Tiny snail infestation... help me get rid of them!! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-18-2014, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Tiny snail infestation... help me get rid of them!!

Lately my tank has been riddled with a somewhat daily snail infestation. Every morning I kill at least 10 snails (by squishing them), only to find another 10 the next day. They obvisouly came in on a plant that I didn't clean well enough, even though I rinse all my new plants well!

The snails are tiny, about 1-3mm, and range from grey to black/brown, and they are a little see-through. The shell is round. Because they are so small I cannot get a photo of them (I found this on Google, the snails look similar Delicate Aquatic Snail Post Cards from Zazzle.com). They seem to only come out at night and during the day they burrow into the gravel, making them impossible to find! They really are annoying me, they've been eating my hygrophila, bacopa and some of my crypts, although so far my lace fern is untouched. My bacopa is all but destroyed, with just a few sad stalks with a little new growth on top remaining.

So far I've tried a few things to get rid of them, including: leaving a lettuce leaf in a jar over night (also tried spinach) this did not seem to interest them and there was nothing in the jar after several mornings; intense gravel vacuuming this annoyed them and let me squish about 20 as they came out of the substrate, but otherwise they still remain; reduced feeding of my betta and shrimp this seemed to slow the snails a little but they are still there!

My tank is 30L, gravel substrate, moderately planted, filtered, heated, and home to a betta and several red cherry shrimp. My betta is fed twice daily, and the shrimp every 3-4 days although at the moment I'm just leaving them squished snails to eat and not feeding them any extra at all. I clean my tank once a week, do a 50% water change, use Prime and Excel.

Any suggestions? Unfortunately as far as I can tell Assassin snails are not available in Australia, and I'd rather not resort to harsh chemical treatments if it can be avoided. I don't want to harm my betta or shrimp in any way.

What can I do to get rid of these nasty little kritters?!

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post #2 of 6 Old 03-18-2014, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Could cucumber be a better option than lettuce or spinach?

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post #3 of 6 Old 03-23-2014, 04:24 PM
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A raw organic carrot inside a jar should work. They can't eat through a piece of carrot in a night and ALL my snails love them very much.

Looks like a ramshorn snail and they do not eat healthy plants, only dying unhealthy areas on plants or dead and decaying plant matter. They will not touch a healthy plant in a harmful manner. If something is hurting your plants may want to look into that further because I can promise you, it's not the ramshorns causing it.

There is one type of ramshorn that eats snails but it's pretty rare - Giant Columbian Ramhorns but it's so doubtful that the ones you got are that the chances are almost zero.

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post #4 of 6 Old 03-24-2014, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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Hm, so I guess in a way Ramshorns could be a good thing? I have noticed less since I did a big water change a couple of days back.

I think my plants aren't doing the best because I have no idea about lighting and don't use co2. Right now I use an led light but I don't think it's enough.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-24-2014, 01:21 AM
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My snails love the cucumber, zucchini and squash slices I offer my fish. Then again, my snails present no harm to my plants. They actually keep my plants clean.

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post #6 of 6 Old 03-24-2014, 01:56 AM
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I haven't heard of ramshorn snails burrowing...then again I have little experience with them. Could it be malaysian trumpet snails? Or pond snails? I have malaysian trumpet snails and they don't harm my plants. In addition, I hear of many people on plant forums who WANT ramshorn snails because they eat algae off plants. It sounds like none of the common aquarium snails really eat healthy plants. Your lighting may be too low. If the crypts are new they may just be melting as expected and the snails are eating the melted leaves. I am a bit biased to hygro, but it appears it needs stronger lights. Bacopa... never had good luck with that either.

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