How Snails Keep Your Freshwater Aquarium Clean

Sep 16th 2022

How Snails Keep Your Freshwater Aquarium Clean

How Snails Keep Your Freshwater Aquarium Clean

Fish Tanks Direct on Sep 16th 2022

Keeping an aquarium clean and balanced can be a lot of work to do all on your own. You have to manage nitrite levels, waste, and detritus output to keep an aquarium neat, healthy, and thriving. Luckily, you can implement a cleaning crew to help you out and even give your existing fish a new friend or two; here’s how snails keep your freshwater aquarium clean.

Snails Love Leftovers

Freshwater snails love to eat leftovers and are the perfect little garbage compactors. Whether it’s extra food, waste, detritus, or plant matter, a snail will gobble it up. In this way, snails are great at managing waste output and making sure dead plants and leftover food don’t sit and settle at the bottom of your tank. However, a snail won’t help if your tank is already overcrowded because while a snail might eat waste, it produces waste as well, only contributing to the problem. So be sure your tank can handle a snail before introducing it.

Snails Help Manage Nitrite Levels

Because snails are so great at eating decaying matter, they can help manage the amount of ammonia that accumulates in an aquarium. Because of this, nitrite levels can become more stable, meaning you don’t have to worry as much about nitrite levels randomly spiking. However, while a snail may help mitigate these ammonia and nitrite levels, snails will have difficulty keeping up with an overfed, overcrowded, or already dirty tank. To give snails the best shot at helping your tank stay clean, your aquarium should be prepped, clean, and ready to go. Think of snails as a way to keep a tank clean rather than a way to clean an already dirty tank.

Snails Mitigate Algae Growth

High nitrate and nutrient levels can cause algae to grow rapidly, usually due to high levels of waste output, dead plants, and leftover food—all of the things snails love to eat. Nerite snails are fantastic algae eaters. Most of them can’t reproduce in freshwater tanks, so you don’t have to worry about them reproducing, overcrowding, and adding more waste to your tank. While snails alone can’t combat an overgrowth, they’ll certainly munch on what they can to prevent algae from completely taking over.

Ultimately, snails keep your freshwater aquarium clean by eating what your fish don’t eat. However, they can’t do it all on their own, so they might need your help and the help of some other cleaning buddies like shrimp or loaches. With the right cleaning crew, you can keep any glass aquarium tank looking crystal clear, shiny, and brand new.