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Discussion Starter #1
I've been thinking of getting a snail to put in my five gallon tank. As of right now, the tank is housing Raphael and one ghost shrimp. I have a mixture of both live and fake plants, although the fake ones are slowly becoming covered with a dark algae.

Are there any snails I could house with these two that might clean the fake plants without eating the real ones? Some sites I've looked at said that apple snails can eat live plants, so if that is true then I think I should avoid those. I know I could just take the fake plants out to clean them, but the idea of a snail is pretty interesting right now. If there are any that would suit the tank then I'd love to try and get one.
 

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There's one snail, Pomacea diffusa that does not eat plants. It's legal to ship that snail across other states and is also part of the family, apple snails (Ampullaridae). The other species though are illegal as they can indeed consume plants in vast amounts. Keep a spare tank just in case. Most bettas love to nip their eyes and antennaes out. These snails need to be supplemented with foods such as pellets, bloodworms, vegetables, algae wafers, etc. Make sure your water's pH is no less than 7.4 to ensure their shells will not erode from the acidic water conditions.

Your other choice is a lone nerite snail. They are finicky eaters preferring to eat algae only so unless you can provide constant supply of algae and biofilm, best avoid nerite snails altogether.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
After reading Lupin's post, I think it might be best if I hold off on a snail for now. I do like your suggestion of the moss ball though, I think (all things considered) that might be a better option for me.
 

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I bought one of the "Mystery Snails" at petsmart yesterday and so far he is leaving my live plant alone. Supposedly they will only start in on your plants if there isn't anything else to eat.
 

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I have two pond snails that came with some live plants I bought. At first I was going to get rid of them but they ate just about every bit of the nasty brown algae that my tank was covered in. They haven't reproduced and I'm hoping that if they do, my two ghost shrimp will dine on the eggs. They've done an amazing job, even cleaning my poor plants of that darn brown stuff, so I think I'll give them a chance to stay. Likely I'll be cursing that decision next year. :)
 

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If my mystery snail lays eggs after I get him/her I'm just gonna ask my LFS if they want some snails. And maybe give them to friends.
 

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snails reproduce rapidly if a tank is overfed, from what ive read

vaygirl, thats diatom algae........turn the lights off for an hour during the day to break the growth cycle for it.

my apple, mystery and malaysian trumpet snails do not eat any of my plants. however, my guppies have decided their a snack grrrr
 

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Christina: I had read that before about the diatoms. My tank is just now at 2 months and I know that gunk showed up from cycling. The snails TOTALLY chewed it up.

It was actually really neat to watch. At first every surface of every fake plant and most of the gravel was covered and then these squiggly lines showed up here and there. Then I finally saw one working on one big leaf. Took him about a day to clean it. Then he moved on to the next, and the next. Then I saw another. They saved each and every live plant from it too.

The two of them have been seen having a nooner a couple times, so I know I'm doomed. :p The diatoms have almost completely been eradicated. Once it's completely gone, they're out of there. I think. Is it wrong to be too kind hearted? lol. I don't know if I can boot them. They did such good work. I had read that shrimp will eat their eggs, so I'll have to look to Big Ole' Bertha to do her job if I have cute snail weakness!

I'll try the light thing too in the afternoon I guess. There are still a few areas that I can't get with the scrubby magnet thingie, like behind the heater and the intake on the filter.

Edit: I just switched out my light to a 15 watt blue and red FloraSun plant light. Before that I had a greenish 15 watt (5500k) TropicSun light in there.
 

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kelly........it can also be there because of being a new tank, excess nutrients, not enough water changes, changing the lighting schedule to an hour or two off break a day, can interupt its growth but plants will still use the stored energy from the lights to continue to grow. its to help halt growth.

vaygirl, as far as the snails go, look up and under all around the tank rim, it seems snails like to lay eggs there. fish and shrimp more than likely will not be able to get to them. also, you could just scrape them off and throw them away. i wouldnt recommend flushing them.
 

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ew, i couldnt do that either, just put them in a napkin and throw them out
 

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I squished one once and then felt so guilty about it that I never did it again. Luckly so far they have not taken over my tank.
 

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most dont usually take over the tank unless its overfed
 
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