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Old 02-07-2007, 07:57 PM   #1
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David vs. the annoying Snails

So, as usual, the plants in my tank came with their share of those annoying little snails. I've been fishing 2 or 3 out a day when I see them in there...today I went all out and took 15 snails out.

I've noticed that they've started laying eggs, little sticky blobs of eggs in various places of the walls.

I don't mind a few snails, but something tells me it won't stay a few for long if I don't do anything about them. So, suggestions?

Is there anything that will eat the snails and wont bother my other fish? Tetras, Gourami, Guppies, and Oto Catfish?

Are there any chemicals to kill the snails that wont hurt my plants/bacteria/or fish?

Thanks!
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Old 02-07-2007, 08:21 PM   #2
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I am assuming this is your 12 gln. tank? If so, then I don't know of any other fish you can put in there to eat your snails as the tank is just too small.

I don't believe in ever using chemicals to treat anything in my tanks unless it's a very last resort.

My suggestion is to just keep at it. Pick them out. Also, if they continue to multiply that normally means you are overfeeding (I'm going through this myself with MTS - I didn't realize I was feeding too much until I had a snail explosion. My tank is also too small for snail preditors so I'm in the same boat as you are.)

I have heard several ideas on getting rid of the little buggers. Put a piece of lettuce in the tank overnight (make sure it's been wilted by pouring hot water over it) - that is supposed to attract the little buggers. The next morning you just need to take out the piece of lettuce with snails all over it. That didn't work for me with the MTS but might with other snails. Others have said to put a piece of lettuce or something in a glass jar that has a small enough hole only the snails can get into it. Or use a plastic pop bottle with the lid on and make small holes in several spots on it so the snails can crawl in.

I wish you the best of luck and I'm open to anyone else's tried and true solutions also.
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:43 PM   #3
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Manual removal is the only way to do it. Copper does kill snails, but it's difficult to know if what you're dosing is safe for your fish. Plus, you'll never ever be able to put another invertebrate in the tank, so shrimp or the beloved apple snails would be out. Just pick them out by hand.

Careful cleaning and inspection of your plants will help keep snails from being introduced in the first place. If you plan on adding a lot more plants, you might look into getting potassium permanganate to dip your plants in before planting them to prevent a whole host of nasty critters. Because there are worse things than snails, trust me.

That said, snails aren't all that bad. They do serve an ecological function (clean up) and the most common types don't eat plants. As Cinder said, your population will stay pretty proportional to the food that's available to them, so just limit your feedings and you'll have a few cute little snails without being overrun.
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I just want my planted tanks to be perfect. Is that so much to ask?

55g: (Mostly) African riverine species: Alestes Chaperi, breeding pair of Kribs, and rhino pleco
30g: Newly established reef tank
10g: Planted but fishless
5g: Unplanted with various snail species
2.5g: Heavily planted with betta.
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:54 PM   #4
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I would have said "get a clown loach , It worked for me" but they grow about 6" - 12". I would suggest to try the lettuce idea then. Another way I noticed that works is to lower the temp but that might kill your fish as well. My clown loaches got rid of all my pond snails and the lower temps killed my red ramshorn snails and my mystery snails. I actually wanted the red ramshorn snails and the mystery snails, but what had happened was my heater broke and my temp fell to 40º - 50ºF. I didn't notice my temps until 3 months later when I realized all my lovely snails died.

Btw, I'm in need of some snails, so I'll take whatever you don't want. Even the pest pond snails, my clown loach loves to eat them. I would prefer you where in Miami Florida because I'm completely broke atm and can't even afford to pay shipping. -_-
Cinder I would love to have your extra MTS but can't pay shipping atm unless your willing to ship for free.
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Old 02-08-2007, 12:06 AM   #5
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Botia Sidthemunki (dwarf chain loach) are snail eating machines, and don't get larger that 2".
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Old 02-08-2007, 01:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zezmo
Botia Sidthemunki (dwarf chain loach) are snail eating machines, and don't get larger that 2".
Thanks, I'll check them out.
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:10 AM   #7
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Botia Striata (zebra loach) stays pretty small as well and are much easier to find.

http://www.loaches.com/species-index/botia-striata

It's said they'll max out at 4" so you may eventually have to find a new home for him but they grow slow IME so he'll stay long enough to sovle your infestation.
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