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Mystery/Apple Snails Eat Plants?

Buggy

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Having everything in place and finalising my list of plants I've spent the evening getting down to choosing my livestock. I've always thought I'd go with Mystery snails as I like the idea of them breeding and allowing me to, since I'm on a budget, moving the extra to other tanks when the time comes.

As I was researching them I discovered that one seller adds a warning to the sales page:

* Attention: Apple Snails will eat aquarium plants. Mostly soft-leafed plants and mosses will be devoured quickly. This can be reduced if they are offered plenty of greenery like cucumbers, courgette, spinach etc. They are less attracted to hard leaved plants like Anubias and Java Ferns. *

Is this likely? Or more if they're not fed appropriately? It'd certainly be a deal breaker if so. And if so, is there a better choice for a snail that'll breed, assist slightly with "maintenance", and leave my carefully chosen plants alone?

The substrate is soil, in a 245L tank, heavily planted with wood and stone hardscape.
 

Hufsa

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Oh yeah. RIP your plants.

Any kind of "pest" snails do good jobs at eating biofilm off plant leaves before it turns into algae. I find they get less credit than what they deserve at helping keep things clean. They reach places big snails and fish cannot. I partial to the Physella acuta species, they have a subtle beauty.
 
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Buggy

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Oh yeah. RIP your plants.
Any kind of "pest" snails do good jobs at eating biofilm off plant leaves before it turns into algae. I find they get less credit than what they deserve at helping keep things clean. They reach places big snails and fish cannot. I partial to the Physella acuta species, they have a subtle beauty.
Am I to take that as.. if you have to pay for snails then bye-bye plants, but if they come for free attached to plants then they're rather marvellous?
 

mort

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The selection of colourful ramshorn snails available should be ok for you. They can occasionally eat some plants (going by what I've read from others but not personally witnessed myself) but are mostly well behaved. The exception is the giant ramshorn snail which will eat plants.
 

sparkyweasel

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This can be reduced if they are offered plenty of greenery like cucumbers, courgette, spinach etc
You would need a lot; my four could eat a whole cucumber or a whole lettuce in a day. I suspect they would still have eaten any plants I put in with them. :)
 

Ajm200

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Apple snails used to destroy my amazon sword plants in days in my big tank. Back when plants were cheap to replace
 

Simon Cole

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Apple snails were illegal anyway. They were never included in WCA Schedule 9, but they were banned from import or being "spread" in the EU (Commission Decision 2012/697/EU). Defra currently publicise: "any current sales or breeding of Pomacea would be in breach of the legislation". The whole genus was banned!

On a side note, I found an escaped population 25 years ago in a small stream in Great Horwood, Buckinghamshire and I was genuinely quite surprised because they are thought to be unable to survive the UK winter, which is probably also the reason why they were not added to Schedule 9. I found them during milder months of the year. We have had several cold winters since the clement weather of the 1990s so I doubt that particular non-native community has survived. They were very localised, there were very few living plants, and I did not find them elsewhere when I surveyed in later years other parts of the same tributary.
 
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Buggy

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Apple snails are illegal anyway. They were never included in WCA Schedule 9, but they were banned from import or being "spread" in the EU (Commission Decision 2012/697/EU), which is currently retained as UK law. Defra state: "any current sales or breeding of Pomacea would be in breach of the legislation". The whole genus is banned!
Is there a difference with Mystery snails and Apple snails?
I had originally added Mystery snails to my shortlist but then noticed them sold as Apple. So I wasn't too sure.
The places that I have visited usually claim that Mystery are no longer banned and once again available in the UK.

I have no real knowledge of the ban, or whether it has now been lifted, other than sellers of such things stating that they once were but are not any longer.
 

Simon Cole

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Mystery snail is often described as Pomacea bridgesii. The Apple snails are often described as Pomacea maculata and Pomacea canaliculata. They are all in the genus Pomacea.

I'm guessing that the EU legislation no longer applies. EU Committee Decision 2012/697/EU stated that: "Difficulty in taxonomic identification of the different species and the fact that it cannot be excluded that all species are harmful, make it necessary to regulate the genus Pomacea" . It seems The Plant Health (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 might have changed this position, and there is reference to the EU legislation in Schedule 3. The only problem I have is that the Regulations are a discombobulated and scattered mess. In all the years that I have read environmental legislation, I have never once seen legislation so very difficult to understand. Sorry folks but I think the rumours could be true, it could well have been rushed in the desperate 3 months of negotiation immediately prior to Brexit. My interpretation if I had to make one, is that the EU Exit Regulations were revoking retained EU legislation and placing these powers in the hands of the Regulator to decide in terms of applicability. That is fine, but as of right now they are still all listed on the DEFRA pest risk register, and in my mind it is up to DEFRA to disambiguate whether they are a pest or not on their website. It doesn't help that the 2016 guidance note is still on the website and that the species is listed as regulated without a clear definition of where we might find that legislation or what it actually means. I did read the various websites suggesting that somebody apparently spoke to somebody from DEFRA once in the past and they were happy to allow these snails, but that is only hearsay. I'm am staying open-minded on whether or not they are a pest species because the DEFRA website does not necessarily represent their regulatory position. DEFRA could have been a lot clearer on their own website. I don't think any of this matters very much to anyone.
 

Ajm200

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Seen them back on sale this year. I used to have pink, white and blues and supplied the local shop for a bit in exchange for fish food
 

sparkyweasel

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DEFRA could have been a lot clearer on their own website.
They could; they also have this page:
Defra

Which states;

"Pest has been archived​

This pest has been assessed for the Risk Register and is considered to pose a low risk to the UK. The information on this pest was correct as of 08/01/2021, but is no longer actively maintained. It will only be updated if new information is received which indicates the potential for a significant increase in risk to the UK."
 

X3NiTH

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They are less attracted to hard leaved plants like Anubias and Java Ferns.

Yup that’s stretching the truth, if that’s all you have that’s all they’ll eat! You wouldn’t add Slugs to your vegetable garden, Apple snails are the Planted tank equivalent, seen one devour an entire Anubia in a couple of days, the only part they didn’t like was the Leaf stalks or Rhizome.

:)
 

Buggy

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Yup that’s stretching the truth, if that’s all you have that’s all they’ll eat! You wouldn’t add Slugs to your vegetable garden, Apple snails are the Planted tank equivalent, seen one devour an entire Anubia in a couple of days, the only part they didn’t like was the Leaf stalks or Rhizome.

:)
Would you say the same for Nerites?
 

Hufsa

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Nerites are good girls and boys, aside from their slightly unsightly eggs they dont do anything untoward and come in some beautiful colors :thumbup:
They sadly dont last very long in acidic/CO2 injected tanks :thumbdown: Cant remember if you're running CO2 or not @Buggy
 

Buggy

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Nerites are good girls and boys, aside from their slightly unsightly eggs they dont do anything untoward and come in some beautiful colors :thumbup:
They sadly dont last very long in acidic/CO2 injected tanks :thumbdown: Cant remember if you're running CO2 or not @Buggy
Ah, yeah, I am. My area also has soft water. So that's another one ticked off the list.
 

X3NiTH

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I’ll revise my original statement, Anubia Stems and Rhizomes are fair game for Apple snails, no plant is safe!

AA9598A9-31C7-4585-8735-BE070CC0E566.jpeg

A02FF002-4FDA-42E8-B604-24ED17FE326A.jpeg

26C768F1-49E1-463E-BB12-81227384582C.jpeg

DCED9612-3D3E-445F-92CB-B22F96FEE5EE.jpeg


Total Carnage!

:)
 
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