Freshwater snails?

adlegl
  • #1
Recently I upgraded from a 10 gallon to a 20 gallon freshwater tank. I moved the fish and algae eater over without incident. I added more fish that I had purchased at Petsmart. Approximately 2 months ago I noticed these small little black things in the water that looked like snails or slugs. I didn't pay them much attention. Now I have like 20 of them in my tank--they are very small but seem to be reproducing daily lol. I am not sure what they are and how to control them or how they got introduced into my tank anyways. What should I do? Does anyone know what they are? Please help :-\
 
Gunnie
  • #2
If you have live plants,they are probably snails that hitched a ride. They are pests! If you have room for more fish, you could add 3 or 4 yo yo loaches, and your problem would be solved. Post what fish you already have in your tank, and a picture of the snails or slugs if you can.
 
Jason
  • #3
You could just squash them and the fish should just do the rest, or I think clown loaches also eat them.
 
Jason
  • #4
I think one came in on one of my plants but I can't find him anymore. Can they keep reproducing if there's only one. The one I saw though was like brown and had a little shell
 
Gunnie
  • #5
I believe they can reproduce with only 1 snail, but I'm not positive. There are probably more snails in your tank than you think anyway. It's doubtful just 1 snail hitched a ride.
 
Miss Mouse
  • #6
Yeah snails can be a real pain - they ate ALL my plants and I don't know how they got in there. I presume in a plant and yes, they can reproduce with just one of them Get a yo-yo loach or squash them for food although that seems so mean and a bit gross :-X
 
adlegl
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Well I don't have any live plants in my tank. I have community fish. Don't remember the names but they are tetra's and I have one guppy and of course the algae eater. Total of 6 fish in my tank and 1 algae eater.

I've tried taking pictures. As soon as I can get one that turns out right I'll post it as well.

Do I need to get rid of them? Or just let them all co-exist?
 
fishfreak
  • #8
sure
 
FishFan
  • #9
Well I don't have any live plants in my tank.  I have community fish.  Don't remember the names but they are tetra's and I have one guppy and of course the algae eater.  Total of 6 fish in my tank and 1 algae eater.

I've tried taking pictures. As soon as I can get one that turns out right I'll post it as well. 

Do I need to get rid of them?  Or just let them all co-exist?

Another way I've read to rid the snails in to put a bottle sideway on the bottom of your tank & by morning, they should all (or most) be in there & then dispose of them as you wish. I'd get them out-they'll keep reproducing & over take your tank. Good Luck.
 
Miss Mouse
  • #10
Yeah or put a peice of cucumber in the tank - they'll congregate on that and you can just scoop it out.
 
Jason
  • #11
Really does that work??? I can seem to find that midget one I saw anymore
 
adlegl
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
I went back to petsmart to ask them about the snails they must have given me --and they suggested the same things ---to put a container in the bottom of your tank with holes big enough only for the snails to enter--and put shrimp pellets or zucchinI in the container and then the snails should show enter there

well I tried it last night--my containers too big though--i'll buy a smaller one today--but let me tell you the minute those snails smelled that shrimp food they all started moving towards that container--if I had had it on its side and it was smaller I believe I would have had a container of snails this morning

thanks for all your advice and help ---i'll let you know what happens when I get the right container--
 
JustinT
  • #13
It sounds like your technique is going to work, but if for some reason it doesn't get rid of all of them or they keep coming back, you could try putting in a solution that you can buy from most pet stores that kills invertebrates. I forget what it's called, but not only will it kill your snails, it will kill any shrimp that you may want to keep (if you have them). Also, if you have live plants, it may harm them as well, so you have to be careful. I hope the former technique works out for you, but I just thought I'd give you another option.
 
Gunnie
  • #14
I know they sell that stuff to kill snails, but it also kills fish. That would be the absolute last resort, and at the risk of killing your fish. You can also float lettuce in the tank and remove it in the morning with the snails on it.
 
Jason
  • #15
Yeah adding more chemicals would be risky- I might use that container thing in the future- really useful
 
fletch
  • #16
another fish that gets rid of snails is the green puffer fish. even if you have big snails. they like to grind their teeth on the snails and therefore kill them. The only trouble is that you always need snails in the tank to make sure the pufferfish don't die
 
Gunnie
  • #17
Puffers are great fish, but they are brackish, so keep that in mind. Also, like Fletch said, you always need snails in the tank for them to eat. Of course you should supplement their diet with other things, but if they don't keep their teeth grinded down by breaking snail shells, you have to manually cut their teeth with nail clippers, so they can be high maintenance fish. Also, malaysian trumpet snails can break their teeth which is not good, so you could only feed them the pond snails, or snails with softer shells.
 
