20 Gallon Tank Help With Foreign Snails and My Prescious Nerites

thatweirdfishkid

I have a 20-gallon aquarium that is heavily planted with a school of neon tetras in it and two of my prized nerite snails (Charlie and Alfalfa). Charlie is fully grown and I've had him (just gonna say him, don't know it's actual sex) for a year and Alfie is only half his size because he's new (also just assuming because of their names). Recently, I ordered some hornwort from a seller on Amazon, and about two months later I had realized that it had brought some passengers along with it. They were shiny and little (no bigger than a pencil eraser), and I thought it wouldn't be too big of a deal because I could just take them out and keep them in a 2.5 I had with no fish in it and I could feed them algae pellets, and if there were more, then it would actually help because they were small enough to eat the algae between cracks, corners, and spaces in between the gravel where my nerites can't reach. Well... now my tank is crystal clear and I can't see any algae on it anywhere, which should be a good thing... but I care about my nerites and I don't know what to do. I can't find my algae pellets and the little snails are everywhere (AND THEY EAT FISH FOOD TOO!!). I don't know what to do about it because I'm worried about my nerite snails because it seemed like they have no food. Is there any way that I can make sure they get enough food? There are plants in the tank, but I don't know if they'll eat plant matter. I'm just concerned. If anyone could help, thank you so much1
 

Sweetie07

I have a 20-gallon aquarium that is heavily planted with a school of neon tetras in it and two of my prized nerite snails (Charlie and Alfalfa). Charlie is fully grown and I've had him (just gonna say him, don't know it's actual sex) for a year and Alfie is only half his size because he's new (also just assuming because of their names). Recently, I ordered some hornwort from a seller on Amazon, and about two months later I had realized that it had brought some passengers along with it. They were shiny and little (no bigger than a pencil eraser), and I thought it wouldn't be too big of a deal because I could just take them out and keep them in a 2.5 I had with no fish in it and I could feed them algae pellets, and if there were more, then it would actually help because they were small enough to eat the algae between cracks, corners, and spaces in between the gravel where my nerites can't reach. Well... now my tank is crystal clear and I can't see any algae on it anywhere, which should be a good thing... but I care about my nerites and I don't know what to do. I can't find my algae pellets and the little snails are everywhere (AND THEY EAT FISH FOOD TOO!!). I don't know what to do about it because I'm worried about my nerite snails because it seemed like they have no food. Is there any way that I can make sure they get enough food? There are plants in the tank, but I don't know if they'll eat plant matter. I'm just concerned. If anyone could help, thank you so much1
Hi hun, it sounds like you've got an outbreak of Tadpole snails. I've had the same thing with my nerites but try not to worry as they always seem to get enough food - they do a lot of their feeding during the night so they're probably very active while you're asleep.. I've started putting a lump of peeled blanched cucumber in for my snails once a week (I peel it, wash it then blitz it in the microwave for a couple of minutes, let it cool then put it on a wooden skewer and stick it in the gravel) - often when I check during the night the nerites are on it! If you're worried I'd start to remove all the Tadpole snails that you see, as soon as you see them, because they're PROLIFIC breeders and you'll soon be totally overrun by them. Your Nerites should be fine though
 
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Kribensis27

Like Sweetie07 said, a piece of zucchini could help a lot. Some nerites don’t like zucchini, but it could still help even then. The other snails could eat the zucchini, and leave the biofilm for the nerites. Either way, try it out. It could definitely help your nerites.
 
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thatweirdfishkid

Hi hun, it sounds like you've got an outbreak of Tadpole snails. I've had the same thing with my nerites but try not to worry as they always seem to get enough food - they do a lot of their feeding during the night so they're probably very active while you're asleep.. I've started putting a lump of peeled blanched cucumber in for my snails once a week (I peel it, wash it then blitz it in the microwave for a couple of minutes, let it cool then put it on a wooden skewer and stick it in the gravel) - often when I check during the night the nerites are on it! If you're worried I'd start to remove all the Tadpole snails that you see, as soon as you see them, because they're PROLIFIC breeders and you'll soon be totally overrun by them. Your Nerites should be fine though
Thank you so so much!! Oh my God, you people are so helpful and nice. It helps to know that they should be okay. I think I will try feeding them peeled blanched cucumber. Also, I will start trying to remove them when I see them, but I'm the kind of person to catch bugs in my house and then release them outside, so it might be a bit hard to just take them out and throw them away or something (but my nerites are more important, so I'll do it). Also, do you think it would work to remove the fish and then clean the tank, plants, and gravel to try to remove some of them? But I would also be worried about stressing out my tetras because one of them actually died from stress the last time I moved them out of it for an hour or so. Sorry for all the questions and concerns. Thank you so much!
Like Sweetie07 said, a piece of zucchini could help a lot. Some nerites don’t like zucchini, but it could still help even then. The other snails could eat the zucchini, and leave the biofilm for the nerites. Either way, try it out. It could definitely help your nerites.
Thank you! Everyone here is so helpful, lol. I will try it and thank you so much!!
 
