Getting rid of pest snails - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-09-2013, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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Getting rid of pest snails

Has anyone attempted to get rid of an out of control pest snail population? My plan is to transfer my lone Betta, 3 Mystery snails, 6 spiral horned Nerites, driftwood, filter, heater and plants (a huge amount or fast growing floaters) into a 10g. Then clean out my main tank (20g),put in new substrate ,heater and hob filter. Clean plants and driftwood thoroughly in a 19-1 mixture of water and bleach. Put plants and driftwood into main tank. Wait a week or two for the new set up to settle in and make sure there are no more pests. If there are, reclean it. Reintroduce the Betta and Mystery and Nerite snails. I know it might not work but I have to try. Do you have any ideas or do you see flaws in my plan?

Consider the needs of your fish before acting on your desires.

Last edited by marshallsea; 08-09-2013 at 12:04 AM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-09-2013, 03:37 AM
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Have always read anything strong enough to kill snails and their eggs will surely do harm to the plants. I also know I have read some ppl treating plants for them soo surely something has to work or ppl wouldn't be doing it over and over again. I just have no clue what it is. Will say it seems like a awful lot of work you are fixen to do! Have you tried putting a piece of blanched zucchini or lettuce down over night?? Snails will attack it and then you can simply take the whole piece out and get rid of some snails. You can repeat weekly or nightly till they are gone. Just a thought

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post #3 of 15 Old 08-09-2013, 04:38 AM
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you need to find out what kind of snails you have, then treat accordingly. When you scrub the plants take off any kind of gelatinous substance, like snail eggs.

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post #4 of 15 Old 08-09-2013, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Boredomb View Post
Have always read anything strong enough to kill snails and their eggs will surely do harm to the plants. I also know I have read some ppl treating plants for them soo surely something has to work or ppl wouldn't be doing it over and over again. I just have no clue what it is. Will say it seems like a awful lot of work you are fixen to do! Have you tried putting a piece of blanched zucchini or lettuce down over night?? Snails will attack it and then you can simply take the whole piece out and get rid of some snails. You can repeat weekly or nightly till they are gone. Just a thought
I remember reading on the label of Petsmart plants (or a listed website) that you can or should dip plants in a 19-1 mixture for 3 minutes then rinse well. I'll try it out on just a few first. My wife is a softy and has been feeding the pest snails for over a year. There are more snails than you can shake a stick at. I have been scooping them out daily for about 10 days and there is no end to them. There has to be well over 1000 of them, mostly under the gravel, the rest on the glass. She liked the snails until a month or two ago I got her some Mystery and Nerite snails. The Mysteries are so much fun to watch when they play and the Nerites are so pretty that my wife now views the pests as pests.

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post #5 of 15 Old 08-09-2013, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by newtchaplin View Post
you need to find out what kind of snails you have, then treat accordingly. When you scrub the plants take off any kind of gelatinous substance, like snail eggs.
I believe I have Ramshorn and Pond snails. And I have seen little patches of little dots (eggs) on the Anubias leaves, and it may be a challenge since there are so many small leaves packed tightly together. I might have to put it in a jar by itself and treat it several times over a week or two.

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post #6 of 15 Old 08-09-2013, 06:21 AM
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A clown loach will thoroughly enjoy eating all the small snails. My problem was solved in 48 hours, and I no longer worry about new snails. My nerite snail is large enough that the loach doesn't bother it. Clown loaches can grow large over time, but you should be fine for a year or so. By then, maybe you'll want a larger tank!
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-09-2013, 09:59 AM
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An assassin snail will eat small snails, if the snails you want to keep are larger than the assassin it should leave them alone.
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-09-2013, 11:21 AM
i have two assasin snails in my tank and its helping control my ramshorn problem. i also pick them out.
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-09-2013, 03:09 PM
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I've been told by several snail keepers that I trust that assassins will kill nerites. If they can't do it alone, then they will do a group kill. The vegetable method coupled with removing eggs as you see them seems like the easiest approach to me. It would just take some time to do it.

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Originally Posted by ChuckinMA View Post
A clown loach will thoroughly enjoy eating all the small snails. My problem was solved in 48 hours, and I no longer worry about new snails. My nerite snail is large enough that the loach doesn't bother it. Clown loaches can grow large over time, but you should be fine for a year or so. By then, maybe you'll want a larger tank!
Don't mean to jump on your case, but I have two problems with this, call them pet peeves. The first is you should never buy a fish to "fix" something wrong with your tank. This goes for algae, snails, whatever. There are always underlying causes in those situations. Fix the root of the problem and don't just try and use a fish as a band-aid. You should get a fish because you want it, not because of what you think it can do for you.

Secondly, never ever ever buy a fish that you don't have a proper sized tank for. I mean the tank is set up and ready for fish before purchase. You might plan to upgrade in the near future, but too often life gets in the way. You have to move, lose your job, medical emergency, need the money to fix your car...life. A clown loach is a perfect example. Young ones grow rapidly, are highly sociable so need to be in groups, and active. Young clown loaches should be in at least a 4 foot tank, while adults need something more akin to a 6 foot. That's a vast amount of upgrading from a 20 gallon, just to be rid of snails.
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Last edited by BWG; 08-09-2013 at 03:13 PM.
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-09-2013, 03:40 PM
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I agree that you should not buy a fish to solve a snail problem especially one that will out grow that size tank quickly.

Marshallsea if you do the bleach solution I would just do it on a few like you said then wait a week or two and see how the plants do. They may not show distress from it for a couple of weeks. I did a H202 dip that I saw for algae on plants once. Yeah that was bad. The plants looked great at first something like 2 weeks later they died. I am not going to tell ya not to do it just be on the caution side of it.

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