Name: Melanoides tuberculata
These are my favorite snails! They never eat any of my plants, unless they are already dead. I don't see them most of the day, as they root through the substrate for missed food or rotting vegetation. They are GREAT for planted tanks, keeping the roots of the plants healthy by moving the substrate around and keeping things from getting stagnant. I highly recommend them for any tank.
Also known as the Malayan Burrowing Snail, they breed fast and get to everywhere! I used to think they looked pretty but was really scared when a couple of them became a tankful of them. At one point, I had to remove near 100 of them every few days! Their shells are hard and it might be difficult for some snail eaters to handle. But they will do an excellent job aerating the gravel.
I have a 415 liter heavily planted community tank with an assortment of fish: angels, neons, a feather-fin squeaker catfish, white clouds, lemon tetras, blue rams and others. Three years ago I noticed a trumpet snail. A few months later I had dozens of them. Eventually I had thousands of them. Every time I cleaned the pumpís foam filter, I would wash out 300 to 400 tiny snails. And twice that many when I cleaned the canister filter. During the day they burrowed in the gravel, coming out at night and they would cover everything. It was difficult to keep new plants in the gravel because the snails moved it around so much, and when I dug a hole, I would dig up scores of them. They were constantly clogging the filters. The good thing is they cleaned up all of the dead plant debris, kept the rocks clean, aerated the gravel, cleaned the glass somewhat, cleaned the plants somewhat and didnít harm the live plants. I think they also lowered the pH of my water by removing minerals for their shells. I bought two small clown loaches to try to control them. The clown loaches had a field day. They grew very fat and happy over the course of a year, while decimating the snail population. Unfortunately, the plant debris started to build up again, the pH rose from 6.5 to 7.8 and the rocks and gravel became discolored. Six weeks ago I traded in the two loaches in hopes of bringing back the snails. The pet store was happy to get them; they were the healthiest loaches theyíd ever seen. Yesterday night I saw three small trumpet snails on the glass. After the population grows, Iím going to try to control them with some nighttime netting.
These little snails turned up in my tank from the roots of plants I bought. I never really see them much because they are nocturnal. They multiply very quickly as I probably only started with a few and now my 200 liter aquarium is heaving in them. I'm not sure if they eat too much of the algae but they do aerate the gravel. I constantly see the gravel mysteriously moving, but when I take a closer look I can see that it's the snails. These snails don't eat the plants, I have a fully planted aquarium and they don't touch the green leaves of my plants. However, they will eat the rotting leaves of the plants. My discus and angels don't seem to touch them.
A great addition for any planted tank! I purposely breed these guys (not hard to do) in a specialized tank. Needless to say, this is the cleanest tank of them all. Each tank I setup, I always introduce at least 3 or 4 large ones and a handful of small ones into the tank. I can't believe that people sell these snails on eBay when most LFS are glad to rid themselves of this pest. Never harms plants, keeps the substrate nice and aerated! A must have!
These are the best for planted tanks. They stir the substrate without harming the plants roots. One hardly sees them, except when they burrow along the front glass under the substrate. Highly recommended.