How to get rid of snail INFESTATION - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-09-2012, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
How to get rid of snail INFESTATION

I ordered a plant and, of course, it had a little snail on it. I didn't think too much of it at the time, naively. Fast forward 6 months - my tank is COVERED in these tiny snails. Hundreds of them. I don't mind, except that there are so many of them that it's starting to make my tank really dirty. The gravel vaccuums make me want to vomit. It's a 10 gallon tank and I only have 5 fish in there at the moment (4 cories and 1 male platy). It gets 15x dirtier than my other fully-stocked tank because of these snails.

Is there a safe way for me to get rid of them? I don't even need to get rid of all of them, just most of them. And then in 6 months I can do it again.

I know snails don't tolerate a lot of medications with malachite green, like ich meds. Since i have the cory catfish in there, I don't just want to dump in meds and wait for the snails to die.

Is there something I can do that would kill off some of these snails without harming my cories or other fish? I suppose I could remove them for a few days (it would overstock my other tank to put 4 cories in there, but I guess if it's only for a few days it might not be a big issue, I have 4 cories in the other tank anyway).

Thanks for the help!
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-09-2012, 01:06 PM
Stop feeding the snails. They're thriving because you are overfeeding your fish and the snails are happy to pick up the excess. Snails contribute very little waste, because they feed on excess food, dead plant matter even fish poop. It's simply recycled basically. If your gravel vac's are nasty it's simply because they are turning food into snail poop which gets pushed into the gravel. They aren't contributing much more.

That being said, throw a slice of cucumber(or 2, wouldn't do more then that in a 10g) in at night, remove it first thing in the morning, along with the snails that will be all over it. Repeat for as long as necessary. Just make sure you remove the cucumber every morning or else it will start to rot.
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-09-2012, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
Hmm... I've heard variations of the cucumber solution before but had forgotten. Thanks!

I try not to overfeed my fish. As it is I usually only feed them every other day (mostly due to scheduling. I get home late a couple nights a week and rather than leave the lights on for another 30 minutes while I feed them I just wait until the next day). Is this making it worse? I probably do overfeed the catfish, I usually drop 7 or 8 of the bottom feeder pellets in when I feed them (4 catfish).

I have read that snails actually have a surprisingly large bio-load. Maybe this only larger snails like mystery snails?
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-09-2012, 01:57 PM
Originally Posted by tf1265 View Post

I have read that snails actually have a surprisingly large bio-load. Maybe this only larger snails like mystery snails?

Well it depends on how you look at it. Yes they can eat alot and therefore put out alot. You have to look at what they are eating though. Excess food and plant waste is simply being converted from one form to another. If they are eating algae, they are are eating a plant which also helps to remove some bio waste and turning it into waste, so it kinda has a double whammy effect. Keeps your tank looking nice though :)
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-09-2012, 10:26 PM
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clown loaches are good at keeping snail populations in check..ahh just seen its a 10 gal.. nevermind
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-10-2012, 04:23 AM
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What are your pH, KH and GH? Any signs of shell erosion among your snails at all? If not, a couple of expensive assassin snails (Clea helena) might help although on average, one assassin can consume only one or two snails of similar size so do not expect too much from them. Neither are they prolific. It is still better if you remove the snails manually and squish them for your fish to eat. Free protein source right there.

Apple snails actually do have large bioload and care requirements are not the same as pest snails. These ones really need hard alkaline water to avoid shell erosion and shell injuries as well as proper nutrition for good body and shell development.

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post #7 of 7 Old 02-11-2012, 12:10 PM
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sell them on the puffer section ;)

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