How To Get Rid Of Snails In An Aquarium

If you’re noticing a lot of snails in your fish tank, you may be wondering how to get rid of them. They can come from different sources and there are a few different ways you can get rid of them, depending on what you’re comfortable with. In this article, we’ll go over some of the most common methods for getting rid of snails in an aquarium. We’ll also touch on some of the pros and cons of each method so you can make the best choice for your situation. So, let’s get rid of those pesky snails in no time!

How Did Snails Get In Your Fish Tank?

You may have noticed some small, slimy creatures in your fish tank and wondered how they got there. These creatures are called snails, and they can enter your tank in a number of ways.

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

1. Through Live Plants

If you have live plants in your fish tank, then snails can hitch a ride on them and enter your tank that way. This is especially common if you purchase live plants from a pet store or online.

2. On Fish

Another way that snails can get into your fish tank is by hitching a ride on fish that you add to your tank. This is more likely to happen when you buy fish from a pet store or online.

3. In Gravel

If you use gravel in your fish tank, then it’s possible for snails to be hiding in the gravel. This happens more often when you buy gravel at a pet store or online.

4. On Decorations

Just like with gravel, it’s possible for snails to be hiding on decorations that you add to your fish tank. To avoid this, make sure to inspect any decorations before adding them to your tank.

5. In the Water

If you live in an area with a lot of snails, then it’s possible for them to get into your fish tank simply by being in the water. If you’re concerned about this, then you can always buy a water filter.

What Eats Aquarium Snails?

If you have snails in your fish tank, then you may be wondering what eats them. There are a number of different creatures that eat aquarium snails. Here are 7 of them:

1. Goldfish

Goldfish are one of the most common fish that eat snails. They will usually eat any snail that they can fit in their mouth.

2. Loaches

Loaches are a type of fish that are known for eating snails. They will usually eat any snail that they can find. They are fun to have in an aquarium with tropical freshwater. 

3. Plecos

Plecos are another type of fish that are known for eating snails. When they’re young, they will usually only eat very small snails. But as they grow older, they will start to eat larger snails.

4. Bettas

Betta fish will eat snails. The snail has to be small enough to fit in the Betta fish’s mouth, but since most aquarium snails are small, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

5. Platy Fish

Platy fish will consume snails if given the opportunity. A platy fish may consume a snail if it is malnourished, stressed, aggressive, and, of course, the snail is small enough to fit in the fish’s mouth. Therefore, you should keep Platy fish beside huge, suitable snails.

6. Gouramis

Gouramis are known to occasionally eat small snails. But these fish live at the top of your tank and rarely go to the bottom. Because of this, you can’t use them to get rid of snails.

7. Puffer Fish

Puffers eat snails, so they might be able to help you get rid of your snail problem. There are many kinds of puffer fish that we can keep in our aquariums. Depending on what you have, not all of them will be good for your aquarium.

How To Get Rid Of Snails Humanely

If you have a snail problem in your fish tank, there are a few different ways that you can get rid of them humanely. Here are 7 of them:

1. Snail Traps

In freshwater aquariums, snail traps are humanely way to catch snails. The trap is set up on the bottom and baited with food for fish that sinks. The snails can smell the food and go through a door that only goes one way. Once they are in, they can’t get back out. 

2.  Remove Them By Hand

If you have a small snail problem, you can try to remove them by hand. This is best done at night when they are most active. Use a small net or your hands to scoop them out and then dispose of them in the trash. 

3. Change The Water

One way to get rid of snails is to do regular water changes. This will remove them from the environment and make it harder for them to survive. 

4. Raise The Temperature

Snails thrive in cooler waters, so raising the temperature of your tank can help to get rid of them. Most fish can handle a higher temperature, but make sure to do your research first. 

5. Use A Chemical Treatment

There are many products on the market that will kill snails. Be careful when using these, as they can also kill your fish. Only use them as a last resort and follow the instructions carefully. 

6. Introduce Predators

If you have other fish in your tank, there are some that will eat snails. Some of the most common snail predators are loaches, puffers, and bettas. 

7. Use Natural Methods

There are also many natural methods that you can use to get rid of snails. These include using plants that snails don’t like, such as anacharis and spiky-leaved plants. You can also add things to the water that will kill them, such as copper.

How To Humanely Kill Aquarium Snails

There are a few different ways that you can humanely kill aquarium snails. Here are some of the most common methods:

1. Place Them in A Plastic

You can place the snails in a plastic bag and then put them in the freezer. This will kill them quickly and humanely.

2. Feed Them to A Snail-Eating Fish

You can add a snail-eating fish to your aquarium. These fish will eat the snails and they won’t cause any pain or suffering.

3. Remove Water Plants

If you have water plants in your aquarium, they can be a source of food for the snails. Remove the plants and the snails will have less food to eat.

