Where Did The Snails Come From?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Carolyn V, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Carolyn VNew MemberMember

    I was cycling a tank for about 3 weeks and then added one betta fish to it 7 days ago. For the three weeks that I had the tank running without a fish in it I saw nothing in it at all. This is a 5.5 gallon tank with live plants. I am a beginner and had no idea that live plants might have snails in them. Now I know that live plants can have snails but I am puzzled because for 3 weeks there were no snails at all in the tank. About 4 days after I put the betta fish into the tank I started to see little tiny things crawling up the side of the tank. They are brown in color and there are also some bigger black snails crawling around on the bottom of the tank. My question, where did the snails come from if they weren't there before I put the fish into the tank and then they just appeared 4 days later after I put the fish into the tank. Where did they come from and now do I get rid of them? I did manage to catch some using some lettuce in an open turkey baster. They crawled into it but I did not get all of them and each day I have to manually remove them. They literally make my skin crawl and I really want to get rid of them.

  2. endlercollectorFishlore VIPMember

    The plants probably had snail eggs, and so you only noticed them once they'd hatched. This happens to the best of us. They can be useful at times, but somehow they show up mostly when they're not wanted. If it really drives you crazy, you could do put your betta in a bowl with a heater for a few hours and run some potassium permanganate through there, then follow up with a dose of dechlorinator. That should kill them all. You'll have to restart the cycle, but your betta should be able to handle it.

  3. Frozen OneValued MemberMember

    Well, if you’re referring to pest snails (a picture would be helpful!) then they can enter your tank in many ways. The most common source of pest snails is by buying live plants from somebody who has pest snails in their tanks. Basically, the snails lay eggs on the plants and then once they’re in your tank they blossom in to pest snails of your own! Fish can also have snail eggs inside their bellies (sounds weird but it’s true). Anyway, if you want to get rid of them, there are a few options. Depending on your tank size you can get loaches which are known to eat snails, the best option for any size tank, are assassin snails. They consume pest snails and it won’t happen overnight but after about a week or so my outbreak was taken care of! If you provide me a little more info about your tank I can be more helpful!

  4. KingofnonValued MemberMember

    Im guessing your little buddies came with the plants
  5. fishaholic87Valued MemberMember

    welcome to fish keeping almost all plants have snails and unless you pick them out or do the bleach trick your going to get them unlike most people i dont care about if they are there they only populate out of control if you over feed
  6. Carolyn VNew MemberMember

    It is weird that you mention dechlorinator because I just started to add Prime to my tank each day and have noticed a lessening of both snails and algae. Of course that might also be due to the fact that I have been doing water changes. I had thought my tank was cycled when I put my betta into it but after I did I started to have problems with nitrites, but not ammonia. So, someone on this list told me to use Prime which I started to do and I have been noticing that my water is a lot clearer and there are less snails but there are still some. But I have been removing them when I see them too. But before the Prime even if I did a water change the algae was always back right away and so were the snails so I was wondering if maybe the Prime was doing something. I have no idea what potassium permanganate is. Where do you get it? I am sure my little guy can deal with cycling because he is basically doing that anyway since I have been changing his water almost everyday. He is not concerned by it at all.
  7. A. RozhinValued MemberMember

    Assassin snails in 5 gallons? There probably won’t be enough of the little pond snails for them to eat and so they will eat each other. If there are enough, they will breed and then she will have an assassin snail problem. I am speaking from personal experience with her tank size and her problem. Unless you’re the Godfather, don’t call in an assassin for such a small job. :)

    I would also strongly disagree with a chemical solution. Simply pick the snails off the glass when you see them and you will be rid of them soon enough. Your betta may develop a taste for them, and that will help you depopulate as well. My betta got very very fat on pond snails. ( i’m assuming your tank is for a Betta )

    For what it’s worth my snail experience is what pushed me into looking at an aquarium, any size aquarium, as an ecosystem not just a cage for a fish. Snails are an important part of that system, and they have more benefit than otherwise.
  8. fishaholic87Valued MemberMember

    i didnt realize they were assassins
  9. Carolyn VNew MemberMember

    There is no way I could take a picture of the snails as they are just too tiny. I didn't even know they were snails until I stared at them and saw them move. Some of them are bigger and black and some are brown and very tiny. They must be pest snails as I certainly did not put them there. I am sure they must have come with the plants as you said and just now hatched out. I am not sure about getting loaches as I have a small 5.5 gallon tank with just one fish and I was told that some catfish like to live in groups and my tank is not big enough. I am not sure how my betta would feel about them either. I will definitely do research on assassin snails and see if they are good companions for bettas.
  10. fishaholic87Valued MemberMember