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Sweetie07

Ah bless you, I know exactly how you feel! To be honest, I did a HUGE (like 80%) water change and that got rid of loads, but not all, so I relocated them into my neighbours water feature in his back yard a few doors up (with his permission of course) as I'm also not comfortable with killing things.. However the water change didn't remove them all, so I've started obsessively removing stuff to check it and rinse (plants, ornaments etc) - that finds loads. I also just invested in a Fluval ProVac from Amazon - this doesn't remove the snails, but what it does do is finds LOADS of their eggs hidden in the gravel, which I didn't even know were there! Also, check the glass on all sides and the joins in the corners regularly for eggs, as well as the filter, as I find loads of eggs in those areas :confused: Keep me posted please - and good luck with the cucumber! So nice to meet a fellow snail fan too!
Ah bless you, I know exactly how you feel! To be honest, I did a HUGE (like 80%) water change and that got rid of loads, but not all, so I relocated them into my neighbours water feature in his back yard a few doors up (with his permission of course) as I'm also not comfortable with killing things.. However the water change didn't remove them all, so I've started obsessively removing stuff to check it and rinse (plants, ornaments etc) - that finds loads. I also just invested in a Fluval ProVac from Amazon - this doesn't remove the snails, but what it does do is finds LOADS of their eggs hidden in the gravel, which I didn't even know were there! Also, check the glass on all sides and the joins in the corners regularly for eggs, as well as the filter, as I find loads of eggs in those areas :confused: Keep me posted please - and good luck with the cucumber! So nice to meet a fellow snail fan too!
PS: I didn't remove my fish when I did the huge clean, as I didn't want to stress them unnecessarily? So if you're worried about your Tetras getting stressed I'd just leave them in hun
 
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Spudsssy

Stick a little bowl in the tank with food in it just before bed. In the morning it should be full of snails you can remove easily.

Put a nice big container/bucket in the garden and chuck the snails in there.... Throw an Iris (type of plant) or two in it, and you have a snail 'Pond'. That's what I used to do until I dug a 2 m Pond. Hadn't the heart to just throw the snails away .
 
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Sweetie07

Stick a little bowl in the tank with food in it just before bed. In the morning it should be full of snails you can remove easily.

Put a nice big container/bucket in the garden and chuck the snails in there.... Throw an Iris (type of plant) or two in it, and you have a snail 'Pond'. That's what I used to do until I dug a 2 m Pond. Hadn't the heart to just throw the snails away .
I'm in the process of making a pond in my back yard for the exact same reason!
 
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thatweirdfishkid

Ah bless you, I know exactly how you feel! To be honest, I did a HUGE (like 80%) water change and that got rid of loads, but not all, so I relocated them into my neighbours water feature in his back yard a few doors up (with his permission of course) as I'm also not comfortable with killing things.. However the water change didn't remove them all, so I've started obsessively removing stuff to check it and rinse (plants, ornaments etc) - that finds loads. I also just invested in a Fluval ProVac from Amazon - this doesn't remove the snails, but what it does do is finds LOADS of their eggs hidden in the gravel, which I didn't even know were there! Also, check the glass on all sides and the joins in the corners regularly for eggs, as well as the filter, as I find loads of eggs in those areas :confused: Keep me posted please - and good luck with the cucumber! So nice to meet a fellow snail fan too!

PS: I didn't remove my fish when I did the huge clean, as I didn't want to stress them unnecessarily? So if you're worried about your Tetras getting stressed I'd just leave them in hun
Awww, you're literally so sweet and helpful. I will try cleaning my tank obsessively for the next month or so. Thanks for telling me where to check, it will be a big help. Thank you for all the kind words, I will make sure to update you after a bit. Also, thanks for telling me about the fish, I will be sure to just leave them while I clean. Again, thank you so so much! You have been so helpful,
Stick a little bowl in the tank with food in it just before bed. In the morning it should be full of snails you can remove easily.

Put a nice big container/bucket in the garden and chuck the snails in there.... Throw an Iris (type of plant) or two in it, and you have a snail 'Pond'. That's what I used to do until I dug a 2 m Pond. Hadn't the heart to just throw the snails away .
Thank you, I will try this. I couldn't bear to just get rid of them. I think it will be really cool to try.
 
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Sweetie07

You're very welcome my lovely, and please let us know if you have any more problems with your snails (I could talk a glass eye to sleep about snails, ha!) Don't worry about putting them in water outside either - I've checked on mine in my neighbours back yard many times and they're thriving - literally (hence me deciding to make my own pond as my neighbour's complaining about me piling so many into his!)
 
