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

Responses: 37


From the article: Removing Aquarium Snails
Where do they come from? How do they multiply so rapidly? What can you do to get rid of them? Anyone who has fought snails knows it is a tough battle. Share you tips with others who are battling the scourge of exponential snail growth.

This is THE answer

Go to a pet store and buy an aquarium decoration, it is bright green and looks like it has plastic small "leaves" all over it. The snails love these things and will attach to it by the hundreds. I then take the whole thing out, put in the sun and they fall off like snow. I then soak it in hotwater or run it through the dishwasher and viola! I put the clean "catcher" back in two days ago and it is already full and ready for another round of cleaning. This is great because the dead snails are outside the tank. Not sure if this will work or not, but this shows the type of surface that they are attracted to: http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTWkIewHs2g-ddeiTFT3YPR5cApS1OrJgOsFyeoIgY6Cog_Gfk4BA:media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/236x/6a/b6/75/6ab675224fb9570d0cf4ae1f198bddec.jpg

Wait and see

I have a tank of guppies... I see one tiny snail from time to time and I just went a bought myself a big one. I personally think I could use a few more but I guess only time will tell if the ones I have multiply and save me a trip back to the pet store!!
—Guest sarah


I had an ongoing problem with all these little snails all over the glass. I would squish them every morning when the lights went on, but they were still always there. This was in my shrimp tank. Well I guess I was overfeeding my shrimp a little bit and I started to have a real issue with planaria. So I bought some stuff from Orlando over at Greenleaf Aquariums called no planaria. It worked, and quess what, it killed all those little snails too!
—Guest Jimbo

Pennies from Heaven?

Pennies! Copper sulfate in tiny amounts from the pennies! Shiny new ones in the gravel, where the snails live. We used 7-8 in a 10 gallon fresh water aquarium. Worked for us...no shrimp...no snails in a long time now....4 weeks....prolly take about half of them out soon if the snails remain history. It's Workin' for us!

Assassin Snails

I swear by my assassin snails, I have a few in each tank and they eat all the little snails. I was over run before I got my assassins, as I have a lot of plants. I really like how the assassins look too. Its gone from me having tons of little snails to now I see the odd one now and again. I would recommend them.
—Guest fishlady

No more pest snails!

They must have hitch-hiked on some new plants I bought. I was taking out 50 to 60 a day when I found out about another snail: clea helena, popularly called 'assassin snail' from Asia. They eat the pest snails! I bought 10 online (none at my local LFS) and lo an behold within a month there was not ONE pest snail in my tank. They are appreciated by aquarists and very good for the aquarium. Now they are happily breeding and helping to keep the substrate clean. However I also do frequent water changes. Yes, assassin snails are just a terrific solution. Try it. .
—Guest Cloe

bye bye snails

I was having problems with snails. I bought myself a crayfish, voila snails disappeared. They eat all the snails up.
—Guest sarah

I'm watching you from the sewer drain

Most pennies of the last 20 years are zinc, with only 5% as copper - best check effects of zinc on a tank if you are dropping todays pennies in a population with plants/moss/shrimp

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.

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