Best snails for cleanup crew?

devsi

I’ll just prefix this post to say I’m not going to rely on the snail to clean my tank; I’ll be doing the same weekly clean/water change as there’s not substitute for that.

So, I have a planted tank with fish and shrimp. I’ve reduced my lightning schedule to 6 hours from 8 hours, to lessen the algae production, but I’m thinking of introducing a snail or two to help.

I have some baby snails in there, mostly from hitchhiking, but they seem to be growing very slowly.

I’d planned on getting some Ramshorn, as they will breed and I won’t have to keep buying them, but my LFS told me they’ll actually eat my plants even if they’re healthy? That’s contrary to what I thought (I thought they only ate dying plants).

I’d rather stay away from Nerite snails because I don’t want to have to deal with the unsightly eggs, even though they do look nice.
 

Ghelfaire

Those hitchhiker snail are probably pond or bladder snails so they stay tiny.

Nerites really are the best for algae, the eggs can be scraped of the glass. They do have genders so you may get lucky and end up with a male.

I used to keep mystery snails but they don't do as good of a job and one went rogue and tried to eat one of my plants.
 

devsi

Those hitchhiker snail are probably pond or bladder snails so they stay tiny.
Ah ok! Thanks :)
Nerites really are the best for algae, the eggs can be scraped of the glass. They do have genders so you may get lucky and end up with a male.
I would rather avoid Nerites still, to be honest. Are Ramshorn good at algae clean up?
I used to keep mystery snails but they don't do as good of a job and one went rogue and tried to eat one of my plants.
Haha I guess that’s the Apple snail in them?!
 

Ghelfaire

I only had 2 ramshorn and they exclusively stayed on my plants then randomly died after a couple of weeks (they were young too). So I cant really tell you how good they are at cleanup. What ramshorn snails ARE good at is breeding.

How big is your tank? There might be a fish solution to this.
 

devsi

Ah ok, thanks!

It’s 180 litres. I was thinking about SAE but I know they can get grumpy when they get older and I have a Betta sorority that wouldn’t work well with
 

Awesomeneptune

I haven't had any experience with this fish but ive heard Otto's are good at eating algae, I know they like to be in groups and that they should be given algae wafers/vegetables as if you get enough they will run out of algae to eat very quickly.
 

Ghelfaire

Otos are great algae eaters but the majority sold are wild caught.
There are smaller plecos that might work.
 

devsi

I haven't had any experience with this fish but ive heard Otto's are good at eating algae, I know they like to be in groups and that they should be given algae wafers/vegetables as if you get enough they will run out of algae to eat very quickly.

Otos are great algae eaters but the majority sold are wild caught.
There are smaller plecos that might work.

Otos are great, I’ve had them before, but I’d never buy them again after learning how they are caught (poisoned).

I didn’t think Plecos are very good algae eaters when they get older / bigger?
 

Awesomeneptune

I believe bristlenose plecos only get to 3-5 inches and from what I've read online seem to be good algae eaters, I could be wrong though.
 

devsi

I believe bristlenose plecos only get to 3-5 inches and from what I've read online seem to be good algae eaters, I could be wrong though.

Ah ok. I’ve got three of them so I’ll give one of them a go :)

Thanks
 

StarGirl

As far as I have ever read or heard pest snails will only eat decaying plant matter not live plants. The live plant is too tough for them to bite into. I wouldnt worry about pest snails eating your plants unless no food for your fish is put in and there is literally no food for them. If someone saw a snail eating a plant it was probably dying in the spot it was at.
 

kansas

My ramshorns only eat dead plants.

Amono shrimp eat algae like pros.
 

devsi

As far as I have ever read or heard pest snails will only eat decaying plant matter not live plants. The live plant is too tough for them to bite into. I wouldnt worry about pest snails eating your plants unless no food for your fish is put in and there is literally no food for them. If someone saw a snail eating a plant it was probably dying in the spot it was at.
Thanks :) this was my understanding! Apple snails demolish living plants though, right?
My ramshorns only eat dead plants.

Amono shrimp eat algae like pros.
I must have the laziest Amanos then :)
 

StarGirl

Thanks :) this was my understanding! Apple snails demolish living plants though, right?

I must have the laziest Amanos then :)
Yes the big cousin of Mystery snails will demolish plants. In short order too.

My Amanos are cleaning fools. ;)
 

devsi

Yes the big cousin of Mystery snails will demolish plants. In short order too.

My Amanos are cleaning fools. ;)

That’s a shame, my LFS have some and they look awesome haha.

Glad I’m not the only one :)
 

kansas

Thanks :) this was my understanding! Apple snails demolish living plants though, right?

I must have the laziest Amanos then :)
I must have got lucky. I had quite the algae garden going and they cleaned it up in no time.
 

devsi

I must have got lucky. I had quite the algae garden going and they cleaned it up in no time.
Maybe I feed my tank too well and they don’t need to eat the algae haha
 

Mintika

I think, if you want to have the best snail for cleaning your tank, you don't get around to buy a nerite one (or more, depending on the size of your tank). I saw this one recommended: Neritina pulligera

I don't have them though, my ramshorns do a nice job as long as the algae are growing at a normal level, physa fontinalis is said to be even better.

 

Ghelfaire

You can also just try reducing the amount of light your tank gets.
 

devsi

saw this one recommended: Neritina pulligera
Isn’t that a type of Nerite, so I’d have the same issue regarding the eggs?
I don't have them though, my ramshorns do a nice job as long as the algae are growing at a normal leve
Yeah, I would like Ramshorn. I just don’t know why my LFS are trying to sell them for ~£5 when so many people consider them pests.
physa fontinalis is said to be even better.
i think I might even have some of these from others in this thread :)
You can also just try reducing the amount of light your tank gets.

Yea, I’ve reduced from 8 hours -> 6 and am monitoring.
 

Mandarabe

Mts are good for algae, but numbers tend to get out of control and you end up trying to get rid of them (not very successfully) - I had them and it got so crowded the substrate was almost constantly moving!
I am currently experimenting with rabbit snails- they breed a LOT slower and are much bigger, so have a bigger appetite!
My tank is staying fairly algae free, although I still have some leftover MTS so I’m not sure who is doing most of the work…
P.s, I’m also trying out apple & mystery snails in another tank, and am seriously considering killing them off - they have devastated my plants and not touched the algae on the glass!
 

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