[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: snail problem

>Hey all. I've gota a problem. I have a large planted tank that has been
>attacked by snails. I've been trying to pick the egg sacks off my plants
>as I see them, but I am just to out numbered for this method to work
>effectivly. Does anyone know of something I can try that will rid me of
>my pests? *Any* suggestions are appriciated. Thanks in advance. :)


Three options:

1. Remove the snails from the tank.
2. Kill the snails in the tank.
3. Give up and decorate with rocks!

1. Removing snails - this is essentially control rather than extermination.
Try putting  lettuce or cucumber in the tank in the evening. Every time you
see snails on it, pull the lettuce out and wash off the snails. Do this for
a few days and the numbers will drop. Various traps can also be dreamed up
along the same principal. A good one is to use a small plastic tube or jar
with a lid. In the lid make a hole the fishes can't enter. Bait the jar
with food of some sort.

2. Killing snails in tank. Don't *ever* use molluscides. Not only does the
sudden death of lots of snails (do you really know how many are hiding...?)
harm the water quality; the chemicals may be toxic to fishes and plants.
Predatory fishes can work well.

Roxanne Bittman wrote:

>Actually, the spotted puffer or figure 8 puffer do a pretty good job of
>cleaning out snails from a tank.  The trick is to find an aquarium store
>that keeps them in fresh water (not the extremely hard water they usually
>are kept in).  Otherwise, their life is shortened.  I'm assuming you have a
>freshwater plant tank with soft water.

Well, this is only half right. Spotted puffers Tetraodon 'fluvialitis' must
be in brackish water around one quarter sea water in strength. An aquarium
store keeping them in fresh is being very naughty...and I wouldn't trust
them. Figure eights, T. palambangenis, are freshwater but won't appreciate
very soft or acid conditions.

Almost NO puffer is a good community fish. At the least they are aggressive
to each other or similar species. Most are predatory. A few are confirmed

There are one or two exceptional species worth keeping in planted tanks.
Colomesus spp. from South America are very quiet and tolerate even
'blackwater' so would be fine. But they grow quite large (20 cms) and are
imported only seasonally. The African Tetraodon schoutedeni is also quiet
and stays much smaller. Both these species are expensive compared with some
of the other puffers. NONE of the other species imported (spotteds, figure
eights, red-eyes, dwarfs, milk-spotted, golden, fahaka, giants...) can be
recommended. For details check out Baensch's Aquarium Atlas or any of the
Web Pages on puffers, such as 'Puffer Girls' at:


Clown Loaches MUST be kept in shoals of five or more. Any fewer and they
will be continually stressed (almost always having whitespot, hiding,
skittish). But they are expensive fishes and grow very large (15 - 20 cms).
Smaller loaches also eat snails, including the common weather loaches
Misgurnis spp.

Most big, non piscivorous cichlids eat snails. The chocolate cichlid
Cichlasoma 'hellabruni' is a stunningly beautiful fish that has a real
appetite for snails.

If you crushthe shells against the glass when you see them, most fishes
will eat the meat.

3. Give Up...you wouldn't be the first person to strip a tank down and
rebuild it just to lose the snails! But you could see which plants tolerate
the snails and plant more of those.

All the best,



From  Neale Monks' Macintosh PowerBook, at...

Department of Palaeontology, Natural History Museum, London, SW7 5BD
Internet: N.Monks at nhm_ac.uk, Telephone: 0171-938-9007