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Old 01-24-2013, 02:40 AM   #1 
Blue Fish
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: East Tennessee
Unhappy Ugh, I seem to have a snail with questions please :)

Not sure if this is in the right place or, if not, please delete and let me know where to repost. :)

Anyway, I recently attempted some live plants....and that's another post for another time, but I soaked the plants for about two weeks prior to tank introduction, didn't see anything floating around in the water...and now I have snails. Lots and lots of snails. Apparently I either missed them when they were tiny, or they just had a longer...incubation?...time than I soaked my stuff for.
So, I don't really want to kill them, I mean, they're alive, and I hate to kill anything on purpose, but I have lots, they're getting ever larger, and I have no idea what to do with them.
And, I know *nothing* about snails.
- So, for one, what are they eating? My tanks have no algae, never had any algae. What are they living off of?
- What can I do with them? Can they get dumped in their own tank and left to colonize that? If so, how do you care for them/what do they need?
- Are they going to overpopulate my tanks if I just leave them alone, and cause my cycle to go off? If they mess up my cycle I may just be willing to kill them. I don't want to cycle 90 gallons of tanks *again*.
- Are they eventually going to bother my bettas? Right now they're still fairly small, about a 1/4 inch maybe? But, based on petstore checks, I believe they are mystery snails, and look as though they will get very much bigger. And, they've grown very fast so far.

I believe I know someone I can give them to (friend's daughter likes all things animal and would probably gladly take them off my hands), but I want to make sure that I know what to tell her about how to take care of them first.

Anyway, any information will be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:49 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario, CA
Depending on the type of snail (most likely you have pond snails) they can overpopulate, the type also determines what they are eating in your tank. If you want to decrease the snail population, take a leaf of lettuce, put it in the tank then when the snails are on it take them out. You can start up another tank that is simply snails but again depending on the type of snail they can overpopulate. Their reproduciton can also depend on how much food they are getting. Some snails will eat the waste (food or otherwise) from your fish, you most likely also have some type of algae even if you can't see it. They will not bother your Betta, most likely it will be the other way around. IF they are mystery snails & you have a male & female you will have eggs periodically above the water line if there is enough room. If there is not enough room she will exit your tank to lay them. If you see a cache of eggs they are easily removed & disposed of, I've had to do it a few times. Can you post a pic so we can help identify?
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:32 AM   #3 
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Some loaches eat snails
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:38 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Dartmouth, NS
Assassin snails eat them too.

You can catch them via the lettuce method and move them to their own tank, yes. Pond snails will eat dead and dying plant matter (not healthy plants as is commonly believed). So having a few is actually beneficial.
My bettas eat pond snails as if it's their birthday. So every few months I will see a small pond or an empty shell.

There are snail killers but I wouldn't use them because they can hurt plants and/or fish (unless I'm wrong..) Snails do not like salt water. Bettas can handle it for a short period but it shouldn't be used unless they're sick. You can remove your bettas and plants and add some salt but this WILL affect your cycle.

Porbably the most humane method of removal is continuous veggie dips. Collect them daily and remove them with vegetables like blanched cucumber and lettuce.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:10 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Coon Rapids, MN
It's unlikely they are mystery snails as they only lay their eggs out of water and not on plants so if there had been eggs on the plants they are 100% NOT mystery snails. Also even as hatchlings mystery snails are vastly larger than any other snail. You can pretty much see a mystery snail after they hatch, pond and other snails are harder to see. You either have ramshorns or pond snails.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:16 PM   #6 
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Shangdong, China
Snails aren't always pests, they will eat dead or decaying plant matter if you have live plants. And malaysian trumpet snails, which can also hitchike on plants will dig around in sand/soil - which helps prevent gases from building up.
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