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Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. Default Opinion on snail population management

    0 Not allowed!
    So a while back my betta tank (6.6ga) had some issues with algae, so rather than risk damage from algacides, I thought, "Hey, why not try snails?" So I got a clump of java moss from the LFS that had a few conical snails in it. Put it in the tank, by the next week we had a dozen snails. Then two dozen. Then four dozen.

    Uh oh.

    I was considering picking them all out and killing them, but then I noticed my betta was having a grand old time knocking them off the glass. He doesn't seem agitated by them, doesn't flare at them or anything... Just shimmies along the glass and tries to knock them off. Kind of entertaining to watch, really. I don't know if he's having fun or if he's ticked off, but it's something for him to do at least.

    Anyway, because of that snails in that tank aren't really an issue at this point. The population in that tank peaked and then settled down at around two dozen. A bit many, but they're small. Ok.

    But during this time I had a tiger lily in the 6.6ga that had gotten too big, so I transplanted it to the 46ga. I tried to pick off any snails, but apparently a couple slipped in with it. I noticed a week after that there was a snail on our driftwood who looked pretty funny. The tip of his cone was small, but the last whorl of it was huge; apparently he went through a growth spurt. ;)

    Now a few weeks later, and there hasn't been a snail population explosion so much as... A snail growth explosion. I don't know where the wacky looking one has gone to, but there's one snail with a shell easily 3cm long, and several others in the 1cm range. Just in the past day I've also spotted about a half dozen 2-5mm ones on the wood as well.

    Now, I'm not opposed to snails in principle. They add variety to a tank. But I also don't want them to take over the tank. I'd like to keep the two or three biggest and pick out the runts. I already picked out three of the small ones, but walking past the tank I spotted four more, in a hard to reach place. How can I get rid of all of these small snails without harming the bigguns? Before I have another full-blown infestation like in the betta tank (and I'd like to do something similar in there as well, but to a lesser extent).
    46ga. tropical community
    3x 3-Spot Gourami (2 male 1 fem)
    9x Black Neon Tetras
    4x Julii Corydoras
    3x Otocinclas
    1x Red Finned Shark

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    Cutting back on excess fish food in the tank will help lower the amount of snails.

    Hmm if you want to catch small snails and leave the bigger ones, take a small plastic container with a lid, and poke several holes in it. The holes should be a bit larger than the size of snails you want to catch. I usually just poke a nail through from the outside, that way the excess plastic gets pushed in, making it harder for snails to get back out. Now to get the snails to go into the container, add some sort of flake or algae wafers into it. Works pretty well, you'll never catch all the snails but it should catch a good chunk of them. I had to do this in one of my tanks which got overrun by pest snails.

    Another method is to put a piece of lettuce or some other veggie in the tank, weigh it down with a fork or something, then check back in a few hours, it should be covered in snails, then just scoop up the veggie with a net so no snails escape.

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    I always get lots of snails too. I drop in a algae pellet and it's covered with snails in about half an hour. I suck out the piles with my vac hose. I also slice off a piece of cucumber, stick a fork in it and drop it in the tank and that gets covered with them, too. Like you, I can tolerate some but my tolerance of them ran out long ago. Also like you, I move plants from tank to tank so now I can hate every tank.

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    I've used glass mason jars with pieces of cucumber or zucinni in it to catch snails. Leave it in the tank overnight and you'll have lots of snail in the morning.

    From my experience however snails will self manage their population. A tank that is overcrowded with snails means that they have LOTS of food which probably isn't a great thing. As they eat this food and it begins to diminish the population will drop.
    75G Planted Community Tank:
    Neon Tetras, Glowlight Tetras, Platties, Guppies, and Corries,
    with 4 hang off breeder tanks for Blue/Red Platty Project

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Hm, do snails eat driftwood? Because 90% of the snails in the 46ga. are on our driftwood.
    46ga. tropical community
    3x 3-Spot Gourami (2 male 1 fem)
    9x Black Neon Tetras
    4x Julii Corydoras
    3x Otocinclas
    1x Red Finned Shark

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    They can slowly nibble at it, eating the softer parts off and the algae.

    They will also eat coconut. Made all of mine smooth as glass after about a year.
    Who is "General Failure" and why is he reading my hard drive?

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I use a turkey baster each week during WC to suck out the small pond snails I can't pick up with my fingers.

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