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Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Sep 1, 2002
Naperville, IL
I bought a few plants for my 10 gallon tank, which had some snails come with them. In the beginning I only had a few crawling around, but now it seems like they are reproducing pretty efficiently, so I now have like thirty (at least). I don't want to kill them or anything (they are cute :lol: ) my question: Is this okay to have that many snails in the tank or are they going to be harmful long term (will they change my water chem)? Well, I'm going to have to let some of them go I was thinking of releasing them into a nearby pond. How long do they live?
Here are some pics of two kinds of my snails. These are grown ups but there are a lot of tiny ones also.
I'm at work, and for some weird reason certain uploaded pics dont show up for me here so I can't see what type of snails they are. However, a cardinal rule of aquarium keeping is, "Never release living things into the wild". You can't be sure they won't be harmful to native species, or harbor a disease. Find a friend to give them to or something. I have to kill some every month or two, I drop them in freezing cold ice water, kills them quick. I know that's not what you want to hear, but sometimes you gotta do it.
I have to agree with corvuscorax, there was a thread about snakehead catfish not to long ago, there is no telling what non native secies will do to your environment. In FL it is against the law, if you were to get caught, you would stand to loose quite a bit of money, the car you drove to the pond would be forfeitted etc... The snails will be a pest. You will eventually relish getting rid of them!

Is there anyway you can post another photo of the snails in question maybe a little larger.

I find it hard to see the snails in detail.

I have heard that freshwater snails breed like rabbits.
This is the best I can do right now. My digi-cam is not a high-tech one as you can see. :roll:
Anyway, if you can't really see the snails on these I can borrow my friend's digi, which works a lot better than mine. :wink:
The bigger snail looks like an apple snail but it doesn't have that armlike thing which they (the apple snails) use for getting some air while they stay under water. The other one is a bit smaller and it's shell is not as round.

Thanks for replying.

Get a pair of Clown Loaches. They will keep the smaller snails in check. In a short time you will have only shells. In small amounts they will help clean the Algae. The clown loaches take a little time to start eating the snails but when they due look out. My Son's tank had been heavily populated even though we check the plants for snails you still miss them, But the Clowns have taken care of this. I don't belive they change the water chemistry.

Yes, I think it's a better idea to get a couple of Clown Loaches. It is still better than just killing the poor things at least if they get eaten there is a purpose, they become food. :cry:
Anyway why do I need to get rid of them? If they don't change the water chem, what is it that they do that's harmful? All I can see them doing is cleaning the glass from the inside.

As FF stated they breed like rabbits. Shortly your tank will be over run with them. To get a good idea how many you have already. After the lights go out, about an hour or so check the tank glass they will come out of the substrate and you should see them. Small amounts should not harm anything to many will just look bad. Plus with Clown Loaches you are staying with mother nature and feeding the fish naturally :D
This may sound cruel to you but I smash small snails against the glass sides of the tank and the fish eat them out of the shell. I have been told not to do this with bare hands as snails carry bacteria that can cause infection. some woman use to do this for her fish and says she almost lost her hand to infection from being cut by a shell fragment. I use a spoon.
OMG spewns!
I would not be able to do that!!! :microwave:
I can't even kill a fly, when I see one inside I chase it until I can catch it w/ a glass or something, take it outside and release it. :lol:
Some of my friends think I love living things a little TOO much. But I can't help it.
I like EMS's idea a lot better. (If I really have to do something about the snail issue.) At least it's more natural. The Loaches will do the dirty job, 8) ...not because they are killers, just simply hugry.
The snails are common pond snails and ramshorn snails. I have both of them too. I like having some, but they get outta hand in a hurry. Get the clown loaches since you can't kill anything. they will take care of it for you. My wife can't kill anything either, she once called me at work and wanted me to come home and kill a bug! Needless to say, that didn't happen. now she relies on the cats to kill bugs, they do a pretty good job when I'm not around.
you take them outside and release them? do you have a pond or something outside? if not, i got bad news for you.......oh nevermind. lol :roll:
I don't release them I'm a snail murderer! Yes I do have a pond, and it's full of the critters, but I like them out there where they fend for themselves.
Yeah yeah...okay. :wink:
corvuscorax said:
"Never release living things into the wild".
I'll take corvuscorax's advice, I won't release them into the wild. But I still can't kill them. I'll get the Clown Loaches if they (the snails) get out of hand, which will happen pretty soon, they are reproducing at a VERY fast rate. I can't see any more than two of the bigger, rounder ones, but the other kind....:shocked!: I could count nearly 30 little ones as of this morning.
I just found this following passage surfing the net. I thought I share it with you, or anybody with snail problems:

"To guard against unwanted snails, use a weak potassium permanganate solution. The Manual of Fish Health recommends a concentration of 10 mg/l as a 10-minute bath as a general disenfectant for aquarium plants. Then rinse them in running water. This kills snail eggs and parasites and might guard against algae spores.
Alum is also useful. Get "Alum U.S.P." at the drug store. Soak the plants in a gallon of water that has up to 10 teaspoons of Alum. The Alum kills microscopic bugs. Longer soaks (2-3 days) will kill snail eggs and/or snails."
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