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thatweirdfishkid

Okay, so I'm not sure why I took so long to say something about what happened, but here is the story. So I talked to my mom about what I should do and told her about all the suggestions that I had gotten. My mom kind of freaked out when I showed her how much poop they had been producing and we moved the tetras to a five-gallon bucket while we cleaned the tank (it was pretty bad and two of them died and I tried to stop her, but she was really frustrated that it had happened in the first place). My mom helped me clean the filter and heater, and we sat the plastic parts of the filter out in the sun for like 2 days. We ended up throwing out all the plants and gravel and having to replace all that with supplies from my local Petco. I ended up putting all the fish back in the tank with half aged water from my other tanks and half bottled water (don't worry, it had all been conditioned and dechlorinated and sat for a day and a half). I am really frustrated by the whole affair because I just wanted some nice plants for a decent price during a pandemic, and ended up with all this. Of course, I don't mind doing it all to keep my fish happy, but it was still very frustrating and wasteful. I had to spend about $150 replacing the gravel, plants, cuttlefish bone, and filter parts (and I had to throw out all the plants I had bought that the snails had originally come from). So all in all, I wasted about $200 and unnecessarily stressed my fish out because of two tiny snails. I was also planning on finally getting my first goldfish (three, actually, in a 40 gallon), but now I don't have the money for it. I might just end up attempting a nano tank for the first time. Thank you to everyone that helped me with this and gave suggestions, you were all so extremely helpful.
 
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Sweetie07

Hi again hun, oh I'm so sorry that happened to you - I wish we could've talked to your mum first! I can understand your mum's panic but getting rid of everything really wasn't necessary - I can feel how upset you are at how much money you've lost, and the stress! If it makes you feel better, my first instinct was to do the same as your mum too, but I stopped myself and just went OCD on the situation with water changes and evicting them to my neighbours pond thingy soon as I saw them :) The bright side is we learn from experience, so you've got that plenty of that now now should you ever come across any again (hopefully not - I'll keep my fingers crossed!) Take care - big hugs to you and your mom! :)
 
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thatweirdfishkid

Hi again hun, oh I'm so sorry that happened to you - I wish we could've talked to your mum first! I can understand your mum's panic but getting rid of everything really wasn't necessary - I can feel how upset you are at how much money you've lost, and the stress! If it makes you feel better, my first instinct was to do the same as your mum too, but I stopped myself and just went OCD on the situation with water changes and evicting them to my neighbours pond thingy soon as I saw them The bright side is we learn from experience, so you've got that plenty of that now now should you ever come across any again (hopefully not - I'll keep my fingers crossed!) Take care - big hugs to you and your mom! ♡
Thank you so much! You have been so extremely helpful and I'm not too happy at how the situation played out. However, I do have some good news pertaining to the tank. While I was at the store buying new supplies, I found a koi plakat betta that I fell in love with. I was planning on buying one from a breeder, but I kind of just fell in love with little Alfredo right then and there. I did learn quite a bit from this experience, and I also don't think that I'll be able to buy plants online again for a long while
 
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Sweetie07

Ah bless you - you're very welcome, it's been a pleasure ♡ I do have one little idea for you re buying your aquatic plants, as unfortunately that can happen on plants bought from the pet stores as well as online (I've bought several from my local reputable pet shop that have had hitchhikers!) - if you have a spare little tank, or even a large bucket, you could just fill that with water and put your new plants in there for a couple of weeks before introducing them to your tank, then if they have got little creatures you'll find them safely, without unknowingly infesting your aquarium? I quarantine all of my plants now for a couple of weeks before putting them into one of my tanks 'just in case' : prevention is better than cure isn't it ;-) Your new fish sounds awesome - have you got any photos? Would love to see little Alfredo (cute name by the way!)
 
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thatweirdfishkid

Ah bless you - you're very welcome, it's been a pleasure ♡ I do have one little idea for you re buying your aquatic plants, as unfortunately that can happen on plants bought from the pet stores as well as online (I've bought several from my local reputable pet shop that have had hitchhikers!) - if you have a spare little tank, or even a large bucket, you could just fill that with water and put your new plants in there for a couple of weeks before introducing them to your tank, then if they have got little creatures you'll find them safely, without unknowingly infesting your aquarium? I quarantine all of my plants now for a couple of weeks before putting them into one of my tanks 'just in case' : prevention is better than cure isn't it ;-) Your new fish sounds awesome - have you got any photos? Would love to see little Alfredo (cute name by the way!)
Yeah, I'm not too happy about how it all went down, but I am glad that I can learn from the experience. I will make sure to quarantine my plants in the future, thank you for that Yeah, I do have some pictures of my beautiful boy. (thank you for the compliment about the name, I just thought it was really cute and kind of fit him)
(also, sorry for the dirty glass in the photos, I don't usually clean the watermarks that often)
 

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Sweetie07

Ah wow I love little Alfredo thatweirdfishkid ! He's gorgeous! ♡ What a little stunner! The colours on him are really beautiful - and yes, he really does suit his name doesn't he!
 
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