Why Do I Have So Many Little Snails?

  • #1
Hello there! Our tank is about 8 weeks old now. We have never purchased any snails. I know I've seen one or two really small snails come from the pet store with the fish we bought. We counted 9 little snails that we could see last night. I'm confused as to why we have so many. Can they reproduce that quickly? Should I be worried that we see so many? One of the reasons I ask is because we are dealing with an ICH issue. I've put my second dose of API Super Ick Cure and it seems to be helping. But I'm just curious if I should be concerned with all the little snails or maybe it is ok??? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Let me know if you need any other information.

Thanks for your time!

- manooly
  • #2
Yes they can reproduce that quickly.
I took 7 out of my tank Sunday, and just took another 5 out this morning.
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Just curious as to why you took them out? What can/do they do for the tank? Do I need to start "controlling" the snail population in my tank? Thanks!
Sarcasm Included
  • #4
You can control the population by cutting down on the amount of food that you feed your fish. Snails breeding is directly proportional to the amount of food available, so if you feed only what your fish need to eat then snails are not a problem.
Also the medication for ICH will likely kill off many of them.
  • #5
And also the amount of decaying organic material I believe. The pond snail population kind of explodes in my moderately planted cycling tank too even as I stop adding fish food for nearly one week now. I can see less of them now but I have also started plucking and netting out the bigger ones.

I love them in small numbers (they aren't really harmful) and I believe they came in with some plants. But I don't want too many; I want my fish and shrimps to be the more prominent stars of the tank.
  • #6
I don't think the ich meds will kill them. They are targeting protozoans, not all invertebrates. Many ich meds won't hurt other inverts.
  • #7
snails can also eat algae and other really tiny organisms that eat nitrate so if you keep your nitrate & your uneaten food to a minimum your snail population will crash. Believe me, I love snails & want them but often in a heavily planted tank when you're doing the weekly 10% water changes sometimes it is hard to get the snails to reproduce. You have to let the tank get a little "dirty" for there to be enough flora for the little snails, the MTS, bladder snails & ramshorns to reproduce. So be a neat freak about your tank & the snails will decline.

  • #8
The snails are healthy for a tank as long as you control their population there are many ways the best way is to take them out with traps I personally prefer assassin snails they are great in controlling them as long as their numbers are little and but they can destroy all of them too I had 2 assassins with ramshorn and pond snails now I have something like 10-12 assassins all the ramshorn are gone and only a small amount of pond snails living in my filter but the worst way to get rid of them is medicines for snails they will destroy your tank
  • #9
I personally don't like introducing new living tank inhabitants for the sake of 'fixing' something. Do make sure you know the required care of snail eaters like dwarf puffers or loaches before making any purchase. Even with the much less demanding assassin snails, consider scenarios where your tank turn from being overrun with pond snails to being overrun with assassins after they feast on the other snails lol.
  • #10
Agree with fishychachkI both puffers and clown loaches have some special need assassins breeds very slow and if they numbers grow you can easily give them to fish stores around here this snail is rare so they worth of money
  • #11
I bought some plants for one of my tanks today and found 5 snails on them.
Two were loose in the bag, the other 3 came off when I did the dip treatment on the plants.
  • #12
This is why I buy online with snail free guarantee.
  • #13
I went the assassin snail route myself. If I overfeed or have any algae, my mts snails get out of control super quickly. Assassins have never gone hungry and I love the way they look.
  • #14
Assassin snails are a way to get rid of the snails, but that is IF you have no other snails in your tank you want to keep alive. If you have Nerite Snails (great algae eaters) then do not add any Assassin snails, I've read that they will go after them. You can also throw in zucchinI slices because I believe the snails will crawl all over it and then you can take the zucchinI out in a few days. You can even Google for snail traps and do something like that.

You shouldn't be worried about the snails, mainly they will be harmless they will just cause an annoyance with how much there will be. You can get 100+ of them if the conditions are right for them to multiply. Overfeeding is a great way for these snails to multiply very quickly.
  • #15
Honestly for my smaller tanks (ten gallon and under) I took the bladder snails out and put them in their own habitat. They are actually really interesting to watch, and I don't see them as much of a pest as some others might. I removed them because I was afraid of them taking over the smaller tanks, not to mention my Blue Water (female betta) is a bit aggressive lol.

Now in my larger tank, 40 gallon breeder, I have different kinds of snails that others call pests including bladder, ramshorns, and Malaysian trumpet snails (MTS). I actually purposely bought the MTS since they sift sand so well. The bladder and ramshorns do a great job of eating any damaged or rotting parts of the live plants. I also have non-pest mystery and nerite snails. All are very cool to watch and are beneficial to my tank. Their population hasn't gotten out of control the several months they have been in their, I'm very careful with how much I food I put in the tank.

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