Aquatic snails add a fantastic deal to your backyard pond health and water quality. Oddly attractive, snails function as nutrient recyclers that encourage clear water. They perform highly supportive functions in populating brand new and established aquatic ecosystems with beneficial bacteria. Snails have traditionally been somewhat overrated as top-notch pond scavengers. While they eat their fair share of algae, decaying leaves, and rotting leftover fish food, they do not eat fish waste, blue-green brown or algae pond scum. The secret to introducing snails for your pond lies in selecting varieties that complement the ecosystem.
Evaluate your garden pond’s features to determine which variety and the number of snails will work nicely for you. Take into account your winter climate and the size of your pond. Water gardeners cherish their own water garden plants, which most snails devour with relish. Nearly all pond snails are hermaphroditic (both female and male, self-fertilizing), a particularly unappealing trait which allows them to breed prolifically in will and overrun a pond very quickly.
Select Japanese black trapdoor snails (Viviparis malleatus) in climates with harsh winters. Also acceptable for warm areas, Japanese trapdoor is the only freshwater snail species which doesn’t eat live pond plants. These snails are not quite prolific, require both female and male to reproduce, and breed just twice annually. They do not litter the pond with eggs as they bear a few live young every year. A couple of members of this mystery (Ampullaria) and ramshorn (Planorbidae) snail groups are not as destructive to plants as several other snails, however they breed and reproduce so prolifically that they are frequently regarded more as pests than creatures.
Purchase snails from reputable suppliers. A good guideline for deciding the number of snails to buy is no more than 1 animal for approximately every square foot of pond floor surface area.
Float the clear plastic bag of snails in the pond water for approximately ten minutes to permit them to slowly acclimate to the temperature. Open the bag and fill it halfway with water. Close the bag and let it float for another 10 minutes as the snails adapt to this change in water composition. Dump the snails to the shallowest portion of this pond. Snails lock themselves up in their shells when angry or afraid, so that they may appear lifeless or lifeless. They’ll soon begin poking their way across the pond floor.
Put a large lettuce leaf to the bottom of the pond and then weigh it down with a stone if you have not seen your snails within several days of releasing them. This is typical of this mollusks, which are hard to see because they mix in with stones, the pond floor. Return in two or three hours and scoop out the lettuce leaf. It ought to be covered with aquatic snails.
Supply your pond snails with a supply of calcium for shell health in case your water pH is below 7.0. Calcium deficiencies cause shells to eventually become pitted and thin, and are detrimental to their general well-being. These deficiencies do not occur in difficult water conditions. Pet and pond provide retailers offer appropriate calcium supplemental materials including dolomite, limestone and coralline stones and gravels. Granular calcium carbonate functions nicely, also. Follow the packaging instructions for amounts and frequency of use.
Feed your snails regularly if you are not feeding any fish which are leaving uneaten food supporting. While snails eat plenty of algae, the plant doesn’t constitute a nutritionally complete diet for them. Offer a large lettuce leaf or 1/4-inch piece of raw zucchini once or twice weekly. Weigh the veggie down with a stone. Contrary to many traditionally held beliefs, snails aren’t pooper-scoopers and will not absorb the waste products of other river residents. In the absence of adequate food, almost all of snail species may turn to eating crops, alternative snails and even little fish to survive.
Maintain your water amount as low as you can if you maintain large aquatic snails. A number of them are very adept at escaping the pond, especially at nighttime. Toss stranded snails back into the water once you locate them, even if they appear lifeless and all dried up. They’re fairly likely to survive.