February 16, 2024

Bladder Slug

bladder snails

The bladder snail (Physella gyrina or Physella heterostropha) is one of the most prolific alien freshwater invading species worldwide, known for their unpredictability in terms of water conditions and their unique respiratory system to clear excess air out and enable them to float, bob, and swim across surfaces with relative ease - helping avoid predators while simultaneously not clogging filters and equipment with debris.

These snails are omnivorous and will consume algae, diatoms, dead or decaying plants, meat insects vegetables fish food (pellets flakes wafers) waste in your tank as well as any debris or waste present in the environment. Therefore they make ideal tank cleaners; to maximize effectiveness it is recommended to feed them continuously; just remember they may be detrimental to plant life so do not overfeed your tanks that have bladder snails!

Thin and translucent shells of these snails feature four to five whorls that wrap around its egg-shaped form with an extended pointed tip; however, unlike most other species they do not possess an operculum (trap door). Their mantles also boast bright orange-yellow spots.

Bladder snails are hermaphrodites with sperm storage organs, capable of reproducing either through internal self-fertilization or spawning (where males crawl onto female shells to mate with them). Once fertilized, their eggs hatch in about 24 hours resulting in multiple offspring being produced very rapidly - often overpopulating small freshwater tanks quickly in ideal conditions.

Passionate and knowledgeable aquartist. Aquariums have always fascinated me. I enjoy sharing and learning about the wonders of a fish tank.

Justin A