How To Get Rid Of Nerite Snail Eggs (5 Ways To Deter Breeding)

Some of the most interesting and useful snails for the home aquarium are the nerites. They consume algae at an impressive rate and contribute visually interesting variety to a tank’s aesthetics. Their rapid reproduction is the single major drawback. Having a male and female nerite snail can result in an instant growth of your snail population from two to hundreds.

It’s normal to worry about the surplus of eggs if this happens. You must be well-versed in the ins and outs of nerite snail reproduction and the removal of unwanted eggs. Keep reading if you’re ready to take control over your fish tank!

Assassin snail with a bladder snail
Assassin snail with a bladder snail

Should You Remove Nerite Snail Eggs?

Nerite snails are one of the most popular types of snails kept in freshwater aquariums. They are known for their hardiness, beautiful shell patterns, and peaceful nature. One of the things that makes nerite snails so appealing is that they do not reproduce in freshwater like many other types of snails. However, this does not mean that nerite snail eggs are not a problem. If you find nerite snail eggs in your aquarium, you may be wondering if you should remove them.

The answer depends on your personal preferences. If you don’t mind the extra snails, then you can simply leave the eggs in the tank. The eggs will eventually hatch, and the fry will start to grow. However, if you would prefer to keep the population under control, then you can remove the eggs as they are laid. This can be a bit of a tedious process, but it will help to prevent your aquarium from becoming overcrowded. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to remove nerite snail eggs is up to you.

What Eats Nerite Snail Eggs?

The nerite only attaches a single egg at a time to the tank’s ornamentation, like as plants or decorations. Scraping and removing these annoying tiny balls can be a hassle. However, you will need assistance if you are set on completely eliminating them. Fortunately, there are a few creatures that can help you get rid of nerite snail eggs.

The Clown Loach

For many aquarists, the presence of nerite snail eggs in the tank means one thing: it’s time to bring in the clown loach. These loaches are highly effective at their job, which is to consume snail eggs. Most people, however, are unaware of just how large these fish may grow to be. The full-grown length of a clown loach is typically around 9 inches. A larger aquarium will be required if you plan to keep a school of these fish.

Puffer Pea

The pea puffer is a dedicated carnivore. They will consume both nerite snails and their eggs to meet their protein demands. It is recommended to keep at least 6–7 pea puffers in a 20-gallon tank so you can watch them do what they do best: eat nerite snail eggs. However, the amount of sterile eggs will not decrease noticeably if you only keep one or two puffers.

Zebrafish

The zebrafish, or zebra danio, is a widespread species of freshwater fish. Their small size (1.5 inches long) lets them get into tight spaces and eat the eggs that are stuck to the sides of the tank.

Lizard Catfish

Lizard catfish can be up to 4.4 inches in length, but despite their lanky build, they are able to squeeze into small crevices to steal snail eggs. It’s just as likely that your predator fish will eat your snails as your eggs.

Dwarf Chain Loach

The name “dwarf chain loach” comes from the fact that this species is so small compared to other loaches. Dwarf chain loaches don’t become much bigger than 2.5 inches, even when they’re mature. A fish’s body mass increases in proportion to the size of the food it consumes. Given the size of these loaches, it’s clear that nerite snail eggs are a boon to their diet.

Crayfish

Crayfish are one of the few known predators of nerite snails in the wild. Therefore, they are biologically programmed to eat the eggs of the nerite snail. It’s important to keep in mind, though, because crayfish can eat nerite snails, too. Once the crayfish becomes larger than the snail, it is time to find a new home for it.

Amano Shrimp

The addition of Amano shrimps, which are well-known for their algae-eating abilities, is highly recommended for anyone seeking to clear their tank of this unsightly growth. Also, once they’ve cleaned up the tank of algae, they’ll move on to the nerite snail eggs.

Because of their insatiable appetite, they are able to effectively prevent the spread of snail eggs. These shrimp consume not only snail eggs but the snail itself.

The Assassin Snail

Even though assassin snails don’t eat nerite snail eggs, they can help stop egg infiltration by eating adult nerites, which are the parents of these eggs.

Decorative aquarium

How To Get Rid Of Nerite Snail Eggs

It takes time and patience to remove the nerite snail eggs because the procedure is frequently tedious and frustrating.

You could be tempted to wash the aquarium with bleach or a cleaning solution to get rid of the snail eggs on the glass, but we don’t recommend it. The reason is that while the treatment is likely to kill the snail eggs and prevent them from developing, it also has the potential to harm any fish that are later returned to the tank.

Here are some techniques that are suggested for you to try:

Separation

Nerite snails do not reproduce asexually, which is good news for aquarium pet owners because the majority of snail species do. After the eggs are laid, the males must fertilize them. The males and females of nerite snails can be kept apart to prevent breeding in order to control the snails’ reproductive rate. Some owners even opt not to purchase female Nerite eggs.

You must distinguish between male and female snails in order to separate them. They can be distinguished by their right eye antenna, which the males fold around with a muscle. However, conducting an inspection in such a manner might be difficult and time-consuming. The snails must be in their adult stages in order to distinguish between males and females in this manner.