  11. Carolyn VNew MemberMember

    Thanks for the info on the assassin snails. I think my tank is much too small for them. For now I have been taking them out when I see them and doing water changes and so there are less of them but I really don't like the sight of them. They literally make my skin crawl. Sometimes I also see little wavy lines that move through the water and I can tell they are alive. It is almost like bug larvae and that really creeps me out. I don't think my betta likes to eat snails though because one day I crushed one and it fell to the bottom and my betta went after it and then lost interest in it and did not eat it. Right now all I can get him to eat is Fluval Bug Bites. He loves those but won't eat anything else.
  12. A. RozhinValued MemberMember

    Yes, and OP if you think your little pest snails are creepy, you are definitely not ready for assassin snails, easily the creepiest thing I have ever seen in an aquarium. I could not wait to get rid of them. They are brutal and violent.

    I really still think your solution is to learn to love them. lol.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2018
  13. FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    I had a snail infestation at first. I didn't know how I got it cause at the time I only had plastic foliage in my tank. But when I started this hobby I actually poured water from the tank into my tank, you know...easy and efficient, no net needed.

    Suddenly I had a ton of snails in there. I stopped feeding the tank for a week and that killed off all the snails. You could pull all the plants out and stop feeding or use chemicals or a trap to get them.
  14. A. RozhinValued MemberMember

    Everyone is always so quick to dump chemicals in a tank. How would you like someone fumigating your house and making you sit there in the middle of it while they were doing it? If a chemical kills one animal, is it going to be safe for the others?

    As far as not feeding the tank, I seriously doubt you could starve pond or bladder snails. They eat vegetation (algae and decaying vegetation). That's their food source, not fish food.

    Mechanical removal, e.g. fingers, tweezers -- or a trap, that's the best way. But, honestly, pond and bladder snails are not going to respond to a trap with algae and plants around (and they are tiny, so, even a little algae will do for them).

    When you turn the light on in the morning, get all the ones off the glass you can see (and off plant leaves). Do this for a few days and I promise you will see a difference. If you notice anything like jelly on the gravel, scoop that out as well.

    If you pour poison in to kill the snails, remember that your fish is breathing the poison, also.
  15. Carolyn VNew MemberMember

    I am sorry but there is no way I can learn to love them. I can't stand anything that keeps reproducing beyond any kind of control. If I don't keep manually removing them my tank would be overrun with them. I had thought that once the tank got cycled I could just let it run and only do small water changes once a week or so. But these days I have to keep doing water changes just so I can vacuum out the snails in addition to manually removing them. If I skipped a day who knows how many would be there the next. I wanted a betta because it is so beautiful to look at and I try so hard to give him a good home but having to deal with snails and wiggling lines moving around the tank is more than I bargained for.
  16. Frozen OneValued MemberMember

    Ignore people saying the assassin snails will reproduce like pest snails. they absolutely will not. They don’t reproduce anywhere near the rate pest snails do. If you continue what you’ve been doing and get 2 assassin snails you’ll be good.
  17. fishaholic87Valued MemberMember

    like i said before there is no point in killing snails they only have a population outburst if you feed to much
  18. Frozen OneValued MemberMember

    not true, if they don't have access to excess food, they will consume any algae the tank has. they will always find a food source, they will continue to reproduce.
  19. fishaholic87Valued MemberMember

    my tanks dont have algae

    the bn pleco eats it all
  20. Frozen OneValued MemberMember

    lol okay, bud. do what you'd like to and what works for your tank but don't give poor advice. nothing in any of your replies on this thread have given any insight as to what the OP should do. So, yes assassin snails will work, they will get the job done. manually removing them will never completely get rid of them. FACT is, not everybody wants these pest snails in their tank, many put in a lot of time and resources to make their aquarium come to life, if they don't want pest snails and ask for advice then the responses should be giving advice to help get rid of them.

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