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  • Are Snails Hard To Control?

    I've come to the conclusion that I couldn't care less about fish anymore. I'm more into shrimp as it happens to be and I haven't exactly found the two to be compatible the way I want. That being said, my newest plants for my 10 gallon came with the prerequisite ramshorn (assumed) snails. I've been reading quite a bit about how they're not quite the pariah I once thought they were, but I'm still on the fence about them. My biggest concern is I'll be changing out my substrate to a black sand and I really don't want to have to constantly dig out red shells lying around.

    I'm currently on the fence with two options:
    1) Buy a loach that I'll later have to toss into my 55 and that I'll honestly probably not care too much about later, or
    2) Let them go and hope I can control the population.

    I usually drop food into my tank on Wednesday and Saturday, bloodworms mixed with daphnia for the frogs and shrimp. I haven't ever really been concerned with slightly overfeeding, as the shrimp clean it up throughout the days between feeding. I've come to understand this can cause a huge explosion in a snail population.

    To get to the question, is a snail population actual "work" to control? That's really not work I want to do, and I'd rather deal with a fish I couldn't actually care less about. Yeah, I know it sounds lazy, but I have my priorities. As always, thanks for any help.
    Last edited by csmith; 04-23-2010, 01:08 AM.

  • #2
    Arrrrrrg. Snails! Squish 'em when I find one I do.

    In my experience, they are hard to control. As long as they have food, they'll thrive. And they do not just eat algae they'll also go for plants. So I think they tend to be a little difficult to control.

    I'm actually thinking about borrowing another couple of clown loaches from my LFS for a couple of months to get rid of them. The leaves of my barclaya longifolia get a lot of snail damage. It looks like crap right now.

    Things seemed to be a little more under control when I had some blue rams in there. I think they'll eat the juvenile snails and leave the big ones for me to crush.

    Snails, no sir, I do not like them.
    Carbon, it there something it cannot do?

    Comment


    • #3
      Three things in life are unavoidable.
      Death, Taxes, and Snail Infestation.
      You are bound to end up with snails eventually (we all do). Why would you intentionally add something that quickly over populates and reeks havoc on an aquarium. You will spend way more time plucking and in Argnom's case, relentlessly crushing them than you would like. If you MUST have snails, at least think about Nerites who are unable to reproduce in fresh water. However with Nerites you will have the pleasure of constantly scraping eggs off of the walls. Which ever option you choose I wish you luck. Oh, Argnom I have some lovely snails in need of a lesson if you have some spare time.
      Last edited by Daniel; 04-23-2010, 11:53 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Argnom crush! Argnom squish!

        \stupid snails...
        Carbon, it there something it cannot do?

        Comment


        • #5
          I had a snail problem and solved it with other snails.
          Anentome helena. This are snail eating snails.

          Know I have one or two snails I don't want and maybe 20 Anentome helena's.
          The only reproduce when the eating snails.
          Maybe other protein rich food like dead fish can make them reproduce I am not sure about that.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by dbazuin View Post
            I had a snail problem and solved it with other snails.
            Anentome helena. This are snail eating snails.

            Know I have one or two snails I don't want and maybe 20 Anentome helena's.
            The only reproduce when the eating snails.
            Maybe other protein rich food like dead fish can make them reproduce I am not sure about that.
            Wow, assassin snails. Just the name sounds fun! I have to get me some of those. And apparently, they are not hermaphrodites, so, one snail will not be able to reproduce by itself. It would be nice to have one lonely snail assassin in my tank. Do they get big or attack plants?

            Thanks for the info dbazuin.

            I seem to learn something new every time I visit this forum.
            Carbon, it there something it cannot do?

            Comment


            • #7
              Whip And A Chair!

              Hi,

              I am not sure why snails upset folks, few are harmful, some beneficial, some amusing.

              The overall answer to snail control is the same with most “pests,” good practices.

              Prevention is best, dip plants in Potassium permanganate solution followed by quarantine for seven days and another PP dip, to be certain at least one more cycle. :gw

              Do not over feed your tanks. Snail “blooms” does not happen without sufficient food. Arguably, we kill more fish by over feeding than any other cause, snail “blooms” are one symptom of over feeding.

              The better the water quality the fewer snails you will have, something those of us that culture them have to remember.

              The problem I see with biological controls in most cases are simply the same critters that eat snails will likely eat shrimp and/or other small fish. Once the snails are gone, what are the poor snail-eating critters to do; you end up like me and have to culture snails to feed the critters that eat the snails.

              Anentome Helena, properly known these days as Clea helena, will eat snails, but actually eat a wide range of things. Clea helena is a rather slow breeder by gastropod standards. Since the reproduction is sexual, good numbers are required to ensure pairs. Unlike many snails, they lay single eggs. Since the newly hatched head straight under the sand, it may be months before they surface. They like sandy substrates and will spend a good bit of their time under the sand.

