The Pros and Cons of Having Freshwater Snails in Your Tank
When asked about what they want to put in their aquarium, most people don’t think of snails. But, besides plants, fish, and shrimp, snails are an excellent addition to any freshwater tank. Despite their slow-moving nature, they’re wildly fascinating and can add life to your tank. Here are the pros and cons of having freshwater snails in your tank to see if these little creatures are a good addition to your aquarium.
Pros of Freshwater Snails
Freshwater snails make for a great clean-up crew. Their favorite foods are algae and any dead animal or plant matter. While this may sound gross, this is great for keeping your tank clean and can help the ever-important filtration process.
Here’s some science for you: fish waste produces toxic chemicals like ammonia and nitrites. Because snails eat waste, having some in your aquarium can help keep down harmful levels of toxins. Not only is this good for your fish, but it also keeps the algae levels down, keeping your water nice and clear.
Snails are also incredibly friendly. They get along with almost any fish and are easy to care for. Plus, their shells come in many beautiful colors and can make your tank even prettier.
Cons of Freshwater Snails
Despite their uses, snails go through aquarium plants like they’re at a salad bar. They’ll munch through your live plants pretty quickly if they’re not consistently fed the proper vegetables. So, you need to keep them on a strict feeding schedule or not put them in a live plant tank at all.
In addition, it’s best if you keep only one or two snails in a tank with few fish in it. This is because snails produce a lot of waste, and even though they help with ammonia and nitrite levels, they can also add to these dangerous toxins with how much they produce. So, it’s best to avoid overcrowding in your aquarium.
Best Freshwater Snails for Beginners
Zebra Nerite snails, Ramshorn snails, and Mystery snails all have little to no ammonia and nitrite production. They’re also very beautiful and very sturdy snails. Plus, they get along well with other snails, fish, and shrimp, so you don’t have to worry about any of them getting territorial. Ramshorn snails are also some of the best algae cleaners out there. If you’re a beginner snail keeper, any one of those snails is a great option for you.
Now that you know the pros and cons of having freshwater snails in your tank, you can decide whether these sluggish little buddies are right for your tank. So, start looking at the snails at your local pet store, you may just find your new best tank buddy.