Snail help.... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Snail help....

I have a 30 hex that has been setup for 2 months or so. Tonight I noticed 1 snail, then anther and another and so on. I was able to pick out 6 or so, and the other 2 went into the gravel after they fell out of my fingers, and is on the driftwood in a crevice.

I have noticed 1 of my Anubias Nana's leaves looked like it was being eaten. I found another snail on my other plants.

One looks like a spiral and is kinda transparent and small, the other looks a normal snail with a normal dark colored shell and is larger. I would take pics but the camera makes them look like dots.

Looks to be like Small Ramshorn and maybe Bladder snails. They are very small. The Ramshrn are about size of a pinhead, the other about 2 times larger.

How can I get rid of them, could they be the plant eaters? Are they bad?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Blown 346 View Post
I have a 30 hex that has been setup for 2 months or so. Tonight I noticed 1 snail, then anther and another and so on. I was able to pick out 6 or so, and the other 2 went into the gravel after they fell out of my fingers, and is on the driftwood in a crevice.

I have noticed 1 of my Anubias Nana's leaves looked like it was being eaten. I found another snail on my other plants.

One looks like a spiral and is kinda transparent and small, the other looks a normal snail with a normal dark colored shell and is larger. I would take pics but the camera makes them look like dots.

Looks to be like Small Ramshorn and maybe Bladder snails. They are very small. The Ramshrn are about size of a pinhead, the other about 2 times larger.

How can I get rid of them, could they be the plant eaters? Are they bad?
You will get just as many people telling you how good snails are as ones that will tell you how destructive they are. I usually do not pass judgement until I observe with my own eyes as in this hobby that is the only way that you will weed through all the contradictory and conflicting information.

Based on my observations, snails can be destructive and will target healthy plants when there is little or no food(fish flakes, algae discs, algae, dead or decaying plant matter). I am not suggesting this applies to all snails. For instance, you cannot beat nerite and olive snails for algae control, but they do not reproduce in fresh water so will not get out of hand. Olive or Nerite snails are the only ones that I would put in my tank.

Here is what I have tried and what I have seen.

(1) Baiting snails with a piece of zucchini. You will do this never ending, It controls the population but does not stop the destruction.

(2) Siphoning them out with a Turkey Baster. Appears to work really well but you will have to do it persistently every time you see snails.

(3) Minimizing feeding. Does not work. They don't magically stop reproducing and disappear. Instead the snails will make a all you can eat buffet out of your healthy plants when they are deprived of other food and will still reproduce like rabbits. I tried this in a 3 gallon tank with healthy plants and that is what happened, to the point that I had to tear the tank down.

(4) Pre-treating plants with alum before putting them in. Snail eggs seem to survive the alum soak, snails will resurface, plants suffer from the dip and melt.

(5) Assassin Snails. I put one of these in a 5 gallon hex with snails and 5 gallon rectangular tank and I still have a snail problem after several months. Some people swear by assassin snails. I found that they did nothing even when starved of any other food. I observed the assassins gliding by the snails on the tank walls like the snails were invisible or did not even exist. Lol, some assassins.

About your best bet would be to get a clown loach, yo-yo loach, or chain dwarf loach as they will feed off the snails and keep them from destroying your plants.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 06:01 PM
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These are the most common Pond or Pouch or Tadpole snails. I have these in all my tanks (they even snuck into my quarantine somehow.) They're relatively harmless, though I have noticed them putting pinholes in plant leaves if they don't think they're getting enough food. I squash a dozen or so and feed them to my loaches every couple of weeks. They're thin-shelled enough to be very easy to squish.

The others are probably Ramshorn snails - I've never had them, so can't really help out there.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 10:55 PM
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For a 30 hex, loaches are not an option. Why? Here are some points to consider.

Yoyo Loach
Yoyo loaches are fast growing fish. I'm not kidding about this. This has been my experience and a few other loach enthusiasts also vouch for it. It does not take a year for them to grow to 5 inches. They need to be kept in group otherwise solitary individuals will harass other fish to death in apparent boredom or lack of social interaction thereof. 3 is the bare minimum number but a 30g hex will certainly not accommodate that number nor is it wise to keep one or two.

Clown Loach
Clown loaches are so overrated that these are also over exploited for snail eradications. Getting a loach to eat up the snails is poor excuse to start with loaches. A 75g would be the minimum for a group of young clown loaches. I don't recommend trying off the inch sized ones as these are very weak and ridiculously expensive compared to 3-inch ones which are more robust and can readily adapt to new environments but this is not a choice for a 30g hex either.

Dwarf Chain Loach
Could work despite the size but a long tank is much better than a hex. They're not however as effective in consuming the snails as larger loaches of the botiine genus are.

Both those snails mentioned are not a problem. As pointed out, they will destroy plants only if their food options become scarce but you don't want them to multiply in vast numbers either. I have noticed the pouch snails are eventually overwhelmed by the MTS or apple snails as their eggs are eaten away by these snails and food eaten quickly before most of them get there first. MTS is more useful than the pouch snails with the ability to burrow underground thus ensuring the substrate is well aerated and at the same time, eat leftover foods. I have no problem removing my MTS manually as they establish in the tank. Trouble is the apple snails just get to their food first so they don't populate quickly as they should have.

~Lupester

Let the loach and snail assimilation begin!
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