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I have too many snails!

Posted by misskittycat1 mid AL (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 25, 08 at 8:07

I'm not a regular on this forum, but I hope someone can help me. Earlier this year I traded several guppies for a nice big plant for my aquarium. Even though I looked it over carefully for snails, I must have missed at least one, and now I have hundreds! And I'm not kidding. I've picked out so many that my hands get all pruney and still they're everywhere. I think I read somewhere that if you attach a piece of string to a piece of zucchini and drop it in the tank, securing the string, that the snails will begin to eat the zuchini and you can pull it up and dispose of the snails. Ever heard of that and did it work for you? Does anyone have a better idea? These snails are brownish gray, round and pretty small. I was infested with them a few years ago and worked hard to finally get rid of them. I have a 55 gallon planted tank and can't use chemicals. Please, any and all comments and suggestions will be so appreciated. Nancy

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: I have too many snails!

Clown loaches love snails. They do great in planted tanks and will not damage plants.

RE: I have too many snails!

Thanks paparoseman! I'm going to see if I can't get one today after I do a search to see what they are and if they'll get along with my guppies. Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving! Nancy

RE: I have too many snails!

Although loaches are great for snail control, I'd avoid that one.
Unless you have the room to spare.
A 55 will fit them for a while, but they won't do well eventually.
They will quickly hit 5" and potentially reach almost a foot.
You should be ready to care for a large fish that will out live your dog and really needs to have others to provide companionship.
They all really should be kept in small groups.
It cuts down on nasty fights and gives them a lot of comfort.
I had incredible success with some of the smaller species of Botia.
Botia striata(Zebra loach) was always a very good choice when I kept tropicals.
Some of them can be chasers and fin shredders, so do a little research first.
I don't worry about it so much anymore.
I now keep natives and some of my Darters look at them as tasty snacks! ;~)

RE: I have too many snails!

I've done this with my outside pond. I put a piece of cucumber on a string to attract all the snails. It worked.

RE: I have too many snails!

Is the only problem with snails that there are just too many? Or do they do some other harm too?

RE: I have too many snails!

good question. I think I would like the answer to that myself.

RE: I have too many snails!

The little pond snails do no harm, in fact they help. Usually when you first introduce a plant to an established tank, the snail eggs that are on the plants hatch and the snails go nuts because of all the excess food. They multiply quickly and you usually get an infestation type quanity. The best way to deal with them is to do frequent water changes and let them run their course until they get down to smaller, less noticible quanities. DO NOT use products like "snail away", they can really screw up your bio-filter. The vegatable trick works OK to remove some, but what really does the trick is getting the system in "balance". Most people think that using the cucumbers, letuce leaves and such is what did the trick. really it's just that the snails ate up all the excess and now that there is much less food, there is much less snails. The small amount of snails that stay throughout actually help keep algae down. That is my experience and take on pond snails. There are other larger snails that may do damage, but the little ones that come in on plants do no harm.

RE: I have too many snails!

I agree with Woe. Pond Snails are basically harmless, but I hate them anyway and cultivate blood red ramshorn's, so every plant I buy is treated BEFORE it goes into a tank. I use a solution of Potassium Permanganate, which is both cheap and effective, but is best used in mild solution or it can burn the plants.

Clown loaches can get very large and won't bother gups, but if kept in a smaller tank, take quite a while to outgrow their habitat and are dedicated snail eaters. However, they are also schooling fish and keeping less than at least 6 together is rather cruel.

Botia striata are another schooling fish and given a decent sized tank, say at least a long 20 or 29, you could keep 6 of them in with a colony of gups.

But if you want a very small snail eating loach that's a total gas to watch, never hides and swims about the tank continually, try Sidi's. I think of mine as Loaches on steroids.

I have a dozen Sidi's in a 50 with a large school of tetras and hatchets and they get along wonderfully, although if I were a fish, living with them would make me feel as if I'd been locked in a room with a batch of hyperactive kittens.

RE: I have too many snails!

This is soooo helpful to me as I made the mistake of buying a small snail for my aquarium never realizing it would result in an infestation of snails.

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