Help! Snail! - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Help! Snail!

Okay, I'm kinda freaking out. I got two new plants on Sunday, a Java Fern and a Water Wisteria, and today there's a little midget snail no bigger than a freckle going around my tank eating algae. I have a Mystery Snail in another tank, but this guy does NOT look like one. I called PetSmart, where I got the plants, and they told me they're called "Nuisance Snails" and can breed by the thousands and overrun a tank. They told me to just take him out and killed him, but so far there's only one, and he's just a little baby :/ What should I do? I won't feel right killing him, I love snails- but I don't want thousands that could kill all of my plants. He's disappeared for the moment,but I feel he'll be back soon. Please help!

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 12:22 PM
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He's probably a pond snail. If you bring plants straight in without a bleach dip and a thorough checking, you're almost certainly going to get them.

They do not require a second snail to breed. You will have eggs if you leave him there (and you may have brought eggs in on the plants anyway).

You can kill him humanely with a quick smash or a freeze (sounds harsh, but true). If you leave him, and you don't remove any eggs that might be there, you will likely have a large infestation after a time. Unless you have something that eats them, the only way to remove them is to take them out and destroy them or kill them with chemicals in the tank.

They are very helpful to the plants, so if it were me I'd leave it. I don't believe you should have plants without snails, they are just too helpful! If you get overrun in the future, you can drop a piece of cucumber or other fresh veggie into the tank at night, and in the morning they'll have congregated on it. You can then pull it out to remove a large number of them at once.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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I've removed him and put him in a small tank. I didn't get a chance to clean or check the plants before I put them in, as my mother got them for me as a "surprise" and had them in our car in -30 weather for three hours :/ He's on his own for now and I'm doing a 50% water change, scouring the tank for eggs. I can't have snails, as the Bettas in that tank (it's divided) are EXTREMELY aggressive and any other snail has been picked on nearly to death. I'll keep him alive for now, but if he starts to populate, he'll go out in the snow :(

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 01:58 PM
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Pest snail eggs look like big balls of clear snot with little dots in them (sorry for the description, but it's the most apt). I see them on the glass, on my filter, and on the underside of plant leaves. Check very thoroughly. They're sort of hard to remove because they're so sticky, but it can be done.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 02:37 PM
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Sounds like a good excuse to get an assassin snail.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by frankiefire View Post
Sounds like a good excuse to get an assassin snail.
This! I'm actually letting one of my planted tanks have a snail explosion at the moment, and then will get an assassin snail (just one, it's a small tank). My 5 year old daughter can't wait ... lol

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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I think I got all of the eggs... And there were two snails, one died when I cleaned the tank and the other is in my little 1g with some algae covered leaves. If I find anymore I'll invest in an assassin snail and hopefully my Betta won't kill him :/

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Elsewhere View Post
I think I got all of the eggs... And there were two snails, one died when I cleaned the tank and the other is in my little 1g with some algae covered leaves. If I find anymore I'll invest in an assassin snail and hopefully my Betta won't kill him :/
Don't get an assassin snail unless/until you have LOTS of snails. If you do, it'll become one more mouth to feed and you'll be looking for snails so that it has something to eat. It will only eat live snails!

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by tekkguy View Post
Don't get an assassin snail unless/until you have LOTS of snails. If you do, it'll become one more mouth to feed and you'll be looking for snails so that it has something to eat. It will only eat live snails!
Assassin snails will eat algae wafers, they are attracted to the protein content in the wafers. My aquarium had been over run by ramshorn snails, it was terrible! They were eating new anubias leaves. One assassin snail stopped in the infestation after 2 months and now he eats wafers. Mine tends to only come out at night, during the day he hides in the gravel.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by copperarabian View Post
Assassin snails will eat algae wafers, they are attracted to the protein content in the wafers. My aquarium had been over run by ramshorn snails, it was terrible! They were eating new anubias leaves. One assassin snail stopped in the infestation after 2 months and now he eats wafers. Mine tends to only come out at night, during the day he hides in the gravel.
Good to know!

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