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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-31-2020, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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pest snails

My 75G has some pest snails, small black snails. How do I get rid of them, or should I even bother? I just have some cory cats but should be looking to add some angelfish in the not too distant future. Do any fish eat them?

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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-31-2020, 08:04 AM
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Without a photo I have no idea.

However in my opinion there is no such thing as a pest snail because they help keep the tank clean.
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-31-2020, 11:50 AM
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I agree snails are awesome. But yes there are fish that eat snails. Loaches are famous for eating snails.


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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-31-2020, 12:41 PM
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Or you could fight fire with fire and hire assassins.

Assassin snails, that is. Let them fulfill their contract, then return/sell/RAOK them.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-02-2020, 03:09 PM
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I had rams horns and MTS breeding OUT OF CONTROL in my shrimp tank. I picked up 3 assassin snails and they took care of that problem. Except now my assassin snails are breeding out of control. Iím okay with that problem.


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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-02-2020, 06:27 PM
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Certain things in an aquarium act as an natural barometer and snails are one of them. If there are too many it's usually an indicator of overfeeding and/or too much organic content in the water, so when you see a lot you should be increasing upkeep and/or feeding less.

I've had bladder and ramshorn snails for quite a while in my current tank and they never get out of control.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-02-2020, 07:27 PM
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Yes, snails are very much a barometer of tank conditions. After setting up my first tank, I had a month or more of out-of-control outbreaks of every kind of algae--and the snail population (MTS especially) exploded proportionately. At one point the bottom of the tank was just seething with snails, and snail poop. A dwarf puffer made a huge dent--though the MTS quickly learned to hide in the substrate during the day and only come out at night when the puffer was sleeping. But puffers are cantankerous--had two but the larger bulled the smaller to death, and had to rehome the other when he started chomping on phish fins. Three assassins have slowly gotten things under control, and are breeding themselves--but nothing like the MTS did.

Starting up a new tank which already has a fair number of baby MTS hitchhikers on the plants I've transferred over. It'll be interesting to see what their population does if I manage to not make the same mistakes and avoid big algae outbreaks.

In retrospect, I wonder if I'd been better off with slow breeding chopstick snails for the substrate, and mystery or rabbit snails for the glass & plants--as opposed to fast breeding ramshorn, pond, or bladder snails. Would be interested to know if others have done this, and how it worked for them
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-02-2020, 08:16 PM
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Will assassin snails kill mts? I will never allow that snail in my aquarium again. Truly disgusting watching the substrate moving...


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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 02:53 AM
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Will assassin snails kill mts? I will never allow that snail in my aquarium again. Truly disgusting watching the substrate moving...


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Then you probably wouldn't like black worms-substrate sifters and they'll wiggle kinda vertically sticking (partially) out of the substrate. If you have a lot of them its like one massive writhing blob (loos like live black beard algae) on the substrate.


I personally don't mind snails. They breed out of control when there is too much of a food source (decomposing food, dead plant matter, algae/diatoms). Remove the food their population does down(ps squishing them on the glass makes them food for other live snails-remove squished snails). They keep diatoms in check for my tanks. But you trade off cleaning out algae/diatoms/dead plant matter/uneaten food for cleaning up all their poop.
Don't let snails into white sand tanks! the bottom doesn't stay white =.= Better yet just don't use white sand in tanks...

If I feel like there are 'too many' I just fish out as many as I can by hand. You can also blanch some leafy green until its very soft and leave it in over night-grab it out quickly next morning before lights turn on to remove a lot of snails.

I really like ramshorns-there are some very lovely color variants- but the pond and bladder snails breed a lot faster. I have them in my shrimp tanks which are heavily planted, the shrimps don't make enough biolaod to feed the plants so snail poop helps.
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 03:38 AM
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Then you probably wouldn't like black worms-substrate sifters and they'll wiggle kinda vertically sticking (partially) out of the substrate. If you have a lot of them its like one massive writhing blob (loos like live black beard algae) on the substrate..

Um, no-- I most certainly wouldn't.


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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 09:15 AM
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I had rams horns and MTS breeding OUT OF CONTROL in my shrimp tank. I picked up 3 assassin snails and they took care of that problem. Except now my assassin snails are breeding out of control. I’m okay with that problem.


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Why? The Rams horns and Trumpet snails just ate left over fish food mulum ETC all the bad stuff, The Assassins will also hunt shrimp and can look just as good/bad (depending readers opinions of snails ) on the glass.


The reason your Trumpet snails and Rams horn populations were out of control is the same reason your assassins are breeding out of control, abundance of food, But unlike the other 2 assassins see your shrimp as food also.



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Then you probably wouldn't like black worms-substrate sifters and they'll wiggle kinda vertically sticking (partially) out of the substrate. If you have a lot of them its like one massive writhing blob (loos like live black beard algae) on the substrate.
My fish go stupid over those, especially my rams,

Things like snails and detritus worms are perfectly normal in a healthy balanced planted tank with fish, Its nature in action.
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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 12:18 PM
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Will assassin snails kill mts? I will never allow that snail in my aquarium again. Truly disgusting watching the substrate moving... Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Yes, IME assassins are very efficient killers of all snails, but it takes awhile because they're, well, snails...

I find my assassins are slowly but surely reducing the MTS population. and are slowly increasing their population to match their MTS food source. And the assassins have a pretty brown & yellow striped shell, so are much nicer to look at than the drab MTS. I rarely see a full grown MTS anymore, and am waiting to see if the smaller ones start becoming less visible as well. I'm assuming baby assassin snails will prey on the baby MTS. And like the MTS, the assassins sift through & aerate the substrate hunting their food source, and clean up any uneaten food on the bottom left by my messy angels. Once the assassins get the MTS under control, I'll probably trap out & sell or give away the bigger ones.

Don't know if assassins will go after shrimp. All I've got are ghost shrimp, and it's hard to know if their lower numbers are due to the assassins, or more likely the angels are picking them off when they molt. Perhaps some shrimpkeepers on here can weigh in on this.

As @AquaAurora suggests, you could trap & remove MTS if you have the time and patience. But if you're squeamish about snails, you probably don't want to be handling them like that every day. I've heard of cichlids eating snails you smush against the glass, and even picking off baby snails. I've tried it a few times--but my angels haven't seemed at all interested in them. In your experience have any of your cichlids ever gone after snails?
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 01:56 PM
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As @AquaAurora suggests, you could trap & remove MTS if you have the time and patience. But if you're squeamish about snails, you probably don't want to be handling them like that every day. I've heard of cichlids eating snails you smush against the glass, and even picking off baby snails. I've tried it a few times--but my angels haven't seemed at all interested in them. In your experience have any of your cichlids ever gone after snails?
I had an angle in an mts filled tank-0 interest. Puffers are a good bet but you can't keep other fish with them (or its recommended not to-they're usually aggressive fin nippers.
I have had a few (maybe 4 of the over 30) bettas that ate snails, 1 actually ate mts too but its extremely rare.

I'd not recommend using other live fish/snails to eat a 'pest snails' as you now have to provide for that fish/snail too.
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Last edited by AquaAurora; 02-03-2020 at 07:07 PM. Reason: removing double post
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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 07:06 PM
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Um, no-- I most certainly wouldn't.
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My fish go stupid over those, especially my rams,
All my fish loved them too when I kept a culture gong. ^^
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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 09:04 PM
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I'd not recommend using other live fish/snails to eat a 'pest snails' as you now have to provide for that fish/snail too.
I get shouted down for saying things like that by some of the members here.
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