Starving out the snails HELP!!! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 33 Old 11-14-2010, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Starving out the snails HELP!!!

I have been battling snails for quite awhile now. I know that many have said they won't hurt the plants and that if you don't over feed they will go away. Well, How do you cut out the food source for them without killing the fish? The fish need to eat and the snails always have the plants. I know they eat the plants since they have literally gone through a 25 gallon tank that was very heavily planted and now all I have left is a few floating plants. When I flick the light on in the morning there are hundreds of snails eating on the floating plants. I have entirely stopped feeding the tank for a few days but each day it seems there are more snails. Also, one of my female Guppies died and within hours, she was all but gone. Just a spine left. These are hungry snails. I have removed over a hundred already but I seem to be losing the war against these rotten things. I am not as concerned about the Mystery snails as they don't seem to reproduce so quickly but the pond snails are out of hand. HELP!!!!
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post #2 of 33 Old 11-14-2010, 12:57 PM
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Can you post a photo of these "pond snails"?

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youre going to take it under your wing then youre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 33 Old 11-14-2010, 01:34 PM
Simply the turning lights on and they are all over the plants makes me think you have MTS. An IDK who said reduced or no feeding will make the snails go away, but snails will be the last thing to die in a tank that is not fed. As far as getting rid of them, good luck is all I can say. I tried that once and its just not worth it IMO. No snails should over run a tank though.... I have MTS, ramshorns, and another type of snail. Often with more then once kind in a tank and they never over run my tanks.

.... I'm probably drunk.

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post #4 of 33 Old 11-14-2010, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Can you post a photo of these "pond snails"?
Absolutely. These are the pond snails



and these are the baby Mystery snails




I have spent the better part of the last few hours cleaning snails out of that tank. I removed the wood and on the bottom of each piece of wood there were several hundred of the brown/red pond snails. I also picked with a tweezer another hundred or better and the gravel is still littered with them. It is as though they are coming up out of the gravel. I put the melon in there to attract more of them to it so I can remove them. Within minutes I had a dozen of them on the melon. These have eaten a 25 gallon tank FULL of plants. I won't be adding anything to this tank until I have these things under control. Any ideas to help this along would be appreciated.
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post #5 of 33 Old 11-14-2010, 02:35 PM
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Those in the first photo are ramshorn snails, not pond snails. The shell curling like a ram's antler is how they were named. Pond snails and bladder snails are basically roundish. And of course the Malaysian Trumpet or Livebearing snail is long and shaped like a cornucopia or horn of plenty (which are 2 other common names but ones I don't see much anymore). I must say I have never seen the white snail in the other photos.

There are actually several different species all commonly referred to as ramshorn because they all have the distinctive shell shape. Some are said to eat soft plants (cabomba, water sprite, etc). Some report that an apple snail will eat ramshorns, and some loaches, gourami, etc. will too.

Mikaila is correct, getting rid of these is not easy. Baiting them overnight with lettuce is said to be one method. They are egg layers, so look for their gelatinous egg masses on plant leaves (undersides) and pull them off before they can hatch.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youre going to take it under your wing then youre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 33 Old 11-14-2010, 02:45 PM
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I have these little buggers all over my tank but damage to my plants is very minimal, I have a good amount of algae in my tanks so this probably keeps them happy with out taking it out on my plants. I would just keep baiting and pulling them out on a daily basis unless you are dead set determined to kill all of them.

I want to say that white one is probably a ramshorn too looking at the shell but it might just be an albino.
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post #7 of 33 Old 11-14-2010, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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The white ones are baby Mystery Snails. I have adult Mystery Snails and the babies have the exact same shape shell as the parents. Also, when they get slightly larger they seem to start turning more of the Grey/blue like the parents. At least that is what I am noticing so far.

I wasn't sure what the others were, I guess it was someone on this forum that had told me they were just common pond snails. I will read more about Ramshorn snails. I literally have removed over a thousand snails already and there are still many more. I am putting slices of melon in and removing them when they fill. It only takes a short time for each piece of melon to have a few dozen snails on it. I remember when the first hitch hiker showed up and I was freaked. People here calmed me down some but I am back to my complete distaste for snails. I mean, other then my Mystery snails, I don't mind them. They are not taking over the whole tank and I have never noted them damaging the plants. These nasty little buggers however were uninvited and are taking over. That is not acceptable in my opinion. So.... I will continue to remove snails each day until I see no more of them. I had added my Gourami to this tank for awhile in hopes she would downsize the number of Guppy fry and snails but she is a gentle girl and wouldn't have any of it. Even without food for a few days.

Here is a little better picture of the white ones shells

on here you can see the shapes better.

Last edited by Inga; 11-14-2010 at 03:01 PM.
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post #8 of 33 Old 11-14-2010, 03:36 PM
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Rams


In my book these are all curses, not worth messing with especially if you plan to have any plants such as watersprite in your tank. Most people only end up regretting they let them go, 1 looks cute, But give it a week or two and it's another story altogether, If theirs anything eatable in a tank they will eat it, everything else will die before they do,

In my bare tanks that house nothing other than a fake floating plant, no gravel, nodda, and 1 very small feeding of food each day to my live bearers and these guys seem to stay under control. any other tank and they explode. Best time to check and see just how plastered you are with them is a few hours after lights out, Tanks that I thought had only a few the walls were plastered in them. It's not only the trumpets that come out mostly at night.

I warn everybody that says they have a new occupant, But I guess thats were we all fall for the innocents of 1 little tiny thing can't be so bad, Well they certainly can be,

I had a very long conversation on 1 forum with a young man that swore these snails never went out of control or would ever touch a plant, Stated he even had lots of plants with his, It was the fault of over feeding.

Well it taught me a lesson when I happened to be at his house several months later,
He housed his pest snails in bare bottom tanks with ONLY moss type plants, not as he stated in his posts, I held my tongue!.

So many people say your over feeding when you complain their out of control, thats not always the case.

I like my Apples, assassins and Malaysians.

I really like your white Apples you have there, If I could find some of them around here, I'd have me some :)

Always in NEED & looking for more Tanks!
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Last edited by Chicklet; 11-14-2010 at 03:45 PM.
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post #9 of 33 Old 11-14-2010, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chicklet View Post
So many people say your over feeding when you complain their out of control, thats not always the case.

I like my Apples, assassins and Malaysians.

I really like your white Apples you have there, If I could find some of them around here, I'd have me some :)

Yeah, I read the over feeding thing a hundred times. I was over feeding a little because I had fry I wanted to live but I cut way back and it made no difference. I even had the fish doing a once a week fast and that made no difference the numbers just continued to increase. I also read that they don't hurt plants but I assure you, they made quick work of my heavily planted tank. One of my guppies died during the night and by morning, it was completely gone except for a spine. These snails are a curse for sure.

As far as the White Apple/Mystery snails. They are pretty. They are almost iridescent. I am hoping to trade them in at the fish store for something that eats ramshorn snails. ha ha
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post #10 of 33 Old 11-14-2010, 04:16 PM
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They do eat plants I'm in total agreement there with you,
I watched them work on totally healthy plants,
They start at the roots, They get in real close and tight, If you didn't look real close enough you'd think it was part of the actual root, When it was actually a snail.
once they destroy enough of the roots they then turn to the now dying leaves.

So ya, they only eat dead or dying plants, plants they in fact killed.

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Last edited by Chicklet; 11-14-2010 at 04:19 PM.
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