Snails In Plants!?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by victoriasc, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. victoriascNew MemberMember


    First post here, but I just discovered something in my 5 gallon tank and am freaking out! I had fish as a teenager and decided to get back into it with a 5 gallon dwarf puffer tank, which is something I've always wanted. My plan was to plant it heavily, start the cycle and then give it a couple of months to settle in before adding my fish friend. We're currently about a month into that "settling in," and I just noticed two snails crawling up the glass of my tank! I've never had live plants in a tank before so when I bought them "guaranteed snail free" I just assumed this was true and chucked them in. What do I do?! Upon inspection there's teeeeeeensy little dot specks crawling on my aquarium walls as well (I only saw two) which I'm assuming are snail babies? Will my puffer eat these? How do I know that it's a type of snail safe for the puffer to eat? I do have pictures but as I know a lot of snail types are unidentifiable I'm not sure how helpful it will be. Also, my tank is not snail proof! There is a tiny gap between the lid and the tank that a fish couldn't get out of but a snail sure as heck could. Any advice?

    Thanks in advance!

    this is what they look like, if it helps. Also, will they eat all of my plants too??
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2017
  2. BeanFishWell Known MemberMember

    That plant is a Ludwigia right? Those snails usually hitchike in plants and yes, your puffer will eat them. They do eat plants in my experience, I happen to have a Luwdigia and it has some holes in it, snails are the cause... You can just mechanically remove them. You should consider making a snail breeding tank so your puffer has a stable source for fresh snails, you can use those snails to start the snail breeding tank.
    If left alone the snails will probably start breeding more and more.
    To avoid adding snails to your tank when introducing new plants you can try bleach dips. Look it up on the internet, there are also other methods available.
  3. fishychachkiValued MemberMember

    Snails don't really eat healthy parts of live plants. Some of the leaves probably have localized rotting at certain spots and the snails ate those dead spots. If you bought the plants with 'snail-free guarantee' you may want to talk to the seller. They may return your cash, give you store credits or some freebies or other forms of compensation.

    I'm not familiar with the various pest snails so I can't really tell what kind of snails they are but I am sure your DP will love it. Not sure if there is any kind of free-riding snails that is particularly not safe for puffers.
  4. pixelhootValued MemberMember

    Hello! This species of snail is called a Bladder or Tadpole Snail! They are pretty much the rabbits of snails, but not to worry! They don't add too much to your bioload unless you have a seriously huge amount of them, which shouldn't happen with regular tank maintenance. I have these little guys in my 20 gal tank and while they munch a lot, I've only ever had them eat biofilm and algae. The petstore and many sources may say they're a pest, but that is really because most people don't know how to control them. You can take out any snails and boil them, which kills them instantly in a humane way, or let the puffers eat them. Another option would be to get Assassin snails if your puffers simply cannot keep the population numbers down. If you truly cannot stomach the idea of having snails like this in your tank, I regret to say you might have to undergo a total breakdown of your tank to be rid of them all. In this case I would boil your gravel and anything else you can, as well as take measures to clean off your live plants. I hope this helps!
  5. BeanFishWell Known MemberMember

    My snails ate some biofilm in that 10 gal ate the little algae there was and they are now turning to my Ludwigia:mad:. Which is in perfect conditions, in fact it is growing like weed. They are good in small numbers because they eat any uneaten food but since they mess with my plants I dont really enjoy them so I am gonna get an assasin snail which will hopefully keep them at low numbers or completely destroy them.
  6. purslanegardenWell Known MemberMember

    I also keep crawfish in another tank, and every now and then, I take the snails out of their tank and put them in the tank with the crawfish. Over time, the snails are gone, including the shells. I figure that's good nutrition for the crawfish and his shell.

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