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new plants now new (lots) snails


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  • Regular Member

I recently added some new plants to my tank. After planting them I originally noticed a few snails on the sides. Now they are multiplying at a fast rate. They are about the size of a pencil eraser or smaller. I have an approximately 12 gallon tank full of guppies.

Is it alright for me to have these snails and so many of them? Or what do I need to do to get them out!

Thanks for all your advice!

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  • Regular Member

You appear to be having an infestation of pond snails. Did you disinfect the plants when you added them?

The snails themselves don't actually harm the fish, but they will colonize your filters etc. Sometimes their numbers will get too much, but the fish will definitely enjoy eating some.

I have tried various means of getting rid of the snails, but I did not find a very satisfying means to actually do so. The only thing I did not try was to treat the tank with copper, and that I will not do, since it will irreparably harm my fish as well. :(

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Some people have been had great experience by adding a few assassin snails, which will eat other snails. They reproduce much slower than most pest snails too.

But when they are done eating the pond snails, you will have to make sure to provide some food for the assassin snails as well.

Keeping your tank as clean as possible will greatly reduce the number of snails, but this is difficult if you have a planted tank with substrate, since you will "want" fish waste to be in the substrate to fertilize the plants.

Generally the snails will neither harm the fish nor the healthy plants. They eat debris, waste, yucky stuff and dead/dying plant material, algae and leftover food, if there is any. Sometimes larger fish will eat them, but since you have them in a guppy tank, I doubt this will happen.

So your options are tearing down the tank and disinfecting everything, starting over; or you "just" live with the (harmless, but sometimes annoying) snails. :)

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