10 Gallon Tank Lots of pond snails, no fish in cycled tank: Should I kill snails & start over?

eepruls
Member
Hi,

A year ago, during the initial cycle of my 10 gallon tank, I added java ferns that brought pond snails to my tank. After the cycle was complete I added my male betta that I had for a few years prior. Anyways, he died the other day to old age I believe. I could sort of see it coming. He lived a good life and the water quality was top notch even at the end. I now have a tank with lots of pond snails which I hate and am always taking out, and no fish. The java ferns are gone as well because they didn't look that great (artificial looks better). I just hate looking in the tank and seeing snails on every plant, rock, glass, etc. It takes away from the fish in my opinion.

My question now that I have no fish in the tank is, are the pond snails beneficial in any way? I've always considered them enemy number 1! Is my distaste for them misplaced? Should I dump out the water, clean and kill everything, and then start from scratch with a new cycle? Obviously starting a new cycle isn't ideal but I thought I would ask since I have no fish anyways. Or is it better to live with the snails because they're okay to have and get some new fish?

I would really appreciate your thoughts on this. I wasn't sure where to post this thread!
 
sirdarksol
Member
I like my pond snails. They're a bit unsightly if they overrun the tank, but there's an easy way to keep their population down: don't overfeed the tank (okay, and keep the nitrates in check, to keep algae growth down).

Any time the pond snails start overrunning my tank, I know that I've either been overfeeding or have been lax in my cleaning duties. I cut back on the amount I put in the tank and do a couple of extra water changes, and the young snails tend to die off as their food source goes away.

In addition, pond snails do eat extra food in the substrate, so they are performing a bit of a purpose.

Oh, and Freshwater Beginners is as good of a place as any to put them.
 
  • Moderator
Lucy
Moderator
Member
I'm really sorry you lost Stewie.

I would also think that the snails are keeping the cycle going.
You can put a peice of lettuce in the tank at night. In the morning, ther should be snails on it, just toss it out.
 
Speedy
Member
I'm sorry also that you lost Stewie! Rip little guy!
I hate snails except for the apple snails. If it where my tank I would take it down and start over. But it is by personal preference because some people like them and some people don't. I just think they are more trouble then there worth. Good luck with what ever you decide to do.
 
CHoffman
Member
I wouldn't suggest tearing the tank down...Lucy gave you a great suggestion with the lettuce...ALso you could sell them..as puffer food. I had THE HARDEST TIME finding pond snails...I ended up paying 10.00 for 10 of them to be shipped to me for my little puffers..You could advertise on craigslist or a local classified...lol..Just a idea. I would have loved to come across someone like you..I'm still waiting on my expensive pond snails.
 
Speedy
Member
CHoffman said:
I wouldn't suggest tearing the tank down...Lucy gave you a great suggestion with the lettuce...ALso you could sell them..as puffer food. I had THE HARDEST TIME finding pond snails...I ended up paying 10.00 for 10 of them to be shipped to me for my little puffers..You could advertise on craigslist or a local classified...lol..Just a idea. I would have loved to come across someone like you..I'm still waiting on my expensive pond snails.
I made that comment which was my own personal preference.....
 
Speedy
Member
Here is a link for you eepruls to read to help you decide what is best for you.

 
CHoffman
Member
Speedy said:
I made that comment which was my own personal preference.....
I wasn't saying anything negative about your comment ..Sorry you took it the wrong way. Everyone is entitled to their own preference..I was just giving my two cents.

Edit: Great link, Lots of info.
 
  • Thread Starter
eepruls
Member
Some great comments and I appreciate them all. Yeah, we got a bit teary eyed when the end was near! He was a great guy. He sure liked his green peas! Thanks for the condolences. It's also a new start for something different.

I am so torn on these stupid snails it's driving me nuts. How much substrate cleaning and algae eating do they actually do? I mean, is it considerable where if they weren't there it would get dirtier faster and more algae would grow? I have a lot of them right now and the tank isn't even that dirty nor are there a lot of nitrates inside. When you say overfeeding causes increases in snails, do you mean the food itself or the extra poop from the fish? Too bad you don't live closer cHoffman or I'd send you endless pond snails!

Maybe it would be different in a larger tank where there is more to look at, but in a small 10 gallon tank, you see them everywhere. People who look in my tank don't go, "aww, look at the sweet little snails crawling up the glass." They say, "eww, why do you have those little snails in there?" I certainly don't want to be putting lettuce in my tank every night just to get rid of snails. I want to enjoy my fish, not be worried how many snails I have. It depends how important the snails actually are.

I am leaning towards killing them all and starting over unless you convince me otherwise. Tell me why I shouldn't! Are they easy to control once you get the hang of it? If I do kill them all, is there a product I could use without having to recycle the tank? Is there a way to keep some of the good nitrifying bacteria (from the filter, plants, etc.) without taking snail eggs along for the ride into the 'new' tank? Are the snail eggs everywhere and invisible to the naked eye?

