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Old 04-21-2021, 05:09 PM   #1
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Snails and Algae

Can algae get too thick for snails to feed on?

I tend to only clean the glass on the front face, so algae freely covers the sides and rear and in some spots its quite thickly covered. But i never see snails on the thick algae. I would expect it to be a snail feeding bonanza.

So it got me thinking if somehow a thick coating of algae is less appetising to snails. Or maybe they dont like the feel of thick algae on the glass.

Any thoughts?
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Old 04-22-2021, 02:53 AM   #2
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Seems Nerites love to feed off the glass. I've seen Mystery Snails eat a 1/2 inch of slimey stuff off new druftwood. And a fair amount off leaves. But they probably eat plenty of food the fish miss. Less hungry snails then, if so.
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Old 04-24-2021, 10:54 AM   #3
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I gave a mystery snail to a friend who has a very algaerific (my own word, thank you) tank. She was always a big eater (the snail, not the friend) and every time I ask how it's going, the report is that she's constantly on the move gobbling up algae. At first there were clear trails where she'd plowed through it on the glass. Now she's got it to a point where it's pretty cleaned up in there. I didn't realize a mystery snail could do all that, but I see that it depends on the individual. There's another mystery in there who doesn't eat half of what she does.

I have nerites that do a sparkling clean job. About once a month I give them a vegetable, and once a month some shrimp pellets. Any more often and they start slacking off with the clean-up program.
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Old 04-24-2021, 11:11 AM   #4
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Its weird. They eat algae off the front of the tank, off plant leaves, and driftwood. But they wont touch it on the sides and back where its thickest. Maybe its a different type of algae that they dont like?
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Old 04-24-2021, 11:43 AM   #5
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My feeling is that they probably prefer biofilm and Iím thinking algae grows on biofilm. I suspect my tank glass is always spotless because the snails eat the biofilm before algae grows on it.

Purely observational.
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Old 04-24-2021, 12:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliban07 View Post
My feeling is that they probably prefer biofilm and Iím thinking algae grows on biofilm. I suspect my tank glass is always spotless because the snails eat the biofilm before algae grows on it.

Purely observational.
So cleaning the glass allows new biofilm to form, the snails might then feed on this biofilm, which in turn will help control new algae growth?
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Old 04-24-2021, 12:04 PM   #7
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So cleaning the glass allows new biofilm to form, the snails might then feed on this biofilm, which in turn will help control new algae growth?

Those are my thoughts yes. Although I have 100s of snails and they are probably mostly active after lights off.
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