How To Get Rid of Snails In Aquarium?

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how to get rid of snails in fish tank

A snail infestation in your aquarium can be devastating, especially if they are destroying your plants and eating fish food.

There are plenty of snails that you might have introduced to your aquarium on purpose, but these aren’t helping you keep your tank clean, as they may be algae eaters or algae producers.

If you want to get rid of the snails in your aquarium once and for all, follow these simple steps of how to get rid of snails in the aquarium? So you can have snail-free peace again!

I am an aquarist, and I love decorating my fish tank now and then, so I buy a lot of aquarium decorations now and then. Whenever I get something new for my little aquarium, I see many snails emerging in my tank.

It made me question myself. Where do these pest snails come from, and how to get rid of snails in aquariums?


Where Do Snails In The Aquarium Come From? 


Snails are unwelcome guests that can sneak into your beautiful fish tanks via decorations, plants, or the water that your new fish comes in.

They enter your tanks mainly in the form of tiny eggs and cannot be adequately seen with the human eye. Once they have entered, it will only take one snail to create a hundred more and expand quickly.

Snails are cute creatures, but too many of them in your aquarium will only bring trouble. They may harm your fish, destroy your tank or finish your fish food. It is always better to get rid of them as soon as possible.


10 Ways To Get Rid of Snails In Aquarium


Snail eggs can make your life difficult once they enter yours. Do you want to know how to get rid of snails in a fish tank? Here are a few options to make your aquarium a better place for your fish.


#1- Poison


How to get rid of snail infestation in aquarium? Get some snail poison. Snail-killing poison is available on the market, which kills snails, eggs, and other insects or invertebrates present in the tank too. It is very effective but should be used in small amounts as it may harm the fish in your aquarium.

image of snail poison

Using this poison in your tank where there are a lot of snails is not a good idea. The dead snails might be poisonous to other aquatic friends present in the tank. So it is better to opt for other options first.

A similar read: How to get rid of fish smell (3+ methods)


#2- Cone Snail


Cone snails are some deadly predatory snails. One of my friends asked me how to get rid of snails in my aquarium. I suggested her she should buy a cone snail for her tank.

But I warned her about them too, as they can sting hard. They are not only dangerous for pest snails but for humans too, as their venom can even kill a healthy person.


#3- Snail Eaters


Pest snails make a lovely treat for snail-eating fish if you have any. They are not harmful to fish, and their eaters enjoy their crunch. You can introduce snail predators to your tank to make sure they wipe out all the pest snails present.

image of Zebra loach catfish

Some good snail eaters are clown loaches and catfish. Zebra loaches would do the job efficiently if you have a smaller aquarium.


#4- Cut Them Off


How to get rid of snails in an aquarium? It is no doubt a tricky question. But you can do it by cutting them off your tank. Snails are slimy and can stick to the bottom of your aquarium walls. You can use something sharp and point to loosen their grips to remove them.

Once you successfully cut them off, you can use something else to get them out of your tank. You can do so by hand or use other tools like snail removers or traps.


#5- Manual Removal


While other ways can be dangerous to your fish or very time-consuming, you can try manually removing the snails from your aquarium. Just use your hands to do so. You can do that while changing your aquarium’s water.

If you don’t want to touch those pet snails with your bare hands, don’t worry, I have got your back. Many manual snail removers are available in the market to do that task for you.

Related article: What is overfishing? – what is it a very serious problem?


#6- Less Food


Stop overfeeding your fish because, most probably, the pest snails are devouring all the fish food you are adding to your tank. Just add the amount that would suffice your fish’s need instead of adding it in extra quantity.

The snails would get no food to eat, and their starvation may stop their population from growing further. It should be the first option you should go for, see if it works, and then try other options.


#7- Snail Trap


In this guide on how to get rid of aquarium snails, I would suggest you invest in snail traps. You can get them from pet shops or buy them online. They are mostly made of plastic, and you will need to secure them on the sides of your tank.

image of Snail Trap

If you are skeptical about buying one, you can also make your own DIY snail trap using a plastic container. Both are buying one or making one on your own will give you the same results. Just through away the pest snails once they get trapped inside your trap.


#8- Quarantine


No, I am not talking about the quarantine we all had to experience during 2020 here. I am talking about quarantining the items that you put in your tank. To ensure whatever you are planning to place in your tanks is not infested with snail eggs, place the items in another tank for some days.

If it has any snails or snail eggs, you will be able to see them. This way, the snails will not find a way to enter your aquarium.


