Pond Snails Maligned

From: Stephen.Pushak at saudan_HAC.COM
Subject: Pond snails maligned
To: Aquatic-Plants at ActWin_com
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 1996 16:52:49 PDT

I'm almost certain that the common type of snail that everybody
refers to a "pond snail" is just a misnomer for a whole lot of
different snail types and species of varying sizes and appetites.
I don't know if the ones I have are local in origin but they
came on some plants; I have no idea from where. The ones I have 
(~1cm) aren't as big as described in the Algae/Snail FAQ and have a
grey color. I don't know what football shaped means; these have
a spiral conical shell. I have never observed them to eat any of
my plants but they LOVE to eat soft green algaes which form on
the aquarium glass, plant leaves and which can be relatively easily
pulled off in large globs. They also seem to be able to eat blue-green
algaes which can be toxic to fish however if you keep the aquarium
well lit, this type of algae will not form. BTW, the FAQ says that
algae can be detrimental to fry; this is not true for the most part.
While blue-green algaes can be toxic, green water algae is quite
excellent for fry and will support an active infusoria culture
which helps the fry to gain additional food. I also find that
Ceratopteris and Salvinia make excellent additions to a fry tank
and the tank should be strongly lit to encourage green algaes
and infusoria and plant growth. I also use snails with fry to consume
uneaten food on the bottom of the tank. Snail poop is far less
likely to provide an environment for undesirable organisms than
rotting animal tissues such as dead nauplii or uneaten fish foods!!

IMHO snails are a valuable part of the biosystem of an aquarium.

Steve in Vancouver BC