adlegl
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
well i'm really outdone by these dang snails--grrrrrrrrrr---they are overwhelming---I tried the container thing and I think it would work if I could figure out the right one to use I guess---I had a few show up on the container but I walked away and by the time I got back they had moved off the container--so I tried floating the lettuce---it worked I had a few show up on the lettuce and I again walked past it cause I wanted to see if more would show up and when I came back they had left it also---so I tried putting the lettuce and the shrimp pellets in the container and none showed up---but they very happily were on the side of the tank waving at me and I do believe they were laughing at me as well---lol---so finally I just reached in the tank and pulled the little buggers out and disposed of them--that was the fastest way but I still didn't get them all--so I may still try to do the container thing so I can catch them more than one at a time---any suggestions on a container if anyone has done this in the past i'd appreciate the advice----I do believe this will become a continual battle---they are hiding in the rocks of my tank--in my castle--I ended up throwing all of my fake plants out because they covered the leaves on them---so I have just become a snail picker---

I can't really get any fish because I have a 20 gallon tank and have as many fish in it as I can--plus the thought of purchasing something to feed off of something live does not make me feel too good---but I do appreciate all the advice--i'd try the chemicals but I like my little fishes and don't want them to die before their time--so I guess I'll just be slowly picking them off one at a time---grrrrrrr

thanks
 
Miss Mouse
  • #19
Yeah that's what I did in the end.. you'll notice that even tho you've got rid of them all, a few will hatch a few weeks later so take them out as sooon as you notice them. They're such a nuisance! :-\
 
adlegl
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
what a horrible fiasco these snails turned out to be----I really suggest to all beginners if you see something foreign in your tank--don't just go--I don't know what it is-we'll just see what happens---because I had to pretty much rebuild a new tank to get rid of those snails and I don't know if I even did take care of them---I truly believe I had about 250-300 of them in my tank---I had to take out all my rocks and by new ones---I had to take out all my plants--I had to do a very thorough probably to aggressive water change--and my little castle thingy had to be taken out as well---there were so many snails--omg it was horrible--just horrible--anyways--please don't be like me and be ignorant---learn info before its too late---this website is a true blessing
 
Isabella
  • #21
I am so sorry ... Adlegl ... I know it's not funny .... LOL, but this whole post thread makes me laugh! Poor Adlegl and the snails! But now seriously ... I also have plants in my tank, for about 3 months now. And this whole snail thing scared me a bit. If the snails are to reproduce and multiply, how long after the purchase of plants should one be able to notice the snails? I have also read about them and tried to look for them since I got the plants. But so far I haven't seen anything other than my fish in my tank. If 3 months have passed by now and I haven't seen any snails in my tank, is it reasonable to assume that there won't be any? That none were brought from the store together with the plants? Plus, I have one algae eater ... but algae eaters don't eat tiny snails, do they?

One more thing Adlegl - I have read that snails can actually be beneficial (but when their colony isn't too large, of course). They actually forage on leftover food and graze on algae. Doing this, the snails are in fact doing us a favor by eating excess food. They're also a sign of healthy environemnt. But ... all this is safe as long as the colony of snails isn't too large, as I have said. And ... if I had snails, I know I'd probably be in trouble, but I just couldn't imagine kilingl them or getting a fish that eats them. I hate killing anything that is alive. So maybe ... keep some of these snails for your own benefit?
 
Miss Mouse
  • #22
I noticed my intruder maybe 3 or 4 weeks after I got the plants so I think 3 months without them means you're free! I have 2 types of snails - the pond snails whcih are great and then the pesty ones. They're golden apple snails that are the pests - they must lay about 200 eggs at a time and in good conditions many survive and they grow so darn quickly too! And they eat all the plants whcih the pond snails don't seem to do!
 
Butterfly
  • #23
A large number of snails is usually a sign of over feeding and can be controlled to a certain extent by being careful about size and frequency of feedings. a small colony is beneficial as they bury themselves in your gravel/sand and keep it loosened up as well as eat food that has dropped to the bottom. If you want a good idea of how many snails you really have get up 3 or 4 hours after you turn the lights out and using a flash light look at your tank(they will be everywhere). Hand picking them is really your best option, chemicals can be dangerous to the whole tank.
I have a 75G with clown loaches and they eat all my snails, but since they get rather large they are not an option for you at this point. Hope that helps
Carol
 
Isabella
  • #24
Butterly, so is it possible for snails to multiply simply due to overfeeding, even if there are no plants in the tank?
 
