in the marine aquarium
text and photos by DANIEL KNOP
dining on zoanthids of
the genus Protopalythoa.
Stereotypes are not always completely wrong,
but the image of a snail as a harmless little herbivore that can easily subsist on
aquarium algae is often far from reality. Some marine snails are highly destructive,
predatory, and best shunned or kept out of our aquariums. But in the vast majority of cases, snails are very useful creatures in the coral-reef aquarium and make
a valuable contribution to its biodiversity. They really should be included in every
reef aquarium—in fact, it is virtually impossible to prevent the introduction of the
smaller species via live rock or on the base substrate on which live corals arrive.