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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I bought some plants, and snails came with them. I knew I had the common pond snail after looking at some pics. Tonight I saw one lone 1/2 snail that I guess is a MTS. It's an elongated cone, beige/pink in color. The snail itself looks to be black or charcoal in color. It doesn't move too fast, so I guess it's not an assassin snail. (darn - lol)
So, are snails beneficial to a tank? I always thought so - aren't they the "clean-up crew" I'm always reading about? I only ever see 4-5 pond snails at any given time - but tonight I found several (6) little egg clusters in my hornwort. So 6 = 6oo in a week? I'd hate to toss the hornwort, but I didn't see any eggs in any other plants or on the driftwood & rocks. Tossing it would temp. keep a population explosion at bay. I admit, I kinda like the snails - they're cool to watch. I figured I could periodically lure them to lettuce & purge those that take the bait. Does that sound like a way to keep the populations down? I can't afford to buy any assassin snails right now.
Oh, also tonight I saw two very miniscule snails. They were pink in color, and really round. I'm hoping it's not rams horn, but more (possible) MTS that are so tiny they haven't begun to elongate.
I know a lot of you keep snails, so do I have to get rid of them or are they ok if I weed them out with lettuce? It's a 55g tank, btw.
Thanks!
 

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Up to you. They generally pose no harm to the tank and shrimp - in fact, as you said, many folks keep them as a "clean up crew." I usually like to keep some MTS to stir up the substrate so toxic gas doesn't build up (especially in my sand tanks), and also as food for my Assassins. I've seen ramshorn snails in many tanks as well. Pond snails are the ones I dislike; they multiply too fast and crawl all over everything. Lettuce or zucchini will work to lure them.
 

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So, I bought some plants, and snails came with them. I knew I had the common pond snail after looking at some pics. Tonight I saw one lone 1/2 snail that I guess is a MTS. It's an elongated cone, beige/pink in color. The snail itself looks to be black or charcoal in color. It doesn't move too fast, so I guess it's not an assassin snail. (darn - lol)
So, are snails beneficial to a tank? I always thought so - aren't they the "clean-up crew" I'm always reading about? I only ever see 4-5 pond snails at any given time - but tonight I found several (6) little egg clusters in my hornwort. So 6 = 6oo in a week? I'd hate to toss the hornwort, but I didn't see any eggs in any other plants or on the driftwood & rocks. Tossing it would temp. keep a population explosion at bay. I admit, I kinda like the snails - they're cool to watch. I figured I could periodically lure them to lettuce & purge those that take the bait. Does that sound like a way to keep the populations down? I can't afford to buy any assassin snails right now.
Oh, also tonight I saw two very miniscule snails. They were pink in color, and really round. I'm hoping it's not rams horn, but more (possible) MTS that are so tiny they haven't begun to elongate.
I know a lot of you keep snails, so do I have to get rid of them or are they ok if I weed them out with lettuce? It's a 55g tank, btw.
Thanks!
Those ones are bad because of how quickly they breed and take over the tank. Without any sort of control they quickly boom and suddenly they are everywhere. What I would do is wait a while for the snails to establish themselves. And then invest in a couple of assassin snails. I do like the pond snails in small numbers. They tend to eat all the stuff my other cleanup crew doesnt. I try and make it so that they are in small numbers, and their population stays in check. I say wait a while so that they can establish themselves. An assassin snail will quickly decimate a small population of snails.. And then starve.
Loaches also work, though I'm not as fond of them as I am snails.
 

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I have tiny 2mm ramshorns and also bladder snails. Their populations are actually pretty tame. No explosions. They've been with me for a year now. Just keep your cleaning up to date and if you see some snails doing their thang just take em out and trash them.
 

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I love ramshorns, they eat algae and detritus and they are cute. Pond/bladder snails are gross looking though and I squish them immediately.

When the population of snails gets to be too much in my shrimp tanks I just net a hundred or so of them out and dump them in with my assassins
 

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Your fish will enjoy snails as a snack if you aren't grossed out by the squishing process.

I too have the mini ramshorn snails in my planted tank, but I usually take the big ones out and squish them for my cichlids and roselines.

I'm pretty sure the common consensus on this forum is that snails are only bad for aesthetic reasons once the population explodes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I don't have shrimp - the 55 only has 6 black tetras, 11 cardinals, and two rams, with lots of eggs. I hope the snails don't eat the eggs...
I do have alot of what I guess is detritus, I need to look that up to be sure! lol What I've got is a lot of danged brown debris - it looks like mulm, driftwood bits, maybe some of my MGOPS substrate that's been churned up while planting, etc. Crumbly looking stuff. I wasn't sure if I should vacuum it all out - someone said that would disrupt my beneficial bacteria and I may have to recycle. True?
I now have to confess I can't be the Queen of DeNile anymore - I saw, quite clearly, a perfectly shaped pink ramshorn, no bigger than a fruitfly. So I guess that's what I'm seeing. It amazes me I could get at least 3 different kinds of snails off those plants...I don't have a way to get more hornwort, but I think I'll toss it. I imagine I don't need 100+ more pond snail eggs. Even though what I have will probably breed again tonight, tomorrow morning, noon-ish...lol
I may give the hornwort a good washing & see if I can dislodge the eggs.
Thanks folks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't mind the squishing - I was squishing them before, and gave up. Half the time I miss (distortion through the glass, yeah, that's right!) and the buggers sink to the bottom, just to taunt me again. I need to get a strip of flat aluminum, or something I can put a slight bend to, so I can squish better. I'm using the round handle on my net now.
Think I'll go off & do some squishing now!
 

