Snails are often a source of concern for aquarium owners because their population is difficult to control: they appear for no apparent reason and sometimes reproduce without being able to easily limit their numbers.
The purpose of this chapter is to present these animals and the different types that can be found in our tropical aquariums as well as the means to control their population.
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Do ghost shrimp eat snails?
It is very rare to see ghost shrimp eating snails, simply because of the size of snails compared to shrimp.
Of course, there are exceptions, small snails can be eaten by ghost shrimps if they really want to, but keep in mind that this is almost never the case!
Why are there snails in your aquarium?
The introduction of snails in your aquarium is done when inserting plants, gravel or decorative elements. Unless you treat all of these objects with an anti-snail product very carefully before inserting them, you will not be able to prevent the arrival of a few larvae that will reproduce as adults.
How to get rid of snails in your aquarium
Having a small group of snails that cohabit with your fish is very useful, we recommend keeping them, but beware of invasion. To control their numbers and prevent them from encroaching on the fish’s space, there are several solutions.
Of course, before you try to eradicate snails, test your water to make sure it’s problem-free. Remember, snails are there for a reason.
Manually removing snails
The first and most time-consuming solution is to remove all unwanted snails by hand. This is quite a time-consuming step because it will be almost impossible to remove them all, especially if the invasion is large. Also, you will not be able to remove the larvae and snails will continue to hatch.
You can also use a snail trap to attract them (almost) all at once. You can buy this accessory in specialized stores, but you can also make it by placing a lettuce leaf on the floor of the bin under an upturned plate. The next day you can simply turn the plate upside down to see the snails stuck.
Buy a snail-eating fish
Another solution to regulate the snail population in your aquarium is to introduce a snail-eating fish. Several species are known for this task: dwarf tetraodon, botia lohachata, botia clown, nannacara anomala …
You can also fight against snails… with another snail! The Anentome helena is a snail eater. In addition to being very nice to observe, it is very useful.
However, the insertion of a snail-eating fish should not be done without thinking, make sure that the future fish can cohabit with your population and that the parameters of the aquarium are adapted.
Products against aquarium snails
Finally, there are chemical products to fight against snails. However, they are not recommended because they can be dangerous for some fish and for the balance of the aquarium. In addition, they cause the direct death of all snails, which also causes massive water pollution.
But you can use this type of product to kill the larvae present on new elements. Be sure to wash the plant or decor before introducing it into the aquarium to remove the product.
What fish eat snails?
If you have an outbreak of nuisance snails in your freshwater aquarium, you may want to consider adding snail-eating fish to your aquarium. They will devour the pest invaders and your aquarium can return to normal, you reason. This seems like an easy way to solve the problem, and you can stock new fish.
However, there are some important things to consider before you go looking for snail-eating fish. Making the wrong choice can doom not only your new fish, but possibly your entire aquarium. While it is always very important to research the fish you intend to keep, it becomes even more important when you are bringing in a fish to do a specific job.
Here are some snail-eating fish to consider for your freshwater tank:
- Clown Loach
- Yoyo Loach
- Betta Fish
- Cory Catfish
- Bala Shark