Mass Killing Snails - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Mass Killing Snails

I was stupid. I have a new 40 gallon tank I've been in the process of setting up and purchased a few plants without treating them. In the last few days I've seen what appear to be baby pond snails popping up. The tank is heated and filtered, but has no other live stock in it. The plants will be removed for treatment. I'm looking for ways to mass kill what's in there, but without breaking down the entire tank (draining water, removing substrate, etc).

I've done research on ways to kill them, but wanted to seek more input.

- Store bought chemical treatment. Disadvantage is this could preclude me from keeping shrimp and other inverts in the future. If I do enough water changes prior to keeping inverts, would it work out?

- Veggie clipplings - Not enough snails to make this worth it, would not kill them all

- Bleach treatment? And then massive water changes

- Overdosing aquarium salt, pumping the water temp up as high as it can go, and praying?

I'm open to unorthodox treatments since there won't be anything living in the tank, I'm just trying to save myself the trouble of removing substrate.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 08:07 PM
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High dose of ammonia, copper? If the tanks empty I suppose you can do anything you want! Just do lots of water changes after I guess, or get a clown loach.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AshNeon93 View Post
High dose of ammonia, copper? If the tanks empty I suppose you can do anything you want! Just do lots of water changes after I guess, or get a clown loach.
I didn't know if ammonia would do the trick. Seems pond snails can pretty much live through everything. Like roaches, I guess.

Always wanted a loach, but not right now. I've only killed two or three snails thus far and they were minuscule so he would starve before he got anywhere.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 08:59 PM
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If you are running pressurized CO2, you can turn it absurdly high and kill them that way.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 09:16 PM
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Don't put bleach in the aquarium you might as well pull everything out and start over. Snails can tolerate a high concentration of aquarium salt. High levels of co2 will kill just about anything, though I suppose if you had any snails with a trap door they might be able to shield themselves from it. Fish in my opinion are the best way to eliminate snails, clown loach, yoyo loach, puffers. If you don't want any of those fish, I would just smash everything you see. Prevention is the best defense against snails, treat your plants before they go in the aquarium.


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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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There aren't enough snails to warrant purchasing a fish. The ones I'm seeing are nothing more than a speck on my fingernail but I know enough to realize the moment I put food in there the population will explode. I'm either going to have to go with a heavy chemical and overdose it or tear out the sand (which I really hate to do).
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 10:21 PM
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You could always get assassin snails. 5-10 of those would do the trick, and if you miss eggs, they'll hunt down the newborns as soon as they smell them. And the look pretty cool!


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 11:27 PM
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What do assassin snails eat when there are no more other snails? Eachother? Fish food?? Or do they just starve to death?
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 11:44 PM
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What do assassin snails eat when there are no more other snails? Eachother? Fish food?? Or do they just starve to death?
They like meaty foods bloodworms, brine shrimp, krill, they also eat leftover fish food flakes or pellets. They won't starve.


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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 12:06 AM
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Do not use copper. Somehow it seems that copper lingers in the tank after lots of water changes and keeps on killing shrimp long after you think it should be gone. I think assassin snails are the answer.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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I really hate to introduce snails to get rid of snails, especially since I don't want any to begin with. Before I do that I might just drain the tank and buy another $5 worth of pool sand. I was trying to avoid all the work of emptying and then cleaning the tank if a chemical would do. Copper is probably out. Would high doses of ammonia actually work as suggested above?
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 12:44 AM
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Snails always lived through whatever I did.

Sand is cheap enough, but all your plants probably have snail eggs. Treat the plants with Alum (look up the recipe) while you are swapping out the sand.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 06:27 AM
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If you somehow kill them all now are not planning on ever adding any more plants?
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 12:07 PM
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Why don't you add the assassin snails and just remove them in a couple months when they have done their job?
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 01:35 PM
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If your looking at a first hatch in a new tank their numbers will adjust to the available food. In other words, if you overfeed, you'll get more. Don't overfeed and they may very well disappear. I have a "No-tech" 180G with a hoard of angels, discus and cories with loads of plants. I can't keep pond snails alive for beans; not even ramshorns. The barebottom tanks I grow out juvenile angels in have the same issue to an even greater degree. I wouldn't panic and try to nuke the tank or bring in an animal you'll have to remove. You can squish what you can see and without food they'll be gone by the time the tank cycles.

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