Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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RWaltman 04-28-2009 04:30 PM

Where did those snails come from!?
I have a 30 gallon tank and somehow I got snails!? they are about the size of a pea maybe smaller and I have only spotted two so far...i did not add them, but did add outside rocks (I washed all them though)...any ideas on how or why this happened? One of my fish got a white fungus on his back as well...he is currently in the "hospital" tank being treated for fungus...seems to be doing fine....but I'm still curious what these snails mean...I was going to get a loach to get rid of these this the right idea?

Twistersmom 04-28-2009 05:40 PM

Did you add any plants to your tank?
They often hitchhike in plants and will be so small you do not see them. I have snails in most of my tanks and really do not see them as a problem. They will help eat leftover food in the tank and unwanted algae.

froglady 04-28-2009 05:57 PM

ive got unwanted snails before from plants I brought home from the pet store. so maybe you got some hitch hikers from a plant.

RWaltman 04-28-2009 08:01 PM

yeah I'm guessin' its the plants...whats the harm in them? should I be concerned?

Sageo3000 04-28-2009 09:24 PM

eating them is the only solution.

Byron 04-29-2009 10:18 AM


Originally Posted by RWaltman (Post 191210)
yeah I'm guessin' its the plants...whats the harm in them? should I be concerned?

First, I like Sageo3000's suggestion--get ready for escargot for dinner.

To the snails, most of us think they are helpful in eating algae and uneaten fish food. Some loaches will eat snails, but the best solution is not to be putting fish into an aquarium just to eat snails but to deal with the reason they are there. If they become too many, it means they have too much food, so something is wrong in your aquarium at that stage and that is what should then be addressed. But at this point, I wouldn't suspect that, as a few snails are healthy as I've mentioned. If you really don't want them, pick them out. But I would leave them as a natural (and useful in my view) part of the system.

AmyK 04-29-2009 12:45 PM

On a similiar note, (sort of) what is a good snail to have in an aquarium that doesn't reproduce like crazy??

Twistersmom 04-29-2009 02:35 PM

Do you know what kind of snails you have?
Malaysian tumpeter snails, bladder snails, and ramshorns are the ones that most often hitch hike in plants.
Nerite snails are good ones to have, great algae eaters and rarely reproduce in fresh water.
Mystery snails are also nice, they lay large egg clutches above the water line, so if you are not looking to have more snails the eggs can easily be removed.

whitedevil 04-29-2009 04:13 PM

Your rocks wernt prepared right, you gotta boil em for about an hour or so, then bake them at 350 for about an hour, washing off does nothing.

Byron 04-30-2009 09:47 AM

Boiling rocks may cause them to explode (as some other posters on this forum have indicated), not sure if baking will do the same, but it is not necessary. Washing in very hot water with a scrub brush would remove anything on the surface like parasites which is all that really matters, and snail eggs, although I doubt this is how they arrived; plants, as someone suggested, is the usual carrier. Washing plants carefully in water with your fingertips will remove smail eggs and tiny snails, assuming the leaves are large enought to make this feasible.

Mystery snails can get large and I have not seen them recommended for basic tank snails. They also contribute to the bioload, and the bigger they are...

Good normal snails in aquaria are Malaysian livebearer (sometimes called trumpet or horn of plenty snails because they are long and ridged like a horn of plenty) that burrow throughout the substrate keeping it cleaner and less chance of anaerobic conditions than otherwise, and the common pond snails will graze leaves and everything for algae and uneaten food. All snails will reproduce (unless the water is too soft and acidic, because they lack the necessary calcium for their shells) but will remain within manageable limits provided the tank is properly maintained and they don't have more food than what they can find. A population of snails within reason is another sign of a healthy aquarium.

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