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

Responses: 59


Easiest & least expensive

I was overrun by small snails and tried many suggestions to no avail. The answer to my snail problem was goldfish. Within 1 day all my snails were gone. Cost me 50 cents.

Electrocute Snails

I use 4.5V battery with 2 wires hanging over tanks edge. One of them is twisted together with 30cm bare copper wire and both wires / electrodes are submerged into the water. After 1 day I cannot see any snails at all in my 2 tanks, Fishes and plants are OK. No ammonia / nitrite spikes. I plan to continue this so that new hatched snails get killed.
—Guest Josef

Trumpet snails

I have been feverishly trying to kill these trumpet snails that must have come into the tank with some gravel with purchased fish, as no new plants have been introduced. I have been crushing them against the glass, tried boiled lettuce in a jar on the bottom of the tank, which fetched around a hundred or so the first night, but only two the second night? I've cut back on feeding my fish, and have introduced 10 assassin snails to help out with this tedious ordeal. As I have seen little change in the population after turning all the lights out for several hours, I'm still counting at least a hundred on the tank glass nightly. I have a 75 gal. tank with live plants and 2.5 inches of gravel. I'm thinking of introducing clown loaches, as well as a couple of copper pennies, as I read that copper will only kill invertebraes. I have 3 4 inch bala sharks, 5 ciclids, one 5 inch catfish, and one bristle nose, aside from the 10 assasin snails which I never see! Any suggestions?


Rid your aquarium of snails by keeping on top of the task. Take a minute to look around the tank for the pesky little critters and whenever you spot yet another one, remove it immediately before it has a chance to disappear and breed. It seems introducing new plants to the mix is the prime culprit in snail infestations so inspect and wash new plants thoroughly before adding them to your tank. I even soak mine in a mild bleach solution and then in conditioned water to make extra sure I got them all.

MY snails aren't bad!

Wow. My entire clean-up crew (as in getting rid of algae) consists of the rounded snails and the longer trumpet snail. I have no other algae-eater type fish in the tank, although at one time I have tried Otoclinus, Gold Chinese alga eaters and even the Red Finned shark (who just turned into a mean little so and so). Right now I have a planted tank of mixed Tetras (Buenos Aires, Diamond and Silver-Tipped), and the snails. I find them to be efficient and not too terrible about grazing on the plants.
—Guest Oddsoxdi

Snail problems anyone????

My tank was heavily infested by those gremlins of snails. I introduced 3 baby clown Loaches and for the first few weeks they didn't even know that snails are actually food for them. But as soon as they did work it out, the tank is now full of empty snail shells and now I'm thinking of buying those pest snails (how pathetic).
—Guest Kas

Snail Problem

I have several kinds of puffers, including South American puffers, who are notorious for overgrowing their teeth. *My* snail problem is that I can't keep enough of them. And all my tanks are planted, so they really have no excuse. Interesting that the article suggests that bettas will eat them, because currently the only tank I have that has a successful snail population (not counting the apple snails in my goldfish tank) is a 5.5 gallon betta tank.

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!!

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