Snails migrating from LFS plants
I have about a half dozen or so snails that have migrated into my tank with my plants (I'm assuming that's where they came from). They are growing at an alarming rate and they aren't, um, well, pretty. they are clearish and sort of unsightly. What do you do when you have these? Pick them out and flush them down the toilet or something? Is that mean?
Aquarists seem to either like snails or want to remove every last one. Personally, I consider them a useful part of a natural ecosystem. They will eat leftover food that fish can't find, and they do eat some algae especially off plant leaves which is helpful. The Malaysian livebearer is particularly good for burrowing through the substrate, keeping it fresh (relatively speaking). From your description I assume you have pond snails or bladder snails. They are useful and won't eat plants.
The best way to control them is ensuring they have little to eat; they won't multiply without food. And there are ways to remove some if they do become numerous, a lettuce leaf or cucumber slice in a small dish at night, lifted out in the morning with the snails attached.
Some of mine go down the drain when the filters are rinsed; others end up in the garden compost on bits of plants I cull. And in one tank, my SE Asian, the loaches eat the very small Malaysian snails (the larger are pretty tough shelled) and I have to move some from the other tanks regularly to keep any in this tank.
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