4. Remove Uneaten Fish Food

Take out the food that hasn’t been eaten right away. Fighting overfeeding is a long-term strategy that will starve and kill snails over time. It will also really help keep them from coming back later.

5. Control Algae

Snails that are a problem also eat a lot of algae. More water changes and other ways to get rid of extra nutrients in the water are helpful in controlling algae, but light is the main thing that algae needs to grow. By controlling algae in your fish tank, you will starve the unwanted snails and soon get rid of them.

How To Get Rid Of Aquarium Snails Naturally

Are you having problems with too many snails in your aquarium? If you don’t want to hurt the other fish in your tank, it can be hard to figure out how to remove them. Luckily, there are natural ways to get rid of aquarium snails naturally.

1. Trap Snails

Trapping snails is a short-term strategy that can help get rid of some of the snail population. This won’t fix the problems that are causing your snail problem, but it can help you get rid of the snails while you fix the problems.

2. Introduce Predators

Introducing predators is another way to get rid of snails in the aquarium. Loaches, guppies, and other aquatic species will eat snails. The snail population can also be kept in check by some types of gourami, and catfish that eat snail eggs.

3. Remove Manually

This is by far the hardest way to get rid of snails naturally, but it can be very helpful. It is easier to get big ones out of tanks or press small ones against the glass so fish can eat them in an aquarium with a lot of plants. Even if this process seems hard, there are ways to get around big problems that will make things easier for you.

4. Stop Overfeeding Your Fish

If there is too much leftover food in your aquarium, you are probably feeding your fish too much. This could cause snails to breed because they like to eat scraps, which is not what we want to happen. Feeding your fish adequately will help get rid of snails in your aquarium naturally.

5. Change the Water

One way to get rid of snails in an aquarium is to do a water change. This will remove some of the snail eggs and baby snails from the tank, which will help to reduce their population over time.

6. Use a Chemical Treatment

If you have tried all of the other methods and you are still having problems with snails, you can use a chemical treatment to get rid of them. This should be a last resort, as it can be harmful to your fish if not done correctly. There are many products on the market that will kill snails, so be sure to read the labels carefully and follow the directions.

How To Treat Aquarium Plants For Snails

If you have snails in your aquarium, it is important to treat the plants for snails. This will help to get rid of the snails and prevent them from coming back. Here are 7 ways you can treat aquarium plants for snails.

1. Quarantine Aquarium Plants

When you get new plants for your tank, you should put them in some kind of dip to kill any bacteria. This solution should kill snails and their eggs. It should also get rid of any algae, diseases, or parasites on the plants. After you clean them, put them in a container of water and make sure they have a source of led light so they can keep growing. 

2. Use Alum Dip

Alum dip is one of the least harsh pesticides you can use on aquarium plants, but it is also one of the most effective. This product does a good job of getting rid of bugs, worms, snails, and snail eggs.

3. Potassium Permanganate

Use a mild potassium permanganate solution (10 mg/l) to better protect yourself from snails and their eggs. After around 15 minutes of bathing in this solution, properly rinse the plants under running water. All eggs and snails will perish as a result.

4. Use Bleach

Snails and their eggs will die in a bleach bath. Soak new plants in a 5% solution (about 3/4 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water) for no more than 2 minutes for sensitive plants and 3 minutes for hardier plants.

5. Use Vinegar

Vinegar scares snails away not only because it has a strong smell, but also because it is very bad for them. Yes, vinegar can kill snails and snails will retreat when they either come into contact with the liquid or if they can smell it.

6. Use Predators

You can also use predators to get rid of snails in your aquarium plants. Some people recommend using fish like loaches, puffers, and bettas. You can also use animals like hermit crabs and freshwater shrimp. Be sure to do some research before adding any new fish or animals to your aquarium.

7. Use Aquarium Salt

Aquarium salt will kill snail eggs, but not snails that are already in the tank. It’s more of a way to clean new plants that you didn’t get from a source you trust.

What Chemicals Kill Aquarium Snails?

When you find snails in your aquarium, they can be a real pain. They might eat your plants or eat the fresh food you put in the aquarium for your fish and the invertebrates you invited to live there. Some snails have babies so quickly that if you don’t look, you might miss it, and then your tank is full of snails. Luckily, there are some chemicals you can use to kill aquarium snails:

1. Copper Sulfate

Copper sulfate is the most common chemical used to kill snails that is safe for fish to eat. If you use this, you must carefully follow the directions on the bottle to make sure your fish live through the treatment. Most of the time, this will cause a lot of snails to die, releasing ammonia into your aquarium, which could make it smell bad and even put your fish lives at risk.

2. Bleach

You have to be careful with bleach, as it can damage your plants if you’re not careful. Make a 5% solution of bleach in water and let the plants soak for no more than 2 minutes if they are sensitive or 3 minutes if they are tougher. Rinse them until the chlorine smell is completely gone.

