Whilst many fishkeepers regard Snails as a pest to be eradicated (or controlled at least) due to their appetite for aquatic plants, there can be some good reasons for having Snails. In the marine aquarium aquarium, for instance, gangs of Snails do much to clean up any uneaten food, algae and debris.
Although Snails might not be so desirable in freshwater aquariums or ponds, a group of Snails does have a very practical use, especially when breeding fish.
The 'Apple Snail' has a voracious appetite and, as a consequence, produces copious amounts of waste. However, this waste does help to produce infusoria-rich water which can be used as a first food for the tiniest of fry.
Hence their inclusion in this series of Care Sheets.
Genera : Pomacea canaliculata
Family : Ampullariidae
Geographic Origin : native to central/south America but introduced to
Common Names : Apple Snail, Channelled Apple Snail
Compatibility : Community ? only with peaceful inhabitants.
No aggressive fish, eg: Cichlids, Goldfish.
No Loaches, Pufferfish or other snail-eating fish.
Minimum Aquarium Size : 4 gallons per adult
Temperature : 18o-28oC
Habitat : Prefers lentic waters to turbulent. A coverglass is a necessity as
snails can survive for a long time out of water and escape from
Air space above water levels essential for egglaying as eggs are laid
out of water, otherwise babies will drown. Mainly active at night.
Water Parameters : pH 7.5-8.5, zero ammonia, nitrite. Freshwater. No salt.
No trace metals especially copper.
Health : The addition of calcium, and carbonate salts may be needed for
shell development and health in some soft water areas.
Diet : Shrimp, flake foods, algae tablets, fresh fruits, spinach, cucumber,
courgette (cooked), green beans (cooked), broccoli (cooked), most
soft green vegetables. Will devour most vegetation.
Plants : See Diet!
Availability : Readily available at aquatics shops
© FBAS AN/RCM Aquarium Management Care Sheet No 11 1/2