It’s not uncommon to see a snail in your backyard area. However, if you have an outdoor pond, you might worry whether snails are good or bad for your pond.
Pond snails come in a lot of variety and are a part of the gastropod family. You may or may not want them in your pond. But they can enter your pond by chance. This happens when your pond is near another body of water. Alternatively, they could come in with other organisms like turtles and maybe even water plants.
You might wonder whether they can bring harm to your water and pets. There can be some drawbacks to having snails in your pond. But there are some positives to snails as well. We’ll talk more about these critters throughout this article. You’ll learn if snails in pond are good or bad!
So, Are Snails In Ponds Good or Bad?
Snails can easily become a fixture in your outdoor pond ecosystem. In fact, they can actually add additional benefits to your pond!
Snails are slimy, but they are good at getting rid of waste and other contaminants in water. They eat up floating debris in the water. But know that they can come with their own drawbacks. Snails are much more likely to consume beneficial algae in your outdoor pond.
They won’t eat the kind of algae that you want out of your pond. So there is that to consider. In addition, pond snails multiply very rapidly.
It’s likely that you don’t want a ton of snails growing and taking up space in your pond. Unfortunately, they can grow in your pond fast without you noticing. And even on the off chance that you don’t mind having a lot of snails in your pond, there is water quality to think about.
Having too many pets in your pond can decrease the quality of water. It can also lead to a lack of oxygen in your water. Furthermore, snails could die in your pond fast and cause waste and sludge to form.
Really, there are good and bad points of having snails in your pond. At a smaller number, they can be okay to have in a pond. And some species of snail are perfect for your pond. Still, when a snail population goes out of control this can be bad news for you! So think about this carefully!
Facts To Know About Pond Snails
As we mentioned, snails are in the gastropod species. Gastropod is a word with Greek origins. It aptly describes snails foot like underbellies which allow them to move. Pond snails can come from anywhere, this includes both plants and animals.
But the most likely scenario is that they hitched a ride on a pet or another amphibious creature. It doesn’t take much to get a snail in a pond. Maybe their eggs were stuck on your dog, or they stuck themselves to another animal. Their slimy underbelly lets them travel far on other objects and animals.
You might not expect snails to make a trip to your pond. Most of us are familiar with land snails. But water snails can survive in ponds easily. They still have lungs to get air. But they have to come up to the water to get oxygen.
Some snails even breathe through their skin, and others have gills that help them breathe as well. It all depends on the species of snail that is in your water. Really, snails have all kinds of looks, sizes, and parts. The choice and variety in this animal make them a sought-after pet. Though they may or may not be welcomed in your pond.
What Will Pond Snails Eat Exactly?
If you do decide to keep pond snails in your outdoor pond you’ll want to know what they eat. We already established that they eat algae and pond waste. But they can be fed other types of food in addition to this.
Really, pond snails love leafy veggies to snack on. In fact, they will prefer this over your aquatic plants. In truth, pond plants are in no danger when you have snails in your water. Snails like algae best of all though.
If you want though, you can introduce other types of veggies to your pond water. Cucumbers, carrots, and even some fruits can be a good source of nutrition for your slimy pet. You don’t want to put a ton of food in but you can put a sizable portion in the water.
Snails will also eat dead animals to clean your water. This includes any dead snails. So if not too many snails die at once, your pets will solve their own waste issues. They might even eat dead fish!
This can seem gross, but it helps the water stay maintained and healthy. With all the waste these critters eat, your pond could end up in better shape. Especially if you can curb your snails to a lower population. This is an ideal scenario!
What Animals Prey On Pond Snails?
Video: “Assassin Snail “Clea helena” (Species Profile)”
Other animals will try to eat pond snails. This isn’t always a bad thing, as this can keep snails from multiplying out of control in a pond. In fact, your fish might help keep your snail count down. From time to time they could eat your snails.
But this depends on the type of fish you have. Other animals to be on the lookout for include ducks and turtles. Even frogs might try to eat snails.
This information will be useful if you are trying to stop a pond snail invasion. You can even buy specific types of snails to lower the number of snails in your water. A snail assassin is one option. They eat pond snails to help you control your pond.
This can seem cruel, but it can become necessary when too many pond snails proliferate in the water!
Popular Pond Snail Types
There are all kinds of pond snails out there! We’ll talk about a few popular species you could find in your pond here.
Big Ear Snail (Radix auricularia)
To begin, we’ll discuss the Big Ear. These snails are found all around the world. As you can imagine, these are bigger snails.
