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Old 02-11-2004, 03:11 PM   #1
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Need some opinions on tyoes of snails

Hi everyone,
I was looking for some opinions on whether to replenish snails in my mini-reef.
It's a 29g that has been set up for about 8 yrs and has been doing well. The sand bed is from old school, where Sam (I forget his last name) from articles way back when had introduced the 4" DSB with a plenum base structure. The bed is not fine sand as it is done now, but rather aragonite material from Caribsea that is much courser but smaller than CC. At the start, clean up crews were employed, mix of everything from emerald crabs to hermits & different snails. Over the years, these critters have died off and were not replenished.
Currently there are only one or two hitch hiker crabs in the tank that came on some LR from liverock.com, my question is: should I add any snails since I do not have much of a algae, diatom or detritus problem.
Do I leave well enough alone or do all reef tanks need a detritus or algae snail here and there.
I would want to stay away from hermits (don't trust them with my clams)and clean up crew packages are more than I need.
I have available from my LFS the following:

nassarius
bumble bee
astrea
mexican turbo
margarita

Do you think I should add one or two nassarius (but I don't have fine sand), or bumble bee for detritus consumption?
Do you think I should also add a few margaritas for film algae consumption? (astreas can't right themselves up too well after falling, do margaritas fare better?)

Mexican turbos look too big and might knock over stuff (IMO)
Or do you think that I do not need them since I haven't had any for 3 to 4 years and it doesn't seem to be a problem?

Your opinions are valued, thanks!
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Old 02-11-2004, 03:54 PM   #2
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The turbo's are usually a bad idea for several reasons, the main two being that they are like bulldozers when they push through corals and they are cold water snails. Our tanks are too warm for them and they do not usually last long. All of the other choices that you mentioned would be good for the tank. Nassarius are meat eaters and will go after any extra food. The rest of them are good choices as well. If you can, try to find some Cerrith snails. They breed well in our tanks and they move the sand around better than pretty much any snail out there, including the conchs.

IMO you do need something to clean up the sand no matter what your tank looks like. There are always spots in the tank where food and detritus will get caught. Something has to get it out....

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Old 02-11-2004, 04:12 PM   #3
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This is a post from a respected memeber of another board. I have found the information he posted on snails to be very accurate. Hope this helps. This will also be on our site soon.

Astrea Snail-most common of all saltwater tank snails. They are excellent algae eaters and will forage all over the rock, sand, and glass. These guys fall very easily and can not right themselves up and die easily.

Banded Trochus Snail - Large snails that are excellent algae eaters although are very slow about it. These guys have a hard time picking themselves up as well if stranded in the middle of the sand. Mine seem to prefer rock more than glass.

Bumblebee snails- Not very hardy. Marginal algae eaters, but more of a detritus grazer. They can prey on other snails and sand bed critters.

Cerith Snails (Cortez) - Good algae and detritus eaters that forage rock, glass, and sand. Some can pick themselves up and some cant.

Cerith Snails (White)- Good algae and detritus eaters that seem to stay in the sand more than the cortez, but can be found on the rock and glass. Once again, some can pick themselves up and others cant. These guys are good sand bed snails to shift the substrate around.

Conch Snails (Mine-Strombus Alatus) These guys are all about the sand bed and are very cool to watch. They usually dont get flipped over, but if they do, they can kick around and turn themselves back upright.They very hardy too.

Mexican Turbo Snails - super fast grazer that will knock out some algae in no time. They mostly stay on rocks and glass, but will work the top of the sandbed too. I think these are cold water snails that dont do so well in a reef. (I have had a couple of batches of these and only about 30% of them survive a week. But, once they are adjusted... they seem to be very hardy and active.)

Nassarius Snails - They mostly stay in the sand, but will sometimes make short trips up the glass. They are mainly detritus eaters and do an excellent job cleaning and shifting the sand. I think these are also some of the most hardy snails out there. These guys can flip themselves upright very easily and quickly.

Nerite Snails - Mostly a rock and glass snail that are all about the algae. The dont move very fast but the areas they have been in are clean as a bell. These guys like to crawl outta the water some, but i have never found one that "jumped ship." These are great snails, but also have trouble turning themselves back over.

Stomatella Snails - my They are supposed to reproduce very well. No personal experience w/ them.

Strombus Snails (Strombus maculatus (sp?))these are excellent snails that reproduce very well. They seem to be mostly sandbed snails and will occasionally make there way up to about the 1-3 inch line of my rock work. I assume they are mostly detritus eaters.
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Old 02-11-2004, 04:39 PM   #4
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Thanks squishy,
That is a lot of good info! Looks like I should fair best with the white cerith snails. If I can't find them locally, then I will try the nassarius. Any experience with the margarita snails (black shell) as algae grazers?
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Old 02-11-2004, 04:41 PM   #5
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None on the black shell, but the white shells are great. I have probably 20 or so in my tank. (at least)

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Old 02-11-2004, 08:09 PM   #6
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how about the abalone tropical snail. i have one and he is vary cool he is about 2" long and only moves at night but i think he dose a good job at cleaning the tank.
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Old 02-12-2004, 04:34 PM   #7
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Do you have a pic? We will add him to the list
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Old 02-13-2004, 12:17 AM   #8
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the only pic i would have is that of the web site i got him from. but that pic dose not look like any think like him. i illl try to olook on line for one that dose.
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Old 02-14-2004, 01:33 AM   #9
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Wow great post Squish, helped me out too.
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Old 02-14-2004, 01:09 PM   #10
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ok so i found some pics

http://www.wetwebmedia.com/abfaqs.htm

http://www.photovault.com/Link/Anima...1/AALV01P01_15

http://www.mbayaq.org/efc/living_spe...ri=1&inhab=478

mine has the shape of them but it red in coralline algae. but you get the idea. hope this helps
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