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Readers Respond: What have you done to rid yourself of snails?

Responses: 37


A Natural Part of My Guppy Tanks

I've never had a problem with snails. The few I have are smaller than the tip of my little finger. The snails feed on the algae and some of the plants, but not enough that I change my tank routine to get rid of them. I have larger tanks and do relatively large water changes every two weeks. I have fairly heavily stocked and planted tanks and feed the fish twice a day. Snails are a natural addition to my tanks. I must admit I like having them.
—Guest BBradbury


I bought a pea puffer. He was teeny 1/8 of an inch when we got him. Actually schooled with some guppies at that size. Full grown he is only an inch. Doesn't bother anything bigger than a blueberry. Doesn't bother shrimp. Cheap at $4. Supplemental feeding of frozen bloodworms and/or brine shrimp. He will nip at fins but only when he isn't getting enough to eat. Keeps my 55 gallon free of new baby snails but leaves my mystery snails alone. AND they are cute!
—Guest Kerry


Let me start by saying that snails are often a great addition to the the fauna in your tank. They eat left over food, help with unsightly algae, and eat god knows what else that would otherwise rot and poison your tank. But if you insist: just drop some (sanitized) pennies into the tank. The copper salts dissolve slowly enough that it shouldn't be any big shock to anything in the tank unless you have some crazy sensitive in there. Still, it will kill the snails. If you don't see empty shells in a few days, start raising the temperature a degrees everyday (I wouldn't go above 85 degrees as absolute max.) Get it to a higher than usual temp and leave it for 10 days or so. Leave it that way, and if necessary add some aquarium salts. Let me stress that the key with all these techniques is: carry them out gradually and reasonably. You know the animals in your aquarium, so use that information to temper these methods. If all else fails, use chemicals.
—Guest Kevin


I use a 9v radio/torch battery , connect the poles-(positive and negative) with wires and put the wires inside the tank... electrolysis will take place. The current is very slow and eventually the snails start to die. Leave the connection ON for at least 2 weeks, also clean the residue on the wires every day for good connectivity. When the battery is drained -replace with a new one
—Guest Nashir Mitha


Put a slice of boiled cucumber in a worm feeder at lights out. Next morning empty down loo - 4 days all gone.
—Guest mick

battling snails

When we got some earth eaters, they ate our snails.
—Guest michelle


I was sold a mystery snail and a yoyo loach together and I fell in love with my snail (bright yellow) and no one bothered to tell me that my yoyo loach would eat my snail. I had them together for over six months. plus my yoyo loach chases my other fish and plays dead.
—Guest lovemyfish

asassin snails

i have never seen anything as effective as asassin snails...they are little and so so powerful, you have to take them out of the tank once they have accomplished your purpose so they dont take out the snails you may want to keep. I think its their size what makes them so effective as in, they suck the snail that they are hunting out of their shells. pretty amazing. not many shops in the atlanta area sell them, but we do and our customers have had great success with them. good luck!!


Hi, we had a really big snail problem when we bought an aquarium from a friend. The tank had been sat, with the gravel still in it & also some water. I went to my local fish shop & they sold me a Clown Loach, brilliant! I ended up gettin 9 more & they totally wiped out the snail population - it also saved a bit of food for a couple of days, they love snails!
—Guest Shaz71

Snail Problem

Once you have snails, you'll always have snails. Get some loaches if you can afford them and they'll do the job. Some less expensive ways are to put a piece of lettuce in your tank. Snails love plants and will attach themselves to the lettuce. When the lettuce has several snails on it, remove it and throw it away. Snails are easy to net and to vacuum up on water change days. Both ways work to some extent. Finally, take a long wooden spoon and crush the snails. The fish will finish everything but the shells.

Eliminating snails?

Clown loaches, plecostomus catfish and weather loaches love them. I call them "pleco candy."

snail wars

when we have too many snails we crush them against the glass as they are great eating for most fish.
—Guest mark s


Most snail infestations occour after introducing live plants, Clown Loaches are a more natural alternative to Chemicals, they can be aggressive when full size
—Guest Nicholas ()Aquatics Manager

Getting rid of snails

My DH (not a fish person) bought me an Oscar, which I promptly put in a holding tank (tiny) until a larger, more appropriate sized tank could be found. Both tanks had snails - the holding tank had ramshorns and the new tank (2nd hand) had spiral shelled snails. My Oscar has DECIMATED the snail population in each - we are talking in excess of 100 snails here, and he's still only three inches long. We've had him(?) for just over two weeks and he's cured my snail issues. Really luuurrrrve my Oscar!
—Guest Siobhannavarre

Battling Snails

I asked one of the aquarium people what I can do to get rid of snails. He suggested a piece of cucumber in the tank. Well, it worked great. I got rid of 98% of the snails the next morning. There's something in those cukes that the snails don't like and they ended up in snail heaven.
—Guest Donna F.

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