How to House and Feed Your Trapdoor Snails
There are some smaller trapdoors also, but they go by other sobriquets
Misc Frogs II
Misc Frogs III
Misc Frogs IV
Misc Frogs V
Pet World Visit
Why Trapdoor Snails in Ponds? All the pond books recommend these belly foots (gastropods) for ponds. Theoretically, trapdoors make excellent algae eaters. However, we’ve never been able to measure their effectiveness -- even when kept in mass quantities. We know they eat it. We don’t think they can eliminate it. (Try mowing your grass while blindfolded.) But we know snails in ponds (and aquaria) help remove excess foods and any undetected dead stuff they can reach. Snails will eat stuff nothing else will touch -- like moldy old fish food. Maybe not the best diet for them, but they help prevent the overfeeding syndrome so common with new aquarists/pond keepers.
Trapdoors versus Mysteries. The biggest difference between these guys and mysteries and apples is their lack of a lung. They never run up a snorkel to suck O2 from the air. This means they do not drown when ice covers their water -- a recurring problem in our neck of the corn belt buckle. Better yet, since they suck no air, cool weather won’t kill them. Mysteries and apples can’t make the cut.
Trapdoor Mortality Clue. Most of the larger snails grow a trapdoor and slam it shut when you bug them. It protects their edible insides. When that trapdoor falls off, they are dead. Really dead. You need not feel for a pulse. And that smell ... Who could scarf escargots after smelling a ripe snail? Erasers taste better. Even with the garlic and Frenchified with the “I can’t believe it’s not ear wax” sauce.
Trapdoors and Gravel Cleaners. If you’ve ever cleaned a tank with a gravel cleaner, you hate those loose trapdoors. They clog your gravel cleaner. If they get inside your siphon hose they can drive you just a bit crazy. They totally mess up the flapper-style self-starting gravel cleaners. Some disassembly required.
Great Scavengers. Dropping two or three big snails of any kind into a new tank helps prevent cloudy water. They eat up excess food faster than the bacteria can find it. Their eyesight would never pass a driver’s license exam, but they sport super smellers.
Plant Eaters? Of course. If given no choice, all snails will eat plants. So will you. Apple snails even eat sponge filters. Trapdoor snails are not quite as voracious. But put a dozen in a 10-gallon tank with no food and they’ll eat filters, too. They much prefer fish food. In the absence of fish food, they will eat algae AND plants.
Livebearers. We almost forgot to say that you won’t find egg clusters underwater or egg cases above the water. Trapdoor snail mommas have little live babies that come out ready to eat whatever they roll over. If the adults have no other food, they will also eat escargots.
Last Words. We like all snails. We consider trapdoor snails over rated as algae eaters, but we still recommend them. They prevent many problems in overfed aquaria. If you want to maximize your herd, separate your adults from their progeny. LA.
© 2003, © 2004, © 2011 LA Productions
3600 Sixth Avenue
Corner of Sixth & Euclid Avenues
Des Moines, IA 50313
Betta Breed 1
Betta Breed II
Betta Pla Kat
Pleco Costly I
Pleco Costly II
Pleco Costly III
Pleco Costly IV
Pleco Costly V
Pleco Costly VI
Misc Catfish II
Misc Catfish III
Misc Catfish IV
Misc Catfish V
Jack Dempsey Spawn
Jaguar Spawning II
Rainbowfish, Dwarf Neon