Can Snails Damage My Corals?

Discussion in 'New To The Hobby' started by justonwo, Aug 11, 2015.

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  1. justonwo

    justonwo Fire Shrimp

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    I'm new to the forum and to the hobby. I've inherited a 100 gallon tank with a fully blown reef ecosystem. Per the recommendation of my local shop, after getting the tank to stabilize for a few weeks, I added some hermits and snails. I didn't write down the type of snails or crabs at the time, but the shop owner knew the corals and fish in my tank.

    I found one of the snails crawling around on my stylophora coral this evening, and moved it to a different spot in the tank. I'm not sure of the type of snail, so I snapped two photos. Can this type of snail damage corals? Do I need to keep snails off my corals or just let the polyps recede into the skeleton and not worry about it?

    Thanks in advance for the help. (I'll throw in a gratuitous photo of my aquarium just for kicks.)

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  3. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I am sorry I honestly do not know what type of snail that is. Yes some snails are coral eaters, but they are few and far between in this hobby.

    If you're concerned or see any damage I would remove the snail to a separate container or sump and return the snail.

    My snails really never crawl on my corals.

    Your snail almost looks like a Slipper Limpet, but I just need a better image.
     
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  4. justonwo

    justonwo Fire Shrimp

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    No, problem. The photos aren't that great. Here's another photo of the outside of the snail and a better look at the business end.

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  5. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Nerite type I believe, should be harmless.

    Thanks for additional images.
     
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  6. Va Reef

    Va Reef Giant Squid

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    I agree. A lot of times my snails cruise around the corals, especially if anything is new, they munch on whatever is on the frag plug. Was there any dead skeleton on the coral? This is often an excellent growth medium for algae, the snail may have just been eating algae off of it.

    i haven't seen a true coral eating snail in the hobby in a while.
     
  7. Va Reef

    Va Reef Giant Squid

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    Just want to add, they can definitely indirectly damage corals. They can knock them off and into other corals, or behind rock.

    Vetrimid snails can also harass corals with their food catching webs.
     
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  9. justonwo

    justonwo Fire Shrimp

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    Thanks very much for the help. This particular snail was just crawling in between two branches of my largest sytophlora, near the base. I didn't see any dead skeleton in that vicinity. Nor did I see any damage from the snail. I'm just trying to preempt any problems with what is probably (typical) beginner paranoia.

    A related question - a few of the other snails have gone to the top edge of the tank near the water line and have just been hanging out since I put them in the tank 4 or 5 days ago. Obviously, they don't know that they were purchased for slave labor to clean my tank and that loitering near the waterline is totally unacceptable. Should I attempt to reposition them nearer to some of their "workspace?" I've read that snails new to a tank can have a tendency to try to evacuate.

    In other news, my new conch snail is doing a very good job of keeping the algae clean. That little guy gets around! And I caught a rare glimpse of my fire shrimp cleaning my hippo tang. That shrimp is VERY shy.

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  10. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Some snail types will spend most of their time at the water line. Some may stay there during the time the lights are on and venture about at night (nocturnal).
     
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  11. Swisswiss

    Swisswiss Caribbean Reef Squid

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    i would let nature do its thing and leave them be. as mentioned a lot of snails are nocturnal and relocaiting them during the day may not help the situation at all. thats my own personal preference though....

    its always cool to see symbiotic relationships do down, I have a blue spot toby that tends to bite shrimps so even though i love them, shrimps are a no go for my system. i do however have a cleaner wrasse, had him for two years now (they can be very hard to keep) and he does a great job at cleaning my fish. ironically he does chase my toby around a lot, the toby isnt very fond of his cleaning services. you have a beautiful anemone. if youre planning on adding new fish i why not two amphiprion percula (I prefer them to the ocellaris)? thats another cool symbiotic relationship to watch and with a bit of luck you may even witness spawning.

    or perhaps a goby shrimp, but do youre homework as not all gobys pair up with shrimps
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
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  12. Piano10

    Piano10 Aiptasia Anemone

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    Your tank looks beautiful!

    As others have said, its pretty normal to see your snails just sitting around as well as cleaning around corals.