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Ramshorn Snails - Are They Good Or Bad For Your Aquarium?

May 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 235

Introduction

Ramshorn snails are one of the most popular types of snails found in freshwater aquariums today. But they are not wanted by some Aquarists while others welcome them with open arms.

So why the difference between the two groups? To make things perfectly clear, I am on the side of the Aquarist who welcome Ramshorn snails with open arms.

The Pros On Having Ramshorn Snails

There are several benefits for having Ramshorn snails in your aquarium. The biggest benefit I have from having these snails in my aquarium is that they help keep the nitrates down. They do this by eating up the items that can produce nitrates, such as excess food waste, plants and fish.

They also eat the algae in the aquarium keeping the tank clean.

Another benefit to having Ramshorn snails is there is little maintenance involved in raising them. They essentially take care of themselves.

How To Obtain Them

It is easy to obtain these snails for your aquarium. Some aquariums will have them in with their plants that they sell. This is how I introduced them to my aquarium.

Just rinsing off the plants before you put them in your aquarium will not remove all the eggs or snails. So if you buy your plants from these places you certainly will put Ramshoad snails in your aquarium.

The Cons Of Having Ramshorn Snails

Being hermaphroditic, it does not matter what sex the snails are they will have baby snails. Hermaphroditic means that the snail has both sexes, male and female, so can reproduce individually.

So without proper controls, the Ramshorn snail is very prolific and can soon take over an aquarium.

Another reason they are not welcomed in aquariums is the risk of infecting the inhabitants of your tank. The red Ramshorn has been known to carry a parasite that can infect your tank. Fortunately the red Ramshorn is not as dominate as the brown or black Ramshorn.

Ramshorn snails may also eat certain types of aquatic plants.

Removing Them

The best way to remove them is to not to introduce them in the first place. Since they are introduced with new plants, soaking your plants in a chemical bath of potassium permanganate for at least 15 minutes will remove the snails and their eggs. Be sure to rinse your plants before putting them in your aquarium after the chemical bath.

To remove these snails from your tank you can put in predators that eat these snails such as gouramis and loaches.

Another method to keep them in check or remove eliminate them is by your weekly cleaning of the debris in the substrate or simply pick them off the side of your tank.

J.W. Chase is an amateur Aquarist who has successfully been keeping aquariums for over 35 years. Over 75% of people who start aquariums fail in the first month for lack of knowledge. If you want more information on how to keep an aquarium, go to his web site and download a free eBook on "15 Tips On Building And Maintaining An Aquarium" at http://www.squidoo.com/homefreshwateraquariums.

Source: EzineArticles
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