I appreciate any and all comments!
 
pinkfloydpuffer
Member
I think that you should get 2-3 dwarf puffers for that tank, they'd take care of the snails for you ;D
 
  • Moderator
Lucy
Moderator
Member
pinkfloydpuffer said:
I think that you should get 2-3 dwarf puffers for that tank, they'd take care of the snails for you ;D
<----Me feigning surprise at PFP's suggestion.
 
pinkfloydpuffer
Member
Lucy said:
<----Me feigning surprise at PFP's suggestion.
I know, so out of character, isn't it?
 
haedra
Member
Hehe, PFP I'm already intrigued by the puffers now, thanks to you.

But hey in all seriousness, I'm all for biological answers for some issues like these. I always prefer those over ones more "human intervention" based. Would this be something to consider for eepruls?
 
Wyphy
Member
Don't really know anything about snails, but what if you kept the lights off (and maybe covered the tank) for a few weeks to kill off all the algae?
No food, no snails is the thought.
Would need to feed the tank daily with small amounts of ammonia to keep the cycle going, and keep on the water changes.

May not work, and definitely wouldn't work if you had live plants.
Someone with more experience can jump in and tell us how long this might take since I don't know how long they'd live.
Obviously the more algae you have the longer it would take. Could do a major glass cleaning and vacuum with a really good cleaning of the filter to remove as much as possible.
 
SWilkins
Member
pinkfloydpuffer said:
I think that you should get 2-3 dwarf puffers for that tank, they'd take care of the snails for you ;D
I have to agree with Pink especially since she now has me hooked on puffers! If you want a fish with personality this is the way to go. Oh and I have to say I am also having a hard time finding snails now that I want them. Good luck to ya whatever you decide to do.
 
Speedy
Member
CHoffman said:
I wasn't saying anything negative about your comment ..Sorry you took it the wrong way. Everyone is entitled to their own preference..I was just giving my two cents.

Edit: Great link, Lots of info.
O.K. not a problem. I think you could have put it another way though. Sometimes things can be misleading when we type our comments so I try myself not to do that. I know also that everybody has different opinions so it doesn't bother me when someone disagrees with me, just how they go about doing so. No hard feelings here.
 
Speedy
Member
eepruls said:
Some great comments and I appreciate them all. Yeah, we got a bit teary eyed when the end was near! He was a great guy. He sure liked his green peas! Thanks for the condolences. It's also a new start for something different.

I am so torn on these stupid snails it's driving me nuts. How much substrate cleaning and algae eating do they actually do? I mean, is it considerable where if they weren't there it would get dirtier faster and more algae would grow? I have a lot of them right now and the tank isn't even that dirty nor are there a lot of nitrates inside. When you say overfeeding causes increases in snails, do you mean the food itself or the extra poop from the fish? Too bad you don't live closer cHoffman or I'd send you endless pond snails!

Maybe it would be different in a larger tank where there is more to look at, but in a small 10 gallon tank, you see them everywhere. People who look in my tank don't go, "aww, look at the sweet little snails crawling up the glass." They say, "eww, why do you have those little snails in there?" I certainly don't want to be putting lettuce in my tank every night just to get rid of snails. I want to enjoy my fish, not be worried how many snails I have. It depends how important the snails actually are.

I am leaning towards killing them all and starting over unless you convince me otherwise. Tell me why I shouldn't! Are they easy to control once you get the hang of it? If I do kill them all, is there a product I could use without having to recycle the tank? Is there a way to keep some of the good nitrifying bacteria (from the filter, plants, etc.) without taking snail eggs along for the ride into the 'new' tank? Are the snail eggs everywhere and invisible to the naked eye?

I appreciate any and all comments!
Hello
I hope this helps.
 
CHoffman
Member
If you decide agaisnt the puffers, which they are cute, and you want to get rid of your snails without losing your cyle and starting over there was a good suggestion at the bottom of the first link speedy gave you and the lettuce idea Lucy gave you...Both work to get rid of the snails. Good luck with whatever you go with.
 
  • Thread Starter
eepruls
Member
Speedy said:
Hello

I hope this helps.
That is a great article. Thank you for providing the link. It gave me some terrific information.

I was on the fence for quite a while. I made a decision when I was removing some snails today from the tank. I am tired of worrying about snails. I spend more time removing snails than worrying about the tank itself! When I look inside, I can't stand seeing them walking up the glass. It might be different in a larger tank that has more fish but with a small 10 gallon tank and only a few fish, those snails stand out a lot more.

I am going to empty the tank and bleach everything. It sucks to start over with a brand new cycle when my tank is doing well but the time is right if there is no way to get rid of the snails. I've lived with them long enough. I don't think a puffer fish is the right solution for me. I don't want a fish just to control snails. And then when they eat all the snails I'll have to buy more? Heck no! LOL.

How resistant are snail eggs to a diluted bleach solution? I don't want to be nearing the end of my tank cycling and see a snail walking up the glass. If I do I think I'll lose my mind!
 
Speedy
Member
eepruls said:
That is a great article. Thank you for providing the link. It gave me some terrific information.