3. Alum

With alum dip, bugs and snails in your tank will die. Mix a few tablespoons of alum powder with water and soak your plants in the solution to make and use this product. When you put your plants back in your tank, snails and insects may die if they eat the alum. Pests will also avoid the plants.

5. Potassium Permanganate

Use a mild potassium permanganate solution (10 mg/l) to better protect your tank from snails and their eggs. After around 15 minutes of bathing in this solution, properly rinse the plants under running water. All eggs and snails will perish as a result.

How Many Babies Do Aquarium Snails Have?

Most aquarium snails have anywhere from 20 to 50 babies at a time, though some species can have even more. This high number of offspring helps to ensure that at least some of the babies will survive to adulthood since the survival rate for young snails is fairly low. Many babies are eaten by fish or other predators, and others simply don’t make it due to poor water quality or other environmental factors. 

However, even a small number of survivors can quickly repopulate an aquarium, so it’s important to be careful when choosing snail species for your tank. Some varieties of aquarium snails reproduce so quickly that they can quickly become a nuisance if their population is not kept in check.

How Do I Kill Snails On Plants Before I Put Them In My Aquarium?

1. Inspect All Plants 

You may save a lot of effort and frustration by avoiding the introduction of snails into the aquarium. Before adding live plants or décor to your tank, check them for snails or their eggs and remove any that are present.

2. Quarantine the Snails

Before putting things in the tank, you need to put them in quarantine. Having a quarantine tank lets you test live plants before putting them in your tank. Leave the plants there for a few weeks, and if you find any snails, pick them off.

3. Dip Plants in an Aquarium Solution

Before adding plants to the aquarium, you should dip them in a solution that kills snails. Putting snails and snail eggs in a bleach solution can kill them. One part plain bleach to 19 parts water, or about 3/4 cup bleach to a gallon of water, will make a solution. Dip the plants in this solution for two to three minutes, take them out, and rinse them well under running water for up to five minutes or more.

4. Use Copper Sulfate 

Copper sulfate is the most popular, fish-safe chemical used to kill snails. If this is used, you must carefully adhere to the usage instructions provided on the bottle to ensure that your plants make it through the treatment. Typically, this will result in a significant snail die-off that could pollute your aquarium. 

5. Use Salt

Although salt works well to kill snails, it may harm your plants so use it carefully. To do this, make a saltwater solution that is one cup of salt per gallon of water. Then, dip your plants in the solution for about 15 minutes. Remove the plants and rinse them well with fresh water.

6. Tissue Culture Plants

Tissue culture plants, also called in-vitro plants, are grown in clean labs and are completely clean from the beginning. They are guaranteed to have no snails on them at all. If you want to be safe and don’t want to put your plants in quarantine, look into tissue culture versions of them.

7. Use a Pesticide

There are a few snail-killing pesticides that are safe to use in an aquarium. These will typically contain metaldehyde or iron phosphate. Be sure to follow the directions on the package, as using too much can harm your plants or fish.

FAQ

What Aquarium Fish Eat Trumpet Snails?

Loaches like the clown, skunk, and yoyo loaches eat trumpet snails. With a quick twitch, these snail killers can rip the snail right out of its shell, according to Tropical Fish Magazine.

What Do Aquarium Snails Eggs Look Like?

Snail eggs will be in a group called a “clutch.” They may be held together by a clear sac. Depending on the type of snail, the eggs look like clear little jelly bubbles that may have some color, says Aquaradise.

Are Snails In Fish Tank Good Or Bad?

Most snails are good for aquariums because they eat dead plants and animals. In other words, they eat things that are going bad, like fish waste, food that hasn’t been eaten, and plants that have died as stated by Buce Plant.

How Long Can Aquarium Snails Live Out Of Water?

If you put a water snail on land, it would only last a few hours. Some snails leave the water to eat or lay eggs, but they quickly go back. Snails can live as long as they stay wet according to Aquarium Genius.

Will Vinegar Kill Aquarium Snails?

Most snails will run away from the strong smell of vinegar, but it can also kill them as mentioned by Aquariume in their article. When these creatures come in contact with the liquid or smell it somewhere nearby, they run away quickly.

How To Get Rid Of Bladder Snails?

To get the bladder snails, you can use the trick with the lettuce. If you leave a romaine lettuce leaf on the bottom of the tank, most of the bladder snails will come to it, as attested by My Aquarium Club.

Recap 

There are many ways snails can get into your fish tank. They can travel on living plants, hide in gravel, or come in through the drain. If your aquarium has too many snails, it can be hard to figure out how to get rid of them. Fortunately, there are ways to get rid of snails in an aquarium in a natural or artificial way as we mentioned above. If there are snails in your aquarium, you need to treat both the water and the plants. This will get rid of the snails and make sure they don’t come back.