Unwanted guests in your aquarium?
In small numbers, snails are no more than an extra life form in your aquarium. They’re often unavoidably introduced in new plants and blend into the aquarium environment.
Problems begin when the snails become a bit too comfortable and multiply to excessive levels.
At best they’re an eyesore. At worst they threaten the health of your aquarium.
A snail infestation can often be caused by excess food in your aquarium. The snails feast on the excess food and thrive. Stop them in their tracks with routine maintenance, removing excess food after feeding time and avoiding overstocking.
Once the snails have taken over they can be tricky to remove. There are chemical treatments on the market, however they must be used with care and can be extremely harsh on the aquarium’s environment. Decaying snails can also create water quality issues which will affect the health of your fish.
Three chemical-free ways to remove snails from your aquarium:
Naturally reduce the snail population by introducing species that eat snails like bottom dwelling loaches and assassin snails.
Before you add new fish to your aquarium it’s crucial to check the relationship these new fish will have with your existing community. It’s best to discuss this with your aquatic retailer before splashing out on new additions to your aquarium.
Leave one or two tablet fish foods, or a small piece of green vegetable, on a saucer at the bottom of the aquarium overnight. The food will draw the hungry snails in, and come morning you can remove the saucer, taking the snails with it.
For best results you’ll need to do this several times. You’ll also need to ensure the excess food is not polluting the water, so be sure to regularly test the water.
A good old fashioned fish net will do the job perfectly!
When removing snails this way, move carefully so you don’t stress out your fish which can make them more susceptible to disease.
Top ten tips for controlling Aquarium Snails:
- Don’t overfeed your fish and always remove left over food
- Carry out regular gravel cleaning using a specialist Gravel Cleaner
- Use algae eating fish or shrimps to reduce the amount of algae available to snails
- Introduce snail eating fish species
- Regularly turn over objects such as wood, and (once removed from the aquarium) use boiling water to kill attached eggs
- Make a snail trap to collect and remove snails
- Check new plants thoroughly for snails and eggs before adding them
- Never use plants or objects from outdoor sources, such as ponds, in the aquarium
- Don’t feed your fish for a day or two, this will encourage them to hunt the snails
- Try a combination of methods from the list