Scrape

For the persistent and diligent aquarium keeper, scraping is another viable solution. To get rid of snail eggs in an aquarium, just scrape the area where they are laid with an algae scraper, blade, or knife. If you want to avoid harming your other aquatic organisms with oxidized iron that will contaminate the water, you must make sure the tool you are using is stainless and brand-new.

Get a Snail-Eating Fish

You can move your omnivore fish in their tank instead of killing them. If you want to get rid of them for good, you’ll need their help.

Even while it may seem incredibly harsh to entirely get rid of them, you may have no choice but to do so in order to save your other aquatic creatures. Your other aquatic animals may endanger their lives in the water that the Nerite snail eggs have contaminated.

How To Remove Nerite Snail Eggs From Driftwood

Nerite snail eggs are tiny, white ovals that look like sesame seeds. These white bumps you see aren’t actually snail eggs but rather tiny capsules that contain anywhere from 30 to 100 eggs. Nerite snails lay their egg capsules all over the aquarium, but they tend to cluster on the driftwood.

You can try the following to get rid of the nerite snail eggs that haven’t hatched:

  • Use a razor blade to scrub the eggs.

In order to clean the eggs of a Nerite snail, a tool of some sort must be used. Here’s how to use a mechanical device to get rid of Nerite snail eggs:

  1. Look for a BRAND NEW blade made of stainless steel.
  2. Using the razor blade, cautiously scrape the eggs off the affected surfaces.
  3. Remove the dropped eggs from the tank by scooping them up with a stainless steel spoon.
  • Another technique that works is using a sharp algae scraper.
  • Alternatively, you can use a toothpick, a toothbrush, or any other similarly sharp instrument you prefer.

Egg removal can be tricky, so you should use gentle pressure when scraping. The spoon works great for picking up the dropped eggs. Each Nerite egg leaves an oval trace in the wood, making it nearly impossible to remove the eggs from driftwood without removing some of the outer layers of wood.

How To Stop Nerite Snails From Laying Eggs

Nerite snails are a popular choice for hobbyists, as they are easy to care for and interesting to watch. However, one downside of keeping nerites is that they often lay eggs prolifically. If you’re not careful, your tank can quickly become overrun with snail eggs! Below are some tips on how to stop nerite snails from laying eggs.

Keep the Tank Clean

A dirty tank is more likely to encourage nerite snail reproduction. So do your best to keep the tank clean and perform regular water changes.

Remove Nerite Snail Eggs

If you do find nerite snail eggs, you can remove them manually. Just be careful not to damage the eggs in the process.

Lower the Tank Temperature

Nerite snails prefer warm water temperatures, so lowering the temperature of your tank can discourage them from reproducing. Just be careful not to lower it too much, as this can be harmful to your other fish.

Use a Breeding Trap

If you have a lot of nerite snails, you can try using a breeding trap. This will allow you to remove the snails that are most likely to lay eggs and keep them from reproducing.

Use Chemicals to Deter Reproduction

There are a few chemicals that have been known to deter nerite snail reproduction. These include quinine and metaldehyde. Just be sure to use them as directed, as they can be harmful to your other fish if used incorrectly.

If you follow these tips, you should be able to reduce the number of eggs that your nerite snail lays and keep your tank clean and egg-free!

FAQ

What Do Nerite Snail Eggs Look Like

Nerite snail eggs are tiny, white ovals that look a lot like sesame seeds. However, these white bumps are actually tiny capsules that protect between 30 and 100 snail eggs.

How To Hatch The Eggs Of A Nerite Snail?

The first step is to transfer the nerite couple to a tank filled with brackish water. The salinity should be adjusted to a range of 1.0 to 1.019. Keep the water at a temperature of 72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. Keep in mind that the eggs and hatchlings could be sucked into the filter if you put in a large one in the new tank.

How Do I Remove Snail Eggs From Other Snails?

The best way to remove nerite snail eggs is to use a soft toothbrush or a cotton swab. Gently scrape the eggs away from the surface of the snail, being careful not to damage the shell. You may need to do this several times, but eventually, the eggs will come off.

Will My Nerite Snail Eggs Hatch?

In order to hatch Nerite snail eggs, a pair of snails need to be relocated to an aquarium with brackish water and allowed to mate. It takes approximately 20–25 days for an egg to hatch into a larva.

Are Nerite Snail Eggs Dangerous To Other Fish?

Nerite snails can lay too many eggs, which means they can overpopulate a tank quickly. It can eat more than the fish and other invertebrates and add a lot of waste to the water.

 Recap

Though nerite snails are vital to the environment of a freshwater aquarium, their eggs are not. The Nerite snail is just one example of a species that multiplies at an alarming rate that can swiftly overwhelm home aquariums. Fortunately, there are several species that can assist in eliminating them or their eggs. If Nerite snails get into your aquarium, you can try manually removing them or using some sort of biological intervention if necessary to prevent overpopulation.