Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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neilk 10-27-2011 10:09 PM


We have been on holidays for a month and had my brother in law feed our fish for us.

When we came back, most of the plants were gone and we had a massive snail infestation.

For the last few days, we have been taking out, manually at least 20 little snails each day when we get home from work.

We looked at getting Clown loaches, but i read they are too small for out tank (85L or 22 Gal)

Is there anything we can do to get rid of these little pesky creatures, they are making our beautiful tank look rather horrible...?


Neil Kerkham

MinaMinaMina 10-27-2011 10:27 PM

Hmmm, I don't know... depending on the type of snail, I think it might be the other way around. Maybe the snails didn't kill the plants, and are not a "pest" species. (Some people would argue that there are no pest snails.) Perhaps your plants started dying first, and this increase in snail food made the snail population soar? Its a thought. Do you know what type of snails they are? Could you provide a picture, or at least a detailed description? Then we can address what to do/what not to do about it.

And I'm sorry your aquarium is such a mess! What a stressful thing to come home to. :-( Are your fish alright? The decaying plant matter didn't cause an ammonia spike, did it?

neilk 10-27-2011 10:30 PM

Sorry, i should have been more specific, the snails had eaten the plants...

We seem to have two types of snails, one that has a cone shell and one that is flat.

Ill see if i can get some photos tonight.

Fish were ok yeah, they all survived, which i am very happy with...!!

Nubster 10-27-2011 10:33 PM

Take a piece of lettuce and place it the tank just before lights out. Leave over night. In the morning it will be covered with snails. Remove the lettuce and snails. Repeat as needed.

neilk 10-27-2011 10:34 PM


Originally Posted by Nubster (Post 877157)
Take a piece of lettuce and place it the tank just before lights out. Leave over night. In the morning it will be covered with snails. Remove the lettuce and snails. Repeat as needed.

Tried this a few times, didnt work. They just latched on to our rooted plants instead....:cry:

MinaMinaMina 10-27-2011 10:49 PM

The cone shaped one could be Malaysian Trumpet Snails, or MTS. We'd have to get an ID. If it is... Many people here actually WANT this type of snail, including me. They have many benefits. My understanding is that they won't harm live plants unless they have no other food source available. Certainly mine have never touched my plants. So if your brother-in-law was feeding the fish, this should have been sufficient to keep the MTS off live plants. But if they plants had dead parts already, for sure the MTS will chow down on the dead parts.

Okay, wait, I'm getting ahead of my self. I need to cool my jets and wait for pix. Then I'm sure someone will be able to help you!

Boredomb 10-27-2011 10:56 PM

Cone shape snails? Sounds like Malaysian trumpet snails. Sorry to tell you but they don't eat healthy plants. Decaying plant matter is a different story. They will eat that. I have hundreds in my 55 gallon tank. I usually never seen them when the lights are on but when the lights go off then they come out. They burrow into the substrate during the day. In my opinion (others think the same) they are a very good creature to have.

The flat one, I will need a pic of that to tell but there is only one type of snail that I know of that may eat healthy plants and that's a Ramshorn. Even some people will argue that opinion saying they won't or have never seen them do so. I am sorry your tank is mess but I pretty sure it wasn't the snails that made it that way.

MinaMinaMina 10-27-2011 11:59 PM

Yep, what Boredomb said! *nod nod*
But to add- the only time I've ever seen mine all out in the day was when I purposely provided them with smorgasbord of food. (In my case, it was wood fungus that I wanted them to eat- and, boy, did they! Night and day, tirelessly, until it was gone, like it was their JOB! Then they were again nocturnal. Love those guys!) So if the food source was plentiful, as it appears to have been, they very well would have been out in the daylight, feasting. Just to clarify!

Boredomb 10-28-2011 12:09 AM

Mina this off subject by I love your statement. "My dither fish need dither fish!" That's just awesome! I had some Colombian Blue tetra that where that way.

MinaMinaMina 10-28-2011 12:31 AM

Thanks, man! I currently have some neurotic Bloodfin Tetras that are that way. I jokingly named them Absence, Atypical Absence, Myoclonic, Atonic, Tonic, Clonic, and Tonic-Clonic after the types of generalized seizures. Spastic little buggers, until they got their dither fish! :lol:

LOL But, sorry to digress. I now return you to your regularly scheduled snail mystery*!

*not "Mystery Snail"

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