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cmfir1

Snail removal

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Hi,

I've got a snail infestation in one of my tanks and its driving me crazy, not only does it look bad, but I think they are responsible for eating the bristlenose eggs!

I've checked out the FAQ and it seems my best option is to remove all the fish and then dose the tanks up to marine salt levels to kill all the snails, and their eggs in the filter media as well.

My questions are:

How much salt do I have to add per litre to get it up to marine standard?

How long should I run it at those salt levels for?

I also guess it is best to wash the gravel / filter media under fresh water?

How many fresh water cycles should I add before re-introducing the cichlids?

I think I could figure most of it out, just wondering if anyone has had any personal experience and tips....

Thanks for any help.

With regards,

Clinton.

Edited by cmfir1

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I didn't know you could treat snails with salt, tho at marine levels I'd imagine it would work? confused.gif

If this --> Click me! is the FAQ article you read - it coes on to say the usual method involves copper, you still have to remove all fish of course tho I believe it's less harmful to your filter bactetria and plants than marine salinity (someone please correct me if I'm wrong blush.gif )

If you or anyone else have any CA's - scoop out as many snails as you can & feed them off wink.gif

Edited by Ash

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I'd get half a dozen clown loaches, I got put onto them & they work a treat. I was told the bigger ones are better tho & that's been my experience now too!

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short of a pair of red devils(which i guarantee will rid your tank of snails in a few days) it sounds like a strip down is in order,taking the salt level to marine levels will kill everything in the tank,so i assume youd be taking everything out anyway, keep the water with the filter running in a container and give the tank a good scrub,any snails emerging can be picked out,a better method i have found is i gave my son a long pair of tweezers and asked him to spend 15 minutes a day taking out snails ,all gone in a week,over 200 of them ,and dont forget to quarantine your plants

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I've read in a Killie forum where it was recommended to add snails to the container that you hatch eggs in.....the snail excreta encourages bacteria that help prevent eggs from going fungus???

I have snails in all my tanks to clean up uneaten food....never had problems with having (fertile)eggs eaten....perhaps if they eat the eggs then those eggs may not be fertile????

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The problem with the copper method is that it will not necessarily kill ALL your snails, and it will leave your tank with a toxin in it. I had a standard four foot tank with clock spring snails, I dosed according to the directions, with no effect. So I took the fish out, and put in a litre of snail rid. The snails still survived. Perhaps other snails are more sensitive?

The problem with putting another fish in your tank to eat them is that it may not necessarily be a species you want, or is suitable (eat your other tank inhabitants, or rearrange your decor- or simply be fish you don’t want to have). And, they can’t get to any snails that may exist in your filter system, which will continue to restock your fish tank should the fish eat all snails in the tank. Or they may not eat all the snails in your tank as I experienced with clown loaches, so I still had the snails, and I had fish I didn’t really want (as nice as they happen to be).

I like the idea of salting your tank. You will as you realise have to remove all occupants, and you will have to start your biological filter over again, which if you have other tanks will be easy. Just put extra bio media in another tank, getting it fully established before you salt you tank (three weeks…).

How much should you use? If I were to answer this question for my self, I would find out how much salt would be used for a commercially prepared salt packet mix for a marine tank. I wouldn’t use this salt as it will cost a lot more than table salt, just use it to get an idea for volume, and equal it with ordinary salt. I like this idea because it should have a 100% success rate, in your tank and filter, without using toxic chemicals.

Another non-toxic way would be to heat the tank water to a point where the snails can’t survive. Once again this will kill all your bacteria, but pre-prepare as mentioned above, and this is not an issue. Let it stay hot for a few days, and even the eggs if they are egg layers will be killed.

Craig

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I agree totally on the Clown Loach solution. My experience, very effective on snails and they usually fit in well with other fish.

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I have treated my tanks with copper sulphate without an issue. Toxins are not a problem IF you clean the tank properly. If you dont you will have dead fish. It is a very messy method of treatment. I did it on a number of 6*2*2's and it was a BIG job to clean. I ran it through my eheims at the same time and they too had to be stripped down. I also emptied the tank of my substrate before treatment, threw it in the bin and replaced it with new stuff later. After I thought it was clean, I refilled twice to over the strapping with fresh water just to make sure. If they are the live bearers I personally cant see salt nailing them but I'd love to hear that it did smile.gif The copper treatment seems to have worked in my tanks. I also bought new nets for use only in those tanks.

Also I have only ever heard that the only way to treat effectively is chemically which is why I didn't bother with salt ( I hate doing things twice smile.gif )

Loaches work well at control but have found that they cannot get rid of the problem altogether.

Good luck and I hope you find a successful method so you can tell me wink2.gif

Chuck

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You can also try to leave a piece of cucumber in there overnight. the snails will clump on the cucumber and then take it out in the morning.

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Here's an article I wrote a couple of years ago. Has a section on getting rid of them.

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Thanks for all your input.

I've tried most of the methods above, but the little buggers are through the filter even to the extent that it slows their operation. I'm also trying to avoid using chemicals, and the residual salt won't do much harm to the fish once re-introduced.

Will try this week and let you all know the results.

Cheers,

Clinton.

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when i had snails in my tank i was advised to put convicts in their and do a filter change,it help clear them out.

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G'day

Be very careful with copper or copper based products as this stuff is very dangerous for your catfish!!! shock.gif

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Well I've removed all the fish and added 2kg of table salt to a 3' tank. Removed the heater and left the filters running, to try and kill the snails that have also infested the filters.

Initial observations: all snails are dead, or at least not moving and withdrawn in their shells. yeah! thumbup.gif

I will continue to run this for a week with the salted water, stirring the gravel every day to ensure that I get all the snails.

Next i will flush fresh water through the tank and filters for two weeks, with twice weekly entire water changes. Disassemble the filters and clean the media.

