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The Surprising Diet of Pond Snails: More Than Just Algae

The Surprising Diet of Pond Snails: More Than Just Algae

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Pond snails are commonly seen in ponds in many parts of North America. Some people specifically buy these snails and place them in their ponds.

You might be considering buying pond snails sometime soon. However, you might not know much about them if you’re new to keeping snails.

What do pond snails eat? Do you need to put specific plants in the pond so they can thrive?

Read on to learn more.

Do Pond Snails Eat Plants?

It’s actually common for pond snails to eat plants. They’re known to eat many types of aquatic plants.

Pond snails will eat both floating and rooted aquatic plants. These snails are herbivores that will typically eat all sorts of things.

Sometimes they will feel the need to eat plants when they don’t have other things to eat. So you might see pond snails snacking on the plants in your pond.

Of course, this can be a bit of a problem when you’re trying to keep a pond looking a specific way. This is why pond snails are often considered to be detrimental.

Do Pond Snails Eat Algae?

Snails love to eat algae. This is the reason why many people like the idea of having pond snails in their ponds.

The pond snails will eat algae and keep it from getting out of control. Overall, aquatic snails are great to have in a pond.

They have a beneficial impact on the water quality in the pond. You’ll have a healthier overall pond that looks more attractive when you keep snails in the pond.

Pond snails are known to eat many different types of algae. This doesn’t mean that they will eat all types of algae, though.

Some pond snails only eat green algae that is easy to scrape off while others will also eat other types of algae. It just depends on the pond snail in question.

Either way, pond snails aren’t going to completely clear the pond of algae. They simply help to keep it under control.

There Are Different Types of Pond Snails

You should know that there are different types of pond snails out there. The term pond snails simply refers to snails that are commonly kept in ponds.

There are a number of distinct types of snails that you will want to consider. For example, ramshorn pond snails are some of the most common.

These pond snails love eating soft types of algae and they aren’t known to eat much vegetation. So long as they have enough algae to snack on they will remain beneficial to the pond.

Great pond snails are another type that you’ll want to look into. Some people won’t like these snails because they regularly snack on plants as well as algae.

On a positive note, great pond snails also like to consume insect larvae. So they can keep the insect population from getting out of hand.

Wandering pond snails aren’t generally considered to be good for your pond. When you see them in your pond it’s an indication that the water quality is bad.

So now you know that there are many types of pond snails. Aside from the ones you learned about above, you’ll also find that dwarf pond snails and big ear pond snails are also fairly common.

Which pond snail type will appeal to you will depend on what you’re looking for. Some pond snails are to be avoided while others can be helpful to your pond.

Are Pond Snails Bad for Ponds?

Sometimes pond snails can be bad for ponds. It depends on the situation that you’re talking about.

There are times when the pond snail population will get out of control. Having too many pond snails might lead to certain issues in the pond.

For instance, the pond snails might eat a lot of your plants. Your lily pads and other plants might get devoured when there are too many snails.

Also, it’s important to note that the presence of too many pond snails might lead to ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite level spikes in the pond. This could be detrimental to the fish in the pond.

So there are some circumstances where pond snails will be considered to be a bad thing. However, many people also like keeping snails in ponds.

It might come down to whether the pond snail population is under control or not. Just know that there are many differing opinions on this topic.

What Eats Pond Snails?

There are many different fish that are known to eat pond snails. Common goldfish will do a good job of eating snails for you.

This is good news since goldfish are commonly kept in ponds. Aside from goldfish, you can count on clown loaches, yoyo loaches, gouramis, betta fish, and bala sharks to eat snails.

Simply look for pond fish that appeal to you. Then try to figure out if any of those fish are known to eat snails.

There are many herbivorous and carnivorous fish that are known to eat snails. The fish can help to whittle down the pond snail population for you if it has gotten out of control.

Getting Rid of Pond Snails

If pond snails are harming your pond you might choose to get rid of them. Sometimes pond snails will naturally find their way to your pond.

When this occurs, you might wish to take action if they’re causing harm to the pond. How can you get rid of them without hurting your fish, though?

There are a few things that you can try, but one of the first things you should do is reduce the food source in the pond. If the pond snails don’t have as much to eat they won’t want to stick around.

They won’t be able to keep reproducing if there isn’t an abundance of food. So eventually, the pond snail numbers will drop and they might even be eradicated.

Don’t leave leftover food in the pond since that can make more algae grow. You can’t get rid of the things that pond snails feed on in a pond entirely, though.

Next, you can try to put fish that eat snails in the pond. Above, you learned about many options such as goldfish, betta fish, and clown loaches.

You can also try putting wrasses, zebrafish, and pufferfish in the tank. The fish should hunt the pond snails down and eat them.

Snail traps are another way to try to handle the situation. You can trap the snails and then remove them from the pond.

Some people even try to pick the snails up out of the pond manually. This can be a bit of a chore and it’s recommended to use traps.

You should be able to get rid of the pond snails over time using these methods. It might take a bit, but the pond snails will be removed from your pond.

It might be necessary to repeat these steps every so often if pond snails return to the area. Of course, keeping fish in the pond that will eat the snails will be quite beneficial.

Final Thoughts

Knowing more about pond snails should help you out. In some ways, pond snails are very helpful to ponds.

They have the potential to improve the water quality and help the pond stay nice for you to enjoy. These snails eat algae and keep it under control.

However, the pond snail population might get out of control. This could cause the snails to eat all of your plants, and they might even cause ammonia spikes in the water.

If this happens, you might need to take steps to get rid of the snails. You can do this by putting snail predators in the take such as clown loaches, wrasses, and goldfish.

Many people will also utilize snail traps to get rid of snails. Hopefully, you won’t have to worry about this.

There are many types of pond snails and some of them are beneficial. Hopefully, the snails in your pond will be helpful and won’t become a detriment.


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