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Use those long tweezers. Doesn't get your whole arm wet and you'd be able to see off to the side more clearly so no more/less distortions and misses.
 

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i hate trying to use tweezers, they just slip out every time. I get in there with my whole fist and just DESTROY.

Nah, I usually wait until I turn the lights on in the evening and half of em are gathered at the waterline and are easy to just squish. My tangerine tiger shrimp get a breakfast of pond snail every evening. HAH, TAKE THAT VILE POND SNAIL SCUM!
 

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I like snails. As a little kid snails and rollie polies were my very first pets. Love watching them eat for some reason and it was super fun touching the eye stalks to make them retreat.

Pond snails have come and gone in my tank without becoming a plague. I did have a plague of Malaysian Trumpets but now they are completely gone without me doing a thing about it and all I have are a few cute ramshorn snails. They do a great job of cleaning up dead stuff and algae.

I suspect the reason I haven't any plague is mostly my pair of eagle eyed Dwarf Flag cichlids. Never seen a snail in their mouth but they sure are intent on poking through the shrubbery all the time. I did catch a peppered cory with a snail in his mouth but I don't know if the snail was dead or alive at the time. It could be I don't overfeed and do a good job getting dead stuff out of the tank, the plants are healthy and there isn't much algae but it is probably the fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, I just rinsed the hornwort and I don't see any sign of the egg sacks. Squished 3 pond snails (with my tweezers!). I'll keep an eye on things. I don't have to worry about the snails eating the blue ram's eggs- they are doing a good job of that themselves. They've eaten most of the viable ones. Oh well, it was they're first spawning...
I do have a question about the long tweezers. Why are they so hard to find, and why so very expensive? I finally bought the plastic one they sell at Petsmart, but the nose of the tweezer is so large & blunt, it makes planting stems difficult. (Makes a huge hole in the substrate and the stems float back out before I can remove the tweezer)
I have only seen xtra long tweezers once or twice on ebay and they were like $99.00 for a set. I'd like them 24" long, but at what cost? I'll make the plastic one do...

I don't believe it - I just went to ebay and found 24" tweezers for $14. That's a first for me. He has a bunch - I hope he still has some when I get paid! lol
 

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24" tweezers are abit over kill especially for squishing snails. I'm assuming that it won't be able to do the 'death grip' compared to a smaller sized tweezer. 12 inches is pushing it IME, and IMO a smaller 8-6 inch tweezer will kill it easier. BTW I'm talking about rams and non spiral/cone like snails. I've read that those are harder to squish, even with a tweezer. YMMV.

Mordalphus said:
i hate trying to use tweezers, they just slip out every time. I get in there with my whole fist and just DESTROY.
What he said. Using you fingers is the easiest way, but I hate getting my whole hands wet unless I'm doing something major, so I resort to tweezers for the rams.

Plastic tweezers = lame IMO
You can find 12 inch metal tweezers here in the swap and shop forum for around $13 shipped. Or you can get the ZooMed metal feeding thongs for about 10 dollars at your LFS/LPS. The metal thongs are about 10 inches long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
But my tank is 20" deep, the top of the rim is at 4'6" high, and I get tired of standing on a stool, up to my shoulder in tank water - lol. (I'm 5'3")
~ Cin ~
 

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UGH! POND SNAILS!!!!!

I had some come in on plants as well. Actually it was just one big one and soon there were eggs every where and now I have snails like crazy! I reduced the amount of food I put in the tank and they just started eating my plants! They totally destroyed a ton of plants (I don't dose c02 so they were growing slowly). The plants that were left were my crypts and they all have holes. I got an assasin and the numbers have slowly declined and my remaining crypts are repairing themselves, plus I got some plants from ukamikazu.
 

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I've posted videos on my Facebook page on evenings when the entire bottom of my 48G tank seems to be snails. The bottom is a mix of laterite (?) and crushed coral. The snails don't bother me and as others have said, it's like having a resident Roomba to keep things clean. I have especially notices an almost complete absence of algae since the population explosion. It does look a little freaky at times when 500+ snails are on the glass, but I see them as beneficial. I came trying to find out if they'd eat plants I want to add. I have three cichlids in the 4-5" range and a slightly larger pleco, assorted items that provide hidy holes, but as a gardener, would love a VERY planted tank. Maybe with plants the cichlids would calm down a bit and stop the incessant chasing? Anyone know how to keep the cichlids from digging up all the plants?
 
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