Best Fish to Eat Snails in a Planted Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-14-2020, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Question Best Fish to Eat Snails in a Planted Tank

My 40g tall tank is starting to settle in nicely. The initial diatom bloom has gone, and algae is now starting to settle down as the tank is balancing out. But, I have snails which came in with one of the plant orders (I won't mention the vendor, but I'm a little irritated about that). Anyway, where they came from doesn't really matter at this point. As long as there were only a few, I didn't really mind, but at this point I've got far too many. So many that when I drop a wafer in for the Corydoras, the nearby snails are all over it before the Corys get a chance, so its time to do something about it...

I'm not really a fan of any chemical snail remedies, so I'm looking for natural solutions. In previous tanks, I've tried Clown loaches for snails. I was never convinced they were really eating the snails, but they certainly did a good job of disturbing the plants as they rummage around. Also, I've never kept loaches with shrimp before, and I'm a little worried they'd go for the shrimp too.

Does anybody have any experience of what fish are actually effective for dealing with snails, and are suitable for a planted tank? I don't really want anything that will get too big, the tank is only 20" by 18", and with 3 Corydoras Julii, I think the bottom is already pretty well populated (another reason I'm wary of Clown loaches, I know how social they are, and I don't really think I have room for them).


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-14-2020, 07:55 PM
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Snails are friends :-) They help keep the tank balanced and clean. After the tank stabilizes, snail population will stabilize too. In case of such a population boom, I would just remove them manually - drop a piece of carrot in the tank, pull it out with snails attached, repeat.

If you would prefer introducing a predator, why not assassin snails?

Btw, in one of my windowsill jars (where I keep various critters and plants from nature) I was perplexed by the number of empty snail shells - and then I found this. Apparently it's a Glossiphonidae leech that predates on snails. I quite like it :-) But the decrease of snail population is already showing - this jar is the only one that's overrun by algae.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-14-2020, 10:12 PM
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Snail trap! Pea puffers! Assassin snails!

All of them work quite well. The snail trap will help bait a large number of snails out of the tank (hopefully reducing it from plague proportions to a slight problem proportions). The pea puffer is a good choice for non-shrimp tanks. You can feed it Hikari Vibra bites or bloodworms after it's done eating all the snails. Assassin snails are also good for non-shrimp tanks, but take a while to get going.
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So many fish/plants/inverts to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-14-2020, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions. And yes, I do agree, snails are part of a balanced system, but at the moment they are reproducing at an alarming rate and I'm worried that is affecting food availability for their tank mates, so I'd like to "thin their numbers"...

It sounds like a snail trap (or a piece of carrot) is probably a great solution to help me get things back under control. I'll take a look and see what I can find...
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-15-2020, 02:51 AM
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Most anykind of loach will eliminate all your snails nicely. Yoyo loaches don't get that big and are fun to have. They like to be in groups.

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