, this is generally infuriating when a especially favorite plant falls victim. There are exceptions to all rules and in this case the Malayan burrowing snail (Thiara tuberculoid) is one.

This snail doesn't harm the plants, neither does it cover the leaves with eggs. It is fairly distinctive and effortlessly recognized by the shape of its shell which is an elongated cone, having about eight whorls.

The shell has a ground colour varying between a lightish-brown along with a grey-green, over marked with brown spots which run much more or less symmetrically along the length of the shell. As its name suggests, this snail has developed the habit of burying itself in the sand, leaving only a little portion of the shell tip above the surface. A fully grown specimen rarely exceeds 1.5 in. in length.

This slow-moving snail appears to exist solely on decaying animal and vegetable matter, or 'mulm'. An additional interesting feature is the reality that the young are born alive. These tiny replicas are generally few in number and transparent, gaining their color when about 1/8 in. in length.

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