Unwanted Snails /w Live Plants - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-21-2011, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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Question Unwanted Snails /w Live Plants

Ok so I've recently started keeping fish again. When I used to keep fish my aquarium ended up infested with snails from live plants. They were in egg form on the plants. I'm talking at least 500+ snails lil baby snails.

So now that I've started back up again and I've planted my tank with live plants. Is there anything I can do with a 29 gallon 30" long aquarium stocking wise to keep this from happening again? I know clown loaches are too big. Also I remember researching chemicals, there werent any that didn't also kill the plants and fish whilst killing the snails. So is there anything I can do to keep this from happening again?
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-21-2011, 07:03 PM
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I know there are some people who "treat" their plants for this reason. I don't know what they use nor would I ever use it. Snails are not a bad thing. They will clean you tank in places and ways you can not. You can keep the population way down by not overfeeding your fish. If there is a low food supply for the snails the less they will have to eat and less they will breed. If you absolutely don't want them once you see them you can put a piece of lettuce in the tank and wait for awhile and there should be all over it. Cucumber also works. Then just pull the piece out with snails and get rid of them.
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-21-2011, 07:04 PM
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Best option is to embrace the snails and realize they are a natural part of the aquarium, most aquatic snails only eat decaying matter (dead leafs, uneatten food), a big out break of snails is a sign of over feeding, otherwise the population should stay in check if your not over feeding.

Natural options for controlling snails with plants involve using Assassin snails (snails to kill snails!) or throwing a vegetable in at night and removing it in the morning ( snails should be covering it, I forget which veggie people use for that).
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-21-2011, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.

I must of been overfeeding then. I'll look in to proper feeding.
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-21-2011, 07:22 PM
After returning from a trip I discovered that the Tetra gel feeders I used were snail magnets. Place one or two in the tank, and remove after a day or two, scrape off the snails and re-insert the 'bait'. A bit crude, but effective.

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post #6 of 7 Old 10-22-2011, 11:52 AM
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Allen, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Glad to have you with us.

As has been mentioned, snails are an aquarist's friend, and a very good friend at that. I have hundreds of Malaysian Livebearing snails in my tanks, and quite a few pond snails too. Happy to see them; they are getting into spaces I can't and breaking down organics into smaller bits that the bacteria can more easily handle.

It probably doesn't need repeating, but never acquire fish to handle snails unless you have tanks adequate to handle them and you really want them as fish; they usually cause other troubles if not. And chemicals are a definite no. They will affect plants and some fish too.


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]

Last edited by Byron; 10-22-2011 at 11:55 AM.
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-22-2011, 12:57 PM
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If you like loaches, there are options other than clown loaches. But I'm not sure what the minimum tank size is for a proper sized group of smaller loaches. I have 5 yoyo loaches and 5 zebra loaches in my 67g.... They don't get nearly as large as clown loaches and if I see snails after adding live plants, I don't see them for long. I periodically see an explosion of tiny snails in my java moss, to the point where the whole mass of moss is covered in speckles, but they all be gone within a day or two.
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