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Physa sp.
Physa Snail, Pouch Snail, Tadpole Snail

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Pouch/Tadpole Snail - Physa sp.

Photos & Comments

Physa_Snail_2.jpg (29kb)
Photo Credit: David Needleman

A couple of these snails hitchhiked their way into my tank on some plants which I bought. They seem to be very good cleaners and are quite pretty when they grow to a decent size. If you overfeed your fish though, they breed quite rapidly and will need to be controlled. This is not a bad thing though, as they provide you with free live food for your fish if you squish them against the tank walls! My Pristilla Tetras love them!

Contributed by Simon Steele

I have no idea how these snails got into my tanks, but I suspect the tanks have been incoculated several times by now. I originally started with pure red ramshorn snails, but these began popping up out of the blue. At first I tried to control them, but later decided to allow them to spread through my tanks as the ramshorns had done. Interestingly, these seem to be less prolific for me than the ramshorn snails. However, they are managing to hang around. If the fish in the tank are being uncooperative, these snails are interesting to watch. Sometimes they glide along under the surface, apparently feeding on the film on the surface of the water. These snails are great for fry tanks and containers to eat leftover food, or perhaps any fry which die.

Contributed by Joseph S.

When I started my guppy pond some of the floating plants that I got had several of these tangled in their roots. I haven't had a problem with them and would give them 2 thumbs up. They clean the pond pretty well and my guppy fry love eating the eggs. The only problem is that they will often find their way out of the pond and sit in the sun until they die.

Contributed by Kendall Karcher

If you have these and DON'T want them, do yourself a favor and get some snail-eating fish compatible with your setup. They will gobble 'em down in no time. I think nearly every plant/plant bundle I've bought has introduced at least one of these guys to my tank. I found one once and threw it in my little aqua babies tank, no clue how it's doing once you loose them it's hard to find them again so if you find one and don't want it in there take it out ASAP. I accidently crushed one while taking it out, didn't realize how fragile they were. I felt pretty bad about the little guy but I don't want a plague in my tanks.

Contributed by Curtis LeBlanc

These guys are fantastic! Apperently these guys are plant safe because they haven't harmed my Ludwigia or other plants. I pulled 20 of these things out of a muck filled waterfall in my dad's pond and they're doing great in my community and hospital tank. I have a weather and clown loach but the snails still seem to have the upper hand. If you want your plants to be nice and clean go to the nearest pond or creek and fish out a few of these guys. They have INVADED my tanks and I love it! My weather loach won't go hungry!

Contributed by Fred Shopnitz

These snails are great! That is if you have loaches or catfish or another kind of fish that enjoy them as food. Even my oscar and jack dempsey enjoy a few now and then. They have really thin shells, so they do not hurt the fish to eat them in one bite, and the loaches enjoy sucking them out of the shell. It is almost like a game and very interesting to watch. My loaches will pick them up in their mouths and carry them around the tank like a prize. They can self-fertilize...which means that any snail put by itself will lay eggs. They don't need to mate. That is why they seem to just multiply by the hundreds. So I can see why some people don't like them, but for those of us that enjoy watching our fish eat, they are a free source of food and entertainment. And they are also wonderful at cleaning up extra food and algae growth.

Contributed by Anastacia Hunter

These snails are very easy to breed and hard to get rid of, however they make excellent food for big fish when I smash the snails. I keep a colony of tadpole snails in a small tank so I can keep the population going. I have six tanks full of these snails, but actually only one tank with too many of them because of there are no fish in that tank.

Contributed by Tyler Gilson

We purchased some plants a while back. I knew there would be some risk of getting snails, but was fine with that. About a month later, I saw the first one, then 3 more popped up. I thought I would spaz out and scrub the tank down if I ever got these pest snails, but I actually don't mind them at all. They're very efficient little cleaners. They do breed like rabbits, but I dunno, I find them cute so let them live. Thankfully the snails are only in 2 of my tanks though (1 in a 20 L, numerous ones in a 40 L). I do plan on eventually getting 2 or 3 dwarf puffers for my 40 L tank with the snails in it, so I know they'll absolutely love all of the tasty gooey snail treats they'll get.

Contributed by Lisa L

I have Pouch/Tadpole Snails living in a small low tech water garden in a large glass jar about 45 cm tall, natural light and no filter system. They seem to tend to the garden by eating only the rotted parts of the plants. Living peacefully without fish to bother them, their tentacles grow long and graceful. These are some of the most acrobatic snails. They will magically float to the surface, walk upside down on it and then float gracefully back down to the bottom. They seem to have plenty to eat, but I feed them a shrimp pellet usually once a day. They seem to remember the area I consistently drop it in.

Contributed by Sue Hughes

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