We’ve proudly added some new inhabitants to both of our tanks, and yes you heard correctly. Snails! Most people consider these guys to be pests as they multiply like rabbits and overrun their tanks. However, that only occurs if you over feed your fish. Snails will only replicate up to a population that can be supported. These often go by the names Pond, Ramshorn, and Malaysian Trumpet Snails. Each are very distinct in appearance.
Of course, you can also get mystery snails, also known as Apple snails, which are not asexual and require both a male and a female to reproduce. We got one each, a blue for the 20 gallon and a yellow for the 10 gallon. In addition to those two we got a handful of MTS, 18 to be exact.
The MTS also offer the benefit of burrowing into the substrate which really helps in keeping a sand substrate aerated. For food all these snails will happily eat dead and decaying plant mater, they will also consume any left over food from the fish (remember, over feeding means food for snails which means they’ll replicate to consume it all). They are the vacuum cleaners of the fish tank! Snails will also eat some forms of algae, but it is not their preferred form of food so don’t rush out to buy a mystery snail or two to fix an algae problem. I’ll have to write an article later about algae outbreaks, what causes them, and how to solve it. Suffice it to say it does not involve buying any invertebrates, or fish.