Will snails pose a problem? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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Will snails pose a problem?

I found a snail in my 10g tank. A week ago I bought my first plant, a java fern, from Petsmart (kind of regretting). It is a really small snail. Will it multiply insanely as I have seen in some tanks? I only keep a betta fish and his food pellets never touch the bottom of the tank so nothing is feeding the snails...
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 03:05 AM
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what type of snail is it? Is it a freshwater limpet? clear shell flat against the glass very small see link

http://www.gerrylemmo.com/resize.asp?ID=254&width=180

if it is there is not much you can do without tearing the tank down just keep on removing them with a razor blade whenever u see them and do not squish them this will release eggs. If however its a round snail with a shell. You can get fish to eat it dwarf puffers, clown loaches however in your tank loaches wont fit and the puffers would tear your betta apart. So you should just remove them manually unless u really want to bleach tip and treat with a copper containing snail killer.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 03:10 AM
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1. If it is really small, then it probably is not adult enough to hold eggs.

2. There is always the chance you have eggs on the plant leaves that you bought. Looks like a clear jelly like substance with white dots in it. Whole thing is about 4 cm. Highly unlikely it's there, but you should look.

3. Snails are primarily herbivores, so they do not need fish food to survive. Your java fern should be fine though, mine don't eat the leaves.

I have a 5 gallon betta tank with several snails in it. They really help with the algae. They are pretty easy to eradicate. Just grab em and throw em out.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 03:27 AM Thread Starter
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what type of snail is it? Is it a freshwater limpet? clear shell flat against the glass very small see link

http://www.gerrylemmo.com/resize.asp?ID=254&width=180

if it is there is not much you can do without tearing the tank down just keep on removing them with a razor blade whenever u see them and do not squish them this will release eggs. If however its a round snail with a shell. You can get fish to eat it dwarf puffers, clown loaches however in your tank loaches wont fit and the puffers would tear your betta apart. So you should just remove them manually unless u really want to bleach tip and treat with a copper containing snail killer.
It's not clear. I may move the betta into the 5g, buy a dwarf puffer and then plant....but he was happy in the 10g...
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 03:31 AM
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Pond snails from Petsmart.

Kill it,and all of them that you can find.You may luck out.


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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 04:49 AM
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Kill it ASAP, look for others and kill them ASAP as well.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Seriously? Wouldn't they die off anyways since they won't get anything to eat? I only have a java fern and food never touches the ground. I couldn't kill it myself...What if I get a dwarf puffer? Bettas are probably one of the most boring fish... all he does is run into the side of the tank all day. The reason I have him is because he was stuck on my friends filter and tore his fins which helped develop fin rot so he was treating it. I told him I was gonna set up a 10g so he asked me if I wanted him..
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 02:43 PM
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Seriously? Wouldn't they die off anyways since they won't get anything to eat? I only have a java fern and food never touches the ground. I couldn't kill it myself...What if I get a dwarf puffer?
IME, the biggest issue with snails is that they multiply like crazy. Some say that if you feed them very little you can control their population and they become tolerable. When I fed mine little, they feasted on my plants and totally pinholed all my java fern into oblivion. That's a catch 22 and a no win situation when you think about it. You feed them little so they won't multiply and they go postal on your plants. You feed them enough so they will leave your plants and they multiple like crazy and add to the bioload. FWIW, I would pretreat(potassium promagate solution) all new plants to get rid of them. If you have them and you have the right idea is to look at a snail eating fish. Dwarf puffers are supposed to be really good snail eaters, but they are also highly aggressive and will tear a piece of any other fish, so you have to keep them on their own. I know some will argue that snails serve a useful function and service by consuming dead plant matter and some algae. In my experience the disadvantages(increasing and excessive negative bioload and fact that also feast on live plants when underfed and not only on dead plant matter, the fact that they can carry flukes which can spread to and kill otherwise healthy fish) of having them far outweigh any advantages of having them.

The only snails that may be worth keeping are ones that don't have a hearty appetite for plants,do not multiply like crazy, and exhibit proven abilties to eat algae (i.e, Zebra Nerite Snail)
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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If I see a significant increase in snail population, I'm moving the betta to the 5g and getting a dwarf puffer.. but is there some kind of small loach I can purchase?
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 06:01 PM
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well i love my snails i have Rams horn, MTS and Pond snails and i would kill any of them unless i was feeding them to a puffer!
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Killing them seems really sketchy mostly because I'm the one that brought them into the tank...I wouldn't ever kill them myself
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 07:10 PM
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I wouldn't get a dwarf puffer just because you have one snail you want to get rid of. They are great little fish but do demand a little extra care. In a 5 gallon all you could have would be one dwarf puffer, that's it, no other fish. They vary in their aggression but can be extremely aggressive. They also may eat shrimp (it depends on the puffer). They will require the feeding of frozen blood-worms and snails regularly.

I understand that you don't want to kill the snail, but trust me when I say you don't want an explosion in there, they will put pin-holes in leaves and increase your bioload. I have about a million in my 46 gallon and I am pretty sick of them. There are certain snails that I dont mind or that are beneficial but chances are the one you have isn't one of those. Just think of is as the elemination of a potentially extremely troublesome pest.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by vance71975 View Post
well i love my snails i have Rams horn, MTS and Pond snails and i would kill any of them unless i was feeding them to a puffer!
You love them and you would kill any of them? Ok...

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Killing them seems really sketchy mostly because I'm the one that brought them into the tank...I wouldn't ever kill them myself
It's okay man, they don't have any feelings.

You bought a petsmart plant, you get pond snails for free. They can take over your tank, and add a significant bioload, leading to algae. They aren't efficient algae eaters, and I don't think they look good in tanks at all. Smash them with your finger against the glass, and the betta will probably eat the thing as it sinks to the bottom.


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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I wouldn't get a dwarf puffer just because you have one snail you want to get rid of. They are great little fish but do demand a little extra care. In a 5 gallon all you could have would be one dwarf puffer, that's it, no other fish. They vary in their aggression but can be extremely aggressive. They also may eat shrimp (it depends on the puffer). They will require the feeding of frozen blood-worms and snails regularly.

I understand that you don't want to kill the snail, but trust me when I say you don't want an explosion in there, they will put pin-holes in leaves and increase your bioload. I have about a million in my 46 gallon and I am pretty sick of them. There are certain snails that I dont mind or that are beneficial but chances are the one you have isn't one of those. Just think of is as the elemination of a potentially extremely troublesome pest.
I'll only get one and move the betta to the 5g if there are too many. I already know how to care for them.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 09:07 PM
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... I have about a million in my 46 gallon and I am pretty sick of them...
Lol, I can relate. I have them in 4 of my 5 aquariums. My options are tear the tank apart, throw out or disinfect all the plants(and pray the plants rebound) and start over, or get snail eating fish(not an option due to compatibility issues with existing fish.

I have resorted to the only option that I have and this just keeps the buggers from totally overtaking the tank. A piece of Zucchini to bait extras and remove them. This seems to work best as the Zucchini also serves as food for the amano shrimp and otocat. Still, they are butt ugly. People who see my tanks will sometimes ask me: Are those some kind of fish eggs on the walls. And I have to say no: they are just stupid snails. Man, I cannot stand snails. Prevention is really worth a pound of cure when it comes to these a-holes.
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