getting rid of invasive snails
I have a 20 gallon tank with guppies, tetras, and otos. I also have a load of snails (came with plants) that I don't want. I have been picking them out daily, but would like to find another (preferrably non-chemical) way to get rid of the snails.
My plants have been eaten by snails.
I also find snails in my filter.
Snails are small and brown with spiral shells.
I cannot get any more fish... the tank has enough fish already.
Last edited by newtoshrimps; 12-14-2012 at 05:07 AM.
1-2 assassin snails would take care of that for you. (1 means you'd just have one, 2 may reproduce if you get a male and a female but at a slower rate than the pest ones)
It won't happen immediately as it takes them time to eat the pest snails, but they will take care of your pest snails.
That's a good option.
I'd supplement that with trapping a few times a week. Ramshorns are suckers for softened cucumber. Get a plastic drinks bottle, about pint sized. Rinse well, cut off the top where it starts to taper and push it into the bottle inverted so you create a trap. punch a few tiny holes to make it sink easier. Put in a slice of peeled and blanched cucumber. Put in the tank around lights out and retrieve next morning. Repeat 3 times a week.
I also had a snail explosion after I bought my 1st batch of plants - I found that when I cut down on feedings, they didn't reproduce as much. You might want to watch on how much & how often you are feeding your fish along with getting the assassin snails.
46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted cory catfish, cherry barbs, guppies, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
5 gal QT with green corys & 2 guppies
I had 2 assasin snails once, I found one floating on the top of the water (no shell)... and somehow "lost" the other. I found the empty shell at the bottom of the tank and no snail.
At the time I had 2 blind cave tetras and one kept going to the empty shell, so I think the fish may have assassined the assassin snail.
At the time I did not have any calcium in the tank... I now have a few shells in tank and NO blind cave tetra (they got too big for my tank, so are housed elsewhere).
Invasive snails got worse after taking out blind cave tetras!! Connection? !!!
I may try assassin snails again. But I will definitely try the cucumber trap.
Thanks for the help. I will try to update.
A snail trap would work, like the one described above. I use a small plastic container and punch holes into the lid and high up on the sides. Holes should be big enough for snails to get in, but small enough so fish don't get into the trap. Load it up with a few pieces of algae wafers or some sort of leafy green. Snails will get in and not get out. Or you could just put a piece of lettuce or something on the bottom of the tank, weigh it down with something, and lift that out each morning. Just scoop it up with a net so snails don't fall off. I prefer the trap though, works better can leave it in for days.
Assassin snails work great if you can find them. You're best bet to find them would be at a fish club or online. Could try plantedtank.net forum, they have a for sale section for Canada in there. Not too common yet in fish stores.
I've been plagued with snails in the past. What I do now is anyone new plant I get is cleaned before it goes into the tank. Add a bit of potassium permanganate to a bucket of water, add the plants to it, wait a while, and take plants out, then rinse them. It will get rid of the snail eggs. Be careful using potassium permanganate it will stain everything purple, including your hands, clothes, and anything else it gets on, so use gloves.
If you can't find any of the permanganate you could try bleach, but only dip plants in it for a quick dip. Leaving the plants in too long, will kill the plants. Also some plants will react very badly to bleach and will die with very little exposure.
Here is a visual aid to the trap being referenced here.
I have six words for you.
Another plant treatment that works well
Lady Hobbs told me about this:
Pick up a jar of ALUM in the spice section of your grocery store. Add a couple tablespoonsful to a bucket of water and drop in the plants. Leave them in for a day or so, then remove, rinse and plant in tank. The alum kills the snails and any eggs that might be on the plants. It works slower than bleach, but is less risky to the plants.
I also have assassin snails in my tanks and I see a LOT of empty pest snail shells on the substrate now. It does take time but the assassins are great pest snail control.
BTW - from your description of the snails' shells it sounds like you have Ramshorn snails. Damn things breed like mad, but POND snails are even worse!
46 bowfront: Planted, Angelfish, Rasboras, Cories, Tetras, Otos
25g: Planted, cherry shrimp, otos
5g: Planted, Betta
4g: Planted, betta
5 horses, 7 cats, all rescued animals
Question: This may sound like a "stupid question", but asking anyways.
Can I put alum directly into fish tank? Or will this harm the fish?
Also, at what temperature do I put water and alum mix when "cleaning" plants before putting them in the tank?
No, Do the alum dip in any clean container.. But not in your tank.
It makes no difference since as mentioned they sit in the dip for 48 hours or so. It ends up being room temp water.
Mix - Soak - Rinse - Replant. Searching 'Alum' onsite will bring up more details but there's really nothing more to it than that.
I have six words for you.