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Nerita snails chewing up my plants :(

Discussion in 'Shrimp and Invertz' started by Maboleth, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. Maboleth

    Maboleth New Member

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    It's a fact. At least in my tank. Nerita snails are chewing up my plants, mainly Echinodoruses. But I also found their bites on Vallisnerias and even on thick leaves of Cryptocorine they leave whitish "scratches" here and there.

    At first I wasn't sure, I searched the internet for this phenomenon, but I didn't find anything. People usually say that Neritas will eat the leaves but only those that are old or decaying. Not so. Many of the perfectly healthy leaves have bite holes and I'm 100% positive it's their business, not any kind of nutrient deficiency. I don't have any other fish/creature that could eat the plants. The plant they hang on the most is the same plant that has the most bites (Echinodorus).


    I thought well - my tank doesn't have enough of algae they like. Possibly. But I also have a large Anubias Barteri that collected all kinds of "dust", from diatoms to green spot and stagghorn. They avoid this plant at all costs. They are almost never there, even though this plant offers many tasty meals. It's only when I manually pull them off the ground and put them on the leaf, then they eat algae and clean the A. barteri.

    Now, what can I do there to prevent them ruining my plants? From time to time, I drop several spirulina tablets in the tank but never caught them eating. They are always hanging on my plants, glass or wood. I also gave them spinach leaves... some snails got interested and chewed it. But many didn't care at all.

    So, what is your suggestion? Are my snails lazy, crazy or both?
     
  2. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Maboleth

    I had a few (yet to be named) nerites and they never touched my plants, they decided to climb out of the tank and walk on the carpet.

    Try feeding them with a piece of "Iceberg" lettuce it might satisfy their hunger instead of the plants.

    Keith:):)
     
  3. GR1KTR

    GR1KTR Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I haven't kept Nerite Snails but I have had other species over time. I have seen snails eat new growth on plants, but it is usually only a little here and there, and never enough to worry the plants.

    As Keith said, Iceberg Lettuce works well. You can also feed zucchini, cucumber and green peas. Just be sure to blanch them first.

    Do you have a very large snail population? If so they may need to be thinned out a little. If you leave lettuce in there overnight they should gather on the leaf in big numbers. You can remove the lettuce and snails in the morning to thin them out a little.
     
  4. Maboleth

    Maboleth New Member

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    Thanks. Well, Nerite snails cannot reproduce in a fresh water, they need brackish conditions. I have 8 of them in 250l tank. They are beautiful and trusty algae eaters and the only creature that effectively eats green spot algae. They can wipe diatoms like no other. Most people say they never eat healthy plants. But alas, they are probably very hungry now, I will try to find an iceberg lettuce. Didn't try that yet! Should I blanch it too?

    Keith, they are a known "escapists", they love to get out of the tank from time to time. Fortunately I have a glass cover.
     
  5. Zerofighterx101

    Zerofighterx101 New Member

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    yes, Nerite snails cannot reproduce in a fresh water but they can lay eggs and cause a mess with their
    eggs sticking around the aquarium.
     
  6. GR1KTR

    GR1KTR Aspiring Aquascaper

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    No need to blanch lettuce. Just give it a good wash first :)
     
  7. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    I just wash the lettuce leaf under a tap.

    Keith:):)
     
  8. Maboleth

    Maboleth New Member

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    They lay eggs only on a Redmoor wood, but I consider that as completely natural and doesn't bother me.
     

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