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Pond Snails: can you have too many?

Discussion in 'Water Gardening' started by Redwing, May 15, 2018.

  1. Redwing

    Redwing Wild Gardener

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    At the end of last summer we made a largish wildlife pond: We're Making a Wildlife Pond

    It's doing well in it's early months but we have dozens and dozens of large (3-4cm) pond snails. They've just appeared. A friend gave me some plants and I noticed a few, very few tiny pond snails when I planted the plants but the ones I'm talking about are big and we don't really know where they came from. If there were snail eggs lurking on the pond plants or came in on birds legs I don't think they would be this big now. A nearby ditch perhaps? My question is, can you have too many? Should I be thinking of taking action....moving them to a new location or what? I don't want them killing all my new plants!
     
  2. Redwing

    Redwing Wild Gardener

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    Bump. Can anyone help?
     
  3. ricky101

    ricky101 Super Gardener

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    Hi,

    Snails generally just graze on Algae and other waste material and have always seen them in my ponds as a welcome addition, but if they are in plague numbers then they may take to your plants.

    However on the scale and location of your 'pond' I doubt there is little you can do about it.
    More likely nature will find a natural balance, eg some birds or ducks might realise its a good feeding ground.
    Expect some fish will also enjoy feeding on the snails eggs which should eventually keep them in check ...?

    You might be able to use some form of bait and trap to remove them from the pond but would avoid any of the snail killer products as their remains can pollute the water.

    Think you will have to observe which plants they go for and for now stock only the ones they seem to avoid; clearly young and soft growth will be prime grazing.

    Perhaps some pics of the types of snails you have and knowing their identity might lead to finding a suitable predator ..?
     
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    • Redwing

      Redwing Wild Gardener

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      Thank you for your reply @ricky101 . I am pretty sure they are great pond snails as the largest are about 4cm. I was pleased when I first saw them but now I think they are of 'plague proportions'. I fished out 142 and those were the ones I could reach by hand from the edge of the pond; there are more! I'll never get them all I realise and I don't really want to. It's a wildlife pond after all. I have absolutely no intention of using a chemical control.

      I take your point that a balance will be found....eventually.... but I felt I needed to step in and remove some for the sake of a healthy pond. It's a very new pond and not established yet. Two Mallards have been visiting the pond and hopefully eating some. I found a few ramshorn snails too but left them in the pond.
       
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      • Tetters

        Tetters Gardener

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        I think you haven`t had many replies to this question @Redwing because it`s a difficult one to answer.
        I think that if you have a ''wildlife'' pond, maybe you`re supposed to just let all the wildlife get on with it and decide what`s what.
        If we want to eat a roast dinner - lamb, beef, pork, or poultry, we have to kill something. Fact.

        I believe there are two different kinds of pond snails - and have absolutely no proper knowledge about them, but I think they live in my own ponds in varying numbers.

        My own wild wildlife pond gets no help from me whatsoever - except if the weather is so dry that there is no water in it - then I tend to pop the hose in to help out a bit.
        The pond where the goldfish live gets a bit more attention however - and can be a pain in the arris sometimes, as it involves a load of mucking about with pumps and filters and 'treatments' - then there`s the new one, the old hip bath that`s been introduced as a ''feature'' - well that`s a laugh - although I have seen a frog or two in there already.

        So only you can really decide what to do about your pond snails... :dunno:
         
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        • kindredspirit

          kindredspirit Gardening around a big Puddle. :)

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          Leave the snails because the life in the pond will balance out after a while.
          I put 10 Sticklebacks into my pond: the following year there were literally, thousands and thousands of them. A year later there was just an average number of them and has been ever since.
           
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