Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Dragon Arcadia 12-02-2011 12:00 PM

Invaded by snails.
So my current dilemma involving snails started about six weeks ago when I purchased a plant (can't remember what it was called, I think baccoa) and, a few days later, noticed a small brown snail in my tank. I knew it was a Ramshorn probably brought over with the plant, but I wasn't concerned about it because I thought it was the only one.

It obviously wasn't because one turned into three, then seven, and they just kept going up. I noticed how severe this infestation was when I took a good look at the dark gravel in the aquarium. About fifteen snails were climbing the tank walls, and the gravel was literally covered with probably almost one hundred snails; a significant amount considering its only a 5.5 gallon tank.

I got to work clearing them out by tapping the ones on the glass with my net, causing them to withdraw into their shells and fall. I would catch them on the way down, then transfer them to one of those cups betta fish are kept in. In about two hours, I managed to remove over half of the snails.

Now my problem is with managing the rest. I understand that these tiny snails help the tank, so I don't want to completely dispose of them, just have something to keep their numbers limited. Using less food isn't an option, as my betta is the only thing in the tank that's not a bottom feeder. One idea I have is to introduce a single carnivorous snail that will eat the smaller ones. What do you think?

Ridewithme38 12-02-2011 12:26 PM

Does anyone use the old 'copper penny in the fishtank' method anymore?

Nubster 12-02-2011 01:03 PM

Assassin snails will work but keep in mind they breed too although at a slower rate. Good thing is, they can be sold off. You could also consider a snail eating fish if that would work in your tank. I would avoid using chemicals because that could harm more than just the "bad" snails. I understand limiting food not working. I have some tetras in my tank and I make sure only to feed in small amounts so that ALL the food is eaten but somehow the snail population in my tank hasn't changed. Just yesterday I introduced assassin snails into my tank so I'll see how that works.

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