Pond snails: You’ve undoubtedly had some form of encounter or conversation with snails if you’ve ever tried to manage a garden or if you know someone who has. Garden snails are often considered a nuisance, and most gardeners do not want them in their gardens.
Pond snails and garden snails are related species since they are both gastropods. Are pond snails, like their garden siblings, a nuisance?
Let’s take a deeper look at the many species of pond snails and see if they’re beneficial or harmful to your pond… and so much more!
Variety of Shapes and Sizes of Snails
There are many different species of pond snails, but here are a few of the most common.
Snail of Big Ear Pond
Big Ear pond snails are native to Europe and East Asia, however, they may be found all around the world. The species has now expanded across the world to the United States and New Zealand, and it is a popular pond fish.
They like clear, quiet water, although they may thrive in cloudy, muddy pond water as well. They consume a variety of green algae, as well as decomposing debris and even sand grains. As a result, they are an excellent species for removing items from your pond or water garden.
They may reach a diameter of roughly 3 inches, which is extremely huge for a pond snail.
Snails of the Japanese Trapdoor
Another species that eats algae is the Japanese Trapdoor Snail, which is useful in ponds to prevent undesirable development. They also consume decaying debris and spend much of their time at the pond’s bottom, cheerfully disposing of leaves, uneaten fish food, fish faeces, and other annoyances.
They can be present all throughout the world and can live in cold locations, even surviving the harsh winter months. The fact that their young are born as snails rather than eggs distinguishes this type of snail from many others. Because egg yields are generally significantly larger, this restricts the number of snails that may be born. Because of this, Japanese Trapdoor snails are unlikely to be able to numerically conquer your pond habitat.
Snail of the Great Pond
The Great Pond Snail, also known as Lymnaea Stagnalis, is a species that thrives in colder areas including northern Europe, Russia, and Canada. This species, like the Big Ear, may grow to be 3 inches in diameter, making it easily noticeable in and around your pond.
They devour a variety of things, including algae and plants. They don’t mind if the vegetation is alive or dead, as both are suitable for their nutrition. Small fish, other snails, and insect larvae are all known to be eaten by Great Pond Snails, making them perfect for managing troublesome bug populations. They enjoy motionless or slow-moving water and thrive in ponds with plenty of vegetation.
Snail of the Dwarf Pond
Dwarf Pond Snails, which grow to little over a third of an inch in diameter, are on the other extreme of the size spectrum. They like to dwell in smaller bodies of water because they are so little, so if you have a little pond, this may be the species for you.
The Dwarf Pond Snail, another global traveller, may be found in Europe, Asia, Alaska, and North Africa, demonstrating its resilience to a variety of temperatures.
They consume algae, decaying detritus (including leaves and fish), and accessible aquatic plants, just like their bigger relatives. Each snail will consume far less than its larger counterparts due to its diminutive size – but in a small pond, this may be a beneficial thing.
Other Species of Snails
Although the snail species already described will be the most abundant and most likely to survive in a pond, additional species do exist. Some pond snails are tropical and require warmer temperatures to survive, while others might cause problems in the ecosystem. If they are not native species, they have the ability to breed and spread, wiping out native populations or disrupting the present environment.
Snails like this should be kept in aquariums to prevent their contact with the outside world, but due research and care should be performed at all times.
Pond Snails: Good or Bad For My Pond?
Pond snails (Lymnaeidae), like any other species, may contribute to the health of your pond and provide some actual advantages.
They can assist you in removing undesirable bugs from your pond as well as dealing with decaying materials.
Snails, on the other hand, prefer to eat the excellent algae in your pond rather than the harmful blue/green algae. If there isn’t enough algae for them to eat, they may devour your pond plants.
Another disadvantage is that snails breed fast, potentially overpopulating your pond with snails that feed on the above!
With that in mind, let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of pond snails to determine if they’re a good fit for your pond’s environment.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Pond Snails
- They eat algae and can assist in keeping it under control.
- They also eat other pond detritus that would otherwise end up in the sludge layer of the pond.
- Snails are a good alternative for individuals looking for a variety of pond life.
- Instead of the toxic blue/green (cyanobacteria) algae, eat the beneficial green algae.
- Snails breed fast, resulting in excess in your pond.
- Instead of helping, a snail excess might result in dead snails adding to pond filth.
- If there aren’t enough algae to feed on, it may eat your healthy pond plants.
They can easily sneak into your pond without you even realising it. Snails may be found on aquatic plants, and if you add new plants to your pond, a snail or two may be hidden among the leaves.
They’ve been seen travelling with other creatures like turtles and other aquatic creatures, but they’ve also been seen riding on the backs of cats and dogs. If your pet has come into contact with a plant that has snail eggs on it, some of the eggs may have stuck to the animal. All it takes is a trip to your pond to find a new home for those eggs.