              Biollante
              The first sign we don't know what we are doing is an obsession with numbers. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

              Disclaimer: I am not trying to make you mad, it is just what I am, an evil plant monster, 'nuf said.
              • I believe the information I am giving is sound, I am not a veterinarian, professional chemist or particularly bright and certainly not a "Guru.".
              • I assume you are of legal age, competent and it is legal for you to acquire, possess and use any materials or perform any action in your in your jurisdiction.
              • When in doubt "don't."

              Comment


              • #8
                Assasin snails are useful, but I find my pond snail problem has required manual removal on top of it. They're great for anything not so prolific, and I'm only using 3 in a 50 gal.

                If your plants are on the tougher side (not delicate foregrounds like HC and glosso), a swarm of dwarf chain loach would probably do a great job.
                - Dan

                Comment


                • #9
                  Snails are hard to control. My initial thought was that it's hard to get the mind control helmets and/or harnesses that small and that it's really hard to keep them on the snails. I'm still struggling with small ramshorn snails in my cube. I found a couple of pond snails in the other tanks but I picked up one of those assassin snails and move it from tank to tank as needed which seems to be working for the moment. In the cube it has its work cut out for it with the ramshorns and the limpets but I don't think just one will do it.

                  -
                  S

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks all for the responses. This has been an exercise in me not thinking things out. With a 100% substrate change wouldn't I most likely eradicate the snail population?


                    Originally posted by Daniel Haselden View Post
                    Three things in life are unavoidable.
                    Death, Taxes, and Snail Infestation.
                    You are bound to end up with snails eventually (we all do). Why would you intentionally add something that quickly over populates and reeks havoc on an aquarium. You will spend way more time plucking and in Argnom's case, relentlessly crushing them than you would like. If you MUST have snails, at least think about Nerites who are unable to reproduce in fresh water. However with Nerites you will have the pleasure of constantly scraping eggs off of the walls. Which ever option you choose I wish you luck. Oh, Argnom I have some lovely snails in need of a lesson if you have some spare time.
                    I'm not sure if this was a generalized statement or a response to my post, but I wasn't at all looking to acquire any snails. The plants are hard enough right now without the added difficulty.

                    Originally posted by Biollante View Post
                    Hi,

                    I am not sure why snails upset folks, few are harmful, some beneficial, some amusing.

                    The overall answer to snail control is the same with most “pests,” good practices.

                    Prevention is best, dip plants in Potassium permanganate solution followed by quarantine for seven days and another PP dip, to be certain at least one more cycle. :gw

                    Do not over feed your tanks. Snail “blooms” does not happen without sufficient food. Arguably, we kill more fish by over feeding than any other cause, snail “blooms” are one symptom of over feeding.

                    The better the water quality the fewer snails you will have, something those of us that culture them have to remember.

                    The problem I see with biological controls in most cases are simply the same critters that eat snails will likely eat shrimp and/or other small fish. Once the snails are gone, what are the poor snail-eating critters to do; you end up like me and have to culture snails to feed the critters that eat the snails.

                    Anentome Helena, properly known these days as Clea helena, will eat snails, but actually eat a wide range of things. Clea helena is a rather slow breeder by gastropod standards. Since the reproduction is sexual, good numbers are required to ensure pairs. Unlike many snails, they lay single eggs. Since the newly hatched head straight under the sand, it may be months before they surface. They like sandy substrates and will spend a good bit of their time under the sand.

                    Biollante
                    It's not that I'm completely against snails. As above, the plants are difficult enough right now (as I'm sure you know by now ) without the added degree of difficulty controlling the population of snails. You and I share the same apprehension towards biological controls, especially as I just got rid of my fish for this reason.

                    Originally posted by Philosophos View Post
                    Assasin snails are useful, but I find my pond snail problem has required manual removal on top of it. They're great for anything not so prolific, and I'm only using 3 in a 50 gal.

                    If your plants are on the tougher side (not delicate foregrounds like HC and glosso), a swarm of dwarf chain loach would probably do a great job.
                    I can't really sustain a school of those fish. They're very good looking, though.

                    Originally posted by dbazuin View Post
                    I had a snail problem and solved it with other snails.
                    Anentome helena. This are snail eating snails.

                    Know I have one or two snails I don't want and maybe 20 Anentome helena's.
                    The only reproduce when the eating snails.
                    Maybe other protein rich food like dead fish can make them reproduce I am not sure about that.
                    I've read a bit about the assassins, but three things stood out about them to me. One, they head under the sand. Would this cause uprooting in sand? Two, why replace a snail with a snail when I don't really want them in the first place? Three, they aren't the end all be all solution, so I just added an extra hitch in my tank instead of ridding myself of it. It'll probably end up being an answer as time goes on.

