I recently have become a HUGE fan of Top Crown Snails (also known as Astrea undoza). They are basically a form of Astrea snail. In size, they compare to the Turbo snails that I’ve had in my aquarium, but they are a little bigger and more spectacular looking, mainly because of the crown feature on their snail shells.
Why have I become such a big fan? They eat all the bad stuff that grows on my glass, live rock and substrate. All of it. There has been days where I’ve looked at a big brown patch of algae in the morning, thinking “dang, now I gotta scrape that off the glass when I get home tonight”. Then, when I get home at night the glass looks like it never had a huge brown patch of algae on it. All thanks to the Top Crown snails in my aquarium. I’ve never had any type of snail that eats as much of the nuisance algae in my aquarium as these guys. Amazing!
In addition to the fact that they seem to eat all the bad algae, they also make good tracks around the aquarium. I swear that I’ve rarely seen one of these things actually moving, but every time I turn around one of the Top Crown snails has relocated itself to a different spot in the tank, be in on the back wall, hanging off the protein skimmer return, grazing on live rock or sitting on the substrate.
It’s almost kinda like in the cartoons, where somebody is hiding under a box and they only move themselves (and the box they are hiding in) every time everybody looks away. That’s the way these Top Crown snails are. They’re always somewhere else in the aquarium but I never see them move.
But they flip over a lot!
The only bad thing that I can think about in regards to these snails is that I have to flip them over a lot. It’s similar to how a turtle can get flipped on it’s back, needing help to get flipped back over and be on it’s feet again. I frequently joke with my girlfriend about how I needed to “flip over one of the crown snails again”… seems like it happens about once every couple of days. Kinda funny as far as I’m concerned. I’m not sure if these guys would eventually figure out how to right themselves, but I’ve had a Top Crown snail lay upside down in the aquarium, trying to flip itself back over for about 8 hrs, and I just couldn’t stand to wait any longer so I flipped him back over myself.
I sometimes wonder how these things managed out there in the real world before they had me to flip them back on their stomaches (snail stomaches or whatever, haha) on a nearly daily basis.
All things considered, I’m anxiously awaiting the day that my local fish store gets some more of these in as the Top Crown Snail is really the main type of snail that I want to keep in my aquarium based on my experience with them.