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I bought a tank with a Betta from Craigslist. It was very clean but it came with a whole bunch of tiny snails. They are everywhere and seem to spread. What should I do? Get rid of some of them? I don't even know what kind of snails they are...they are brown/black and very tiny. Any input would be greatly appreciated...
 

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~Neo (♂ red vt betta) ~"girlie" (♀ sunburst platy) ~Otto (♂ oto catfish) ~Archibald ( ♂ mys. snail)
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I bought a tank with a Betta from Craigslist. It was very clean but it came with a whole bunch of tiny snails. They are everywhere and seem to spread. What should I do? Get rid of some of them? I don't even know what kind of snails they are...they are brown/black and very tiny. Any input would be greatly appreciated...
While to my knowledge, no snail is bad for your aquarium and can be beneficial in many ways such as helping to manage algae and consuming some of the dead leaves and uneaten fish food, having too many in a tank that's not big enough can wreak havoc on your bio load. Because of all the waste being eliminated from all the snails, and many could die but because of their size you may never know, this will cause ammonia levels to spike. You may not be able to consistently maintain safe water conditions and it would ultimately make the water toxic for your betta. Not to mention if they're that tiny, it's likely they'd get caught in your filter constantly.

How bad the bio load will be depends on the size of your tank and roughly how many snails you can usually see at any given time. (And regular maintenance and cleaning, obviously.) If it's a small tank, then yes you'll want to probably get rid of most if not all of them if there really are that many.

They might not exactly be spreading since they might just be baby mystery snails or something that are hatching from eggs that were hidden in the tank when you bought it. Then again that depends on the type of snail. Some are pretty small, although I wouldn't necessarily say "tiny", and a lot of those small ones are considered pests because of how quickly they reproduce. Some can even reproduce asexually without a mate.

If you want an identification, you'll probably need to get a picture if you can. Otherwise try and contact the seller to find out what snails they were keeping in that tank. If it's a pest snail like ramshorns, bladders or Malaysian trumpets, then it really depends on the size of your tank (and your own personal preference) to determine whether or not you should rid your tank of them. Even some people with large tanks will get rid of a portion of their pest snails just to keep the population in check. They're always going to be beneficial to the tank's ecosystem so long as their numbers are appropriate for the tank's size.
 
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