Butterfly
  • #25
yes definately, most animals will multiply more readily when there is plenty of food than when there is little. There is one of my tanks that always has a few snails, and when I need snails for my Loaches I feed an extra algae wafer and in a couple of days they are everywhere. Then I scoop them out every morning for a couple of days.
Did you at any time empty water from the fish store into your tank? Like when you put your fish in? If so you could have emptied snail eggs in with the water. Hope that helps
Carol
 
Isabella
  • #26
No Butterfly When I buy new fish, I take the fish one by one from the bag and put them into my tank. I never pour the water from the bag directly into my tank. I never had snails by the way, just curious. It's interesting that they can develop even without plants. Another good reason not to overfeed the fish!
 
adlegl
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
it's ok isabella---I was laughing at myself the whole time--you should have seen the dramatic story I told all my friends so I could get sympathy lol

it was a very hectic experience---its good to know though that a few of them are good--its when they multiply that they need to be handled--well if that happens to me again I will know how to better handle my situation--

I never have live plants---and I too take my fish out one at a time from the bag from the fish store--its very strange that I ended up with them---I am sure I had a tagalong and didn't know it---

I guess I had such a huge population cause I over feed my fish maybe??? so what is the proper amount for 6 fish and an algae eater in one tank--???
 
Butterfly
  • #28
Isabella: It's an excellent idea to dip your fish out and not pour the fish store water in your tank. Maybe there were eggs in the water and they clung to the fish, who knows. Sometimes snails show up like they appear out of thin air.

adlegl: I know a lot of people who feed their fish 1 small meal each day and their fish are beautiful. But because I'm such a sucker for cavorting fish ;D I feed twice a day and usually overfeed. I can't resist my clown loaches sticking their snouts out of the water for "just one more bite" of food from my fingers. This is what I do: I change 25% water or better of each tank every week. then the 75G which is the one I overfeed most often I do a quick bottom vac mid-week because I have 2-6inch clown loaches and an 8 inch rhino pleco that live on the bottom and they are such big poo makers ESPECIALLY if they eat alot.

So I would say cut down the amount at each feeding and wait a month and see what happens. Isabella keep us posted. this would be a good experiment. Measure how much food you feed each day, (continue to dip them out)then see if the snails disappear or reduce in number. Hope that helps
Carol
 
FishFan
  • #29
I couldn't help but laugh either, sorry guys. Maybe this is the reason I avoid getting real plants. The last thing I need is crummy snails! I have 3 snails, but I wuv them Good luck and I might suggest using a glass bottle with a wide mouth, sideways in the bottom. Good Luck, too!!!
 
mslane
  • #30
I had snails in my tank, and I decided to get clown loaches. No snail problems now. Also, I think snails are hermaphrodites, and can reproduce by themselves. Clown loaches are helpful in other ways too, and they are very entertaining to watch.
 
ExcitedBetta
  • #31
So i've been noticing some algae growth in my betta tank and was wondering if adding a snail would help keep things clean. I know nothing about snails so I want to make sure I don't get anything that would stress out my betta or harm my amazon sword and anubius plant. The tank is 3.5 gallons, 76 degrees, has gravel substrate, liquid fertilizer is added weekly and it gets 10 hours of light. I don't care how it looks as long as it is easy to care for and will do it's job. What snail will work best and where can I get one? Ifa snail won't work, than what can I do instead? This is my first tank so I'll accept any help.
 
CoryBoi
  • #32
I would go nerite, what fert do you use, some are still not invert safe.
 
Inner10
  • #33
Agreed, Nerite, not a big bio load, good algae eater, won't reproduce.
 
Rev
  • #34
One nerite snail will keep your tank in tip top shape. They don't breed in freshwater, they're too big for your betta to eat them, and they look awesome! Stripes and horns on some of them. If you don't like that one mystery snail can do the trick as well.
 
Ebreus
  • #35
Most snails fit the bill here but I believe the best snail for the job would be a Nerite. They're small but voracious algae eaters that won't hurt your plants at all. As an added bonus they can be quite colorful. Mind not to get a horned nerite though as the Betta might accidentally tear a fit on the horns.
Nerites won't breed in freshwater. They'll lay eggs but they won't hatch so you'll only have as many as you buy (and one should be plenty for 3.5 gallons). Keep in mind if it eats all the algae you may want to add algae wafers to keep it from starving.
 
ExcitedBetta
  • #36
I use seachem flourish liquid fertilizer and am hoping to get fertilizer tabs for my amazon sword. The bottle says its invert safe.
 
Ebreus
  • #37
One nerite snail will keep your tank in tip top shape. They don't breed in freshwater, they're too big for your betta to eat them, and they look awesome! Stripes and horns on some of them. If you don't like that one mystery snail can do the trick as well.
Do note with a Mystery Snail that they get bigger than Nerites and can eat plants so making sure it has access to algae is important to keeping the plants from being devoured.
 
ExcitedBetta
  • #38
Ok thanks a lot! Where can I get a snail and algae wafers?
 
Ebreus
  • #39
Ok thanks a lot! Where can I get a snail and algae wafers?
Aquatic Arts sells both. Your LFS might stock algae wafers as fish food as there's a decent selection of fish that are also algae eaters.
 
ExcitedBetta
  • #40
I'll go there soon. Thank you!
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
27
Views
1K
JLeeM
Replies
27
Views
3K
Joshua Drake
Replies
26
Views
2K
tjander
Replies
7
Views
2K
FallibleGod
Top Bottom