Many aquarists know that non-fish species, like snails, are an important part of any tank’s ecosystem. Snails can keep an aquarium tank clean by eating all the algae and biofilm that forms on surfaces inside the tank. However, not all snail species are created equal.
Mini ramshorn snails may look cute to some people, but the truth is, they’re an invasive species that should be dealt with accordingly. They can reproduce fast enough to overrun small tanks, so if you leave mini ramshorn snails in your aquarium, you may have a problem in the future.
In this article, we’ll talk about mini ramshorn snails, what they are, and how to get rid of them.
What are mini ramshorn snails?
Mini ramshorn snails are a variant of ramshorn snails. They’re called ramshorn snails due to the ram-like design on their shells.
Mini ramshorn snails, specifically, have tiny shells that lay flat, typically against the glass of your tank. They can be rather cute, with their tiny size and their slow movements.
Where do mini ramshorn snails come from?
You can buy mini ramshorn snails from pet stores. Some aquarists buy them for breeding purposes since they reproduce pretty fast. Mini ramshorn snails can be used as live food for bigger fish species such as pufferfish, or even other snails like assassin snails.
However, most of the time, mini ramshorn snails aren’t purposeful additions to tanks. Many fishkeepers online say that the only reason why they have ramshorn snails is that they accidentally came with the plants.
This means two things. One, you should make sure to quarantine your plants first before putting them inside your tank in order to avoid this from happening. Two, mini ramshorn snails are very hardy and can thrive almost anywhere, which should make you even warier of them.
Are ramshorn snails invasive?
Unlike Nerite snails or Mystery snails, ramshorn snails are an invasive species.
As mentioned above, they can survive in any kind of water condition. They’re very good at adapting to new environments, which makes them difficult to deal with. They also reproduce pretty fast, so if you don’t want them in your tank, it’s best to act soon.
Are mini ramshorn snails good?
Like all snails, mini ramshorn snails eat algae, biofilm, and leftover food. They can help clean the tank, so if that’s what you want, you won’t be disappointed with these tiny snails.
The problem lies in their rate of reproduction and tendency to suddenly appear in a tank (typically alongside new plants.)
Should I remove ramshorn snails?
Whether you should remove ramshorn snails or not, mini or otherwise, depends on the condition and specifications of your tank.
If you only have a few ramshorn snails in a relatively big tank, you can probably get away with keeping them in there. Just be careful not to overfeed to avoid a population explosion. Some aquarists say that ramshorn snails don’t give them a problem as long as they don’t overfeed.
However, if you have a small tank and the ramshorn snails are already taking up a noticeable space, it’s understandable to feel alarmed. It’s not uncommon to hear of ramshorn snails overrunning a tank.
How do I get rid of mini ramshorn snails?
The simplest way of getting rid of mini ramshorn snails would be to simply crush or squish them. They’re a good source of protein for your other critters, especially if you have shrimps in your tank.
That said, this kind of manual method isn’t suitable for everyone. If you’d like a more chemical method, you can use any formula that has copper. The downside is that it will also kill most other things, such as shrimp.
Another method is to use carbonated water. This will mess up the pH of your tank and suffocate the snails. Make sure to turn off the filter and air pump for the best results. If there are no fish in your tank, this is the least damaging method. Once you do a water change and turn the filter and pump back on, there should be no traces of the carbonated water in the tank.
If you’d like a more natural method, though, you can introduce a snail-eating species. Some examples are crayfish. They will eat your mini ramshorn snails without going after your other tank creatures. The only con to this is that they also enjoy eating plants, so if you have a planted tank, this method may be a bit difficult to pull off.
Assassin snails are another good option. Due to their sheer size, they’ll have no problems eating all your mini ramshorn snails quickly.
Dealing with mini ramshorn snails
As you can see, mini ramshorn snails can be cute, but they’re certainly not for every tank.
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