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Snail Guide snails in the planted tank Rate Topic: -----

Posted 23 August 2009 - 04:53 PM (#1) User is offline   maknwar 

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I see a lot of people post topics about how to get rid of snails, and so forth so I decided that I need to inform some people about snails. Snails are not all bad. In fact, I add snails to my tank. There are many different snails so here is a little guide for all those who dont know much about snails.

Snail species

Pond snails - These are the ones that are most common. These little guys will multiply and be all over your tanks. Most of the time, they are introduced by riding on plants. I found some of these snails eating my plants. They only ate softer leaved types of plants but regardless, they ate my plants. They stay small and leave jelly like egg sacks on plants and glass.
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Ramshorn - These snails are the second most common found in the aquarium, and they reproduce like the pond snail. Just like the pond snail, they are a pest and will reproduce quickly. I have also seen these eating the same plants as the pond snails.
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Nerite snails - These DO NOT reproduce in fresh water. They will eat algae off the glass and make your glass look clean. I always have these in my tanks. You can find them on the internet for about a $1-2 a piece. They get about the size of a nickel, and are green to black in color. There are different varieties of nerite snails, but olive being the most common.
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Apple snails - These are the ones that are sold at petsmart, petco, and your LFS under the name mystery snail. There are different types of apple snails, some eat plants and some eat the dead plants. I have some of these in my tanks and they look cool and eat dead plants FAST. They get big (larger than a quarter). I have Pomacea bridgesii in my tanks, which only eat dead plants. Make sure you dont get the any other species. Check out for more information and the different species.
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Malaysian trumpet snail (MTS) - These snails eat dead decaying matter and they borrow in your substrate. They will reproduce quickly and are not bad in for your planted tank. These guys will help keep your substrate aerated and little pieces of food from going to the bottom of the tank.
Attached Image: monthly_08_2009/post-18263-1251070585.jpg

Assassin snails - These guys eat other snails. Yes, they hunt down and eat all other snails. Not much is known about these except that they are somewhat rare and cost anywhere from $5-15 each.
Attached Image: monthly_08_2009/post-18263-1251070696.jpg

To rid your tank of snails

There are a few ways to do this:

1. Place a piece of cucumber in your tank. Once the snails cover the cucumber, remove it along with all the snails. This will not totally remove all the snails in the tank, but it will reduce their numbers. Keep repeating everyday until no more snails are eating the cucumber. Remember to place a fresh slice of cucumber in each time.

2. Starve them. Stop feeding for as long as you can. They WILL die off eventually. If you do feed, remove ALL leftovers. i think this is the best way to removing snails. It might take a couple of weeks but it will work.

3. Manual removal. Pick them out when you see them.

4. Snail eating fish. Since you probably have a piranha in the tank, this will be hard. You will have to move the piranha to a different tank for a while. Clown loaches usually take care of snails pretty fast.

5. Assassin snails. Get a few of them and watch them eradicate the other snails. Sell them when you are done.

DO NOT use chemicals unless you are going to tear down and wash the entire tank out after you add the chemical.

Snail prevention

The best way to stop snails, is to make sure they dont enter your tank in the first place. The good snails (Nerites, etc.) will be put in with your knowledge so those you dont have to worry about.

Wash your plants in warm salt water before putting them in your tank. This should kill all the snail eggs.

This post has been edited by maknwar: 23 August 2009 - 07:19 PM

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 06:51 PM (#2) User is offline   CLUSTER ONE 

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Which type would be best for a planted p tank? I had pond snails (not by choice) and those fuckers ate some of my plants and butchered my vals. I used to have like 20 jungle vals that were like 2ft tall from an original one, but they have killed off almost all of them and there are mayby 5 that might survive. I tried cucumber, but it didnt really help as they dont climb on the sand so i weged it in a divider. Got a bunch, but tons left so ive been picking big ones out and just crushing little ones. Id liek to add some large snails if possible, but i dont know which type would be safe. Ive hesitated so long as i know what pond snails can do so i dont want to get more unless im sure they are safe.
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Posted 23 August 2009 - 06:58 PM (#3) User is offline   maknwar 

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Nerite snails. They wont reproduce in your tanks, unless its brackish so you are safe with the number you buy. They dont eat plants, only algae. I know a place that sells them for $1.50 each, and you would want about 1 per 20 gallons. They keep my glass algae free. I havent used a scraper ever since I got them.

Posted 23 August 2009 - 07:01 PM (#4) User is offline   roccov12345 

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grrrr....snails. always a pain with a planted tank. Freshwater hitchhikers.... Nice thread.... Informative!
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Posted 31 August 2009 - 11:18 AM (#5) User is offline   Ibanez247 

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I have trumpet snails in my tank and one oddball I bought. Yellow, roundish shell with brown stripes. No idea what kind. I bought the oddball the rest came in on plants. I dont mind them as they do a nice job of cleaning up anything I may have missed. Snails can act like a ph gauge as well. Been a couple times my oddball was off the glass laying in the sand upside down. I thought it died but checked my params and ph had dropped. I treated it and the next day it was back on the glass. It actually saved my ph from dropping real low a couple times. Good to know about the nerite snails. I may get a couple.

Posted 07 September 2009 - 12:25 AM (#6) User is offline   Trigga 

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I got a mix of trumpet and pond snails in my sanchezi tank... Where can I find these assasin snails? I would love to get rid of those ugly fuckers

Posted 03 October 2009 - 12:40 PM (#7) User is offline   Murphy18 

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Excellent thread!!

Snail problem threads are always popping up, so this would come in very handy.

Should definitely be pinned i think.

Posted 03 October 2009 - 01:33 PM (#8) User is offline   notaverage 

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I agree^
I never saw this thread and as long as the info is correct its worth while Pinning!
Good info
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This post has been edited by notaverage: 03 October 2009 - 01:34 PM

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 09:12 AM (#9) User is offline   wizardslovak 

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Nerite snails it is ;-) thank you for this info
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