5 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Aquarium Pest Snails
Bladder, ramshorn, and Malaysian trumpet snails are often called pest snails in the aquarium hobby because they reproduce very quickly and are difficult to remove once introduced to a fish tank. They can enter your fish tank by hitchhiking on live aquatic plants or even at the bottom of a fish bag from the pet store.
Are pest squid bad for fish tanks? They are an integral part of aquatic ecosystems and can be useful in aquariums. They feed on algae and clean up fish waste. These snails will not harm your live fish or plants, but they do keep your aquarium clean by consuming any dead animals or sickly leaves.
Ramshorn snails, even though they are called “pest snails”, are kept often by fish keepers because of their beautiful colors and cleaning abilities.
These benefits are not for everyone. However, some people dislike being overrun with so many snails in their aquarium that they cover every surface. These 5 proven methods will help you keep your aquarium snail population in check.
Method #1: Less Food
Fish keepers who have experience with fish keeping know that the best way of decreasing the number snails is to eat less fish food. Snails can only reproduce quickly if they have enough food. You should limit the amount of food you give your fish to ensure that they can eat all of it in a matter of minutes. Also, smaller meals mean that snails will have less to eat. Higher quality foods, such as frozen, live, and freeze-dried food, are more likely to be consumed by the fish. This leaves little for the snails.
This bladder snail is a hermaphrodite and can reproduce sexually and lay viable eggs even though there aren’t any other snails in an aquarium.
Snails eat leftover food as well as algae and dying plant matter. You should prune your plants regularly and get rid of any algae when cleaning the fish tank. Use an aquarium siphon for gravel vacuuming to remove any mulm and other organic debris the snails may eat.
Method 2: Manual Removal
Slowly starving the snails can take a while, so speed up the process by physically removing snails whenever you get a chance. You can simply pick the snails out using your hands. For small snails, you can use a siphon hose to scoop them into a bucket. If you’re passing by and spot some snails on the aquarium walls, try using a snail catcher to easily scoop them up without getting your hands wet.
The Dennerle Snapper is a clever tool that allows you to capture small snails on fish tanks walls.
Method #3: Snail Trap
Some species, such as the Malaysian trumpet snails, are nocturnal. They prefer to burrow under the substrate and it can be difficult to get them out of the tank. Use delicious vegetables to attract them. You can add a slice of lettuce, zucchini, carrot or carrot to your aquarium overnight. By the morning the snails should have covered the vegetable. Hobbyists may prefer to place the food in a DIY trap, which is a container that has holes that allow the snails to get in but not enough to let fish through. This will ensure that they cannot escape even after they are full.
Malaysian trumpet snails (also known as MTS) are very resilient and have been known to survive in dry, used gravel for many months.
How to humanely kill a snail once you have caught them? You can either feed them to snail-eating fish (see the list below), or give them away to fellow hobbyists who keep snail eaters. Or crush them for a quick and painless death.
Method #4: Snail eaters
You will be in high demand for pest snails if your fish is a snail-eating one. They provide essential nutrients and enrichment that allow the animal to show its natural hunting behavior. All freshwater pufferfish, including the tiny Mbu puffer and the large Mbu puffer, enjoy eating snails. The crunchy shells of snails can be used to grind down puffer’s teeth and prevent them becoming too long. Many loaches, such as clown, dwarf, yoyo, and zebra, can use their pointed noses to get into snail shells and take out the insides. Certain larger animals like oscars and turtles also enjoy a good meal of mollusks, so don’t forget to save some for them. Aquarists may also use the services of an assassin slug, which is a 1-inch (22.5 cm) carnivorous snail which eats only other snails.
Assassin Snails (Anentome. helena), ambush other snails and eat them, even if they are larger.
Method #5 – Quarantine
If you’re determined to ban pet snails, keep in mind the old saying, “An ounce is worth a pound of prevention.” You should inspect all new plants and remove any eggs and snails. To get rid of any unidentified hitchhikers, some people wash their plants with running water. Place the plant in a tank filled with light and fertilizers. Continue to remove any snails. The time it takes for snail eggs (depending on the species and water temperature) to hatch can vary from one week to the next. It is important that you have patience.
While this quarantine plan is not bulletproof, we recommend taking a slow and steady approach rather than using chemical treatments like bleach or aquarium salt. It can be difficult for you to determine the right dosing concentration to kill snails or eggs, but not to harm sensitive plants such as cryptocoryne or vallisneria.
Bladder and ramshorn snails lay egg sacs that contain multiple babies, whereas Malaysian trumpet snails give birth to live young.
We recommend the following 10 animals to clean up freshwater tanks: