Freshwater Snails That Won’t Eat Aquarium Plants

Small freshwater aquariums are little ecosystems that are home not only to fish but also to water plants, algae, and snails. In that little world, fish eat snails and snails eat algae. It balances out the cycle and helps with maintaining the system. Algae growth, a common problem with aquariums, is kept in check.

Some species of snails also keep the sand in an aquarium loose by burrowing in it, preventing build up of fish toxins in the substrate. But some types of snails will eat your well chosen aquarium plants as well so it is important to avoid these if you have a planted aquarium.

The balance inside an aquarium must be kept. When thinking of introducing snails into your mini aquarium, a bit of good planning is required. A list of small freshwater snails that won’t kill your plants would include nerite snails, some apple snail species, trapdoor snails, and Malaysian trumpet snails. These are avid eaters of an aquarium’s detritus and also algae but should not eat live aquarium plants.

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Snails can help, but they can also harm. For instance, one species of snail called the ramshorn eats detritus and algae as well, but they breed fast, and in some instances they are a carrier of parasites. Another thing to consider when taking care of aquarium snails is water chemistry, as water that go below the 7.5 alkalinity level will damage their shells. Overfeeding of fish and a neglect to clean your aquarium will result in an overabundance of food for aquarium snails. This will lead to overpopulation of your snail colony and possible further worsening of water quality in your small freshwater fish tank.

As long as factors such as snail species, water chemistry, and population control are considered, then there should be no problem with snails and your small freshwater aquarium.

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