Cleaning (to rid snails) without crashing my cycle

CobraKaiGuppy

I've been trying to rid my 29 gallon freshwater community tank of bladder snails for a year, but I'm losing the battle. They're hiding (and probably laying eggs) in my filter and inside of my aquarium ornaments. I feel like my next move should be to temporarily remove the filter parts, ornaments, and plants, and clean them as thoroughly as possible. However, I don't want to do anything so extreme that I'll kill too much beneficial bacteria and crash my cycle.

Do you think it would be safe to scrub the filter and ornaments with just aquarium water, and treat the plants with hydrogen peroxide? I'd probably have to leave the ornaments out to dry for a few days to make sure that any eggs inside would dry up. I could leave the sand substrate alone. Ideally I'd do this while keeping the fish in the 29 gallon. Has anyone done anything similar, and was your cycle okay after doing it?

Has anyone actually successfully gotten rid of bladder snails just by doing a cleaning like this?

(Some other info...My only other tank is a 10-gallon that is full of male guppies. I separated the males and females to try to stop the babies, since our only LFS closed and I can't trade in the grown babies anymore [that's a story for another thread]. So not only would the males and females be together again, but it would be extremely crowded, so I couldn't leave them in there for long. I tried getting a loach, but it was too aggressive. I realize some people like bladder snails, but I'd rather not have them.)

Thank you!
 

Noroomforshoe

That sounds very risky to me, but possible, but then you could do al that and still end up with snails. Have you tried feeding less? Have you tried leaving a slice of cucumber in the tank overnight, and pulling it out in the mourning when it is covered with snails? There may be people in your area that would like to take them to feed to puffers or loaches or turtles or something. I use to do this and give them to my freind who had some kind of cichlids that ate them.
What fish are in the tank? What kind of loach did you ADD That was aggressive? Most loaches need to be in a school of no less than 6, there are a few loaches such as the skunk loach that are aggressive and i am just wondering if that was what you had.
 

MasterPython

How much and how often do you feed?

Cut that in half and in two weeks do it again. Snails can only multiply if there is excess food.
 

KingOscar

Almost certainly a few snails or eggs will survive even your most aggressive cleaning attempt, I believe. So you'll likely still need to mitigate population growth going forward. That's ok, I'd still consider carrying out your clean out plan but just be careful about not destroying too much beneficial bacteria. Monitor ammonia levels for a few weeks after the fact and all will be fine.
 

FishDin

Unless they are causing a biological crisis in your tank there is no need to get rid of them. I like them in my tanks. I used to hate them and that made my aquarium experience much less enjoyable. Now I just see them as part of the ecosystem. They do keep my tanks clean, which I appresciate.

I think if you hate them, you are going to hate them more after you tear your tank apart and clean, only to have them return.

There are copper based products made to kill them. These products will kill all invertebrates, so if you have other invertebrates that you want to keep or want to keep them in the future, this is not the approach to use. Also, if you do go this route, make sure to remove as many dead snails as possible before the decompose and possible cause an ammonia spike.
 

CobraKaiGuppy

That sounds very risky to me, but possible, but then you could do al that and still end up with snails. Have you tried feeding less? Have you tried leaving a slice of cucumber in the tank overnight, and pulling it out in the mourning when it is covered with snails? There may be people in your area that would like to take them to feed to puffers or loaches or turtles or something. I use to do this and give them to my freind who had some kind of cichlids that ate them.
What fish are in the tank? What kind of loach did you ADD That was aggressive? Most loaches need to be in a school of no less than 6, there are a few loaches such as the skunk loach that are aggressive and i am just wondering if that was what you had.
FYI - It was a Kuhli loach. The wife of the pet store owner said having just one was fine, and it wouldn't bother the mystery snails. It did. The fins of one molly were torn, but I'm not positive it was the loach. When I returned it, the owner said, "Yeah, they eat snails, so they're going to mess with Mystery Snails." The wife apologized. Seems like something she would have known, since she was running the store with him, but oh well.
Thank you everyone. I appreciate the advice on feeding less and realize this might be a losing battle if I'm going to keep the tank as is instead of starting over. I wish the method of putting veggies at the bottom worked, but it doesn't seem to work with these snails (maybe I have too many plants). I think I'll stay away from the copper because I don't want to have to keep the mystery snails out. I've been too busy to attempt the cleaning I was describing, but if I do it I'll write an update to let you know if I succeeded. Thanks!
 

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