Snail Infestation, HELP!
*didn't know where else to post this, so feel free to move if in the wrong spot*
I have a 5 gallon, filtered and heated tank with 2 male guppies. I've had them for at least 2 months. I also have 2 moss balls, 1 anubia nana, and wysteria. Last night, when I was looking at the guppies, I noticed tiny white things on the walls of the tank. Looking closer, they almost looked like teeny tiny shrimp, but then I saw shells, which means snails. I have NO idea where they came from, or why they're there. I counted at least 10. One or two have pointed snails and the others all look rounded. They're really really small, some as big as a dot that a pen makes, and others a little bigger. How do I get rid of them? They scare me and my mom, lol, so we want them outta here.
They came on the plants. You can try hitting the tank with a copper based medication. IMO once you have snails you are pretty much stuck with them. Unless you really hate them. Getting rid of them IMO isn't worth the effort since they are harmless.
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Well they came from your plants most likely. They pointed shell one is mostly Malaysian trumpet snail and the other probably pond/bladder snails.
They won't hurt anything and are quite beneficial in a tank but if you won't them gone there is a few thinks you can try. Put some lettuce or cucumber in the tank over night and the snails will be on it in the morning and you will have tank the piece out with the snails and depose of them. Another thing is use algae waffers they loves those as well.
And here's this, cause I like filling things out xD
1. Size of tank? 5 Gallons
2. Water parameters
Last time I got it checked it was..
a. Ammonia? 0
b. Nitrite? 0
c. Nitrate? Almost 0 (don't know exactly)
d. pH, KH and GH? N/A
e. Test kit? N/A
3. Temperature? 79F
4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)? Freshwater
5. How long the aquarium has been set up? Almost 3 months
6. What fish do you have? Male Guppies
How many are in your tank? 2
How big are they? I don't know.. a little over an inch probably.
How long have you had them? Almost 2 months
7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)? Umm..no..but they've never had any health issues (other than the other 3 dying..heh)
8. a. Any live plants? Yes, Wysteria, one Anubia Nana, and 2 moss balls. Fake plants? Nada
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom? Gravel
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? A little house my Betta used to have.. Any hollow decors? The house, I guess.
9. a. Filtration? Yes
b. Heater? Yep
10. a. Lighting schedule? Most of the day, but only in the morning and then when it starts getting dark to probably midnight. What lights are used? No clue
b. Any sunlight exposure? Yes How long? Most of the afternoon.
11. a. Water change schedule? 20% once a week, probably 50-75% once a month.
b. Volume of water changed? See above
c. Well water, tap water, RO water? Tap
d. Water conditioner used? Yes
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed? Once a month
12. Foods? Flake and once in a while Freeze Dried BloodWorms.
How often are they fed? once, twice a day.
13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms? No
b. Appearance of poop? Um, normal..
c. Appearance of gills? Normal
14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? No
b. What meds were used? None
15. Insert photos of fish in question and full tank shot if necessary.
Okay, thanks to both of you :) Will my tank get over-run with them and their bio-load?
I dunno, I must have been really unlucky a few years ago. I put some live plants in a 10 gallon tank and sure enough it blossomed with snails that proceeded to eat every bit of living vegetation in the tank. I tried picking them out, 30-40 a day, tiny little pin head sized brown shells, til I got sick of doing it, I tried the stuff called "Had-A Snail" which didn't work either. I finally gave up, moved the fish, drained the tank and there it still sits to this day.
I agree that the snails came with the plants. There isn't really anything to worry about (if they don't destroy your plants) and in fact they can be a good thing. They help aerate the substrate to keep gas pockets from building, clean up left over food, and clean the sides. They also will help you judge if you are over feeding. If the snail population booms, dial back your feeding. I added some MTS (Malaysian Trumpet Snails) to my tank for those purposes.
Snails are in my view extremely useful and I am delighted to see them. They get into places the aquarist could never reach, and they perform tasks that nothing else does by breaking down waste into smaller bits that the bacteria can then more easily and readily handle. As has been mentioned, they will populate to the level to eat the available organics.
If they are Malaysian Livebearing snails (the conical, "horn of plenty" shaped shells) or the pond or acute bladder snails, they do not eat healthy living plants. They will browse leaves for algae and bits of microscopic food, and they will eat decaying leaf tissue; but not live healthy leaves. The Ramshorn snail (named from the shape of the shell) is another small snail sometimes seen, and while most sources say they too will not harm living plants, some members here have written differently.
If you do try to remove some of them [as someone said, you will never eradicate all of them], use safe natural methods. Meaning, bait them with lettuce or something and in the very early morning remove the lettuce with the snails. Or manually remove them or squish them as you see them with your finger. I would never use chemical preparations to kill snails; they are quite likely to be detrimental to some degree on fish.
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