Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Candee 12-17-2009 09:48 AM

Small Loach that will eat snails
I have posted somewhere else that I am having a snail problem. I have tried to get them out manually and I have cut back feedings to every other or ever 2-3 days. I am still seeing snails.
I do want to get loaches and not just because of the snails but that is an extra added benefit.
It needs to be a small loach so not a clown. I have not seen any dojo's in my LFS's plus I think they might get too big too. I love the look of dwarf chain loaches but I am being told at the LFS that they DONT eat snails. If that is the case then I am willing to step over to yoyo's if they will do the job.

In my 55 g tank I have
1 powder blue dwarf gourami (
Colisa lalia)
1 pearl gourami (Trichogaster leeri)
10 cardinal tetra's (Paracheirodon axelrodi)
5 kuhli loaches (Pangio kuhlii)
5 upside down cat fish (that are always in hiding) Synodontis nigriventris
2 lyretail killifish (a couple) Aphyosemion australe
2 snail eating snails Clea (Anentome) helena's

plus a million snails

Candee 12-19-2009 04:50 AM


aunt kymmie 12-19-2009 09:41 AM

What type of snails are you having problems with? I would think that your kuhlis would make short work of any baby snails and thereby put a halt in the reproduction of the population. You might want to consider the zebra loach (botia striata) or the polka dot loach (botia kubotai) instead of yoyos. The adult size attained by zebras and polka dots are smaller than that of the yoyos. Yoyos will do the job, though. No snail has any chance of surviving in my yoyo tank. :lol:

Candee 12-19-2009 11:07 AM

I have seen (and killed) a pond snail (I believe it was). Most of the snails are so small that I can not yet clearly identify what they are. The most are ramshorns I believe. I do go in and squish the ones I can reach especially when I see a big one. I was kind of hoping the kuhli's would be taking care of some of them. Also the assassin snails - Clea (Anentome) helena's - don't seem to be doing their job quick enough to make an impact.

I plan to go to my LFS tomorrow - see what loaches they have. I know they have yoyo's and chains for a fact - I think I remember seeing some zebra's too. Do the chain loaches not eat snails? They are so cute and lively?

aunt kymmie 12-19-2009 11:38 AM

I keep dwarf chains and I'm not sure if they eat snails or not. I will go pluck a few snails from my tetra tank and drop them into the dwarf's tank and observe what they do with them. I'm inclined to think they do eat snails as I've got snails in my tetra tank and none in the dwarf tank. I'm constantly taking plant cuttings from the tetra tank and planting those cuttings into the dwarf's tank. It would seem logical that there would be eggs and very teeny tiny snails on these cuttings. I've never seen not one snail in the dwarf's tank. I'll keep you posted on what they do with the snails I'm about to drop into their tank. :-)

Candee 12-19-2009 12:11 PM

Thank you Aunt Kymmie that is very kind of you.

aunt kymmie 12-19-2009 01:17 PM

Based upon my 30 minutes observation it seems my dwarf chains aren't interested in eating any snails. I dropped three very teeny tiny snails in their tank before *breakfast* so I know they were hungry. One loach came up to a snail, lifted it up with his snout, tossed it, but then he just swam away. It seems your LFS was correct in stating they aren't snail eaters. Before my little *experiment* I would have sworn they'd be snail eaters. Shows you what I know, LOL.

Candee 12-19-2009 04:58 PM

Thank you so much for the "experiment" now I know what to get for the snails. I hope they are as entertaining as the chain loaches seem to be.

aunt kymmie 12-19-2009 05:01 PM

In my experience ALL loaches are entertaining! :-D

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