Are almost all of these types of loaches good for eradicating snails? I have no fish in the planted aquarium, because they are all in the hospital tank, so I have not had food in there for nearly over a week, and I saw 1 snail crawling around (must have hitched a ride from some plants I recently added).
Good at eating snail's, and uprooting all but most firmly rooted plant's IME.
so what would be your preferred way to get rid of these pests?
I don't even try anymore. Prolly got hundred's of assorted snail's in all tank's.
Back when I did try ,,I simply placed net on substrate, and dropped a couple algae wafer's in the net.
Next morning ,I removed the net and any snail's that were there.
This method takes repeated attempt's depending on number's of snail's.8-)
I have a planted 29 gallon, and at one time I would spend an hour or so every time I did a Waterchange removing every snail I could find.
I would be sure I'd eliminated them, and then one day I'd look into the tank and there they'd be.
Once you've got them, they're in your tank.
Control them through limited feeding and removing them if you feel industrious.
I used to give the ones I'd removed to my lfs, they gave them to folks with puffers or loaches.
I'm so fed up with snails. I have started every morning just going over the tank and squashing every single one on the glass (they're usually about the size of half of a lemon seed). My guppies chase them all the way down as they fall like I'm throwing in candy. Even that doesn't seem to help a bit.
I just bought some sumo loaches which are supposed to eat snails. I have heard not to buy a fish just to do a certain job, i.e., to get rid of snails, and I wonder why not. I bought the sumo because I liked the look of it, it fit the tank, etc., but if he eats snails too, that's a bonus to me.
You can squash, squidge, remove snails, even do the lettuce trick of leaving a lettuce in overnight and remove it in the morning with the snails and they will still come back with a vengeance,
Starve your tank for 3 days, put in a couple of chain loaches and a Kuhli loach and they will clean them up in no time.(snails are a gourmet meal for loaches)
The chains will clean the snails around the glass and stones, the Kuhli which you might not see in the tank will bury itself in the sand/gravel and under the stones clearing everything up including the egg sacs.
Assasin snails are also excellent for clearing up a snail infestation, but it takes a bit longer.(Assassins breed very slowly so no problems with them showing up in hundreds at a time)
And its very entertaining watching a puffer cracking open a snail.
When the snails have all been scoffed the loaches will buzz around keeping your tank floor lovely and clean.
Just a caution, never buy any fish just to solve a "problem." It is fine if you like the fish species and have the appropriate environment to house it properly. Loaches (certainly the Botia species) are highly-social shoaling fish that must have a group. And some species have less desirable issues. And many get large.
I don't understand a fear of snails [by which I mean, a fear of having them in the fish tank, not a fear of the snail itself:-)]. They are one of your best friends when it comes to a healthy aquarium. They get into places you never could, eating everything organic, breaking waste down so the bacteria can more easily handle it, etc. Some eat algae, minimally. And some help in the substrate.
Back to your initial question, some Botia species eat snails more than others, and some basically leave them alone.
I bought a school of Yoyo's a while back which rid me of all the snails in my aquarium. As byron said, they are quite social and need to be kept only if you want to keep them and if you have the appropriate housing for them.
I have very little issues with them uprooting my plants, and I have dozens of plants in my aquarium.
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