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Nuisance Snails
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CharlotteUK
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Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: 2008.01.19(Sat)4:24    Post subject: Nuisance Snails Reply with quote

Hi all,

I'v got a problem with nuisance aquatic snails. I'm still relativly new to the hobby and did not know that snail eggs could be transfered into aquariums on plants - hind sight is a wonderful thing.

So now the problem is that I have 2 different types of snails eating my plants. Both are small, only a few millimeters in length. One has a shell that spirils to a point, the other is shaped like a flatened spiral - very similar to the spiral fossils that are sometimes seen.

The problem has reached plague proportions despite my attempts to deal with them. The lettuce leaf in a salt jar did not work, and for some reason, the snail killing treatment I'm trying is showing no effect - if anything, there's even more than before.

The fish have been moved to my quarantine tank while I treat the main tank for the snails, so they are safely out of the way.

I'm now desperate for ideas - I'm running out of plants!

Please help ASAP. Sad
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Slimy
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Joined: 20 Nov 2007

PostPosted: 2008.01.19(Sat)4:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might be able to ID them using this post:
http://aquamaniacs.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=46805

Sometimes I drop a piece of raw zucchini in the tank for my otos and I found it to be a great snail magnet.
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CharlotteUK
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Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: 2008.01.19(Sat)8:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you use zucchini like lettuce in the salt shaker? Attract the snails then remove it with them attached? Question
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shubapie
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Joined: 07 Feb 2007
Location: Connecticut

PostPosted: 2008.01.19(Sat)8:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

Might sound gross, but for me one of the most effective ways to get rid of snails is to smash them against the glass or plants. It's not as bad as it sounds, especially when they're really small. I effectively wiped out a big pond snail problem this way - combined with cutting back on feeding, so I only rarely see pond snails anymore.

But the one you describe as spiraling to a point sounds like it could be a Malaysian trumpet snail which has a really hard shell and is harder to smash. I have tons of these as well. They have been harder to get rid of for me, though I kind of like them so don't really worry that they're there. They eat algae and food that falls to the bottom of the tank (good reason not to overfeed!) and they don't bother my plants. I find they tend to come out of the sand right after I've fed the fish and at that point they're easy to pick out. I never had luck with the lettuce in a jar thing, but would be very hesitant to try removing them with chemicals.
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Slimy
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Joined: 20 Nov 2007

PostPosted: 2008.01.19(Sat)20:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just rubberband a piece of zucchini to a small pebble and drop it in the tank. By morning there's a bunch of snails on it and they stay on there while I remove it. They also seem to really enjoy sinking algae wafers.
Since I do this to feed otos and not to remove snails I never tried putting the zucchini in a container.

As a side note, are you sure that the snails you have are damaging the plants? A lot of snails will roam on plants and just eat algae off of them, or eat leaves that are already dying and decaying.
Some species of snails are beneficial, so before you get rid of them, make sure you are not getting rid of a good thing.
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j.attig
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Joined: 21 Jan 2008

PostPosted: 2008.01.21(Mon)18:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have this same problem. The pet store's tell me that Clown Loaches will eat the snails, however the Clown Loach I have does not seem to do that, or at least he cannot keep up. I have also done a 50-60% water change and replaced my gravel around mid December. Which has helped but I still find one or two snails every few days or so.
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nikelodeon79
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2008.01.21(Mon)21:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's usually not a good idea to buy clown loaches to rid yourself of snails. First of all, not all of them will eat snails. Secondly, clown loaches get huge and require a very large tank, so unless you're trying to rid a very large tank of snails, it won't work long term.
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mandle
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Location: canada, eh

PostPosted: 2008.01.22(Tue)2:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a massive snail problem when I used to own a 120 gallon with live plants - cured it with some fish you don't really hear much about as killers - I was raising black convicts as feeders for my enormous fish, and discovered they love snail meat! they would pick them off the glass, suck the snail out of its shell, and empty shells started appearing all over the tank - they got every last one! too bad they would only work in very very limited cases...they were neat little guys though! Very Happy
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2008.01.22(Tue)5:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

The snail traps - leaf in a jar - work better if you blackout the tank overnight. While you are doing this don't feed anything else. This way does work.

Unfortunately snail killers are fish killers too. Dead snails pollute the tank.

If you have the fish out I would suggest a strip down and throw out the substrate with it's dead snails. Keep the filter sponges in a bucket of tank water. New substrate, new dechlorinated water and return the media & then the fish.
You will still have some snails but less and by not feeding so much the populations should stay lower.
I keep red ramshorn snails and they are excellent algae eaters. Malaysian trumpet snails are livebearers and often introduced deliberately although I personally don't like them.

They usually only eat damaged plant material.
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j.attig
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Joined: 21 Jan 2008

PostPosted: 2008.01.25(Fri)14:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may have figured out why I am still finding one or two snails every week or so. I didn't change my filters when I did my gravel and water change. I want to leave them in for a bit so to not deprive the tank of all the good bacteria. So don't forget to change your filters.
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