7 easy ways to permanently remove aquarium snails

Snails are one of the most common pests found in aquarium. Your fish may starve to death if there are too many snails in the tank, which will multiply quickly and eat all the food. You’ll see slime trails all over your tank as they crawl around your tank and get into your plants. 

In addition to being a nuisance, they can carry diseases that can spread to your other pets and even to you! Snails in aquariums can be removed in a number of ways. The following are some of my favorite methods for remove aquarium snails from fish tank.

Remove aquarium snails

What are the methods to remove aquarium snails from fish tank?

Method 1: Manual Removal

The slow starvation of snails can take a while, so speed up the process by physically removing a few snails whenever you can. The easiest way is to just use your hands and select them one by one.

If the snails are small enough, some people use a length of siphon hose to suck them up into a bucket during water changes. If you’re passing by and spot some snails on the aquarium walls, try using a snail catcher to easily scoop them up without getting your hands wet.

Method 2: Snail Trap

Because certain species, such as Malaysian trumpet snails, are nocturnal and prefer to burrow in the substrate, collecting them from the tank might be difficult.In this case, use tasty vegetables as snail traps to attract them.

Drop a cucumber, zucchini, carrot, or lettuce leaf into the fish tank overnight, and the vegetable should be covered in snails by the next morning, ready for you to remove. Some hobbyists like to put the food in a homemade snail trap (e.g., a container with holes in the lid large enough for snails to enter but tiny enough for fish to get through) so that the snails can’t readily escape even when they’re full.

After catching a snail, how do you kill it in a gentle manner? Feed your surplus snails to snail-eating fish, donate them to other snail-eating hobbyists, or crush them for a fast death.

Method 3: Less Food

Snail control experts know that feeding considerably less fish food is the greatest approach to limit the variety of snails. Snails can only reproduce new progeny if they have enough food, despite their fast copy cycle. As a result, just provide enough food for your fish to completely consume within a few minutes.

Smaller components may also mean that your fish produce less waste for the snails to consume. Furthermore, higher-quality foods such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried components are more likely to be completely consumed by the fish, leaving relatively little residues for the snails.

Snails eat algae and dead plant materials as well as leftover meals. When you smooth the fish tank, be sure to regularly trim your flora and clean off algae. Additionally, gravel suction the substrate using an aquarium siphon to remove any excess mulm or organic particles that the snails may eat.

Method 4: Snail Eaters

If you have a snail-eating fish, pest snails are in high demand since they provide a lot of essential vitamins and stimulation for the animal to exhibit its natural behavior.

Snails are a favorite food of almost all freshwater pufferfish, from the small pea puffer to the massive Mbu puffer, and the crunchiness of the snail shells can help grind down puffer enamel and prevent it from becoming too lengthy.

Clown, zebra, yoyo, and dwarf chain loaches, for example, can pierce through snail shells and suck out the insides using their sharp snouts. Large creatures, such as oscars and turtles, enjoy mollusks as well, so don’t forget to save some for them. 

Finally, some aquarists hire the services of the murderer snail, a 1-inch (2.5 cm) carnivorous snail that feeds mostly on other snails.

Method 5: Use of predatory fish

Using coil snails’ natural enemies is the most gentle, secure, and high-quality technique to get rid of them in an aquarium. Tetradon fish are well-known for their fondness for shellfish. In just two to three weeks, these fish will be able to completely clear a 200-300 liter aquarium of mollusks.

It is crucial to remember that tetradons may be aggressive and will bother a variety of little fish. The aquarist will want to take the tetradon to the pet store as soon as the snails are all gone, because feeding him with regular dry or stay food can be difficult.

Method 6: Use of predatory snails

The employment of killer snails, which choose to target various mollusks, is also quite popular nowadays.

Helena is the most popular of these killer snails, with a modest size and a distinctive striped brown-yellow appearance. Helens are incredible and may completely eliminate coil difficulties in large tanks.

Predatory snail Helena

Method 7: Quarantine

If you’ve chosen to keep pet snails out of your house, remember the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Examine any new plants carefully, and personally remove any snails or snail eggs. Some people wash their plants under running water to help wash away any unnoticed hitchhikers.

Place the plant in a quarantine tank with moderate and fertilizers, and remove any snails that arise on a regular basis. Snail eggs can take anywhere from one to four weeks to hatch, depending on the species and water temperature, so be patient with this procedure.

While this quarantine plan isn’t completely foolproof, we recommend going slow and steady rather than relying on chemical cures like bleach or aquarium salt. It can be difficult to find a true dosage awareness that is strong enough to kill snails and snail eggs while not harming more sensitive plants like vallisneria or cryptocoryne plants.


1. Where Do Snails Come From?

Snails sometimes come with the fish you buy at the store and disappear when it’s time to introduce them to their new home – like a gift from Mother Nature herself.

All it takes is one small snail or a few eggs, and you’ll have a full community of friendly mollusks living within your aquarium before you know it!

A single snail or a few eggs may quickly turn your peaceful environment into an uninviting mess, making it difficult to keep up with remodeling responsibilities.

2. How do snails breed in an aquarium?

Snails reproduce by dislodging eggs and sperm from their shells and releasing them into the water. The eggs are then jabbed upward to the floor, where they are fertilized with sperm.

They drop lower back to the rear of the aquarium after fertilization. This procedure is repeated until the young snails have enough food!

Most snails, unlike many other creatures, do not seek a breeding mate. They are capable of fertilizing their own eggs. They became single parents just two weeks later!

3. Types of pest snails in the aquarium

Tadpole or pond snails

What do they consume? Because their mouths do not operate well enough to grasp food on their own, pond snails will graze on algae that grows on rocks or anything else submerged in water.

Ramshorn Snails

Ramshorn snails are commonly considered pests in freshwater aquariums owing to their rapid reproduction and ability to outcompete other invertebrates for food.

These small fellas, on the other hand, provide a lot of benefits to the ecology by eating additional algae that would otherwise cloud up the tank.

If you have a freshwater aquarium, it’s critical to keep a check on your Ramshorn population so you don’t end up with too many unwanteds!

Trumpet Snail

The Trumpet Snail is one of the most often seen snails in aquariums. They’re frequently thought to be harmless because they don’t eat fish or plants, but this isn’t the case.

They devour fish eggs and can kill tiny fry by sucking oxygen from the water.

The trumpet snail is no longer only an unsightly species to have in your tank; it is also dangerous to any life that resides within it.

And in conclusion

Snails aren’t always harmful, and even pest snails may contribute to the health of your aquarium’s ecology. Most snails will try to keep your aquarium clean and shiny, and Malaysian Trumpet Snails will eat your substrate if it runs out.

However, not everyone wants snails, and even fewer people want a full-fledged snail invasion. So knowing how to prevent snails and what traps to use if you find traveler snails in your aquarium will come in handy.

Too many snails may be avoided if you are cautious while adding new plants and animals to your fish tank. If some snails manage to sneak past you, you have a variety of options for getting rid of them.

And may your aquarium be healthy and beautiful!

Read also:

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12 reasons fighting fish lies at the bottom of the aquarium

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