They grow up to three inches if they are well fed with algae. They don’t like to live in clear water or moving water.
So if you keep your water healthy and install an aerator of some sort they will stay out of your water.
Video: “Trapdoor Snails – Algae Control For Lakes, Ponds & Aquariums”
Japanese Trapdoor is another species of snail that you could find in outdoor ponds. These are another algae-eating species, as most snails are. They eat a lot of waste and are quite useful for dirtier ponds. What makes them special though is their resistance to colder climates.
The Trapdoor will live in your pond and survive even during winter! And the best part about this snail is that they breed very limited. So you have less of a chance of pond crowding with this species.
Great Pond Snails (Lymnaea stagnalis)
Video: “Wildlife Pond Snails Lymnaea stagnalis Beneficial Pond Snail”
Great Pond Snails are bigger than Trapdoor snails, they like warmer and still water. And they are great if you need something to control bugs in your water. This type of snail eats all types of waste and dead fish.
But if you want to get rid of a bug problem, having this snail around isn’t so bad. In particular, they munch on bug eggs and larvae to keep things under control.
Dwarf Pond Snail
You might not just find larger snails in your pond. One final popular snail is the Dwarf snail. This miniature snail is less than an inch big. And usually, they are found in smaller bodies of water.
Dwarf snails can be found in almost any continent. They don’t have a temperature restriction.
So they will live anywhere. And because of their tiny size, they are less likely to overtake a pond. This means that less waste is taken out of your pond. But at least your pond can stay uncrowded!
Of course, there are many other types of snails to look into. These are just some of the most common species you will see around your pond!
All kinds of fun and wacky snail species exist. There is a snail to be found for any type of pond really!
Can You Buy Pond Snails?
- Trapdoor snails are great for removing algae and unwanted leftover fish food
- Their shells can grow up to 2" long and can range in color from light brown, to white, to a brilliant blue
- Live arrival guarantee! See below for full details.
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You can get a pond snail at the store or even online. This is convenient, especially if you are in search of a specific type of pond snail. But for the most part, snails will come to your pond on their own.
There isn’t really a need to buy them from the store. That is unless you are a snail enthusiast who wants a certain snail.
You don’t have to buy snails separate food, or worry about caring for them much too. They tend to stay healthy on their own. But if you are looking to cut back on your snail population, certain snail types might be preferred.
And as we mentioned some snails can even be bought to cut back on overpopulation, like the assassin snail!
Can You Rid Your Pond of Snails?
Snails can be good for a pond of course. But again, not everyone is going to be into having snails in their pond water. If this is the case, you want to be able to clear your water. These sections will go over the snail removal process for you.
And you not only want to get rid of the snails themselves but the eggs as well. If you don’t remove snail eggs, these slimy critters can come back!
If you only want a few snails in your pond, this section can help as well. We talked about this, but large amounts of snails can be bad for a pond. And in some cases, parasites can form in water with a ton of snails. So you definitely want to be mindful of the number of snails you have!
Pet store snails are usually safer in this case if you are worried about pathogens.
Remove Them By Hand
Regardless, the easiest way to get rid of snails is by removing them by hand. You can use a net or some other item to capture the snails from the water. In most cases, snails are large enough to find and get rid of. But with smaller snails, this could be harder.
Lure Them out
Just try to get rid of as many as you can see. And if you aren’t confident that you got rid of all the snails, try to lure them out!
Veggies or lettuce leaves can help with this. Just leave the bait out and wait for the snails, then snatch them up and remove them. In addition, you’ll want to get rid of any eggs you see. A vacuum can be used as well, but you want to be careful.
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And if you are trying to keep good snails in your pond, be gentle. However, if you plan on completely ridding your pond of snails you can put other animals in your pond that eat snails. Again, frogs and assassin snails are good options
We talked about whether snails in pond good or bad. The truth is that pond snails come with both pros and cons. For the most part, it can be good to keep these pets in your water. At a lower population, they help clean your water.
They also fit in nicely with your aquatic ecosystem. And of course, snails can be slimy, but they clean up after themselves and your fish. Not every pond owner will want a snail or multiple snails in their water.
But you can benefit from these pets. And they are usually free to have in your pond. They feed themselves and show up in most outdoor bodies of water all on their own. Still, if you let your snail population get out of control, this can be bad for your water quality.
You want to monitor the number of snails in your water. And try to keep their population down if you can. This way your water will stay healthy!
Hopefully though, now you have your answer for whether snails in pond good or bad.