Cleaner Snail For Betta Tank

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Offline Fishbeard

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Cleaner snail for betta tank
« on: July 28, 2018, 10:07:44 AM »
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So, after moving my betta into a new tank a couple of weeks back, I've recently seen the place explode with algae. It's on the sand, the glass, the decor... it'd probably be on the betta too, if he didn't move around as much as he does!

In my main tank, I have about 8 amano shrimp that keep the place spotlessly clean, but I can't put them into the betta's tank, as there just aren't any hiding places for them. I never saw any trouble when my betta was in the main tank, but it was much larger, and had a lot more hiding places, but in the smaller, more enclosed tank, I don't think it's an option. The tanks too small for cories or otos, and way too small for any sort of plec, leaving me with one option for "natural" algae cleaning.

A snail.

Now, I've mentioned several times on here before that I do not like snails. I don't find them "cute", like some people do, I actually find them to be quite repulsive, but I'm willing to consider one if it'll do the job I need it to do.

My tank's a 25l measuring 40x20x20, with black sand, some moss balls, a cave and a few silk plants.

As I don't like snails, this isn't something I've ever looked into before, so I throw it open to those of you that know your snails and ask for options. I'm looking for just one snail, preferably a small one (since the tank's small too) and, most importantly, one that isn't going to leave a load of eggs/babies all over the place.

So what are my options?

Offline Sue

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Re: Cleaner snail for betta tank
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2018, 10:19:25 AM »
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Nerite snails!

These do not look like garden snails, they look like a round shell with two tiny antennae waving around from under one part of the shell. They cannot reproduce on fresh water, and if you had just one it shouldn't lay eggs.
The come in several sizes and colours, but TopCookie has just posted about his black helmet nerite being a very good cleaner and very hard to see. ProShrimp are out of stock at the moment. There's one seller on Ebay with one left.
If you don't mind a coloured snail, the yellow and black striped bumblebee snail aka Clithon corona also stay small.

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Siamese Fighting Fish (male) (1) - Snails (1) - Slender Harlequin (15) - Peacock Goby (4) - Otocinclus (5) - Pygmy Cory (3) - Axelrods Rasbora (5) - Japonica Shrimp (80) - Snails (5) - Neon Tetra (18) - Honey Gourami (1) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline fcmf

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Re: Cleaner snail for betta tank
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2018, 10:47:48 AM »
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Totally agree with Sue about nerite snails. In terms of what they look like, they are absolutely nothing like slugs or the slightly creepy sorts of snails with the big tentacles that move along pavements after a bout of rain. Viewed from above or the side (as opposed to on the glass), they almost look like a beautiful stone that is capable of moving in all sorts of directions but everything is largely hidden under the shell. Viewed from underneath if they're crawling up the glass, it's actually really interesting watching their behaviour as they're hard at work. I wasn't particularly enamoured with the idea at the beginning, but, having spent the best part of the last week fascinated by their antics now that I have 3 of them, I'm considering starting a "nerite snail appreciation thread"!

Fish Community Creator Tanks
X-ray Tetra (5) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Cardinal Tetra (3) - Sparkling Gourami (2) - Ram / Butterfly Cichlid (2) - Cherry Barb (3) - Blue Tetra (1) - Ember Tetra (1) - Golden Pencilfish (2) - Glowlight Tetra (1) - Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid (2) - Galaxy Rasbora (1) - Lampeye Panchax (1) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline Fishbeard

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Re: Cleaner snail for betta tank
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2018, 03:08:04 PM »
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Alright, that's strong encouragement for the nerite.

What are the odds on one trying to get out of the tank? The profile on here for "snails" suggests that I need a well-fitted lid and an air pocket at the top of the tank... mine has an air pocket, but has two channels at the back for the filter/heater wires to feed through and I guess a snail could potentially get through there if so inclined?

Do snails need specific snail food? I have Tetra wafers for the shrimp/cory in the main tank, would these provide food for a snail too, once he's cleaned up the tank?

Offline Matt

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Re: Cleaner snail for betta tank
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2018, 03:33:24 PM »
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Should be fine... I've had them in an open topped tank (with a decent air gap) and they have been fine...

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Ram / Butterfly Cichlid (2) - Cardinal Tetra (6) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Rummy Nose Tetra (6) - Panda Cory (5) - Chain Loach (4) - Honey Gourami (2) - Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid (2) - Sparkling Gourami (6) - Coolie Loach (2) - Otocinclus (2) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline fcmf

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Re: Cleaner snail for betta tank
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2018, 04:16:03 PM »
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What are the odds on one trying to get out of the tank? The profile on here for "snails" suggests that I need a well-fitted lid and an air pocket at the top of the tank... mine has an air pocket, but has two channels at the back for the filter/heater wires to feed through and I guess a snail could potentially get through there if so inclined?
Do snails need specific snail food?

My 14-month old nerite often spends time above the waterline but, so far (touchwood), only goes as high as the 'lip' at the top of the tank ie he settles himself there once he reaches it. The smallest one potentially could squeeze through a gap where the cables go, so the solution for this would be to stuff filter wool there.

I bought this http://dennerle.com/en/products/nano-aquarium/feeding-minerals-vitamins/food-dwarf-crayfish/shrimp-king-snail-stixx for my snail last year as I have very soft water and didn't want his shell suffering the consequences. [Edited later to add: It's best to put this in late at night for them to feed on overnight, then remove any leftovers the following day. It tends to smell otherwise and develop a fungus over it. It's also easier to remove, and less likely to cause an algae-like mess (like cyanobacteria) in the sand, if you place it on a flat surface or in a dish/bowl.]

Fish Community Creator Tanks
X-ray Tetra (5) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Cardinal Tetra (3) - Sparkling Gourami (2) - Ram / Butterfly Cichlid (2) - Cherry Barb (3) - Blue Tetra (1) - Ember Tetra (1) - Golden Pencilfish (2) - Glowlight Tetra (1) - Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid (2) - Galaxy Rasbora (1) - Lampeye Panchax (1) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline Sue

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Re: Cleaner snail for betta tank
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2018, 04:39:27 PM »
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I will admit I've never actually fed my snails. When I used a slice of courgette for the shrimps they ignored it. I have 2 nerites bought in 2011 which are still alive, so they must be feeding on something. Probably all the algae I used to have.

I currently have a zebra nerite and a red with black markings bought in 2011, a yellow and black striped one bough in 2013 and a grey one shaped a bit like black helmet nerites which I bought in 2014. The second red and black, and the brown zigzag pattern, both bought in 2014, have died this year.

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Siamese Fighting Fish (male) (1) - Snails (1) - Slender Harlequin (15) - Peacock Goby (4) - Otocinclus (5) - Pygmy Cory (3) - Axelrods Rasbora (5) - Japonica Shrimp (80) - Snails (5) - Neon Tetra (18) - Honey Gourami (1) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


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