Snail or no snail? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-16-2013, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Snail or no snail?

I noticed a lot of you have mystery snails, and since I just upgraded one of my fish to a 5 gallon I was thinking about getting him one.

I was hoping you could give me some pros and cons of theses snails. Do your bettas love them or hate them? Do they make the tank slimy (seems like a stupid question but this is an actual concern)? How easy are they to keep?

Any info (even pics) would be great.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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After reading a little more, the question is now WHICH snail to get. I'm looking for smallest bioload possible and easy care :)

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 12:22 AM
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Do your bettas love them or hate them? Each betta is different - mine don't seem to care but when I first added them they were kinda rough with the snail - flaring and headbutting the shell
Do they make the tank slimy (seems like a stupid question but this is an actual concern)? No, they don't make the tank slimy but they do poop alot so you do need a gravel vaccume, if you don't already have one. I do suggest a filter as well. WHat does happen though, if you have alot of them in one tank - is the water will get cloudy which is caused by "something" in their digestive track ( i think its a parasite of some sort). Don't worry, it's harmless to fish.
How easy are they to keep? Pretty easy - they don't require much but they need a lid because they can crawl out of the tank. The big thing with them is their shells can sometimes start to deterioate in softer water. This can be fixed by adding some shells, or coral. I added some coral I picked up off a beach in the caribbean (after soaking it in water for a while). They also love to eat stuff like lettuce and cucumber.

They get big though. This one grew from about the size of a nickel to the size of a golfball in like 2 months.

Besides apple snails, there are some other species - rabbit snails and nerite snails that won't over run you tank like ramshorns, malaysian trumpet snails and pond snails have the potential of doing.

I'm looking for smallest bioload possible and easy care :)
you would be OK with one in a 5G but a nerite may be better since they stay about dime sized. However I am not sure if their bioload is actually smaller. I would think so since they dont get nearly as big. Or if you just got ONE pond or ramshorn so they can't reproduce - I think they are even smaller then a nerite. Not sure as I don't have them - only the big boys - apples, trapdoor snails and one lone nerite. Rabbit snails are neat too but harder to find and more $$.

The care for all species is pretty much all the same.

Last edited by Tikibirds; 03-17-2013 at 12:27 AM.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 03:22 PM
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Yeah, nerites have smaller bioload and my bettas get along with them really well. I got a mystery snail one time and my betta attacked it twice and bit off one of its eyestalks. But my bettas don't bother the nerites. Nerites are also awesome algae eaters. They really help keep algae off my tank walls. Plus, they're super cute and sometimes come in cool patterns. My first two nerites are olive nerites, so they're the color of those tan/green olives and have tiiiiiiny stripes. Then I got a zebra nerite who is a little larger than the others and has stripes like a zebra. Some are spotted, too.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 03:28 PM
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My Nerite cleaned the tank tons better than my mystery snails. Haha.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 06:54 PM
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I have 2 horned nerites. My girlfriend has a zebra nerite and a big ramshorn. My sister has a rabbit.

Nerites clean the tank well, from my experience but not as well as my girlfriends big ramshorn. Its nice cause it eats dead plant matter and pollen as well as algae. The rabbit eats plants. When I added it to her tank I added a moss ball as well, a quarter of it is gone 3 days later. He also seems to pick up leftovers but mostly munches on the moss ball.

Towards the bettas themselves, it really determines the temperament of the betta. As far as I've seen nerites seem to get ignored totally. The rabbit snail gained her bettas interest at first but then after it got settled in the betta started to ignore it. As for the ramshorn, its first tank when it would swim even halfway up the tank the betta would hit it until it fell. The second tank it did just fine.

Personally I would go for something that doesnt reproduce in freshwater/quickly. That being said I would steer clear of MTS, mysterys, ramshorns, and pondsnails.

Last edited by Naladari; 03-19-2013 at 06:59 PM.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 09:48 PM
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Don't get any snails unless you vacuum your tank at least twice a month. Nerites are my snail of choice but they tend to lay eggs on stuff and they look like little white sesame seeds. They are almost impossible to remove. They won't hatch, but they won't go away either.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Ew, haha. That egg thing is.... offputting. I currently plan on vaccuming once a week and doing AT LEAST a fifty percent water change a week and a 100 percent a month. At least I think that was OFL's recommendation.. I'll have to doublecheck. The tank is unfiltered.... Would I have to change my water change schedule/method if I only added one nerite? How would it impact my current setup (I don't really have the money for a filter right now)?

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 03:19 AM
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I personally had a bad experience with the snails. My betta wouldn't leave the snail alone at ate it's feelers off. He wouldn't come out of their shell for weeks and I was getting concerned so I put him in there his own little place to let him relax, eat, do something. After a few days after that, he died.

I shall never forget the smell. It lingered on my hands for hours even after a dozen hand washings...

I wouldn't get a snail again. But it's nice to have a little buddy in the tank, and some bettas are different.

My betta doesn't mind the cories I have now, it's just that snail...
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 05:11 AM
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Oh gosh, the smell. I have never in my life smelt anything worse than a dead mystery snail, EVER. And I deal with rat poo on a regular basis. Even 20 kennels full of dog poo at 7 am on a hot morning didn't smell that bad. And Rosalina is right, the smell stays for AGES. I got so desperate I put my hands in weak bleach to kill it.

You can't get nerites here, but if I was going to get a snail, I'd get a nerite. They are prettier than mysteries, and better at algae eating.

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