Pest snails + napalm? - Shrimp & other Invertebrates - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 09-26-2019, 09:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Pest snails + napalm?

Ok, so not really napalm but I can dream. The actual situation is this. I have a couple 20g planted tanks that are being broken down and will be putting up a 40g (breeder dimensions). I have some really healthy plants but both 20s are nearly overrun (Dozens on the glass each morning and huge knots of them form when I drop in algae wafers for my Otos. Reminds me of the zombies from World War Z crawling over top eachother) with bladder snails. So I'm thinking that the fish, nerites, apple snail and shrimp from the two 20s all go into a quarantine tank for a week or two, and with the invertebrates that I LIKE removed from the tanks I can go nuclear on the snails and hopefully the plants won't be bringing over any unwanted hitchhikers once we transplant the plants.

So, I've considered copper-bombing the snails OR dropping hefty doses of No Planaria. Thoughts?

Obviously, in addition to whichever napalm y'all feel will work best, the plants will get a bath of some kind between uprooting and replanting. In that regard, what would y'all recommend?

The quarantine tank is in place,among other reasons, just in case the rumors of snail eggs being transported via fish poop are legit.
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pest snails + napalm?

Weigh down a piece of lettuce at night, in the morning, remove the snail covered snails. Do this a few times till the population is very low.
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Old 09-26-2019, 02:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Setup another tank and move all the things you want to keep in the new tank. Then get a few pea puffers till they eat all the snails.

Or get some loaches and then rehome them once the job is done.
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pest snails + napalm?

I'm not opposed to the idea of converting one of the heavily infested 20g into a pea puffer tank. I'd need to look in to exactly how such a tank can be stocked, beyond the puffer, tho. 1 fish in a 20g seems like a poor plan.

That being said, I'm trying to find the best way to make the plants safe to transplant into a new tank, without bringing snails along as hitchhikers. Is there a way to clean them effectively? Can plants be feasibly quarantined to watch for sneaky snails/eggs? If so, how does one set up a plant quarantine?

Of note, every tank I'm discussing here is a Walstad tank, by which I mean I run no heater, no filter, and do no water changes except what's necessary to replace after a once-a-month light gravel vacuuming. They are (or will be for the pending 40g) heavily planted with dirt under the substrate.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pest snails + napalm?

Why do you have some many? Do you feed a lot?
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pest snails + napalm?

David, I've been looking up the pest snail issue, not just for the solution, but for methods of prevention as well. Iíd like to make a suggestion according to my brotherís successful experience and throw in some ideas, as I am too planning to make a Walstad tank, which I donít want to be snail infested.

My brother had the same issue as you did some years ago, he got a plant from a friend of his and after a while his small tank (4gal) got crowded with pest snails. His solution was to introduce Helena snails (assassin snails). I do not remember if he got more than 2 or 3, but after some time the hitchhiker snail problem was totally gone. Furthermore, the Helena snails happened to be of opposite genders, mated and his tank got quite a few of them. Later on, according to my brother, the Helenas turned against each other and cannibalized themselves until they were gone. Donít know how long this took thoughÖ

I suppose that the pest snailsí rate of death due to Helena feeding might be tolerated by an established Walstad tank. If you were to introduce chemicals (snail poison) and all died within a few hours, then I guess it could be a different story. Moreover, snail poison would also kill your nerites and any other snail you might want to keep. While In the case of the Helenas, you can move the nerites (and any snails to keep) in a different tank until the hitchhikers are gone. Then you could move the plants you want to the new tank. One of the articles below suggests that Helenas lay their eggs in the sand, so it is unlikely that youíll move them via plant transfer.

Regarding the prevention of pest snail introduction, Iíd consider a quarantine routine before plant introduction to an aquarium. I happened to start yesterday a Walstad bowl where Iíll introduce my new Limnophila. This way Iíll see a) if the plant can grow on the specific substrate and b) if pest snails show up. My thought is to wait for 2-3 weeks until I am sure no unwanted snails will enter my tank and act accordingly if they do show up in the quarantine tank. See the aquasabi link below for more info, which actually advises against introducing Helena snails (see avoiding and countermeasures part).


References:
https://aquariumtidings.com/assassin...care-breeding/
https://meethepet.com/assassin-snail-clea-helena/
https://www.aquasabi.com/aquascaping...ague-of-snails
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pest snails + napalm?

I feed every other day, though my feeding does include an algae wafer for the 7 otocinclus I have in the tank.

I'm afraid the pest snails are feeding on (or damaging in some other way) some of the more tender roots of my plants, as my cabomba and pearl weed both have been having blackened root sections that end up having sections of the plants dying.

I'd be fascinated to hear more about the timeline the assassin snail project your brother undertook, zahtar!

My question about a plant quarantine is of course, once you spot snails in it what recourse do you have? Is the plant that was in quarantine trashed along with the entire substrate, etc of the tank? What do you do once you spot them beyond "napalming" the tank, quarantine or otherwise? Is the only sure-fire solution a complete teardown?
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pest snails + napalm?

Snails are rarely harmful, just not what many people want to see in an aquarium. There is no good reason, other than that, to work hard to get rid of them. There are miniature loaches, like Yoyo or Zebra Loaches, which will eat all of your snails, but they leave the empty shells scattered around, of course. They add to the beauty and interest of the tank while eating your snails. And, if you reduce the amount of feed you supply, the population of snails will reduce too.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pest snails + napalm?

I acknowledge that snails aren't catastrophic but I'm striving for a pest snail free tank and looking at options to purge them from a tank. That being said, are either of those loaches appropriate for a 20g long? I thought they grew a bit too big for smaller tanks and need to be kept in groups? Also, the king of the tank currently is a betta, so I worry about aggression.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pest snails + napalm?

In a 100g, I have assassins. The sequence was:
1. Had an exploding population of pond snails
2. Added 3 assassins, then 5 more
3. The pond snail population didn't budge for a few months, then dropped very quickly to zero.
4. At that time the assassin snail population exploded. I gave about 60 to the LFS. Took 5-6 months to level out again.
5. After that, the assassin population has stabilized. I can count about 15 visible ones easily, but there are not so many total that anyone really notices them.
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