In the aquarium hobby temperature acclimating your fish is crucial, as they cannot handle a sudden change in environmental parameters. Should you also do this to your snails? When it comes to snails, they are not that sensitive to environmental changes compared to fish and other pets such as shrimps. Therefore it is generally no problem to drop in your snails without first temperature acclimating them. I myself have done this many times and have not experienced any fatalities.
Other Things to Know about Aquarium Snails
Snails are perfect for beginner aquarium hobbyists. This is because beginners tend to make mistakes, and therefore snails are the perfect animals to introduce to your aquarium. They will also help you to take care of your aquarium, as they eat algae an help clean your tank. Snails are easy to take care of and they have low demands when you’ve added them to your aquarium. Most snails feed on the rest of plants, algae and leftover food that your fish have not eaten. Furthermore, most snails are easy to breed so your snail population will grow quickly, and this is extremely satisfying to watch overtime.
There are -loads- of options
The first thing that you are probably aware of is that there is a wide variety of different kind of aquarium snails that you can add to your aquarium. This is awesome, because if you are like me and you love snails the possibilities are endless. I myself have Clea Helena (assassin) snails, ramshorn snails and rabbit snails.
Snails are peaceful creatures. They are not very active and they cause no harm to other animals in your fish tank. Therefore you can add them to a lot of tanks if you like them! I know that a lot of people keep assassin snails, either because they are beautiful or to get rid of pest snails, but you can not put other snails in with them.
Another thing you have to keep in mind is that snails are an important part of the diet of a lot of fish such as loaches, puffer fish and also of turtles. Because snails are so slow, they can be very easy prey, so they’re not ideal for aquariums with big and aggressive snail eating fish. They are even prey to my baby musk turtles!
Behavior of snails
Snail will move around your tank slowly while consuming algae. They will not bother any of the fish in the tank. Your snails will hide in the substrate or behind ornaments. This is perfectly fine and it is awesome when you get to see them once in awhile. If you have a couple of snails from the start (I bought 5 ramshorn snails when I started) you will always see a couple of them when looking.
Sometimes you might notice that a snail has fallen over or seems to be lying upside down, do not worry and if you watch closely you will see how flexible their muscle foot can be when they flip back over.
Snails, like all creatures, need sleep. They sleep in 2 to 3 day cycles instead of the 24 hours cycle that humans follow. They have a multiple of bursts of sleep throughout the day, around 7 bursts of sleep in a period of 13 to 15 hours seems common. After the snails sleep, they can be active for a rather long time. They will have about 30 hours of activity, that’s a lot.
One of the most satisfying thing in the aquarium hobby I think is breeding. It is absolutely amazing to see babies grow up, and this is also the reason why I love my snail. I personally keep ramshorn snail (and a couple of other species) that love to breed. They are egg layers, and if you look closely and are lucky, you might even see the eggs sometimes.
Because of this reason, snails are also on my list of 11 species of fish that are easy to breed. I also attached a couple of pictures there of other species of snails.
Just like the rest of your fish in your aquarium, snails can suffer from various health issues. Some of them can easily be avoided while others are more hardy and can be difficult to control.
The most common health issue your snails might get, has to do with the shell. At times the growth of the snails shell can be stunted. The primary cause of stunted growth includes not eating enough and living a temperature that is too low. This must not be a problem if your snails living in a good healthy environment which suit the snails needs.
Believe it or not, overfeeding might also cause trouble for your snails. It might be a concern for the snail’s shell. It will grow faster when the snail is eating a lot. This is because the snail has an abundance of energy because of the food, which will be spent on growing the shell. This faster growth will usually discolor the show.
Just like the bones in our body, the growth of the shell of the snail is depending on calcium. They require calcium to keep their shells strong, and a lack of calcium will cause the shell to crack and weaken. What you can do to prevent/cure this is to keep a close eye on the condition of the shell. If you notice that anything is happening that might have to do with a lack of calcium, definitely start adding some calcium supplements that contain calcium. You can ask the staff in your local fish store which product they recommend.
Another health issue that you have to be on the lookout for are parasites. You have to be on the lookout for a white spots on the shell of the snail because these are typically places where parasites hatched. The parasites can also the housing internal which is a threat to your snail, both internal and external forms of parasites may be fatal depending on the parasite species. If you do have parasites you have to cure it. If you suspect parasites you have to buy a parasite cure/medicine for your tank.
You do not have to temperature acclimate snails, as they are more resistant to external parameter changes than fish, shrimp and other animals that we keep in our tank. This means that you can drop them in when you get back from the store and start enjoying your new snails immediately!
Another thing this I want you to ask is if you already have live plants, and if not if you have ever thought about them. Just like snails, they help you keep your tank clean by consuming nitrates. They also will add to the appeal of your aquarium, and are super rewarding if you manage to make them thrive in your tank. It does not have to be hard! I have an article on 6 beginner live plant. Check it out here!