View Full Version : freshwater snails that will survive in a pond
01-31-2012, 09:21 PM
I live in New York and was wondering if there are any snail species sold in pet stores that will survive all year in an outdoor pond with lots of plants,mud, and decaying oak leaves without me having to do anything other than make sure the water doesn't freeze? A friend of mine has a pond like this with some goldfish and wants to add some snail species and being I go to the pet store all the time I am going to look for him, but I honestly have no idea about aquatic snails so I would need a common name of them sold, and what colors they come in to help me distinguish different species. I only know of one snail species sold off the top of my head and that is the ramshorn snail they come in dk brown and red coloring but when I googled about them im reading there are various species of ramshorn, found in warm or cold climates.
I know snails frequently are found on aquatic plants sold (dont know plant names either), but most of those are for tropical water or so I had thought, not for cold water like here.
01-31-2012, 09:58 PM
you could always go to a pond and pull out some algae, most likely you will find alot of snails. however you wont know the species without doing some research, and being winter you might not find anything.
01-31-2012, 10:01 PM
There is only a shallow lake here nearby and being its winter chances of finding them are rare that's why he wanted to buy some now only question is what species will survive?
01-31-2012, 10:04 PM
that im not too sure about. freshwater snails at petstores might be able to withstand the winter. im not sure where the normal ramshorn are from. i know around here i can find some of the huge water snails that are about the size of a golf ball.
01-31-2012, 11:41 PM
pond snails which are a pest are probably in the pond already.
the ramshorn would probably do okay. they are hardy. mystery snails might make it. im not sure. register on fishlore.com i go there and they help answer any questions.
02-10-2012, 08:27 PM
The mystery snails are actually Apple snails (genus Pomacea) and require tropical settings. I would just go to a petstore that sells aquatic plants and ask for ramshorns; they sometimes come in on the plants (not for sale, but most stores will give them away if you ask) look pretty cool when they get big, and there are species that are native to the US. Searching a lake or river may also yield some ramshorn species.
Edit: Also, most goldfish will eat snails without a second thought once they get big enough. I would just try to find some big ramshorns from a lake or river (but make sure it's a clean one away from sewage; you don't want to give the goldfish parasites, and many parasitic protozoans and worms use snails as intermediate hosts, not to mention that most snails tend to carry things like that anyway) and collect them there for your friend's pond.
02-11-2012, 12:37 AM
... I live in New York and was wondering if there are any snail species sold in pet stores that will survive all year in an outdoor pond ...
I can see a major problem here. If you manage to find a pet shop that does sell some exotic snail that's capable of overwintering in a New York pond (a European or Asian species maybe), it's also capable of overwintering just about anywhere in North America. And that means that you'll likely be introducing another non-native pest into the North American biome. We already are having trouble with Asian carp and snakeheads, pythons, starlings, dandelions, Russian thistle (aka "Tumbleweed") and several hundred or thousand other introduced species. Be very careful about what you turn loose in your pond. You don't want to go down in history as the person who sabotaged North American swamps and ponds by releasing something devastatingly uncontrollable.
BTW, in the middle of February, almost nothing that you put in your pond along the lines of a snail is going to be very active. This is about the worst time of year to release pond animals. I'd do a lot more research and plan on adding snails a little later towards spring. Maybe about the time that the ice starts breaking up or when the frogs start breeding.
Just a couple of thoughts.
WAIT! How about contacting someone in your State Conservation Department or Department of Natural Resources (different names, same organization), especially the people who manage freshwater fisheries. I'll bet they could tell you what kind of snails to use. Look in the blue (government) pages of your local phone book under the state listings.
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