Will then fill the tank and system with mature water from another tank and introduce a few small fish to get the cycle started, let mature for a few weeks before re-introducing the Calvus.

I think thats covered it all but any suggestions would be appreciated.

Best of all it seems to have killed the little buggers!!! rolleyes.gif

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What concentration (final) of CuSO4 are ppl using?

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Yew,

Not sure, the tank tank is a 30" x 12" x 15" (Unfortuntely the NSW cichlid society converter to litres isnt working) and as previously stated I added 2kg of table salt, for 99c from coles.

In hindsight a very high concentration I think.

I stired up the gravel today and no movement from any of the snails. Crushed one thier shells and the actual snail looks dead inside.

Will let it run til the end of the week.

Cheers,

Clinton.

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yer i agree with getting some clown loach they do the job and you will never have a problem with snails again.

iv never heard that you could treat snails problems with salt

thats a new one four me

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I Agree you have Killed the snails but did you think about how you are going to remove them all?

If you miss a few it will be ok but miss alot and you will end up with Amonia Spikes for weeks!!!

my 1/50th of a Dollar

Ant

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I Agree you have Killed the snails but did you think about how you are going to remove them all?

If you miss a few it will be ok but miss alot and you will end up with Amonia Spikes for weeks!!!

my 1/50th of a Dollar

Ant

That will depend on how many snails there are/were, how big the tank is, wether you replace the gravel or not....and how keen you are to fix the issue to wether possible ammonia issues outweigh the snails.

The tank will have to be cycled again anyway, so may be a ready made food for the bacteria (fishless cycling), if there is an ammonia spike, once it is gone, you know it is ready for fish.

If you are taking bio media from another tank, make sure you take enough to equal the ammonia that is/may be produced, and this spike will go in days.

All in all, I think this salt method is a great non-toxic way of getting rid of snails, and every last one of them too boot.

And you don't end up with a fish you don't really want, and with just a few snails hanging in there. I know of people with a big population of cone snails, they use clown loaches, but they still have the cone snails. These snails will hang on inside canister filters, inside sumps, inside the tubes connecting the two, area where you clown loach will have no access and no impact, sending their young out as storm troupers to repopulate the main tank...

I have read, and experienced that clown loaches as they get bigger are not as good at eradicating snails as they are when young. That means that the longer it takes (the more snails you have) for the clown to remove/eat all the snails, the less snails it eats - the more snails you have. When I tried to use clown loaches to remove clockspring snails, they seem to have reached and equilibrium, so I never got rid of the snails, the only reason the clown loaches were in there in the first place.

I’m sure there will be people who have used clown loaches successfully, but there are others who have not been successful. At the end of the day, don't "piddle down the middle" blush.gif , commit yourself and go the whole hog and salt the tank – kill all snails in the tank, sump and filters, and be done with the trouble.

Craig

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piddle down the middle

LOL.gifLOL.gifLOL.gif

I've had snail infestations before, and have dealt with them without needing to treat the tank.

What kind of snails are they and what kind of fish are in the tank?

I had those trumpet snails and a LOT of them.

To get rid of them I added a few extra bristlenose to the tank and cut my food amounts down.

These snails only become an issue like that when there is a lot of extra food for them. Without food, they will not multiply (or live).

Adding the bristlenose seemed to ensure that any food which made its way to the gravel was cleaned up before the snails got a chance to feast on it.

This, combined with a tank full of inquisitive malawi cichlids, got rid of my snails in a couple of weeks.

I didn't need to remove all the fish from the tank, and didn't need to worry about cycling etc. Sure, there may still be a couple of snails around, but I have not seen them so they do not bother me smile.gif

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Baz, have you ever had clockspring snails?

I’ve had these snails survive on algae that grows in the tank, so regardless of how little I feed the fish, they can survive on that. These guys are really tough to get out of your tank. I have adopted a limited feeding routine, put in a yellow with my Tropheus to eat the snails, and additionally have put in heaps of mystery snails (easy to remove) to compete with the clockspring snail’s food source (at the coal face so to speak), and after more than a year of doing this, I still have these buggers in with my Tropheus.

You can also squash out every snail you see, and even go to the extremes of spotlighting at night time, as I have done, and I STILL have clockspring snails.

I have managed to get them out of other tanks doing the above, I have even managed to get rid of cone snails with the above, but not in my Tropheus tank where there are lots of places for the snails to hide.

The problem is, you can't say to someone limit your feeding, put in a fish to eat the snails, and know it will be successful every time.

Craig

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Craig -

I've not heard of these snails - do you have a picture?

Most of mine (as for BaZ's) are easily controlled by either loaches or feeding.

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The problem is, you can't say to someone limit your feeding, put in a fish to eat the snails, and know it will be successful every time.

I agree. I was only sharing my success in case people had not tried that method first blush.gif

I've never even heard of a clockspring snail, so I've also never tried to rid them from my tank. They sound like they are a bit more stubborn than the trumpets smile.gif

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Update:

Well I've cleaned all the salt water out, rinsed the gravel, cleaned the filters and run fresh water through the system.

Will run it for a week and then flush some new water through the system, and then run for a further week, before adding aged water from another aquarium and then then a fish to start the cycle.

Hopefully this will flush a majority of the salt and the spikes caused by the dead snails.

On the down side............ there are still a few snails that somehow survived........ therefore I suggest running slatwater for at probably 2-3 weeks as my one week killed probably 95% if not more of them.

Hope this helps any one else considering trying this method.

Cheers,

Clinton.

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Clinton -

Assuming there are no fish in the tank - it may have been easier to use copper sulphate (3 ppm). It would kill the snails at a MUCH lower concentration, though I understand people who keep catfish might not be willing to do this.

What sort of snails were they?

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