Breeding bladderworm: this is how posture and propagation succeed

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Breeding bladderworm: this is how posture and propagation succeed: pond

A well-functioning pond in your own garden requires not only plants, fish or crustaceans and the necessary technology, but also organisms that take care of the care of the pond. These include the bladderworms (Physidae), which belong to the wolverines among the pond cleaners and are therefore used for a long time for aquariums. They feed on dead plant remains of all kinds.

Bubble snail in detail

The bladder snails are snails, which act as a cleaning force in aquariums and garden ponds due to their great appetite. They are small molluscs that usually grow no larger than one centimeter, but can reach sizes up to 2.5 centimeters, which is extremely rare. They can be recognized by the following features:
  • Case: turned to the left, smooth, usually shiny, golden brown color with a black pattern, less transparent
  • narrow foot
  • moves very fast in the water
  • Pulmonary snail: does not have gills, but breathing hole in the mantle cavity, part of the housing
  • form visible slime in the horizontal direction when moving in the water
  • hermaphroditic
Because of their speed, they are thorough and effective in your job as aquarium shiner and algae killer in stagnant waters. It is often brought in via plants that are placed either in the garden pond or the aquarium or specimens that are used to green the bank area. These are often the microscopic eggs from which the snails hatch and do their work.
Tip: If you want to use the bubble snails as a natural cleaning power for your garden waters, you can find them in zoo shops or at the corresponding shops on the Internet. There they are usually offered as feed for fish or shellfish in bags.

Caution: risk of confusion!

When purchasing the bladder auger, make sure you do not accidentally buy the Spitz Mud (Lymnaea stagnalis). These are not peaceful snails that feed on plant remains, but live plants are on the menu. In addition, Lymnaea stagnalis displaces the bladder snail, as it eats the living plants, which then no longer rot and are available as a food source for Physidae. You can see the snail on its housing. This turns to the right, not to the left as in the bubble snail.


Bubble snail - Physidae

The attitude of the bubble snails is extremely easy, whether you hold the mollusks in the garden or the aquarium. They actually take care of themselves completely and only need enough food and a suitable water temperature, so as not to die. But because of their unpretentiousness, they can also quickly become a plague, especially because of the amount of food they have. However, it is a particularly suitable for beginners animal that you will not even notice in the garden pond, unless you are looking for them.

water quality

Regarding the water in the garden pond, the Physidae shines in comparison to other snails. The animals are indicator species of the third water quality class, which can survive and multiply even in heavily polluted waters. Neither her health nor vitality or reproduction is impaired by poor water quality, which makes her outstanding for still waters on her own property. Even if you have never cleaned your garden pond, the snails can live there. The water should nevertheless have certain values:
  • Temperature: 5° C - 30° C, ideally 15° C - 25° C
  • pH of the water: 5.5 - 8.5
  • required amount of water: at least 5 l, ideally from 10 l
  • Freshwater
In addition to the amount of water, the snails prefer a reason of fine sand or gravel in medium grain size. They can easily hold themselves there when they eat food. Otherwise, they float or float on the surface. Make sure that the temperature of the water never exceeds 30° C, otherwise there will be a mass extinction of the animals. For this reason, you must be careful that your garden pond is not in the blazing sun for several hours, otherwise the water could heat up too much. Below 5° C, the animals move slowly into their cold starre, which is not fatal in the colony.


Nutrition is the most important point in keeping the bubble snails and many mistakes can be made here, which either harm your pond plants or the snails. In contrast to other snails or insects, they have very weak chewing tools and therefore do not eat any live plants. So your plants are safe as soon as you provide the following feedstuffs to the bladderworms:
  • seaweed
  • organic remains of other living things
  • Leftovers of fish or crustaceans
  • rotting plant remains
  • tofu
  • flake food
  • typical food tablets

Bubble snail - Physidae

A big advantage of the animals is their compatibility with a diet change. For example, if you can not find plant remains, switch to algae completely if it is available. That is also the reason why the small mollusks are so popular with aquarium owners. They eat algae at a fast rate and can thereby free the pond from massive algae build-up even in hot summer. This will improve:
  • water quality
  • Quality of life for other pond inhabitants
  • pond temperature
Algae are one of the staple foods for snails, and as every pond owner knows, algae accumulation is often a problem. The animals do not even care about the quality of the food. They simply eat everything that comes their way and live peacefully with other snails or animals, as long as they do not feed on the snails. Make sure, however, that inadequate supply of food claims other sources, say, your pond plants. These are consumed as emergency ration, even if the animals need it for a very long time.
Tip: In case of low algae formation in the garden pond, make sure you have additional plants in the pond or choose one of the above-mentioned feeding methods so that the animals do not die too much. For example, you can crush tofu and throw it in the pond or use classic flake food for plant-based fish.


The bubble snail can easily overwinter in the garden pond, as long as you do not empty it during the cold season. It is important that you not only have single snails, because they can only survive the winter together in a larger group.


Because of its size, the bubble snail does not have it easy in a well-populated pond. It is eaten by all pond dwellers who are taller than the snail. It has no defenses except its speed and the tank, which can be easily broken. Larger fish, in particular, are fed on the tasty snails and can quickly eradicate their stocks within a short time. For this reason, they are often used as live food. Once the snails can multiply without any problems, they represent a never-ending source of pond fish.


Propagating the bladderworm is as easy as general care, but here you must pay attention to a few things so that the population does not get out of control. Since the animals are hybrids, it does not matter if you have only female or male specimens in the pond at the beginning of reproduction, this is later adjusted by the slugs themselves. The following properties must be present for the multiplication:
  • Water temperature: 20° C at least, the higher the more effective, but not above 30° C
  • live aquatic plants for the attachment of eggs

Bubble snail - Physidae

The aquatic plants are essential for the bubble snails. Without them they can not multiply and after some time your pond will be free of the snails again. They have an average life expectancy of four to six months and as soon as enough plants are not available for oviposition, the population stagnates extremely. Therefore, you should not only have dead plant remains or algae in the pond. Even a plant is enough here. The increase happens as follows:

1. Despite the contrariness, two animals are needed. These swap their gender as needed.

2. After fertilization, the female changes her sex and lays as a male animal, the five to 50 eggs as a clutch on the plants from.

3. The eggs ripen for about a week until the hatchlings hatch fully developed.

4. Sexual maturity develops over about four to five weeks, depending on the heat of the water.

5. Thereafter, the animals can reproduce again and maintain the population.

Tip: If the snails continue to breed at a rapid pace without stopping, there is a reason for that. If the bladder snails are a pure plague, the fish or crustaceans in the pond are fed too often and the feed surplus ensures the fast reproduction of the animals.

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