Removing Snail Pests


New Member
Five white skirt tail tetras in a 10 gallon aquarium.

I've been pulling out dark, cone shaped snails from this tank for almost two years now. They breed too fast. I've tried taking 10 out a day for weeks at a time, and pinning down lettuce at night to throw out in the morning.

Tonight, I removed all of the decorations and gravel. I siphoned the bottom to pick up any residue. I rinsed everything in steaming-hot water. I'm going to let it all dry out before putting it back.

I fear my filter equipment might be infested as well because of all the tiny snails I was picking off the filter.

I through in a filter sponge I kept in a larger tank for emergencies / seeding, to bring in established bacteria.
Tomorrow I'm planning on hooking up an old aerator so I can disassemble the filtration to clean it out.

Am I missing anything? What else can I do to ensure I destroy all remaining enemy snails?


Fishlore VIP
You could dose copper, which is naturally kills snails. Might have a slight water quality issue, especially if there's a lot that does off... but it could work.

86 ssinit

Fishlore VIP
The snails are probably Malaysian trumpet snails (mts). Do they have hard shells you can’t squish? If so they’re mts. Not a bad snail to have. They live in the substrate and eat whatever is in there. So they actually keep the substrate clean. If you find lots of them your feeding your fish to much. Cut back on feeding and you’ll see less snails. I have them in most of my tanks. They churn up the gravel and I believe help in plant growth.

Best way to get rid of them that I know of would be to get a clown loach. They eat them. But loaches get very big so he’d have to be temporary. Ask your pet store if you can return at a later date. Another way is assassin snails but in the end you could just have to many assassins in the tank.


Welcome to Fishlore.
I feel your pain, I’ve just completely stripped a tank down to rid it of the dreaded Mts. No matter what I did over the last year or so kept them under control I would never ever recommend them to people.
To add to what you’ve already done I washed the glass thoroughly with a magic sponge eraser (those things really are magic!) then refilled the tank & added some salt for good measure then left that to soak for an hour or so then emptied & rinsed.
Good luck hope you’ve won the war against the Mts


Well Known
there's probably eggs every where. you'll have to clean the filter too. just throw away all the old media. setup the tank, but no media in the filter, let it run for 2 weeks, if any egg sacks survived you'll start seeing baby snails again. hit them with cupramine, or other copper sulfate.

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