The Use of Scavangers is a Natural Cleaner
Scavengers for Pools and Aquariums:
The use of scavengers are the most effective and natural way to keep your aquarium clean! Scavengers eat access algae, fecal matter, and food scraps ensuring your water stays nice and clean.
Choosing the right scavenger is important, and it will save you a lot of time and energy cleaning your pool on regular basis.
Snails are the most popular choice. These little creatures do most of the needed scavenging work and are an essential part of any pool or aquarium. Snails will also be a good indicator for your water, if it is too acidic it will kill the snails before your fish.
If you notice your snails clinging to the top of the pool, then the water is probably bad and should be changed immediately. This can also be a sign of too much oxygen in the water, so check the smell and cloudiness of the water before you change the water, as too much oxygen is not harmful to fish.
Another good aspect of snails is that they are inexpensive, so they are easy to replace. You could also choose to breed them on your own. If you do choose this option, set aside a bowl with good algae growth and be sure to include plants, as snails lay eggs on the plants. Make sure there are no fish, because the fish will eat the eggs. The eggs will hatch in 2-3 weeks, at which time you should pulverize some fish food and add to the bowl. Remove the parent snails at this time. After a week or so, the snails should be moving on their own, and you can begin to feed them fruit scraps.
Here is a list of the most useful snail species:
African Paper Shell Snail. This snail is medium-sized and has a flattened shape, with pretty brown marking on a horn-colored background. It is one of the better snails around for scavenging and will not attack your aquatic plants. However, this species is quite short-lived and will often need replacing.
Australian Red Snail. This is one of the smaller species, but it is quite hardy and reproduces easily. It has a conch-shaped shell and is bright orange-red.
Japanese Snail. Also known as the Great Japanese Snail or Trapdoor Snail, it is one of the largest and most effective scavengers. It often grows to the size of a golf ball and has a long life. The offspring are born alive, and pea-sized, making them too big for fish to eat.
Pond Snail. The Pond Snail is a small dark snail that can be easily identified by the reverse spiral of its shell. It breeds prolifically and they have hard shell to protect the young and small snails from fish. They are a busy scavenger that is great for moving between small plants to get the algae trapped.
Red Ramshorn. Also known as the Coral Snail or Copenhagen Red, this snail is an excellent scavenger with a large, flattened, orange-red shell shaped like a ram's horn. It is great for aquariums and is perhaps the prettiest of all the scavenging snails.