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I’m planning on rescaping my 15 column this weekend to prepare it for some CRS. Currently the tank it pretty infested with pest snails. I’m planning on removing some of the current black gravel substrate and adding some sand to the foreground. Considering the current inhabitants will be in a quarantine tank, can I remove ALL of the gravel and maybe boil it before returning it to the tank? Do I have enough beneficial bacteria in my filter media to prevent a crash? Am I better off just tossing the old substrate and starting from scratch?
 

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Snail traps, or treating for snails with chemicals when everything else is removed would be my first, second, and third choices before trying to boil substrate. Also unless the plants going in are all tissue culture, you are likely to re-introduce snails anyway. Another option is adding a fish that eats snails.
 

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You could also put something in there the snails really like to eat, blanched veggies like zuchini, spinach, etc.. I use dandelion leaves. Leave it in tank after lights out. Pick it up in AM when it's covered in snails...
 
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