Re: Apple Snails

>>From: "David W. Webb" <dwebb at ti_com>
>>Date: Tue, 14 Jan 1997 16:23:42 -0600
>>Subject: Re: Apple Snails

>>I keep apple snails in my heavily planted tanks along with red 
brown spotted ramshorn, pond, and trumpet snails.  Among the Pomacea
species (apple snails and Columbian ramshorn snails are included), and
among mystery snails as well (mystery snails are large, livebearing 
from the northeast U.S.), I understand that most are voracious plant
eaters, but the apple snails are much less so than others.

In my tanks, apple snails will only eat dead or dying leaves and 
They never touch the healthy leaves of any of my plants.  Cryptocoryne
roots that stick up from the surface seem to be happy munching grounds 
them as well, but they primarily seem to be interested in algaes and 
algae wafers.  I've been getting an egg-pouch per week out of my 
latest set
or pearl apple snails since I put them in my 55g and began adding 
doses of powdered limestone (all of my snails eat the limestone right 
of the floor of the aquarium).

When I read a report of a ravenous plant-eating snail, I first wonder 
type it is, then I wonder how healthy the plants in the tank are.  I 
run 160w of 2-year old light over my plants, so I'm not in the 
category, but my snails almost never eat my plants.  I've begun to 
gauge my
plants' health by whether or not the snails are feeding on them.  If 
snails begin to feed heavily on a plant, I know there is something 
wrong with that plant.<<

Well, I have a number of different types of snails, but I have to 
wonder if some of the variations I have are from interbreeding, 
particularly the ramshorns. I've got several colour and shell shapes 
including the red ramshorns, spotted and plain brown ones, and some 
strange pinkish colored ones with a kind of squared off edge. Then I 
have some pond in plain brown and spotted brow the Malayan 
livebearing, the Columbian ramshorns and the regular brown apples and 
golden apples. 

The red ramshorns came in with a fish trade. That was a little over a 
year ago and quite honestly I didn't really pay that much attention to 
my snails before then. I've had the Columbians since August and both 
the apples for about a month.

I put the Columbians in a 50 gal. planted tank in my front room. It's 
in front of a window but gets only filtered sunlight and a 40 watt 
fluorescent bulb. I just have Anubias, jungle val, hornwort and Amazon 
swords in it because the fish are African cichlids. While the snails 
were in there I got holes all over the swords and val, they both grow 
great, just got holes in them. When I took the snails out the holes 

With the apples, I put them in my "pond" (a kiddie pool in the middle 
of my fishroom floor). It had all floating plants in it, just simple 
stuff hornwort, duckweed, frogbit. It was all gone within 2 weeks. So 
the Columbians and apples have their own tank.

I've never had trouble with snails in my other tanks. I have around 
20, 10 to 50 gallon tanks, with another 20 or so small tanks and 
bowls, they are all planted and these were the only real instances of 
snail problems with plants I've had. I don't know, in my limited 
experience with Columbian and apple snails they seemed to be eating my 
plants and I just thought that a person should be prepared for the 
possibility that it might happen to them also.