Snails: How many should I add, and how can I monitor and increase water hardness?
We have had an aquarium with fish (including guppies, platies, catfish) at home for about 2 years now. We would now also like a few snails such as trumpet snails or applesnails as we think they are very beautiful and heard that these snails can be very useful.
this is exactly the right attitude, snails are unfortunately too often considered a 'pest', which they are not!
How many snails should we keep in a 100 liter aquarium?
Just add a few trumpet snails, their number will regulate by itself. These snails are livebearing, by the way. They spend much time in the bottom gravel (they are sometimes nicknamed 'earthworms of the aquarium') and loosen it.
Concerning the applesnails, one specimen is sufficient for a 100 liter aquarium or, if you wish to breed them, one male and one female each (applesnails have different genders, most other snail species are hermaphrodites). However, do not underestimate their productivity. It may become difficult to regularly find takers for the numerous young snails. Applesnail eggs are located above the water surface, the baby snails then fall into the water when hatching.
I know calcium is essential for snails, what levels should I maintain?
Medium hard to hard water is optimal for the snails. If they were born in soft water they will do well in it as well. Relocating them into considerably softer water later on, however, will raise problems especially for applesnails, often leading to shells getting holes and becoming brittle.
You should also check the number of the snails daily - one of them dying (their life span is between one and two years) and decomposing leads to enormous water pollution.
Which one of your products do we need for monitoring and increasing the hardness?
Regularly monitoring the hardness (sera GH test kit and sera KH test kit) is recommended if the water is rather soft from the beginning and/or little water is changed. sera mineral salt is suitable for increasing the hardness whenever necessary.
Dr. Bodo Schnell