Snail Infestation - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-27-2013, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Snail Infestation

Okay, so I have a terrible snail problem in my 20 gallon tank. I have been scooping out as many as I can, I have left a piece of lettuce in the tank and then a carrot. I have removed a large amount, but there are still a lot of little ones left throughout the tank.

Does anyone know of a better way to rid them from the tank? I have read that clown loaches are good at eating them, but my tank just isn't big enough. I also read that a betta will eat snails, but I don't want him to pick on my other fish (6 rasbora and 6 neon tetra).

Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-27-2013, 08:48 AM
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What kind of snails do you have?

In your tank, I think assassin snails will do the trick.

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-27-2013, 10:08 AM
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My betta doesn't even look at snails.

Reduce their food sources... feeding the fish less and cleaning out dead plant material as well as vacuuming well. If you have gravel the vacuuming is more important... sand, it's just easier.

I don't do any of that and my snails are manageable... pond snails are few, trumpets are many but I like them. I have tiger snails to compete with the others for food and they don't reproduce in freshwater so I suspect that they may be a fairly large factor in helping to keep the others at bay... indirectly.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-27-2013, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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I believe they are all Ramshorn snails. I've removed quite a bit, fed my fish less, I actually fed them every other day once a day for about a week now. They are just too much on my bioload and have seen a spike in ammonia and I think it's from the excess of snails as I can see a lot of poop on the sand substrate very clearly. I have live plants in the tank that are doing great but I hate seeing the ammonia go up. I've vacuumed the tank many times but the poop is always there :/
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-27-2013, 05:32 PM
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I would doubt that ramshorn snails are the problem with ammonia. And you will not see snail excrement on the sand, at least I never have. Snails are helpful in that they eat fish waste and thus break it down so the bacteria can more easily deal with it. I have I don't know how many hundreds of Malaysian snails in my 115g alone.

If you want us to look into the ammonia issue, we will need more data on the tank.

As for ridding the tank of snails, never acquire fish for this purpose as they usually bring problems with them. And chemicals alleged to kill snails are dangerous to everything else, not to mention the number of suddenly-dead snails which would cause real trouble.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-28-2013, 10:50 PM
I think your best bet is to reduce feeding. I have always kept snails in my tanks (pond and malaysian trumpet) and never had problems with quantity. They are excellent cleaners and I seem to be able to control the population by varying my feeding habits.
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