Snail Extermination

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by FishTankNewbie, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. FishTankNewbie

    FishTankNewbieNew MemberMember

    I experimented with live plants about a year ago and my 20 gallon long has been a nightmare ever since. Pest snails have completely (thousands - no exaggeration) overrun the tank and my fish are doing bad because of it. I have tried removing them using the cucumber thing, manually crushing, assassin snails - and these buggers are still here. So I have removed all my fish from that tank (to other tanks) and I want to know how to kill the snails that are in their now. I want to kill every single one, and preferably have the tank still okay for use not too long after. So, is their a chemical I can buy? Is there anything I can do? Or do I have to drain the tank and start over with this one?

    I appreciate any responses to make this snail nightmare end.
  2. ThaiCaliberValued MemberMember

    I want to know how to do this as well, though my snail population isn't as bad as yours is. I have read copper sulfate will kill the snails but will also kill any inverts as well. I'm tempted even though I would lose my shrimps
  3. arvind2205

    arvind2205Valued MemberMember

    Consider reducing feeding - Snails multiplying means there is likely an excess of food, maybe dropped to the bottom or lot of algae, in either case can be lowered by reducing feeding and reducing the amount of light in the aquarium, thus reducing their food sources. They will naturally die out with the above method. Aquarium salt in small doses may also kill snails but adding salt could irritate fish used to non-brackish waters.

    For me the reduce feeding + lowering light resulted in lowered algae and far less snails. I also added one assassin snail, they are terminators - he destroyed the ramshorn population single-handedly, and now I buy pest snails to feed him. Assassins are probably the most "natural" way to deal with the pests but lot of folks would advocate not adding stuff to solve another problem :) Still, one or two or three assassins in a 20 long is okay and would really cull your snail population pretty fast.

  4. James17

    James17Well Known MemberMember

    If you have pond or bladder snails it is very difficult to get rid of them all, I along with many others pull them out of our tanks daily, you just have to stay vigilant.
    As stated above will also help.

  5. OP

    FishTankNewbieNew MemberMember

    Thank you so much for the advice :) I will try getting some more assassin snails and lowering the light
  6. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    I would avoid copper, by the way. It'll kill all inverts, and once copper has been used in tanks, it doesn't seem to go away, even with rinsing. So you'll have a hard time ever keeping inverts alive in that tank even after treatment.
  7. KinsKicks

    KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember

  8. BettaPonic

    BettaPonicWell Known MemberMember

    How many Assassin Snails do you have? Three was enough to kill hundreds of my pond snails. If you put a few in they will breed as long as they have sand.
  9. OP

    FishTankNewbieNew MemberMember

    I sadly don't have sand. The bottom of my tank is small pebbles. I also only have one assassin snail, which doesn't really help when the problem is on this scale. I'm going to the LFS today to pick some more up :)
  10. sfsamm

    sfsammWell Known MemberMember

    If you have already removed all the fish personally I'd dump the tank substrate and all (keep your filter media wet in a bucket of treated water or place it in a nylon stocking in on of your other tanks) and wash the tank with vinegar. Let it dry a day. Then add new substrate, refill the tank. Before you add your filter back clean it thoroughly (except media) if you have ceramic type media get a media bag for it, and then throughly rinse your sponge media in treated or fairly clear tank water in a bucket and look at it very closely to be sure there are no snails on eggs in it. Then add the media back to the filter and put your fish back in the tank.
  11. purslanegardenWell Known MemberMember

    If you actually removed the fish to another tank, then just decrease water to the snail tank. Once the water evaporates until there is no more water, then the snails dry up and die. The main solution that people usually try to do, is to keep their current tank going, and getting rid of snails while trying to keep plants and fish safe. But if you have done the opposite and moved the fish out, there's no reason to keep the snail tank wet with water.
  12. Fishdude846Valued MemberMember

    I just took all the fish out, removed every bit of the old substrate, then added new substrate. I have yet to see a single snail in this new setup.
  13. JLeeM

    JLeeMWell Known MemberMember

    Wonder if you could raise the tank temp as high as it will go to kill them out?
  14. OP

    FishTankNewbieNew MemberMember

    That is an interesting proposition, and I have got an amazing heater. Think it would work?
  15. Celestialgirl

    CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    I changed my substrate 3 months ago and haven't seen any snails since. I did rinse it with vinegar as well. I wasn't trying to get rid of them but they haven't come back.
  16. KinsKicks

    KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember

    Oi, you'd have to be able to maintain at least 85-90, with 90 probably being the most harmful to them; I don't think plants (nor fish) would really appreciate that tho, so you'd have to be careful. Hmmm...
  17. OP

    FishTankNewbieNew MemberMember

    Tank's empty anyhow and there aren't any plants in it anymore. I would remove my assassins and then try it IF I were to try anything.
  18. KinsKicks

    KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember

    Oh ok, then go for it lol; as long as your stock is safe, try to overheat them! Make it as hot as you can (while being safe of course!) And since is is empty, see if you can increase the nitrates in there as well; they aren't big fans of it and are quite sensitive to nitrates as well.
  19. BeanFish

    BeanFishWell Known MemberMember

    My bladder snails have survived being dried out outside with a 30 Celsius climate. They just close their trapdoor and pray for water. If you drop the shells into water they will come out and act as if nothing happened. I think 90 Celsius wont kill them. I would just take appart the whole tank appart, clean it well, remove egg clutches and dry it out for a day which is a complete mess and will get rid of all the good life and established tank has but hey, you wont have any snails.

    When you get pest snails you just have to live with them. I personally dont mind them. If you are overrun it is not because you are cursed but because the snails have a food source. You need to eliminate their food source and remove the excess snails with the cucumber traps/assasin snails/manually etc... Once you do that the snails will stay under control as long as there is no food source.
  20. BettaPonic

    BettaPonicWell Known MemberMember

    I added three Assassin Snails and hundreds of ponds Snails were dead in a few weeks.

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