Snail Help

genie

Member
Ok, I read on another thread that pond snails will kill your fish. I currently have some snails in my tank-- I keep killing them as I see them, but I don't want to use chemicals.

My question is what does a pond snail look like.
I had ramshorn snails, but have successfully removed most of them. Now I have snails with a cone shaped shell.

Oh, and how do they kill your fish??
 

COBettaCouple

Member
that sounds like pond-snails. they'll kill fish by starving them or suffocating air-breathers.
 

Toddnbecka

Member
You can ID the critters here, and find some more useful info as well:
Incidentally, I've only ever heard of a few cases of snails killing fish. They involved apple snails, most species are completely harmless to fish.
 

Sparkling Diamonds

Member
Rose had some fatalities with pond snails in her tank. I believe she said the snails stayed on the fish, in their gills and suffocated them. I think she said she had 3 fish die from all the snails.

Cone shaped shell does sound like pond snails, are they black?

I had a case of pond snails. What I did was completely take apart the tank, boiled the gravel and wiped the tank walls down well, and changed my filter cartridge. Since they got in my filter, too. It was a lot of work, and totally sucked to get rid of all the good bacteria, but it's worth it since i'm now snail free. Except my mysteries, of course.

I haven't seen them since, and now if I buy live plants I give them bleach baths to get rid of any pond ride-a-longs.
 

griffin

Member
cone shaped snails could also be malaysian trumpet snails - i've never had problems with those as long as you don't overfeed. in fact, I try to make sure that they are in all my tanks with sand.
 

Gunnie

Member
How big is your tank? Can you afford to add more fish to the tank without overcrowding? If so, check out the different species of loaches on loaches and consider getting some for your snail problem. They will keep them in check for you, and add lots of excitement to your tank. I just don't know the size of your tank or what you have in there already to know if loaches would be compatible. Chickadee recently called me about a snail problem she was having and she purchased 3 yo yo (pakastani) loaches for that tank. She said the snail problem was pretty much under control within a couple of days. I also purchased 4 yo yo's a couple of years ago to tackle this problem, and actually throw the snails in that that tank now from other tanks to give them a treat since they've pretty much eaten all of them!
 
  • Thread Starter

genie

Member
Oh, it is only a 5 gallon with a betta and some ottos. So loaches are out. I am thinking about removing the fish and starving the tank for a little while. I have 4 tanks so I can do some rearranging.
 

COBettaCouple

Member
Genie said:
Oh, it is only a 5 gallon with a betta and some ottos. So loaches are out. I am thinking about removing the fish and starving the tank for a little while. I have 4 tanks so I can do some rearranging.
Maybe after you take your fish out, you can scrape up all the snails and sell them as escargo and then buy a big tank. Cleaning out your tank real good sounds like the plan.. really clean any decor and bake the gravel, toss any live plants and then when the gravel's cooled, redo the tank and hopefully the snails will be only a memory.
 
  • Thread Starter

genie

Member
FLBettaCouple said:
Genie said:
Oh, it is only a 5 gallon with a betta and some ottos.  So loaches are out.  I am thinking about removing the fish and starving the tank for a little while.  I have 4 tanks so I can do some rearranging.
Maybe after you take your fish out, you can scrape up all the snails and sell them as escargo and then buy a big tank.   Cleaning out your tank real good sounds like the plan.. really clean any decor and bake the gravel, toss any live plants and then when the gravel's cooled, redo the tank and hopefully the snails will be only a memory.
I am not to the point of a total teardown yet-- but it may be close. See the "pullin my hair out" thread in Betta Fish!
 

sirdarksol

Member
I would agree with the above post of Malaysian Trumpet Snails except for one thing. They are also called Malaysian Livebearing Snails. Livebearers tend to breed much less, and thus are very unlikely to overrun a tank. I have them in one of my tanks, and they help me clean the gravel. But I've had an adult pair that have been producing children for over six months, and my tank isn't overrun. There are quite a few of them in the gravel, but they stay there.
 
  • Thread Starter

genie

Member
Well I have like 500 of them so I am thinking they aren't those kind of snails. I hate them and I wish death upon them all! (evil laugh) Ok, but seriously they are taking over and I am afraid that they will hurt my betta Spike-- he's mean but if they catch him asleep....
 

sirdarksol

Member
I know there are some meds that bettas can't handle. Does anybody know if this is because they have a problem with copper, or is it another issue? If it isn't copper, you could go out to your local hardware store and buy a couple of copper nails or a little piece of copper pipe. Or go to a nursery and get little copper name plates (they sell them as markers for different sections of gardens). Or you can get copper medallions at some art stores.
Anyway, the point is that if you put a piece of copper in the tank, the snails will die. Any that climb on it will die very quickly, and the rest will die as the copper leeches into the water. However, if your fish can't handle that, you'll have to find a different way. From your other thread, it sounds like you've got a good start on the issue.
Another idea would be a snail trap. Use something like a margarine tub, cut a couple of holes along the upper part of the side of the container, put some bait in, put the lid on, and sink it in your tank overnight (you'll need to use a rock or some gravel or something to get it to stay on the bottom, probably). This is similar to a trap for garden slugs, which are in the same family, so I don't see why it would get a number of them by morning.
 
