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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I discovered at least 100 small snails in my 265g's sump and overflow boxes.

What I can't figure out is where did they come from? They couldn't have come from plants because the last time I added plants was like 2 months ago and this is the first time I've ever seen them in any of my tanks. Could they have come from my tap water during water changes, or could they have come from any of my frozen shrimp, krill, plankton, daphnia, cyclops, or baby brine shrimp packages?

Also what's the best and safest way to kill them all? I have a new thing of Had-a-Snail laying around, but is that catfish and plant safe? Any other way besides loaches that will get rid of them?

One last thing I can't believe is that these snails seem to love fast currents...90% of them are in my sump which has a 1800gph pump and a 700gph pump, and the other 10% in my overflows are in a ~700gph current....!

~Ed
 

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2months ago sounds about right for a snail to lay eggs and those eggs to grow...
no need to look further than those plants you added back then...

manual removal works to keep numbers in check... strongly recommend against chemical killing agents.
 

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I agree with Number6. It would almost have to be from the plants. I never add plants to my tanks without treating them first. I soak mine for about 30 minutes in a mild solution of potassium permanganate. Mild means the solution is pink in color. You can also use bleach diluted with water or alum. Bleach can kill some plants though. Check on the internet for getting rid of snails.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I can't just pick them off because most of them are in inaccessible areas. And I just took another look and it looks like I have another COUPLE HUNDRED TO A THOUSAND in my sponges and crawling in and around the bio balls and filter bags.

What are some other ideas for getting rid of them? Are they sensitive to other stuff like Iron, salt, heat, medicines (metronidasole?), etc?

What's so bad about using copper products like had-a-snail?

~Ed
 

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Won't kill all the snails, but WILL kill some of the fish. And plants. Plus if the snails are not removed but killed by a chemical, their decaying bodies will pollute the tank anyway.

I feel your pain too. And now my plants that brought the snails are getting eaten by the snails!

Hand-pick from inside the tank. My tiny ones in the gravel go up the Python. You will still have eggs and some babies left, but 90% fewer.

Underfeed your fish. I have heard that snails stop reproducing as much when there is no abundance of food.

For the sponges and filter bags, replace them and rely on the bacteria in the substrate to prevent a cycle. You may have to repeat this again every two months or so until the population is significantly reduced.

For the bio-balls, take them out and soak in bleach. Rinse well and add dechlor before using again.

They are truly a plague and this is a war!

I have also heard of people removing their fish (not sure about plants) to a temporary tank and adding ammonia to toxic levels for a week. The bio filter can live through this. Then you just have the problem of removing the decaying bodies.
 

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I don't think I've ever had a plague of snails or had to wage a war... I've seen tanks with huge snail populations and they were never my tanks... snails in my tanks were always a reasonable number. Didn't matter if I added ramshorns, trumpet, or pond snails... they never overpopulated a tank. They are detritus feeders so make sure to keep filters clean and debris free and do not overfeed the tank.
 

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i noticed one of my sumps has started to repopulate, after a good cleaning, and i'm not up to the task again. are there any risks to just letting them stay?
 

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I was letting the hitchhiker pond snails and ramshorn snails stay...until they started chewing up the plants. I think because I decreased the feeding...now all they have to eat is the plants. There is no algae and virtually no nitrates because of the plants. Sorry, but they've got to go...at least most of them. Maybe if I do one big snail removal the remaining population will stabilize and be OK.
 

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lloyd said:
i noticed one of my sumps has started to repopulate, after a good cleaning, and i'm not up to the task again. are there any risks to just letting them stay?
Only if the population grows to extremes... they can clog pipes or sit in overflows etc. and cause problems.
In smaller numbers (e.g. in tanks fed amount that fish consume completely) then I have never given them a second thought.
 

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throw a couple slisces of cucumber in there and wait 24 hours and come back and just scoop out. i did this in my sump as well and i am under controll but not totally rid free fo snails. make sure you scrub the sides of the sump/tank to get rid of eggs. worked for me and from time to time i throw a slice or 2 of cucumbers in there to keep them under control but you are right i have no snails in my main tank and butthere all in my sump., good luck waging war on the snails.
 

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jlspitler, did you have plants in the tank? I don't get why they would flock to cucumber or lettuce if they have lovely plants already?
 

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i have no more plant in my tank but i did. the snails never messed with my plants. i only bought 1 and then it got worse and i was fighting a war. buti have no plants in my main tank or in my sump. not sure excatly how they are living in my sump no food gets down there because i have filter in my overflow box. must be eating each other lol.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Could I do an ammonia bath in my overflow boxes and sump, ie dumping 2 liter bottles in each overflow and the sump (with the return pumps off of course) to try and kill them?

The problem is none of the snails are actually in the tank (where the fish are), they're all in accessible areas. I thought about putting small loaches in the sump and overflows, but I can't figure out how a month or so from now how I'd net the loaches back out, especially out of the overflow boxes which are very tall and narrow (I don't think a net can even fit in there...).

I'd might as well give the veggie trap a try but I'm not so sure how well it would work.

Let me know what you guys think.

~Ed
 

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There is an African cichlid known for eating snails in the wild-- Chilotilapia rhoadesii. Not a bad looking fish either :thumb:
 

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I noticed you said non of the snails were in the tank but if you had this fish you could scoop them from the filter and throw them in the tank.
 

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I think the method of raising the ammonia takes a week. It's got to be high enough to kill the snails...eventually, but low enough not to kill the biofilter. If you could separate the overflow/sump from the tank where your fish are living somehow, I don't see why not.

But...you'd still have the problem of removing the bodies so you would still have to tear everything down.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
DJRansome said:
I think the method of raising the ammonia takes a week. It's got to be high enough to kill the snails...eventually, but low enough not to kill the biofilter. If you could separate the overflow/sump from the tank where your fish are living somehow, I don't see why not.

But...you'd still have the problem of removing the bodies so you would still have to tear everything down.
My idea was to seed some crushed coral and set up a temporary filter somehow...maybe in a 2gal bucket and a plastic tub? For the sump I was just going to buy ammonia and raise it until it reads max on my test kits.

Would the high ammonia levels damage any of my equipment though?

~Ed

Edit: I don't care so much about the dead snails. If I have a mini cycle I'll just do daily water changes or something.

How long do you think the ammonia would take to kill them? 24hours?

And lastly before I go through all this trouble is Had-A-Snail worth giving a shot?
 

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The information I read said it would take a week. Maybe you can do a search on Had-A-Snail and see if you can find any success stories?
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
DJRansome said:
The information I read said it would take a week. Maybe you can do a search on Had-A-Snail and see if you can find any success stories?
There are mixed reviews. 2/3s of them say it works though.
 
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