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Freshwater Aquarium Snails

aquarium snailsAquarium snails can be troublesome pest that wrecks havoc in a community tank. They are usually introduced through live aquarium plants hidden among the leaves either as eggs or small adults. They can breed prolifically and will overrun the aquarium with large numbers. Although they do not render any harm to different fish species, their presence will mean that they will become direct competitor for much needed oxygen resource and also cause unnecessary buildup of ammonia and nitrate with their waste. They will also eat up fresh leaves leaving unsightly holes and they can also harbor microorganisms leading to fish diseases.

Most common aquarium snails are Ramshorn snails. If there’s presence of only one or two, I would suggest leaving them alone since they can make interesting aquarium subjects so that whole aquarium is more natural looking. After all, they also help to overcome algae problem so it might be a good idea to have a few around. However, if the number starts to get too large, you might want to look into ways to control their population. It can be quite difficult to get rid of the snails because they can deposit eggs well hidden between the gravel and plants.

There are different approaches to get rid of aquarium snails. First, you can actually start by manually picking up those, which you can see. Next, I would suggest you remove the plants and then wash them in a bucket of water. You might want to introduce a gentle rub to the leaves and shake it well in the water. I would not suggest using bleaching chemicals because if the plants are not properly rinsed, you can introduce harmful chemicals that will poison your pets.

After you have done with the washing, leave the plants in another quarantine tank for at least a week and then rinse them again. If you have gravel, I would suggest doing the same thing as well. Hopefully this will further get rid of the newly born aquarium snails. Note that I do recommend using chemicals as snail eradicators directly introduced into your fish tank because some of these chemicals might actually be harmful to your fish and the sudden death of large number of snails will lead to huge buildup of ammonia and pollute the water.

Finally another approach is to introduce natural predators such as Clown Loach which can actually make a good meal out of the snails. Check on the compatibility of the fish with other aquarium fish species before you introduce it to the tank.

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