Water snails assist in cleaning the aquarium full of fish by devouring uneaten food but can also live cheerfully in a snail-just tank. If you keep these animals in an aquarium without fish, you need to provide more food for them.
Therefore, it is vital to know what do water snails eat and what food is the best option for their welfare. Let’s take a look.
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Water Snails Habits and Biology
Any person that took part in engaging with aquarium keeping is presumably acquainted with water snails. There is a simple categorization for aquarium water snails to awful and valuable.
In general, all breeds can be valuable. However, be prepared that they sometimes do things you don’t like or are not ready for, like destroying decorative plants or overpopulating the tank.
For many aquarists, these creatures are helpful and valued tank members that clean the aquarium and keep the necessary balance inside it. Others consider water snails disgusting creatures that can quickly invade the tank, making it impossible to get rid of them.
Generally, freshwater amphibian snails are solid animals that inhabit similar water areas as most aquarium fish. They can quickly adapt and collaborate with almost every fish type in the tank.
You can also use them as excellent aquarium decorations since they differ in size and colors. With a bit of effort, you can find the ones with impressive and unique color combinations.
The best part is that not all types of water snails will overpopulate your aquarium, although many aquarists believe the opposite. It will be enough to research the subject thoroughly before including these animals in the tank.
On the other hand, getting water snails can solve many crucial problems as soon as you find out how to adapt them to this environment. The first step is to pick out the best water snails for your aquarium.
Most breeds are perfect at algae disposing and cleaning uneaten food from the bottom. For instance, the Malaysian Trumpet snails make holes in the sand and rock searching for food. During that process, they keep the substrate clean and prevent it from getting compact.
Do Water Snails Eat Dirt?
Water snails will eat a spectrum of food they found in the natural habitat. They eat everything necessary to get enough vitamins and minerals for a healthy life in such circumstances. For example, dead plants contain enough vital nutrients, and water snails can fulfill many of their needs by eating them.
On the other hand, you are the one that is in charge of providing everything needed for their good-quality life if they live on the bottom of your aquarium. In such limited conditions, they entirely depend on your care.
In rare cases, water snails can eat dirt and sand to provide more calcium to their bodies. Eating sand is harmful, so be careful to give your mollusks a proper dose of this mineral through adequate food.
What Do Water Snails Like to Eat Most
Water snails like to eat almost everything they can find in the aquarium. These animals equally enjoy consuming algae, food leftovers, commercial food, fruits, and vegetables.
Some water snail breeds often eat live aquatic plants, but not all of them. On the other hand, almost every water snail will eat dying or dead plants from the aquarium, which is beneficial and crucial for keeping them inside.
It is necessary to determine why to use snails. If you prefer mystery ones, you should know that they are less inclined to eat live aquatic plants but enjoy dying ones.
On the other hand, some types like apple snails will prefer eating live plants. If you decide to add these animals to your tank, it will be necessary to restock them with enough food regularly.
Green growth will develop in your tank even if you don’t keep any fish inside. In fact, you can directly connect algae growth with the amount of light they get. The more light algae get, the water temperature will be higher, affecting their growth.
Luckily, these plants are a significant food source for water snails. For instance, some of them, like mystery snails (Pomacea bridgesii), will regularly eat green growth from healthy living plants, but not the plants themselves.
Water snails can eat a variety of fruits, including:
- Melons and pumpkins
- Apples and pears
Always wash, chop, and peel them before feeding.
Water snails love to relax in the aquarium and nibble some vegetables whenever that want. They like to eat:
- Lettuce and other greens
- Snap peas
Always boil and cool too hard vegetables before giving them to your water snails to make food intake more comfortable.
Take care that vegetables for your pets are as clean as possible because pesticides and other common chemicals can harm their organisms. The best option is to place vegetables on the tank side, making it more straightforward for these slow animals to eat.
It is always better to consult someone experienced if you are unsure how to offer particular vegetables to your water snails.
Dried fish food modified to fall to the tank bottom is an excellent option for your snails since they can’t eat fish food that floats on the water surface. You can find sinking food or tablets placed on the tank side in a nearby pet store. Both will perfectly work for water snails.
Tank with snails only
Feeding water snails in a snail-only tank is not much different than keeping them in the standard fish aquarium. You only need to be careful with dosing the food in such a case. Your snail shouldn’t get more food than it can eat since it will quickly spoil or even rot on the aquarium bottom.
Food Avoid to Feed Water Snails
There is not much food your water snails shouldn’t eat, but some ingredients can be harmful or even poisonous for their health. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid ingredients like:
- Salt and salty food
- Onion and leeks
- Grapefruit, lemon, and lime
- Rhubarb and celery
Try to avoid giving your snails some acidic products such as lemons, limes, oranges, and tomatoes. Additionally, take care to thoroughly rinse and dry all fruit before feeding snails since chemicals, pesticides, and even tap water are unsafe for their organisms.
The best thing you can do to avoid any risk is to wash food for your snails in dechlorinated water. It is uncomplicated to make it yourself by letting tap water spend the night in a pot while the chlorine entirely evaporates.
Keep in mind that peeling the fruit for your snail will make eating and digestion simpler and will eliminate most pesticides it contains.
Tips to Feed Water Snails
Water snails are usual members of almost every aquarium since they play a significant role in keeping its bottom clean. However, the way of feeding your water snails is not ordinary.
These animals spend their time at the tank bottom, and they can’t eat floating fish food because they don’t swim. Therefore, you need to provide sinking food they can reach the bottom. Let’s check some tricks to feed water snails.
The tank size should be in accordance with the water snails number you want to keep there. For instance, you will need a tank size of a minimum of 10 gallons (38 l) if you plan to keep three to five snails inside.
The water temperature should be from 75 to 86 F (24 – 30 C) in the tank. As I have already mentioned, water snails can’t stand chlorine, so you should let the water sits overnight until this chemical evaporates. Only then can you fill the aquarium.
When you want to keep fish and water snails in the same aquarium, you should prepare yourself and do the homework. Some fish eat water snails while the other ones collaborate with them peacefully. It will be wise to consult someone experienced before adding new fish to the tank.
Veggies – The best way to feed your water snails is to put some slightly boiled vegetables in the tank and see how quickly they can eat them. It is pointless to put more food than they can eat because it will spoil.
Your water snails will probably enjoy almost every vegetable sort. However, you need to be careful and let the food cool before putting it into the tank.
Calcium – Remember that calcium is significant for water snails because of their shell, so you need to add enough minerals into the tank. Otherwise, you can see water snails start eating sand to fulfill their needs.
Shell is a crucial part of water snails, and almost every health issue they have will display on it. Therefore, you need to immediately check the water quality or add more calcium to the tank when noticing any unusual shell color or pattern.
Your water snails only need proper care. You need to take care of the water quality and regular feeding, and they will take care of your tank and keep it clean and organized.