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Old 01-10-2017, 06:32 PM   #1
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Snail Infestation; Help would be appreciated

Hello fellow fish enthusiasts!

I'm currently battling a ramshorn snail infestation in my aquarium.
I think I got them from a plant that I got from a LFS.

anyway, any that I see I remove but it is an unending uphill battle.
every one of my plants has egg clutches and when I try to scrape them off it damages the plants.

I have read about there being snail killing chemicals but I would rather not just add something like that to my aquarium. especially since I have some mystery snails in there that I'm very attached to. Plus I would like to establish a shrimp colony in the tank eventually and some meds that effect snails can damage shrimp as well.


55 gallon planted aquarium (sand substrate): kuhli loaches, guppies (plus many many babies), the chillest male betta, 4 corydoras aneaus, 3 mystery snails


I also use to have some cherry shrimp, but since the snail infestation I have not seen them so I don't know if somehow they died and were eaten. If anyone has any insight on what could have happened to them please let me know.

I would very much like to deal with them naturally, as in possibly adding one or more fish or other animals to the community. I have done some research and as you can imagine much of it was conflicting or wasn't reliable (one kind of fish would work half the time for example)

I would very much like to add something that wouldn't harm/bother my other community members. or wouldn't get huge like clown loaches.
I'm open to things that might eat guppy babies/fry as well (since I'm also dealing with some population explosions from them as well) but would leave the adults and other fish alone.
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:48 PM   #2
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Not sure how safe the mystery snails would be ,but since they are big I would guess ok?
Try assassin snails. Natural as you can get. They eat snails slowly and surely.They will eat other food if it offered ,but prefer snails.
Many use them so hopefully someone with mysteries will chime in...
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:08 PM   #3
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Some of the smaller botia loach species would be great options. In a 55 you could do yoyo, angelicus, zebra or queen loaches! They're all fairly similar to clown loaches in requirements, habits and personality (including their voracious consumption of snails) with the major exception that they all stay much smaller- yoyo loaches grow to around 6 (sometimes up to 10 but this is rare) inches, angelicus 5-6 inches, zebra loaches and queen loaches 3-4 inches. They'll leave your other fish alone (or at least, they won't eat or (usually) be aggressive towards them.) Granted, if you haven't given up on shrimp I wouldn't recommend loaches as they'll eat the shrimp as happily as they eat the snails. Otherwise they'll fix your problem and can be a really fun addition to a tank

Edit: I missed the mystery snails. Definitely wouldn't trust loaches with them. No idea if assassin snails would go after them or not as well?
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:32 PM   #4
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I agree with sinibotia. Loaches. Kuhlis won't eat snails but most other loaches will. Quickly. I had an infestation of Malaysian Trumpet snails a couple years ago in a 150g long tank. Not sure where they came from (possibly a plant), but in just a few weeks after seeing the first snail, the tank was so infested, it looked like the substrate was writhing. I got 4 Yoyo loaches, and they had totally eradicated the snails within a couple weeks. I had planned to keep the Yoyos only long enough to get rid of the snails, but they were so much fun to watch, so full of personality and funny antics, that we moved them to a community tank and have had them since. Mine stopped growing at about 4 1/2-5" though, or at least their growth slowed to a very slow rate. Very interesting fish, with voracious appetites for snails.
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SherLar View Post
I agree with sinibotia. Loaches. Kuhlis won't eat snails but most other loaches will. Quickly. I had an infestation of Malaysian Trumpet snails a couple years ago in a 150g long tank. Not sure where they came from (possibly a plant), but in just a few weeks after seeing the first snail, the tank was so infested, it looked like the substrate was writhing. I got 4 Yoyo loaches, and they had totally eradicated the snails within a couple weeks. I had planned to keep the Yoyos only long enough to get rid of the snails, but they were so much fun to watch, so full of personality and funny antics, that we moved them to a community tank and have had them since. Mine stopped growing at about 4 1/2-5" though, or at least their growth slowed to a very slow rate. Very interesting fish, with voracious appetites for snails.
Loaches do tend to slow down in growth exponentially and have weird growth trends, yoyos especially. Seems like some yoyos get HUGE (10 inches) and some never even make it to 6. They are so fun though, I agree! I've got my yoyos and angelicus eating out of my hand
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:26 PM   #6
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Water bottle with rocks and a piece of a vegetable inside

But why are you worried. Great snail for planted tank. Will not take over if tank isnt over fed.
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:33 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone so much for the advice.

I had my reservations about assassin snails due to my mystery snails. Some people said that even though they may be a lot bigger than the assassins, they have been known to team up to take one down. I have also heard they can potentially become pests too. Do any of yall have any experience with keeping them together?

As for loaches, I researched many of the kinds you all suggested and have a few questions.
many of the places said that many loaches will establish territories and can be territorial. I was really worried about this because all of my fish move all around the tank with the exception of my kuhli loaches that have their hidey holes except when they do their kuhli dance. would my betta who patrols all over the tank trigger their territorial-ness or vice versa? and my cordoras are not shy at all about just running into fish would this potentially be a problem with territorial-ness?


Also with loaches different sites recommended minimum group numbers and I was wondering what your personal recommendations for good group sizes would be? I know websites tend to low-ball the "minimum" number.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:38 AM   #8
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Loaches can be cichlid-like in that their individual temperments can vary quite a bit from individual to individual. That said, in general the botia loaches I suggested (yoyo, angelicus and zebra loaches) tend not to be territorial or not aggressively territorial. I have a loach tank with a mix of angelicus, yoyo and kuhli loaches and they all get along nicely- occasionally my yoyo loaches will chase a kuhli but they're also the most boisterous botias. If you stick with zebra or angelicus I can almost guarantee they'll leave your kuhlis, betta and corydoras alone.

As far as minimum numbers, I wouldn't do less than 5 imo. They're very social fish, and the fewer you have the more likely you are to get territorial/aggressive behavior caused by stress.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:39 AM   #9
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puffers and only a puffer, never had luck with traps, loaches, assassins etc. Only puffers ever worked for me.
MY buddy got an infestation of MTS and I told him to get one. He said within days it seemed like the snail knew to not even come above the substrate. Within like 2 weeks he was barely seeing a live snail.
Pea Puffers are good but 50/50 if you will get a jerk. I have 2 who are great fish who bother nothing. I also have 2 amazon puffers which are MUCH more docile with other fish but very neurotic.
I think once you go puffer you never go back
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evil Nick View Post
puffers and only a puffer, never had luck with traps, loaches, assassins etc. Only puffers ever worked for me.
MY buddy got an infestation of MTS and I told him to get one. He said within days it seemed like the snail knew to not even come above the substrate. Within like 2 weeks he was barely seeing a live snail.
Pea Puffers are good but 50/50 if you will get a jerk. I have 2 who are great fish who bother nothing. I also have 2 amazon puffers which are MUCH more docile with other fish but very neurotic.
I think once you go puffer you never go back
Helicopter puppies. My daughter wants a puffer so much!
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