Snails and Holes in Leaves? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Snails and Holes in Leaves?

Is there some sort of dip I could use on my plants to kill small snails and snail eggs without killing the plants?

I have a pair of Angelfish spawning in a 29 and they like the Amazon Sword but the snails manage to eat all their eggs every time they spawn even if I pull the eggs most are gone by the time I can do it.

If not I may just have to purge the tank and place plastic plants in it which I would prefer not to do.

One other question, can pond snails put holes in plant leaves? On two out of the three 29's I have the Sword plants leaves are full of holes. The other one there a few snails and no holes. Few holes in the other plants either on any of them.

I know potassium shortage can cause that but adding Seachems Potassium doesn't seem to help and it's odd that the one tank is fine with a sword plant so healthy I had to cut it down twice now as it was trying to grow out the top of the 29 and taking up half the tank.

I use plain gravel and use Flourish, Exel, Iron and Potassium and supplement the swords with root tabs.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 06:29 PM
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Holes in leaves are usually a potassium deficiency, I have hygro in my tank which is a potassium hog, I dose 1 extra day + 20% more than the recommended seachem dose and still get periodic holes in leaves. Swords are known iron hogs, but the usually sighs of iron deficiency aren't holes.
Pond snails/bladder snails do not eat healthy plants, though they do eat dead plant matter, and people who find them on damaged plants assume they did it (they're innocent, and jut cleaning up). They also eat biofilm, algae, and uneaten food. If you have a large population, you have too much of a food source for them (too much algae, too much dead plant matter, too much leftover food).
If you are hell bent on getting rid of them, their shells are soft and easily squished with a finger. you can also get 1 assassin snail to keep population down, but it will also eat fish eggs. Dwarf puffers eat snails but aren't usually a good idea in a tank with other fish species, they are nippers and though tiny will harass and shred your angels (they'd probably also eat fry).

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 04:02 AM
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If you are willing to nuke the tank you can get rid of them.

1) Start new bio filter media (all new media for the filter is good) doing the fishless cycle.
When the fishless cycle is complete, the new filter media is ready, go on to step 2.
If you are using one of the ADA substrates, then start aging a new batch of it.

2) Remove everything from the tank, and treat everything except the fish to a dip in Alum. (You will have to find a recipe) This kills snails and eggs. I have no idea if it kills beneficial bacteria. Throw away the substrate, cannot be treated. A stronger solution can be used on the equipment and the tank itself, but a milder solution is safer for the plants. At different strengths you would dip for longer or shorter times. That is what you need to research.
3) While you are dipping things, also go over it all as much as possible by hand, removing snails and eggs.
4) Rinse all really well.
5) Reassemble the tank. Do not use anything that might possibly carry the snails back into the tank. New substrate. New filter media (cycled, because you did the fishless cycle on it).
6) NEVER cross-contaminate this tank with any other. ALWAYS treat EVERYTHING that you want to add to this tank: Plants, decor... if it came from another tank, it probably has snails. Have separate tools- net, siphon... or else clean it completely every time.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 04:31 AM
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Post some close up photos of the damage and we can likely figure it out.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 06:00 AM
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I was just looking at this product. Maybe it will work for you. It's called Azoo Nano-Tech Snail Treatment.

Last edited by pannyx; 09-01-2014 at 06:10 AM. Reason: Didn't realize I couldn't post a product link so removed it.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 05:35 PM
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If you are really trying to breed your angels I wouldn't add any chemicals. Are you sure it is the snails eating the eggs. Angels themselves will eat their own eggs as mine have done so. Not sure why as I'm not interested in breeding them so I haven't bothered to research it but I know they can be very particular in their breeding habits.
Holes in your plant leaves, do you have any plecos in your tank?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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Yep definitely the snails I can see them going over the eggs leaving a bare leaf behind them.

I am keeping the gravel substrate, simple to wash it and heat it to boiling or near boiling if the snails can survive the that temperature they deserve to live lol.

I am more concerned in getting the snails and snail eggs off the plants.

The weird thing about the holes in the sword plant is that until recently the tank had the same variety of fish in it as the one with the healthy sword plant. The two ranks are otherwise identical, same size, same filter and gravel etc.

I will post some pictures as soon as I can.
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