Hi, this is your friend Clifton Ervin, the founder and chief editor of this site, Aquariumwolf. I completed my graduation in marine biology and became...Read more
Recently got some snails in your aquarium? Among a lot of other things, one concern you will have for sure is what snail poop looks like because they aren’t like the feces of most other animals that you get to see.
Usually, a snail poop looks like a very thin and long tube with some stickiness. The poop can be a bit stringy. Snail poop is tiny, so you may not even notice it without focusing. As for the color, it’s either green or brown most of the time. But it varies a lot based on what the snail eats.
However, to know more about snail poop and get a detailed overview, stick with us till the end of this article.
What Does Snail Poop Look Like?
Now, let’s talk about what appearance snail poop has. Knowing about the appearance can also help you identify the different types of snails based on the poop itself.
While, in general, snail poops are very small, thin, and stringy, their appearance can vary a lot based on what they eat. Various factors work together to determine the appearance of snail poop. Here are two things that vary quite a lot in snail poops.
Color of The Poop
The color of the poop depends on their diet and shell color. Let’s say a snail has a red shell, so most of the time, the color of its poop will be red. Similarly, if a snail has left brown poop, it probably has a brown shell. It means that the snail is likely a land snail.
As for the diet factor, if a snail eats a lot of vegetables and plants, its poop is greenish. It is the most common poop color for snails. Similarly, if there is too much calcium in the diet, the snail poop will turn white. Usually, that’s a result of eating too many cuttlebones.
Shape and Texture
The texture and size depend on when the snail pooped. If the poop is fresh, it will appear brighter, has a “C” shape, and is a bit larger. As the poop dries out, it becomes much darker and smaller. Also, the poop breaks down into small pieces as it keeps getting dry.
If the snail has pooped around a lot of dirt and dust, you will likely miss out on it. The whole thing blends, and there is no way you can tell the difference between poop and dust. So, from afar, they look like dirt or dust.
What Are the Eating Habits of A Snail?
Snail poop depends a lot on what the snail likes to eat. Diet decides everything, whether it’s the texture or the color. An interesting fact about snails is that their diet is similar to the diet of mammals. It is a shocker for many people since snails primarily identify as insects.
Some common things snails like to eat are lettuce, zucchini, algae, kale, dead plant matter, and other living plants. Anything rich in calcium is a feast for the snails because they need it to strengthen their shells. That’s why a lot of the time, you will see snails eating chalk.
While snails mostly prefer plants, they tend to eat brine shrimp and blood worms. The reason for that is to create that balance in their diet. Just like any other animal, snails also require balance in their diet.
How Helpful Is Snail Poop?
A lot of people question whether snail poop has any benefits or not. Yes, they have some benefits, especially if you have a garden. We will discuss the effects of snail poop in an aquarium later in this article.
Returning to the benefits of snail poop in a garden, they work like natural fertilizer. Most of the time, snail poops include nutrients that are almost a prime necessity for many plants. The nutrients are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.
Apart from these three nutrients, various types of snails have various nutrients in their poop, such as calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, and so forth.
So, if there is snail poop around your garden, you pretty much have natural fertilizer. The usefulness becomes even more significant if the volume of poop gets higher. Snails can frequently poop. As long as they are eating, they will poop. A greater volume of poop means better fertilization in your garden.
Is It Harmful to Interact with Snail Poop?
No, snail poop is neither toxic nor harmful to any interaction. Many people have this notion about snails and snail poop that they excrete something toxic. It’s a complete misconception.
Still, if you are touching the poop, make sure you are wearing gloves. Because, in the end, they are poop, and they do have germs and bacteria. You would want to avoid that regardless of their toxicity or harmful impact.
Also, if you ever come across snail poop, make sure you clean the area right away. Whether in your garden or aquarium, that doesn’t matter much. You don’t want any remains of snail poop anywhere.
What’s the Impact of Snail Poops in An Aquarium?
The purpose of having snails in your aquarium is to remove any organic matter you have in your tank. While doing that, they also fill the aquarium with their waste. Snails poop so frequently that it gets irritating to clean the poop from your aquarium.
At the same time, too much snail poop can indicate unhealthy aquarium environments. Snail poop contains various kinds of matter that are both organic and inorganic. Some matters have carbon in them, and some have other minerals.
Because of all these matters, the bioload of your aquarium increases a lot. At some point, it reaches the limit and starts causing issues with the water. It disrupts the pH level of the aquarium water and hardens it.
That’s the impact snail poop has on your aquarium if you leave it there too long.
Let’s Know: Why Are My Snails Dying?
Cleaning Snail Poop from An Aquarium
As you already know, snail poop doesn’t bear good results for your aquarium. It’s crucial to keep the aquarium clean and remove snail poop. You may even need to do this quite a lot because snail poop builds up very quickly.
Here, we will take you through some methods for cleaning the poop from your aquarium. Let’s get going, then.
Net with Fairly Small Holes
Usually, you may not even get to use it, but sometimes, a net may come in handy. Get a net with small holes to clear out any poop that’s visibly floating in the water. You can scoop out the poop and get rid of it immediately.
A lot of the time, you will have snail poop stuck in the aquarium sand or gravel. In those cases, you can use a gravel vacuum to siphon off all the poop stuck there. You can get other wastes alongside that as well.
When using the vacuum, always ensure no chemical is left on it. You want to avoid causing an imbalance of pH or making the water toxic. If you don’t want to buy one, you can also make a gravel vacuum.
Snails can poop on the walls and corners of the aquarium as well. To clean these stains or smears of poop, you need to take a damp cloth and spot-clean the whole thing. It would help if you did this almost daily to avoid any stain or smear buildup on the aquarium.
Cleaning the Whole Tank
Lastly, there is the apparent task of cleaning your complete aquarium tank. You don’t need to do this every day. But do it often, especially when the water has become too dirty.
We tried answering everything we could about the appearance of snail poop, along with a few other factors. Below, we answer some common questions regarding the same discussion to meet your curiosity.
What color should snail poop be?
The color of snail poop depends mainly on the snail type for the shell color and what it eats. But in general, you will likely see either brown color poop or green color poop. It can be different as well, based on what they eat.
How do snails excrete waste?
Snails excrete waste from their anal pore. You can see it right at the edge of their shell in the mantle. They poop inside their shells. Later, they let it out through their breathing hole, which looks like they are pooping from the head.
Why is my snail poop white?
A common reason for snail poop to be white is too much calcium in the diet. Usually, when you feed your snails too many cuttlebones, their feces will take the white color of calcium.
How often does a snail poop?
Snails have a prolonged digestive system. The food they consume takes quite a lot of days to digest. As a result of that, they poop once every 7 to 14 days. The more they eat, the more they will poop.
Well, now you can efficiently deal with snail poop because of all the information you gathered from this discussion. These may greatly help you in your respective field of work.
For some parting words, all we can suggest is if you plan to bring snails into your aquarium, get ready to clean it frequently. They can help you clear out the organic matter in your aquarium, but their poop can greatly imbalance the pH levels.
Getting that out of the way, there is nothing to worry about snail poops. They are harmless and shouldn’t bother you in any way. Hope this article helped you understand that.
Hi, this is your friend Clifton Ervin, the founder and chief editor of this site, Aquariumwolf. I completed my graduation in marine biology and became an Ichthyologist. One of my favorite hobbies is aquarium keeping; therefore, I love to talk about fish keeping, breeding, food behavior, etc., and much more relevant to aquarium maintenance. I have created this site Aquariumwolf, to share my 20 years+ of experience and knowledge with all new to this journey.More Posts