I was on the fence for quite a while. I made a decision when I was removing some snails today from the tank. I am tired of worrying about snails. I spend more time removing snails than worrying about the tank itself! When I look inside, I can't stand seeing them walking up the glass. It might be different in a larger tank that has more fish but with a small 10 gallon tank and only a few fish, those snails stand out a lot more.

I am going to empty the tank and bleach everything. It sucks to start over with a brand new cycle when my tank is doing well but the time is right if there is no way to get rid of the snails. I've lived with them long enough. I don't think a puffer fish is the right solution for me. I don't want a fish just to control snails. And then when they eat all the snails I'll have to buy more? Heck no! LOL.

How resistant are snail eggs to a diluted bleach solution? I don't want to be nearing the end of my tank cycling and see a snail walking up the glass. If I do I think I'll lose my mind!
Yep I feel the same way. Just remember you have to bleach everything and I mean everything that was in the tank----tank,filter,rocks,hoses and you have to throw out all live plants if you have them and anything else you cannot bleach. Prevention is much easier on you and the billfold. Also remember it takes only one little egg and it will start all over again. I know this sounds drastic but I feel if you have to take the tank all the way down you want to make sure the snails will not return. I feel that a bleach solution is the most effective way to kill snails and there eggs. Good Luck.;D
 
  • Thread Starter
eepruls
Member
Speedy said:
Yep I feel the same way. Just remember you have to bleach everything and I mean everything that was in the tank----tank,filter,rocks,hoses and you have to throw out all live plants if you have them and anything else you cannot bleach. Prevention is much easier on you and the billfold. Also remember it takes only one little egg and it will start all over again. I know this sounds drastic but I feel if you have to take the tank all the way down you want to make sure the snails will not return. I feel that a bleach solution is the most effective way to kill snails and there eggs. Good Luck.;D
I am a bleach freak! LOL. I want to make sure that I kill them all. I soaked the filter, fake plants, ornament, and rock in a bleach solution for over an hour. I then rinsed, let everything completely dry, and bleached it all again. I poured bleach and water into the tank itself so that it's about 1/4 filled and covering all the gravel. I keep stirring it so that there is no solution-free pocket. It's been sitting like that for two days! Tomorrow I'm going to rinse the gravel and wash out all the dead snails, then let it dry.

In another thread of mine entitled a poster suggests boiling the gravel as well. Would that be overkill or can you never be too careful with snails?
 
wakingupnow
Member
I'm sorry to hear about your betta.


As for the snails, possibly you can call around and see if any pet shops are willing to buy those types of snails? Other than that, if you live near a pond or lake, maybe tossing them in there can give them a chance.

Sorry, I know they are a nuisance, but I would like to hope killing them would be the last resort.



EDIT:

Never mind then.
 
  • Thread Starter
eepruls
Member
The worst thing you can do is take anything and release it into the wild. It may be an exotic species that will destroy the natural ecosystem and watershed in your area. It could be carrying parasites that could spread to other species. You may think you're being nice and saving animals or whatever, but in reality you could upset the natural balance in your area and cause a huge problem with indigenous species. How do you think the carp and zebra mussels got to North America? They're certainly not native and in areas where they are prevalent, can outcompete native species.

Either take unwanted animals back to the pet store or give them to friends who have aquariums. Never, ever, release anything into the wild. In my case, the correct thing is to kill the snails and any parasites they have.
 
wakingupnow
Member
Yea, that is true. I wasn't trying to be rude or anything.
 
  • Thread Starter
eepruls
Member
wakingupnow said:
Yea, that is true. I wasn't trying to be rude or anything.
Oh, I know. I thought I should comment in case someone else were to read this thread some day and think that releasing anything into the wild is okay. I have a zoology Science degree and a background in biology of fishes so I have seen how introduced species can wipe out native ones quite easily. I totally know you were joking around and didn't interpret you as rude whatsoever! I just felt compelled to type a follow-up in case someone actually thinks it's okay!
 
SammyJ
Member
Not sure if anyone has brought up this option but Assassin Snails would take care of your problem quickly and leave you with slow breeding snails that almost provide their own population control to boot. The males will often eat the eggs that the females lay.
 
  • Thread Starter
eepruls
Member
SammyJ said:
Not sure if anyone has brought up this option but Assassin Snails would take care of your problem quickly and leave you with slow breeding snails that almost provide their own population control to boot. The males will often eat the eggs that the females lay.
That would be sweet! I have not heard of and nobody has mentioned assassin snails. I will have to consider this when the pond snails come back... and they will come back... they're like the Borg
 
Shmoe
Member
Maybe a couple of assassin snails is exactly what I need. I was looking into loaches but......... they look creepy.

Are they susceptible to schistosomes?
 
SammyJ
Member
Not sure on that, I have not really read up on what diseases and such they can get.
 
Nate McFin
Member
I dosed with algaefix to cure my greenwater problem. Not only did it clear up the greenwater within 2 days but the snails are gone as well. If they come back (and I agree they will as they aren't like Borg they ARE Borg!)
I will get an assasin snail. What is the bioload of an Assasin?
 
SammyJ
Member
I can't imagine the bioload would be that bad for 1 or 2 of them.
 

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