Discover two freshwater snails that you'll deliberately want to keep in your tank.
Almost every aquarist who has purchased live freshwater plants has inadvertently added snails to his or her tank. These hitchhikers — which frequently become annoying — enter unknown to the hobbyist, whose only intention is to create an aquatic garden. Snails or their eggs come in clinging to new plants and are nearly impossible to locate and remove.
Snails can arrive in another manner, too. Some fishkeepers buy these pesky snails outright due to the sales efforts of pet store employees or because of a lack of information on these invertebrates. No matter how they arrive, most snails become a nuisance due to their plant-eating habits and prolific breeding.
Destroying infestations of these sometimes hermaphroditic invaders can take weeks. Snail extermination typically includes the use of molluscicides, snail-eating fish (loaches or puffers) and good old-fashioned manual removal. This task can easily become exasperating and expensive. Still, it is a necessary process because some species breed so rapidly that they will clog filtration systems. They can eventually form a living mat on the aquarium’s substrate and glass.
Want to read the full story? Pick up the September 2012 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.