                    Originally posted by shoggoth43 View Post
                    Snails are hard to control. My initial thought was that it's hard to get the mind control helmets and/or harnesses that small and that it's really hard to keep them on the snails. I'm still struggling with small ramshorn snails in my cube. I found a couple of pond snails in the other tanks but I picked up one of those assassin snails and move it from tank to tank as needed which seems to be working for the moment. In the cube it has its work cut out for it with the ramshorns and the limpets but I don't think just one will do it.

                    -
                    S
                    I thought about the mind control helmets. Then I wanted friggin' sharks with friggin' laser beams attached to their heads. (Austin Powers for those that don't get it.)
                    Last edited by csmith; 04-24-2010, 04:21 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Water Quality

                      Hi,

                      Unless you sanitize/sterilize everything in the change out, the answer is no, you will not eradicate the snails.

                      Assassin snails, Clea Helena are not really a problem in uprooting plants, they tend to keep the sand loose.

                      Good water quality is the best answer. I will tell you that high quality water and proper feeding of your critters (fish and shrimp are better competitors than snails) will drastically reduce the populations. :gw

                      Concentrate on your plants and ignore the snails, as with other symptoms, the snails are trying to tell you something.

                      Biollante
                      The first sign we don't know what we are doing is an obsession with numbers. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

                      Disclaimer: I am not trying to make you mad, it is just what I am, an evil plant monster, 'nuf said.
                      • I believe the information I am giving is sound, I am not a veterinarian, professional chemist or particularly bright and certainly not a "Guru.".
                      • I assume you are of legal age, competent and it is legal for you to acquire, possess and use any materials or perform any action in your in your jurisdiction.
                      • When in doubt "don't."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        How about lettuce method, leaving a piece of lettuce overnight which will attract snails at night and taking the lettuce out in the morning. I heard this method will keep the snail population in control and for rest of the snail add 4 or 5 assassin snail. I had series snail problem in my newly setup tank without any fish, no feeding. I was thinking about trying that method but suddenly the population has gone down. I think it has to do with what Biollante said. And also i have 3 assassin snails but I am sure the assasins are not reason because in a week they could not have killed all these snails. In fact i have not seen my assassin snail killing any snail, it crawls next to one of these snails but does not do anything, and i have even seen these small snail piggybacking on aassassin snail. I thought assassin snail was going to be assassinated by these small snails but assassins are are still alive

                        Regards
                        NN

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Force For Good!

                          Hi Shadow of Shu,

                          As a force for good, even as an alternative to ColdFusion I know you mean well.

                          The problem with the lettuce bait (zucchini works better), is the snails still are feeling good about the food situation and are laying eggs like crazy on the way to the feast.

                          One of the other problems with biological controls is sometimes the critters are not stupid; if easier or tastier food is available they will go for it. I have noticed most of my Assassin snails, love black worms and food principally intended for the Cory’s.

                          Biollante
                          The first sign we don't know what we are doing is an obsession with numbers. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

                          Disclaimer: I am not trying to make you mad, it is just what I am, an evil plant monster, 'nuf said.
                          • I believe the information I am giving is sound, I am not a veterinarian, professional chemist or particularly bright and certainly not a "Guru.".
                          • I assume you are of legal age, competent and it is legal for you to acquire, possess and use any materials or perform any action in your in your jurisdiction.
                          • When in doubt "don't."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm on another board where inverts are very popular. So I started out with Cherry Shrimp (only a 100 ) and then I added some Apple Snails. I originally had six Apple Snails, but now I have ??? (Blue, Gold, Pink) spread around various tanks. I have to make sure to keep the Calicium well buffered or the Snails take a hit from the low PH in the planted tanks. Once I started plucking out the clutches (eggs), it wasn't too hard to achieve population control.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Biollante View Post
                              Hi,

                              Unless you sanitize/sterilize everything in the change out, the answer is no, you will not eradicate the snails.

                              Assassin snails, Clea Helena are not really a problem in uprooting plants, they tend to keep the sand loose.

                              Good water quality is the best answer. I will tell you that high quality water and proper feeding of your critters (fish and shrimp are better competitors than snails) will drastically reduce the populations. :gw

                              Concentrate on your plants and ignore the snails, as with other symptoms, the snails are trying to tell you something.

                              Biollante
                              One day, oh yes one day you won't burst my bubble. I'll ignore the snails for now. As long as they don't go crazy with the reproducing I'll see how they work out. The first hole I find in a leaf, though..

                              As an aside, I can't find assassins locally. Only three local stores that I go to, and not one can readily acquire snails other than apples (I've come to find Colorado Springs is more about marine than freshwater, and I don't go the Petsmart route).

                              Comment

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