Saltwater Aquarium Snails can be classified a few different ways but for the use of snails in aquariums, it is most helpful to think about what they eat.
First consider this, unlike crabs, saltwater aquarium snails consist of a large meaty body… so if they die they will produce a LOT of waste.
Waste becomes Ammonia which becomes Nitrites which becomes Nitrates which then feeds the Nasty Algae.
So if you buy the wrong snails or to many snails you will actually increase your algae instead of reducing the algae.
Lets look at the 2 main food substances consumed by saltwater aquarium snails.
1. Algae – algae eaters get a lot of attention because everyone thinks they are the god send for the aquarium. This is partially true. They are great for eating algae … However to much of a good thing is a bad thing when it comes to algae eating snails. To many snails .. not enough food … Snails die …. algae is fed from the death of snails so you end of with more algae. YIKES!!!
2. Detritus eaters / waste eating snails. Now these are your TRUE friends. They keep the house clean in ways you may never know or think about.
A safe recommendation for snail stocking is:
Algae Eating Snails: 1 per 5 gallons of tank water
Detritus Eating Snails: 1 per gallon of tank water
The other consideration is the type of snails. As with people, all snail palates are not created equal. So variation is KEY.
Some snails like green algae (ie: Turbo Snails) on the glass, while Cerith Snails prefer brown algae on the rocks.
My favorite detritus eating snail are Nassarius Vibex.
nuisance algae issues.
Very good information for the beginners
I recently bought a used tank with rock – not sure how to get rid of all of this nasty algae.
I have a nano tank and want a clean up crew – it is only 18 gallons – what do you suggest?
I want to start a nano tank – this is a helpful blog to getstarted!
I have a tank for almost 3 months and do not know where to start – can you point me in the right direction please
I need something to eat this bubble algae – it is everywhere – what do you recommend?
I have had very good luck with blue leg hermits – and nass snails – My son calls them zombie snails
I know everyone loves trochus and turbos – but my go to snails are Nassarius Vibes
Do you know anything about Trochus snails reproducing in my tank – I think they have had babies – they are everywhere!!
I am having a hard time finding trochus snails – do you have any right now?
I love red leg hermits for my clean up crew!!
I have had many tanks over the years – Snails are critical to success!!
My favorite snail is the new tiger conch I recently got fro AquariumDepot – it is the coolest!!
Yes – the tiger conch is a very good snail to place into a tank with a softer substrate – I am glad you are happy with your conch you got from us. https://aquariumdepot.com/tiger-sand-conch-strombus-spp
I love trochus – They are sooo cool!!
this is very helpful – Thank you