Name: Physa sp.
Most people think these little hitchhikers are just annoying, but I think they are kind of cute. They stay very small, a centimeter at the most. They have thin shells, so the small ones get snacked on by my fish. Which is good since they lay jellied masses of eggs everywhere all the time. They will eat dead and dying leaves off plants but I have never seen them eat a healthy plant. They move along slowly scraping algae off everything. But when I feed the fish, they can speed over there on their one foot amazingly fast for a bite of whatever the fish are having. They can even crawl under the surface of the water using the surface tension to get to flakes. Also if you have virtually no water current, they can build bridges of slime (ewww!!!) to get from place to place quicker. One of the funniest things they do is snail wrestling. One snail will crawl onto the shell of another. The one on the bottom doesn't like this so he will twist his shell back and forth while the one on top hangs on for dear life.
This snail is an effective cleaner. Not very destructive to plants, feeding mainly of the algae. Known to me as the Pond Snail, it is easily kept...so much so that it's introduction to the tank can come even in the water supply. Though regarded as a pest by many fish keepers as well as my colleagues, I find this snail quite useful and easy to keep, as long as the populations are kept in-check.
These snails are hardy. Although they appear not to eat any of the plants in my aquarium, they can propagate to a huge population. They lay eggs in a clear jelly like gel. The gel is usually attached to the underside of the leaves, thus making it hard to detect.
Plants are great but sometimes they come with these hitchhikers. I bought 4 bundles of plants from a local pets store and got what I thought was 2 of these. They are cute, I let them live...now I have hundreds...no exageration. They started in my 200 liter tank, then I got a smaller one for Fry. I put some live plants in there and now I have a snail problem there too. I eliminated this by getting some YoYo (Pakistan) Loaches in the big tank. Now I have no snail sightings there. In the small tank I can take out 30 every evening and put them in the big tank to watch the Loaches go to town. I don't think I will ever run out. Mind you, the ones that I put in the big tank are just little ones. I will leave a couple older ones to form more, at one time I had little spots on the glass and you could count the eggs out of it. Yes they will go wild and take over if you are not careful. Some people wind up doing a tank strip and start over to get rid of them. I think the YoYo's are cool and they do a better job and make life easy.
I bought some new plants for my tank which apparently had some eggs for these guys attached to them. They are very active and do their job with no harm to any of the plants. The only drawback to these guys is that they mate like rabbits! I have to get about five babies out every two weeks, whenever I get around to it. They are one of the reasons that I would consider getting a clown loach. But all in all - two thumbs up!
These are somewhat disgusting. They like to float upside down on the water surface and you can see their mouth grasping away. They also breed easily and can over populate a small tank. However, that said, they have yet to destroy any of my Hygrophilas and Java fern.