The Mexican Turbo Snails did a great job cleaning up the hair algae in our tank, but with all that input, there is bound to be output; and boy was there a lot of it! To help clean up all the extra detritus (fish poop) we certainly don’t want in our tank, we decided to purchase Nassarius Snails on our return to the LFS.
These little scavengers not only eat detritus, left over fish food, and decaying organic matter, they also burrow into the sand and help to stir up and provide adequate oxygen to our DSB (deep sand bed). Our snail population in our tank is down, so we added 12 of Nassarius. They are about the size of the tip of my finger and don’t get much bigger than a thumb.
Nassarius snails burrow in the sand, breathing from a syphon that protrudes from the substrate. You can see in the picture below the black tube-like syphon from a submerged snail. (There is gray also one in the back left of the photo)
When they are submerged and food is introduced to the substrate, they pop up from the depths in search of it. I have also seen these snails refereed to as Zombie Snails for this reason.