What should I do about my snail problem?

Discussion in 'Snails' started by tcmneedler, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. tcmneedlerNew MemberMember

    Hi all,
    I got a betta a couple of weeks ago, then decided to get a 3 gallon tank for him. I got the tank, some gravel and a couple of plants. I put it all together yesterday.
    Today, I found tiny snails in there. Judging from what I've seen on the internet, I'm guessing Malaysian Trumpet snails. I have not put the betta into the tank yet.
    So, what should I do about these things? Dump all the water out and get rid of the gravel? I'm really kind of at a loss where these things came from. Suggestions on a course of action are appreciated.
  2. iloveengl

    iloveenglWell Known MemberMember

    Hello tcmneedler. Welcome to the forum. :)

    One method is to weigh down a slice of cucumber or zucchini after the lights are turned off. Then in the morning, all the snails should be eating the veggie and you can just take them all out when you remove the veggie.

    Were the plants real? Pond snails and mts often come on live plants. Even if you tossed the gravel, you may still have sneaky snails or eggs on the plants, so I'd just keep the gravel. If you don't overfeed, the snail population should stay in check.

    Glad you upgraded your betta to a bigger tank. :) Love to see pics when you get a chance.
  3. Regal

    RegalWell Known MemberMember

    If you don't want them it might be best to try to get rid of them now before putting the fish in. If you change your mind later they are really hard to get rid of. With sand you can sift them out but with gravel that doesn't work. I've used various methods to trap them but there are always more lurking just under the surface waiting to reproduce. I have read about people freezing the gravel, boiling it or drying it out to kill them. I know they say if you don't overfeed they won't get out of control and that may be true. I do have less since I've been feeding only once per day.

    Ya so I guess I've decided MTS are evil. :;laughing

  4. OP

    tcmneedlerNew MemberMember

    I've read that overpopulation is a huge issue with these snails. Now, obviously, a betta doesn't eat a whole lot, so that should do an effective job of keeping the snail population in check due to lack of resources?

  5. callichma

    callichmaWell Known MemberMember

    Hi and welcome to FL! I noticed in your aquarium info that you don't know about the nitrogen cycle. You'll have much better success with your fishkeeping if you learn about the nitrogen cycle. (I don't know how to post a link, but if you type it in the search box, you will find a wealth of information.) You will likely have problems with ammonia & nitirite levels in your tank before the snails cause any problems. Basically, in a new tank without beneficial bacteria to break down the ammonia from fish waste, ammonia and then nitrite levels rise to toxic levels which can kill your fish. You can take time before you add your betta to allow the beneficial bacteria to grow. You have to feed your empty tank so that the bacteria don't starve.

    I know your betta is going to love his new tank.
  6. CHoffman

    CHoffmanFishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to Fishlore!!!. :;hi1

    Do you want snails?? IF you don't you might want to just take the tank apart and bleach it all now. IF you wouldn't mind them then leave the tank as is and do not over feed. With only 1 betta fish that shouldn't be to hard. This will keep your snail population in check.
  7. OP

    tcmneedlerNew MemberMember

    I don't necessarily have anything against the snails, though they were very unintentional. I was just concerned about them overpopulating things.
  8. CHoffman

    CHoffmanFishlore VIPMember

    You can control the snail population pretty easily by limiting the amount of extra food in the tank. If there is a lot the population will explode..lol.
  9. OP

    tcmneedlerNew MemberMember

    I haven't had an aquarium of any sort in ten years, and I'd never had snails show up before. So I was a bit alarmed at this new and never before experienced development. Thanks for the tips and advice, much appreciate it.
  10. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I purposely put malaysian trumpet snails in each and every one of my tanks; I think they're great.

    IMO, they are perfect for your betta tank. There's nothing else you can put in there that will keep the substrate clean, and as long as you don't overfeed, their numbers will remain low enough that they won't be crawling all over everything. If you do experience an population explosion, it is a clear indication that you are feeding way too much. They're also a good indicator for water quality - poor water will cause a mass migration to the surface.
  11. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Four Methods of Fish Less Cycling
    The Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle

    Hello TCM and Welcome to Fish Lore.

    Above are a couple of links (that was suggested in post #5.) Check them out. If and when you have questions by all means don't hesitate to ask. Great tips and suggestions above concerning snail population and control.
    Hope you enjoy the site!
  12. Tim WheatleyNew MemberMember

    Yes I found that out pretty early, you're absolutely correct. I started out wanting a few snails just to control left over food - I soon found I was over feeding when the population exploded. I've cut what I feed by quite a bit and no longer see the multiplying.

    My method for getting rid of these snails would be to literally sweep the tank the next time you re-arrange things and pick them all out with your fingers. I've never had to throw any away, but it would be fairly easy to spot them and pick them out - then the next time you see one on the glass, grab it, and again, and again until you don't see any anymore...
  13. OP

    tcmneedlerNew MemberMember

    Well, so far things seem to be going well. The snails are still pretty small and relatively few in number.
    I found out that I probably got these from the Petco down the street when I bought a plant from them. Apparently their tanks are infested with snails.
  14. aquarium dunceValued MemberMember

    I have a huge snail problem at the moment....hundreds upon hundreds in a 20 gallon tank.... I have tried the lettuce idea but the snails in my tank did not like it... bought 4 assassin snails to help with the problem but I think they are pretty overwhelmed... I am really considering starting over from scratch as much as I hate the thought but the snails keep clogging up my filter...yea they are that bad. Only feeding fish 1 time a day with frozen food...approx 1/16th of a 1/2 inch block of food and a sinking wafer for my 5 cories... sorry for rambling anyway I would get rid of them while you had the chance...will save you a lot of headache later!
  15. Tim WheatleyNew MemberMember

    You probably have a lot of naturally occuring food (micro organisms reproducing and dying) that the fish and snails are getting plenty of. Feeding is probably over-feeding in that tank right now. There may even be a lot of snails dying that are another major food source.

    As I said before, the best way I can think of is to literally pick them out with your fingers, they'll do you no harm whatsoever and you can 'sweep' the tank from one side to the other fairly quickly. Even if you miss some, it is better than what you're facing now.
  16. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    If you have sand, a REALLY easy way to do it is to take your net, scoop up some sand and sift for snails. Be sure to turn off the filter. I would do maybe a quarter of the tank at a time because a lot of stuff will be kicked up in the water. If you have gravel, then just switch it out - good time to change colors :). That'll get rid of the majority of them.
  17. Regal

    RegalWell Known MemberMember

    I've done that too. It works really well. I have MTS and a while after I would sift it out I'd see really tiny ones again but it was at least manageable in a sand tank. In gravel it's nearly imposable to pick them out. You can stand there forever picking them out one at a time and never really make a dent.
  18. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I once heard MTS are like icebergs - you only see 10% of what's there. So, for each one you see, there are 9 you don't.
  19. Regal

    RegalWell Known MemberMember

    I think that's true. I didn't think mine were out of control till one night I turned on a lamp next to the tank about an hour after I turned the tank lights off. It was like a horror movie... attack of the moving gravel.
  20. iloveengl

    iloveenglWell Known MemberMember


    I'm going to pretend that's not true. Otherwise, I may never play in my tanks again. *shudders*

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