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Old 09-21-2013, 12:32 PM   #1 
Flynn
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Exclamation Hitchhiker Snails?!

So I'm currently in the nitrite spike of my fishless cycle, and I wake up to find dozens of these little snails! I read they're fine for the tank, but I have live plants in there, will they do them any harm? Also, they're not very pretty...Since my tank doesn't have any fish, is there anything I can dose to kill them off? I don't know where they're getting their food from since I'm dosing pure ammonia..
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:54 PM   #2 
marshallsea
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So I'm currently in the nitrite spike of my fishless cycle, and I wake up to find dozens of these little snails! I read they're fine for the tank, but I have live plants in there, will they do them any harm? Also, they're not very pretty...Since my tank doesn't have any fish, is there anything I can dose to kill them off? I don't know where they're getting their food from since I'm dosing pure ammonia..
Most likely pond or ramshorn snails. They don't hurt and,IMO, are actually helpful. But they are considered pests because they will breed until you have an infestation, assuming you get and feed fish. Even without overfeeding the fish they will find stuff to eat. Without a total tear down and start over, you will never get rid of them. Anything you dose that kills snails also kills plants. Some will suggest baiting and removing the snails but that won't get rid of them.
I did a total tear down to get rid of mine but I killed all of my plants, I killed my cycle, and lost a fish due to the stress , but 5 weeks later and no more pests.
You have an advantage since you have no fish. If you want rid of them don't add fish which will keep their population down. Only dose ammonia to keep your cycle going. Add a couple assassin snails to kill them. I'm not sure that the assassins will get every last one since pests are VERY prolific breeders. If that doesn't work you will have to tear down. If you're serious about getting rid of them, don't add fish until you do.
P.S. If you don't like them now, they will drive you crazy in the future.

Last edited by marshallsea; 09-21-2013 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:48 PM   #3 
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I've just noticed some furry growth on one of my main décor... is this their eggs? fungus? man I really don't want to start from scratch as I've been waiting ~3 weeks for my nitrites to finally start spiking.
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:55 PM   #4 
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That's exactly what happened with my first cycle. I couldn't believe they were tough enough to live in >6.0 ppm ammonia. I just kept at them with a turkey baster and by hand. They're manageable now, and they do seem to help keep my plants clean.
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:21 PM   #5 
marshallsea
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I've just noticed some furry growth on one of my main décor... is this their eggs? fungus? man I really don't want to start from scratch as I've been waiting ~3 weeks for my nitrites to finally start spiking.
Pest snail eggs are not fuzzy or furry ,IME, they're white dots covered with a clear splotch of gel. You can keep the snails down by baiting and removing and not overfeeding. But they will always be there. On the upside, they really benefit the tank. Their poo was really driving my plants.
It was really a jungle filled robust tank . Once again , if you don't want them long term, get rid of them now. There are 'friendly' snails to help the tank that won't over run you.
If you want them gone for good, ask me, Iv'e been there.
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:23 PM   #6 
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Now that i just noticed these snails on my decor, looking closely enough i'm now worried about this furry growth on the decor. I have PimaFix if needed. here are some pics:

Fuzzy growth on water sprite roots (may be normal??)


It's very difficult to see in picture since it's the same color, but there is some furry stuff


and finally, the snails

Last edited by Flynn; 09-21-2013 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:29 PM   #7 
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That is a pond snail and they are the worst pest snail , IMO. If you see one, it's already old enough to breed. I wouldn't worry about the fuzz, it comes and goes but you can remove it if it bothers you.
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:33 PM   #8 
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That is a pond snail and they are the worst pest snail , IMO. If you see one, it's already old enough to breed. I wouldn't worry about the fuzz, it comes and goes but you can remove it if it bothers you.
that picture is one of the small ones...there's some other ones twice the size, and they all showed up overnight. I would totally restart but I want live plants and if I add more plants to my new tank I'd bet more snails would show up and I'd be right back where I left off. Also do you know what the fuzz is? I'm worried more about the stuff on the décor and not the roots since the things on the roots seem natural
EDIT: also, if I were to buy Assassin snails (which I most likely will) could I add them right now, mid cycle? sorry for all the questions!
EDIT: I've added some lettuce like a few sources told me to do so, but I don't see how the lettuce will attract them any more than my other plants, but I guess we will see.

Last edited by Flynn; 09-21-2013 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:22 PM   #9 
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[quote=Flynn;3054842]that picture is one of the small ones...there's some other ones twice the size, and they all showed up overnight. I would totally restart but I want live plants and if I add more plants to my new tank I'd bet more snails would show up and I'd be right back where I left off. Also do you know what the fuzz is? I'm worried more about the stuff on the décor and not the roots since the things on the roots seem natural
EDIT: also, if I were to buy Assassin snails (which I most likely will) could I add them right now, mid cycle? sorry for all the questions!
EDIT: I've added some lettuce like a few sources told me to do so, but I don't see how the lettuce will attract them any more than my other plants, but I guess we will see.[/QUOTE Add the assassins now. Maybe they'll get the adults and any newborns to the point where you don't have any laying eggs. Iv'e never tried them but Iv'e heard great things about them. When adding new plants, quarantine them. Get 2 bowls or jugs and put your new plants in one of them with untreated water. The small amount of chlorine wont hurt them but might hurt the pests. Twice a day fondle the plants to shake loose any snails and put the plants in the other bowl. Then bleach the dirty bowl completely ,rinse and dry. 12 hours later do it again and put the plants in the clean bowl. This cycle will remove and stop any snails from laying eggs. Do this for about 2 weeks.( Or for the life cycle of the snails.) I know this sounds like overkill and lots of work but pond snails are relentless and they will find a way if you don't cover all of your bases.(All of this is assuming the assassins have done their job.)
I don't know what the fuzz is, just scrape it off and vacuum it out.
Lettuce is food for the snails and live plants are not.
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Old 09-22-2013, 12:54 PM   #10 
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wow thanks marshall for that in-depth answer. i wish someone would have told me about the snails before purchasing plants. i stuck the lettuce in there yesterday and this morning there's maybe 1 snail on it... i'm going to the pet store later to see if they have any assassins, hopefully that will have better results.
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