What Do I Feed My Snails if I Don't Have Fish in the Tank?

Original Question: Is there any benefit to having snails in a fish tank
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Apple snails that are found in the aquarium trade don't make high demands when it comes to water quality: they can live very well in clear, streaming, oxygen-rich water as well in still water, with rotting organic waste, containing almost no oxygen.
In general one should apply the same rules for water quality as with fish (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate etc) and the water should not be too soft. Like most snails, apple snails prefer calcium rich water. If the calcium concentration in the water isn't high enough (soft water), they aren't able to build a strong and become susceptible to shell damage, but even in good conditions, some snails still get little holes in the shell surface, especially in the older parts of their shell. This is a naturally occurring process and as long it's only at the surface, you shouldn't worry too much about it. In the '' section, you can see an example of a snail with a damaged shell. Young and healthy snails are somewhat protected against this as the consist of a protein layer that prevents a breakdown of the shell, but damaged shells and shells of older snails are quite vulnerable to .
Warning! If the tap-water in your area contains copper and/or other metals, use one of these water preparation products that catch away those metals bofere putting the snail in the water. Apple snails are very sensitive for these compounds (especially copper). You won't be the first one loosing a snail due to this snail-toxic substances in the water. If you see that the snails become completely inactive or if the snails, especially the little ones, try to leave the water after a water change: get a product to treat the water (like aquasafe or for those with access to a lab: use EDTA or something similar).
When there are many apple snails in a tank, the water tends to become cloudy because apple snails have a large amount of microorganisms in their , which help to digest the food, and which are expelled with the faeces. These micro-organisms (amoebocytes) should not cause any harm to the fish and can even serve as a food source for young fish. Fresh food (lettuce etc.) are more likely to induce this micro-organism based clouding of the water. If the snails are fed with dry fish food, the water will stay cleaner. It is a good idea to do regular water changes if you have many creatures in one tank, just like one would advise with fish, to maintain good water quality and to avoid accumulation of toxic substances and waste. By the way, apple snails are good indicators for the oxygen-level in your tank. When there isn't much oxygen in the water, the snails will regularly come to the surface to inhale fresh air through the breathing . Only when there is enough oxygen for them in the water, they don't need their and solely depend on their .
in their fish tank, it can wreak havoc on established snail populations.
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What about a mystery snail I went in earlier to just look at what’s around also pondering setting up a school fish tank anywhay the guy working around the fish said he had a Betta and a mystery snail in a 5 gallon and they work well together The first is to introduce snail-eating species of fish into your tank.
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Photo provided by FlickrThese snails will reproduce in a fish tank, but not as fast as smaller snails
Photo provided by Flickr
Just like any other force, snails can be used for good and for evil. They have a reputation of rapidly devouring plants, multiplying like crazy and turning a former fish tank into an unsightly mass of creeping grey slime, but this is only the dark side of the snails. When properly managed, snails can actually do a lot of good in your aquarium. If you introduce factors that balance their numbers, they will settle in to their designated ecological niche in your aquarium and carry out the same beneficial work that they do in the wild. Snails can even be entertaining pets themselves and some of them, e.g. the Mystery Snail, look really beautiful. wondering how to get rid of snails in fish tanks? we have got you covered with 5 solutions that include natural ways, traps, chemicals and how you go about preventing them. - A guide on how to cycle your aquarium.
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