Snails in the aquarium. Why are they needed there?
Along with fish and shrimps, there is almost always another representative of the underwater world in aquariums. Gastrointestinal molluscum (Gastropoda), or as it is commonly called, the snail. In general, in the nature of mollusks there is a huge variety, about 200 thousands of species. Snails have mastered almost all the habitats on the planet. Marine and freshwater, soil and land-air habitat. Yes, and in their aquariums there are many species. Some snails benefit us by loosening the soil or eating algae and food remnants. Others contain because of their appearance and interesting behavior. Others start themselves and sometimes multiply in large quantities. And getting rid of them is very difficult.
But there is a fourth type of snail, which will greatly help in the fight against these unwanted guests in your tank. Snail Helena.
Clea Helena. Who is it?
Clea Helena (Clea helena), one of the most useful mollusks in the aquarium. The fact is that this snail is a predator. And a very useful predator. It feeds on other snails, mainly harmful ones and at the same time does not attack either shrimp or fish. Only if on the dead. Alive she simply can not catch up.
Video with our snails:
Clea Helena, or as it is often called a snail killer, appeared in aquariums from the ponds of South-West Asia. Has a cone-shaped shell and the size is up to 2-2,5 cm in length. It is very beautifully colored. Usually, yellow or olive with dark brown strips. In an aquarium they look like small bees.
Clea Helena. Keeping.
In the content of these snails are not very demanding, and suitable for most aquariums. Since they are small in size, then the aquarium will fit the volume of 3-5 liters per individual. These are of course extremes, and if you want to get offspring, then the volumes should be correspondingly higher. The temperature of the content is within 23-27 ° С. Snails will live at a lower temperature, but at the same time stop breeding. The composition of the water is not demanding. The only thing that it should not be too soft, otherwise the shell will begin to collapse.
And one moment. Snail Helena and is not completely buried in the ground, as Melania (Melanoides tuberculata), but she likes to go a little deeper into sand and in such a state to lie in wait for her victims. Therefore, for the keeping, it is desirable to choose soils with a fine fraction. And it is not desirable to keep them together with aggressive fish species, for example cichlids. Because of them, they will be in constant stress, begin to hide and stop multiplying.
Clea Helena. Breeding.
Theoretically, for successful reproduction it is not necessary to create any special conditions. The only thing to remember is that these snails are heterosexual, and it is not possible to visually recognize the sex in them. Therefore, for successful breeding, it is necessary to contain a group of 5 individuals.
Another point is that the process of reproduction, ripening and growth of these snails is extremely slow. The resulting pair can crawl for hours and sometimes days. Then, after mating, the female lays the eggs on a hard surface, where they mature for 3-8 weeks. This time depends on the composition of the water in the aquarium. After hatching, small snails instantly hide in the ground and do not reach the surface until they reach maturity and 3-4 mm in length. And this may come as much in 6 months! Plus, in some sources there is information that among Helen there are cases of cannibalism. And not a large number of them can live up to the adult state. Although usually, with adequate nutrition, they will not eat their offspring.
Clea Helena. Nutrition and feeding.
One of the main and useful features of this species is that these snails are carnivorous. That is, they feed not on algae and plants, but on animal protein food. At the same time, their favorite food is small parasitic snails, which without permission settle in our aquariums. And which is very difficult then to withdraw from there. Snail Helena besides it has an excellent appetite. And it will help you very quickly cut or destroy all small shellfish.
She has the following principle of nutrition. She catches up with the victim, and pushes her mouth with multiple teeth under her sink. And literally eats the victim from the inside. With large snails, she can not cope. How can not cope with other, useful and quite expensive snails - Neretinami (Neretina Natalensis).
Due to the fact that the edge of the sink - Neretina is located very close to the surface and Helena just can not get under it. Although the snail is quite fast when traveling, but for fish and shrimp, it still can not keep up. Therefore, they will be safe.
Advice! Remember, any species of snails will eat caviar and inactive larvae of fish with pleasure. Therefore, they can be planted in the aquariums with fry only when the fry are already active enough.
Over time, you will notice that when Helen appears in the aquarium, you will completely lose the small snails. But since the snail Helena is carnivorous by nature, it can simply starve without sufficient protein food. Yes, she can adapt to eat up the leftovers after feeding the fish. But, if you want a healthy population of snails, then it is better to feed them additionally. For these purposes, perfectly suited frozen food, such as bloodworms, Cyclops and Daphnia. And also, pieces of frozen shrimp and shellfish. And even small portions of minced chicken.
Like all aquarists, I once faced the problem of the appearance and uncontrolled reproduction of small snails in our aquariums. And when, they began to not only spoil the appearance, but also indirectly affect the balance of water, then I began to look for methods of dealing with them. Even purchased through the Internet special a trap for snails, though, which has remained unpacked. And all because, at that very moment, the announcement succeeded to exchange a dozen snails Clea Helena.
And lo and behold, in just a couple of months the aquariums became immaculately clean. And after some time managed to find very small snails. So they liked everything in our aquariums and they began to multiply!
Given that the life expectancy of Clea Helena in the aquarium until 5 years, then the problem with small snails invader will disappear for a long time!
Krinum in the aquarium.
Snails and Shrimps. Useful articles:
- Snail Helena (Clea Helena): Useful Killer in the Aquarium! To learn more! 2018-07-08
- Neretina: The Perfect Snail in the Aquarium! Find out why! 2018-11-15
- Shrimp Filter (Atyopsis moluccensis): When Others Look Small! 2018-10-16
- Crabs (Geosarma) in the Paludarium: First Acquaintance! 2019-03-18
- Dennerle Shrimp king Atyopsis (Shrimp Food): Feed Right! 2018-10-26