If you are setting up an aquarium and filling it with unusual inhabitants, you may well decide that adding some strombus snails is a great idea – but if so, it’s important to take some time to learn about these unique creatures, what they eat, how they behave, and how to take care of them. It is also crucial to understand what sort of impact they will have upon the tank you have built, and for this to happen, you need to look into whether they are reef safe, among other things. We are going to explore all of these questions today so you’ll better understand whether strombus snails could be a good option for your aquarium.
Snails often make a great addition to a tank; they are fun to watch, interesting to keep, and generally fairly easygoing with few associated costs. They will help to keep the tank clean and can provide a healthier environment overall, and they also make your tank more diverse and unique. Adding almost any kind of snail could be beneficial, but strombus snails are pretty, quite large, and despite being labeled the “fighting conch” by some, peaceful inhabitants that should not bother your other tank inhabitants.
Strombus snails are generally classed as medium to large, and members within this genus will range in size, but there are no tiny ones. Select which you prefer with care before adding it to the tank, as snails can breed very quickly and may be difficult to remove.
What Do Strombus Snails Eat?
A strombus snail is considered an omnivore; it does not feed only on plant matter, but instead grazes on general detritus around the tank, eating any little flakes of food that come its way. These snails will eat food that is missed by your fish (or other tank inhabitants), but they also graze on algae, helping to keep its population down within the tank and ensuring the water stays clear. Many people view their strombus snails as part of their tank’s crucial clean up crew.
You may not need to feed your strombus snails directly if you have a large tank with plenty of food available, but if the tank is smaller or you are stringent about the food you put in it, you should add a little extra to ensure your snails get enough to eat. You can give them small amounts of the food you would generally feed to fish, as this will ensure that they are getting the essential nutrients they need to survive. If you are only keeping snails and no other animals, make sure you feed them.
If you notice an algal bloom taking over in your tank, cut back on the feeding; this is a sign that the water is too rich in nutrients to be safe. Reduce what you are adding to the tank and let the snails get on top of the algae; they should soon reduce its presence, especially if you have plenty of snails.
Why Do Strombus Snails Dig Into Substrate?
Strombus snails are known for digging around in the substrate of the tank, particularly if it is loose (e.g. sand), and sometimes they are just feeding, but at other times, they will be laying eggs and hiding them from potential predators by burying them in the substrate. You might observe your snail wriggling its way down into the sand until it is hardly visible, and staying there for a while, before moving to another spot and doing the same thing. It will leave a little mound in each place, and if this contains eggs, you should be able to feel a firm jelly-like texture if you lightly brush a finger across it.
Be careful if you are going to touch the eggs because they are likely to be very delicate, and you may damage them. It is best just to look, rather than touch; snails often lay their eggs on the glass too, and they should look like clear balls with an opaque white dot in the center. Don’t handle the eggs unnecessarily, and with any luck, you may get baby snails in the tank at some point in the next week or two.
Not all snails will be laying when they burrow into the substrate; sometimes they will just be concealing themselves while they rest. The substrate offers a safe, undisturbed spot for them to hide in and they make take advantage of this.
Are Strombus Snails Reef Safe?
Yes, strombus snails are reef safe and you can add them to your tank without any concerns about them eating the anemones or corals; they only feed on algae and detritus around the tank. They will generally be beneficial, as they will consume algae and keep the water clean, which helps the corals to grow well. Some people get frustrated about the number of snails they end up with, but this is actually indicative of a bigger issue – snail populations tend to explode when the water is very rich in nutrients.
If you do end up with too many snails, reduce how much food you add to the tank and wait for a while. The population should start to dwindle naturally as the supply of food drops off.
Strombus snails will not harm your reef inhabitants even if they crawl over them; they can coexist with a reef perfectly well. If you are planning to add snails to your tank, be aware that you may end up with a lot of them, but that even in large numbers, they aren’t harmful in a reef tank, and will help to keep it balanced.
Strombus snails are very popular additions to many saltwater aquariums, and most hobbyists enjoy watching these creatures creep around the tank, dig into the stand, and munch on leftovers that drift through the water. Don’t be afraid to add strombus snails, but do be aware that they will quickly grow in numbers if there is a lot of food available for them, and this can be hard to prevent if you over-feed your other tank inhabitants.