  • Thread Starter

genie

Member
Funny story-- I made a snail trap once-- caught an otto instead! And I managed to cause my tank to overflow. It was great! I think bettas are OK with copper, they can't handle Melafix. someone said to try a penny-- I would have to make sure it was clean though.
 

sirdarksol

Member
Genie said:
Funny story-- I made a snail trap once-- caught an otto instead! And I managed to cause my tank to overflow. It was great! I think bettas are OK with copper, they can't handle Melafix. someone said to try a penny-- I would have to make sure it was clean though.
Ok. I understand catching the oto. I missed that you had them in the tank, or I probably would have thought of that. How the deuce did you overflow your tank?
Dip it in bleach and then douse it in whatever you condition your water with.
Odd thing about the penny deal is that pennies actually contain very little copper. I think they're mostly zinc. Nickels also contain nearly no nickel. They contain more copper than a penny, though. However, I think the copper coating on a penny is enough to kill any snail that comes into contact with it.
Too bad I'll never be able to actually try out any of my wacky ideas. I have inverts that are supposed to be there in every one of my tanks. Any of the tricks with copper would kill them all, and the traps would catch the shrimp and the snails that I want.
 
  • Thread Starter

genie

Member
I have 3 pennies in bleach-- I had the same idea as you with the dechlor. stuff. I am hoping this works, if not I will get a copper pipe or something from home depot.
And I flooded my tank by not taking any water out before I put in a soda bottle full of water and snail bait. (stupid of me I know)
Thanks for the tip though, I knew copper killed them but I didn't think a penny would do the trick!
 

COBettaCouple

Member
Yea, funny how our copper pennies are zinc cents.
 

Phloxface

Member
Don't ever put anything copper in with Bettas or any other fish. It is highly toxic and will kill them.
 

griffin

Member
Phloxface said:
Don't ever put anything copper in with Bettas or any other fish. It is highly toxic and will kill them.
in high concentrations - it is a toxin. in low concentrations, it's actually a needed nutrient.
 

Sparkling Diamonds

Member
sirdarksol said:
Odd thing about the penny deal is that pennies actually contain very little copper. I think they're mostly zinc.
Actually, pennies were all copper before 1968. So, any pennies after that year all jsut have the copper plating on them, whereas the pennies that are dated 1968 or before, are actually all copper.
 

Phloxface

Member
griffin said:
Phloxface said:
Don't ever put anything copper in with Bettas or any other fish. It is highly toxic and will kill them.
in high concentrations - it is a toxin. in low concentrations, it's actually a needed nutrient.
A copper penny in the tank would kill them. My boss told me his son had a fish tank and threw a penny into it and all the fish died within hours.
 

griffin

Member
i'm far more likely to believe that there was something on the penny that caused the deaths. I know of people who were trying to kill off things like snails and shrimp (which are more sensitive than fish) put pennies in their tanks with no ill effects.

do I recommend putting random stuff like pennies in your tank? no. but do I think a clean penny will do much? not really.
 

Sparkling Diamonds

Member
Phloxface said:
griffin said:
Phloxface said:
Don't ever put anything copper in with Bettas or any other fish. It is highly toxic and will kill them.
in high concentrations - it is a toxin. in low concentrations, it's actually a needed nutrient.
A copper penny in the tank would kill them. My boss told me his son had a fish tank and threw a penny into it and all the fish died within hours.
It could also have been that your boss' son put in a penny from 1968 or earlier, which would be a higher concentrate of copper, anything after that if washed properly should be absolutely fine since it's only a copper plating on the penny and not an actual copper penny.
 

griffin

Member
~Sparkling Diamonds~ said:
Phloxface said:
griffin said:
Phloxface said:
Don't ever put anything copper in with Bettas or any other fish. It is highly toxic and will kill them.
in high concentrations - it is a toxin. in low concentrations, it's actually a needed nutrient.
A copper penny in the tank would kill them. My boss told me his son had a fish tank and threw a penny into it and all the fish died within hours.
It could also have been that your boss' son put in a penny from 1968 or earlier, which would be a higher concentrate of copper, anything after that if washed properly should be absolutely fine since it's only a copper plating on the penny and not an actual copper penny.
agreed
 

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