#9- Keep Up With Tank Maintenance


I can tell you a thousand tips on how to get rid of snails in an aquarium. But you should always know that prevention is better than cure.

Keep your tank squeaky clean and wash everything correctly, so all the snail eggs get rinsed away from the accessories or live plants.

Ensure the water is always clean, there is no extra food rotting in the bottom of your tank, and filters are working. Good maintenance is the key to snail free aquarium.


#10- Vegetable Baits


Are you not investing in a snail trap? That is entirely okay. Use vegetables as baits instead, and the process is straightforward. Some snails like to hide deep in your aquarium tanks, but you can catch them with lettuce.

Don’t want to try lettuce? Okay, use spinach; use any vegetable that snails love to munch. Put them at the bottom of your take. In a while, you will be able to see a lot of snails stuck onto it.

Just pick that piece up and throw it in the bin. It is as easy as that.


How To Avoid Snail Infestation of Aquariums In The Future?


After a lot of research, I found out how to get rid of invasive snails in the aquarium. Including how to avoid their infestation in an aquarium in the future. The best thing you can do is wash the aquarium accessories thoroughly by dipping them in the bleach solution.

I know bleach can be a potent chemical that can harm your other aquatic friends, so you should dilute it beforehand. Memorize the formula; 19 parts of water and 1 part of bleach. The bleach will kill any eggs present on the items.

Related article: How long do snails live? Here’s what we know


Final Verdict:

I shared all of my findings with you; now, you have a better idea of how to get rid of pest snails. I hope you do not think that I hate snails, they are adorable, and I don’t really hate them. However, I panic when I see them getting multiplied in my fish tank.

Snails can be an excellent addition to your aquarium because they eat algae forming in your aquarium and keep it clean. They also eat leftovers of your fish food so that they won’t rot and sink to the bottom. But too much of anything is a disaster.

The problematic snails that start growing in your tank can turn into a headache. So you better get rid of them as early as possible and take all the preventions so they don’t take over again. Happy aquarium keeping.


Frequently Asked Questions

#1 – Should I remove snails from my aquarium?

You don’t need to remove snails from your aquarium. But if they increase quickly, they may create many problems in your aquarium. They will make your aquarium dirty, so removing them is the best option.

#2 – What causes lots of snails?

Snails grow in a moist and relaxed environment and spread via live plants. Overfeeding, inadequate aquarium maintenance, and negligence are plus points for snail growth. Because most snails don’t need a partner to reproduce, they quickly spread in aquariums.

#3 – How many snails are too many in the aquarium?

There are too many if you have over four snails in a 10-gallon tank. And it does not encourage having too many snails at all. They can clog your filter, finish your fish food, and make your tank look cluttered. It would help if you got the extra ones removed.

#4 – Are aquarium snails harmful to fish?

Snails are not harmful at all to fish. You can even call them little helpers as they clean up any decaying food or matter present in the aquarium. Having a snail is an excellent way to keep your tank clean because they’re detritivorous.

#5 – Do aquarium snail traps work?

Yes, aquarium snail traps are a hundred percent legit. They successfully catch the snails inside them. In other words, they work as baits. But, it is your responsibility to check it daily and remove the snails trapped inside as they might sneak out.

#6 – Will vinegar kill aquarium snails?

Yes, vinegar is a strong acid, and its acidity can kill aquarium snails. It can be used in fish aquariums, as it is safe for fish but not for slugs or snails. Just add some diluted amount to your aquarium, and you will go snail-free.

#7 – How to get rid of bladder snails?

Want to know how to get rid of bladder snails? You will have to use chemicals to kill them. Some other options are removing it with your hands or using copper. Yes, you can add copper to your tank as it reacts heavily with water and can kill bladder snails.

#8 – How to get rid of Malaysian trumpet snails?

Let me guide you on how to get rid of Malaysian trumpet snails. You can get rid of them by siphoning by sucking them out by a vacuum. If you don’t want to do it that way, you can just use some snail poison or remove them manually.

#9 – How to get rid of Ramshorn snails?

Are you wondering how to get rid of Ramshorn snails? Keep your tank clean. As they feed on algae, make sure that you scrub off all algae forming in your tank. Vacuum all the decaying matter and debris in the tank and then use snail killers or other things.

#10 – How to get rid of trumpet snails?

There are numerous ways to get rid of trumpet snails. You can use vinegar, dip your aquarium stuff in chlorine, or snail killer. Many other ways, too, like snail traps and manual snail removal, are readily available on the market.

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