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What are the benefits of keeping Snails with Shrimp?


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I've heard a number of opinions on the benefits of keeping snails with shrimp, ranging from tilling the substrate to avoid gas build up, boosting the tanks bio-load to increase helpful bacteria levels, to beneficial bacteria in the waste of snails that help shrimp.

 

Is any of this true? 

What are the benefits of  "Pest" snails and ornamental snails, in a shrimp tank?

What are the cons? 

 

I've got some of my own thoughts, but i'd really love to hear an array of experiences and opinions.

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pest snails can out compete your shrimp.  I dont recommend keeping them.  I keep mystery snails & nerite snails.  

 

they help with any algae that might pop up

they dont do much for turning substrate though

eat any left over food the shrimp did not find/eat.

they will increase the bio load in the tank, but so will anything living that you put in.  I dont think it make that much difference when only adding a few snails.

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14 hours ago, chappy6107 said:

 

they help with any algae that might pop up

...

eat any left over food the shrimp did not find/eat.

 

 

Those are the two that I have snails around for. They help keep the glass clean (ish) and I usually feed my shrimp before work so I'm not around 2-3 hours later to remove anything they haven't eaten. Knowing the snails will tank care of it is kind of nice.

I also personally like the look of some snails (mystery and nerites are super cool) so I bought some blue ramshorns because I wanted something that would survive and reproduce in low pH water. They're not as decorative as I hoped but overall I like having them.
 

It's a rarer occurrence but I find them useful in setting up new tanks. I don't have any fish so I use snails to establish a tank for shrimp. They also help control algae at the time when a tank is most susceptible (i.e cycling through the first month).

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It depends on the snail. 

 

"Pest" snails might outcompete as per the other poster, but they will also help ensure you don't have to clean-up your food since they will clear up whatever excess there is. 

Ornamental snails, some are great algae cleaners (nerite), some are great for getting rid of other snails (assassin), some do turn over the substrate (assassin and I think mystery/apple?) 

 

They all have their various cons as well, so it's hard to say. I find most snails to be pests as I don't find them attractive AND multiple too much, assassin snails are my favorite since their shell is nice and they get rid of the former, they breed slowly (their eggs take forever to hatch), turn over the substrate, and eat excess foods. There are some reported cases of them occasionally eating shrimp though, I have not seen this. Nerites clear algae insanely effectively, but they keep crawling out of my tanks (no covers) and had a few deaths as a result of not seeing them on the floor somewhere, and they poop like crazy (don't get these if you have white sand) -_-. 

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In all my tanks i keep snails...

Snails eat  left over food, leaves , and keep tanks clean.

I have ramshorn, orange tylomelania, assasins, and all the other... :)

Snails are easy contlol.

I think they have a relation with biofilm and infusoria.

Sometimes you can see shrimps eating on the snails, and do some damage to shel of snail.

nerite snails  lay every where eggs...

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The only snails I welcome in my tanks are nerites. They're miracle workers in the hobby and I keep at least a dozen (small) nerites in my 20G Long tanks. They keep the glass and leaves clean from GSA/BSA. Any tank with nerites, you will never have to scrub the glass! 

 

All other snails I will squish and turn them into protein for my shrimp. There's no use for any other snail besides nerites, as the rest are simply for aesthetics. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 01/12/2017 at 8:52 AM, Ebichua said:

The only snails I welcome in my tanks are nerites. They're miracle workers in the hobby and I keep at least a dozen (small) nerites in my 20G Long tanks. They keep the glass and leaves clean from GSA/BSA. Any tank with nerites, you will never have to scrub the glass! 

 

All other snails I will squish and turn them into protein for my shrimp. There's no use for any other snail besides nerites, as the rest are simply for aesthetics. 

 

I Absolutely agree

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One thing I've learned in keeping and raising mystery snails is that many owners do not appreciate just how much waste they produce and how much food they need available to live for a long time. I still like them and think they might be the most enjoyable snail to own, but over time I've begun to feel that it is easy to overstock them and in many fish setups they will struggle to get food. Sensible stocking with shrimps could have a lot of benefits, though, since they will eat up uneaten food, won't struggle to compete with shrimps, and are similarly fun and odd like shrimps.

 

Nerites are workhorses and, to the extent that I can tell, have very little bioload. You don't get to see their "faces" like you can with mysteries (and some others) and they might be the least silly of all the snails. They are beautiful and hardy, though, and I've never minded the eggs. Mine have stopped doing that after a short time in my tanks.

 

Malaysian trumpet snails do have the benefit of turning over the soil, to the extent that is a benefit. They are, in my experience, by far the hardest to get rid of and the least responsive of the pest snails to reducing feeding. Pond and bladder snail populations will get minuscule if feeding is cut back, but the trumpets are pretty resilient. Assassin snails are beautiful and also burrow in the substrate, but they'll need something to eat (pest snails are good for that, but they like fish food too).

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