This past summer, I set up a little aquarium in my kitchen. Its only inhabitant has been a little Betta fish until the other day, when I decided the algae growing abundantly on every surface needed to be controlled. Specifically, I decided it should be eaten by a snail.
I chose a nerite snail because I read that they were compatible with Bettas, they don't eat the live plants, and they like their water more alkaline. (my tank is about 8.2) And, even though they can survive in a range of water conditions, they can't reproduce unless they are in brackish water, so I won't end up with a bunch of baby snails all over the tank.
So, here is his stripey self! He has wasted no time, starting his wandering/cleaning/eating moments after he was released into the tank.
See his little "teeth marks" on the flowerpot?
Here is a view of his mouth, from when he was cruising the tank wall.
Oh, and how'bout that snaily eye? Kinda reminds me of an octopus. A little.
By the next morning, he had eaten off quite a lot of the algae from the pot.
Getting down to business on the rocks.
The rocks are even cleaner now than they were yesterday when I took this picture. The trade-off is poop, lots and lots of chocolate-sprinkle sized poop. But I hope that once he gets caught up, and all the visible algae gets eaten up, the poop machine will dial down a few notches as the snail goes into more of a maintenance-mode.
His seemingly random and meandering path reminds me of two things: First, the Family Circus comics, where little Billy often wanders a dotted-line path all over the neighborhood. Second, a certain little autonomous robotic vaccuum cleaner, after which I have named my new snail: Roomba!