Many have difficulty distinguishing between a bladder snail and a pond snail. Actually, both of these snails are common in North America, but they have some distinct differences.
In this blog post, we will explore the characteristics of each type of snail and its habitats. We will also show you how to differentiate between them.
So, what is the difference between a bladder snail and a pond snail? Keep reading to find out!
What to Know About a Bladder Snail
The Bladder snail is a small freshwater snail that can be found in many parts of the world.
Unique ability to inflate and deflate
These snails are known for inflating and deflating their bodies like a balloon. The feature allows them to float or sink in the water as they please.
Bladder snails are also known for their voracious appetites, and they will eat nearly any kind of food that they can find.
They will also eat small invertebrates and detritus.
A resilient creature
Bladder snails are incredibly resilient creatures, and it is difficult to kill them once they have infested an area.
These snails can thrive in many habitats, from slow-moving streams to fast-flowing rivers. They can live in both fresh and saltwater, as well as a wide range of temperatures.
Laying thousands of eggs
The life cycle of the Bladder snail begins with eggs that are laid at the bottom of a body of water.
A female bladder snail can lay thousands of eggs throughout her lifetime, which are often hidden below the mud or sand on the riverbed. The eggs hatch into larvae, which then grow into adult snails.
1-inch size, super mall
Adult Bladder snails are typically around 1 inch in size, although they can grow larger if they have access to plenty of food.
Can cause damage
Due to their ability to survive in a wide range of habitats, bladder snails are often found in polluted water. This can increase the growth of algae and other aquatic plants, which threaten local ecosystems.
Other animals that feed on bladder snails include fish and birds, while predators such as turtles will feast on adult snails.
What to Know About a Pond Snail
These creatures are found in freshwater environments all over the world.
A soft body with a varied colored shell
Pond snails are a type of gastropod, which is a group of mollusks that includes slugs and snails. Pond snails have a soft, slimy body that is protected by a hard shell. This shell is made of calcium carbonate and can vary in color from brown to yellow to green.
Pond snails are scavengers and will eat just about anything they can find, including dead plants and animals, algae, and even other pond snails.
These creatures are often considered to be pests by aquarium enthusiasts because of their voracious appetites.
A benefit to the ecosystem
Pond snails can also be a beneficial part of the ecosystem because they help keep decaying plant and animal matter from piling up in ponds and lakes.
Pond snails are hermaphrodites, meaning they have both male and female reproductive organs. They can reproduce on their own by releasing eggs into the water or can reproduce with another snail by joining their reproductive organs together.
In both cases, the pond snail will lay a spiral-shaped egg capsule containing jelly and hundreds of eggs inside. This egg capsule can sometimes be found on plant leaves or other surfaces in the water.
Not very active
Although pond snails are not particularly active animals, they can move quite quickly if they need to. They do this by using their large foot, which is covered in tiny cilia (hair-like structures).
The cilia propel the snail through the water and help it to cling to surfaces.
Can carry disease
Pond snails are not considered to be dangerous animals, but they can carry diseases that can be harmful to humans and other animals. For this reason, it is important to wash your hands after coming into contact with these creatures.
If you have a pond or aquarium in your home, make sure to quarantine new snails before adding them to the tank.
Rather expensive to keep
Although it is possible to keep pond snails as pets, they are not very popular with most animal lovers. These creatures need a large tank that can provide them with plenty of food and space, which makes them an expensive addition to your home. As a result, many people choose to release pond snails into their natural habitats after keeping them for a short time.
Bladder Snail vs Pond Snail: What’re the Main Differences?
Both bladder and pond snails have a shell that is conical in shape.
However, the bladder snail’s shell is flatter than the pond snail’s, with a distinct fold on the upper surface.
The pond snail’s shell also tends to be slightly larger than the bladder snail’s.
In terms of overall appearance, the pond snail is generally considered to be the more attractive of the two species.
The bladder snail is typically brown or gray in color. In contrast, the pond snail can be a variety of colors, including yellow, green, and brown.
Pond snails are found in a wide range of habitats, including ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, and even shallow puddles.
Bladder snails, on the other hand, are typically found in wet areas with lots of vegetation, such as marshes or swamps.
While both species reproduce via internal fertilization, the pond snail is more prolific than the bladder snail.
The pond snail can lay up to 100 eggs at a time, while the bladder snail typically lays only 20-30 eggs.
Both bladder and pond snails are herbivores, feeding primarily on algae.
However, the pond snail is more specialized in its diet than the bladder snail and will only eat certain types of algae.
The bladder snail, on the other hand, is not as selective and will consume a variety of different types of vegetation.
Both bladder and pond snails are prey for various animals, including ducks, turtles, fish, herons, and other birds.
However, the pond snail has one additional predator – humans! People are often attracted to the appearance of pond snails and will use them as bait in fishing.
5. Breeding & lifespan
Pond snails typically breed in the spring, while bladder snails breed in the summer. In terms of lifespan, both species are relatively short-lived.
Bladder snails typically live for 1-2 years, while pond snails live for 2-3 years
6. Ease of Care
Both bladder and pond snails are relatively easy to care for. They can be kept in various types of tanks, and both species do well in community tanks.
However, pond snails can be somewhat aggressive towards other snails. Bladder snails are not typically recommended for community tanks because they are very slow movers.
Which one to Choose?
Bladder snail is an aquatic creature, so it can live in freshwater and salt water as well. Since it lives separately from other snails in its own habitat called bladder, it does not have to compete for food with Pond snails.
Therefore, Bladder snails have a higher growth rate, which is beneficial if you want to keep them as pets.
Also, a Bladder snail produces more offspring than a Pond Snail. They can repopulate their species faster in case of predation or other disasters.
Lastly, the Bladder snail has a harder shell than the Pond snail, making it more difficult for predators to eat them.
The bladder snail is definitely a better choice than the pond snail if you want to keep a pet snail or plan on doing research in the field of aquatic snail biology.
The bladder snail is the best choice for beginners looking to have a pet.
Pond snails are better at handling changes in water quality than Bladder snails. They can also tolerate a wider range of temperatures, so they can survive in both cold and warm climates.
Pond snails have a longer lifespan than Bladder snails, so if you want a pet that will stick around for a while, this might be the better option. Pond snails are known to eat algae, so if you have an algae problem in your aquarium or pond, these snails can help take care of that.
They are also used as food for fish and other animals, so if you are looking for a way to supplement your pet’s diet, Pond snail might be a good option.
While both bladder and pond snails are similar in many ways, there are several key differences between the two species. Overall, the pond snail is the better choice between these two species of snails. It is more attractive, can live in a wider variety of habitats, and has more prolific reproduction capabilities than the bladder snail.
However, suppose you’re specifically looking for a snail that feeds primarily on algae. In that case, the bladder snail may be the better choice. Actually, the best snail for you will depend on your personal preferences.