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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My tank went down a week ago. I'm sure some of you read about this under another thread. As of right now the only thing left in my tank is ramshorns. I feel that now would be a good time to wipe them out once and for all. What is the safest way to do this without causing any permanent damage to my plants, filters, etc?? I don't plan on moving any livestock back into the tank for a month or so. I also want to make sure that there will be no issues with adding my nerite and shrimp back into the tank in a few weeks.
 

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I had someone give me a good method over at the CCA. Take a plastic shallow bin and sink in below the substrate so the top of the bin is even with the top of the substrate. Place a rock with celery or something that tracks snails. algae waffers, w.e. Put that in only when the lights go off.

Overnight or in the morning come check out the tank. you'll see the bin filled with them. remove the snails and just keep doing this every night and you'll get the majority of them. Only other way is to get a loach or puffer to eat them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had someone give me a good method over at the CCA. Take a plastic shallow bin and sink in below the substrate so the top of the bin is even with the top of the substrate. Place a rock with celery or something that tracks snails. algae waffers, w.e. Put that in only when the lights go off.

Overnight or in the morning come check out the tank. you'll see the bin filled with them. remove the snails and just keep doing this every night and you'll get the majority of them. Only other way is to get a loach or puffer to eat them.
I remove these suckers all the time with zucchini. Some nights I'll get 20-30. They breed like roaches. I need a chemical approach. Something that will wipe them out completely.
 

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I remove these suckers all the time with zucchini. Some nights I'll get 20-30. They breed like roaches. I need a chemical approach. Something that will wipe them out completely.
I feel you there.

If you find a chemical solution that is safe for fish, I'd be interested!
 

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That bin idea is great. I have pond snails I want to remove and I like the sound of that technique. Ive been pulling them out attached to cucumber or zucchini but some always fall off. Thanks.

Bump: What about assassin snails, is that an option? When done remove the assassin snail and add back the nerites. Most chems that kill snails seem to be harmful to shrimp (copper based?), as far as I know anyway.
 

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Maybe manually remove (bait food/trap, hand pick) breeding adult snails then get a snail-eating fish like a puffer or something (assassin snails, certain loaches, etc) that will feast on the baby snails that will hatch from the eggs you missed/couldn't remove?

Not a sure thing, but one of the less intrusive methods that can be easily removed/stopped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I assume any type of fish I buy that will eat ramshorns will also eat shrimp. I just figured since I have as long as I want before I re-introduce livestock back into the tank I would go for a complete wipe out. My concern with the assassins is that they might go after my zebra nerite I plan to put back in.
 

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If you were to go chemical route you could use goat dewormer/flubendazole in overdose quantity.
Only problem is even a trace of it will kill your nerites.
 

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Oh I thought of the snail-eating fish would just be temporary (for right now until you are ready to stock the tank with shrimp and others, the beneficial bacteria does seem to be alive and should be able to handle one or a few snail-eating fish) and you would remove/rehome them once they have taken care of the snails and before you move in the shrimp.
For what it's worth I have seen people who had puffers that would eat only snails and leave their shrimp alone. But some have also had their puffers devour their shrimp, just another experience may vary situation.

But if I remember correctly, I think Nerites are too big for assassin snails, so they are safe. And nerites shells are harder so the assassins can't puncture them. Don't remember if nerites have a trap door or not (I think they do, which protects them).

Oh, just remembered. If you have pressurized co2, I think you can gas the snails.
 

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One other advantage to assassins/snail eating fish would be no dead carcasses lying around fouling the water and needing to be cleaned up as would be with a co2 gassing or chemical removal. I love snails but good gosh they can reproduce so uncontrollably. If someone ever makes a snail contraceptive they will make millions from the aquatic community.
 

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Copper sulfate will kill them. Often used in ich treatments Not safe for plants or invertebrates generally. Opinions and experiences vary on residual copper after water changes and using things like Purigen . I have used copper before for treatments and my experience is after a month of water changes and filtering I have not had issues with plants and new invertebrates
 

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The hungriest loach for snail removal is a clown loach (chromobotia macracanthus). See attached image. If you can find three or four small loaches only a year old. They really do dig around endlessly munching on snails. In two or three months your aquarium will be snail-free. But clown loaches also disturb plants. Not as bad as some cichlids, but just be prepared to repair any damage done during the night. They also are not small fish meant for the community aquarium, unless you keep larges species. Given enough room -- and time -- they can easily grow to one foot+ in length.

Another option, if you plan on removing all fish, is to add a tablespoon per gallon of alum to your tank. The snails should be gone in about a week (they die a miserable death of contorting up in their shells). Then do a complete water change two or three times a week to eliminate the alum. Alum does not leave trace metals like copper or stuff like iodine. If you're interested in keeping the plants in place, alum will not harm them. It might stress them a bit, but it's a temporary measure. Don't leave them soaking in alum-laced water for more than five or six days. Eventually what trace of alum is left will be negligible and of no danger to new fish you plan to introduce. But as a caution, when you do introduce new stock first add some test fish such as feeder guppies and a couple of zebra danios. If they are thriving after a week you are good to go.

Personally, I'd look into the clown loach approach. They're cute, attractive and somewhat personable. Just don't feed them every day (every other day is fine). They'll be hungry enough to feed themselves if you have plenty of snails.

Good luck.
 

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I would recommend a smaller species like yoyo loach if your tank is big enought o support them. They are known to be better snail eaters than clowns. Also indian puffer would be an ideal addition. But these shud only be temperory if u want shrimp
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Size is definitely an issue. My tank is only 20G, so I would need something that isn't too large. I am still debating on the loach because I'm not sure what I could do with them when I decide to reintroduce shrimp someday. I also don't want something that tears up plants. I might just have to go the assassin snail route. I can just remove as many as I can with zucchini and hope the assassins can keep the breeding population under control. How many assassins would be a good fit for a 20GH?
 
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