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i guess you can say i have been away from my tank for a couple of months and i use to kill as many snails about every week to help control the population. unfortunately this was only a temporary fix. 2 months of down time and extreme plant growth, hundreds or maybe even a thousand snails of different types have populated my tank. before i remake my tank i have to find a way to nuke them, clean them out and rebuild. are there any suggestions that wont totally kill my plants as well?
 

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You'll probably get them again even if you start clean. They are a normal part of aquatic environments.

If you have good algae eaters, a good (and consistent) balance of light, CO2, and fertilizers, and don't have excess food, there shouldn't be much for them to eat -- get some catfish to help, and lots of amano shrimp.

Your tank has probably been negected of late and filled up with algae and snails, and this is why you are starting over? It might be better to do small (10%) frequent (even daily if possible) water changes with the setup you have now, remove as many by hand as you can, and all the detritus you can with each daily cleaning. Leave your plants and bacterial ecosystem undisturbed, and after two to four weeks your tank will be beautiful.

You can also selectively kill all snails by hand except malaysian trumpet snails. They are supposed to be the best for plant tanks because they burrow through the substrate and aerate it.
 

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Snails clean up algae and excess food. If you get large populations, perhaps you are overfeeding your fish. If you do manage to kill them all your tank may be taken over with various kinds of soft, attached algae.
 

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If you want to wipe out snails, best thing you can do (IMO) is get yourself one (or a few, depending upon your tank size) loaches.

A few years back I had a 29 gal planted tank that was full of hundreds and hundreds of snails. I bought one Yo-Yo Loach and within about 3-4 weeks, there was literally not one single snail left alive anywhere in the tank. I mean, complete and total snail genocide. It was crazy. They are absolutely voracious snail eaters. I think most loaches are the same way, I chose the Yo-Yo because they were the smallest of the loach options stocked by my LFS, which also had Zebra Loaches and Clown Loaches.

Yo-Yo Loaches are a tad on the hyper side at feeding time (at least mine was) but otherwise are perfect citizens in a peaceful community tank. If your tank is large enough, getting a few is better insofar as they are schooling/schoaling fish, but that being said, when I had my one, he never seemed to be moping around or stressed so I don't get the sense that they need to be in schools the way some truly schooling fish do.

If you have as many snails as you say, that's the only realistic option you have. Even if you were to add a chemical to kill them all, guess what--you now will be stuck with 1000+ snails, all dead, and all starting to decay in your tank at once. That's going to lead to a huge ammonia spike as they decompose, which (if your tank & filter can't handle it), could lead to a big fish die-off in your tank.

Loaches are the way to go.
 

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LFS taught me a little trick to deal with some snails.

Simply drop a slice of cucumber into the tank, may have to attach something heavy to sink the slice. Wait overnight and in the morning viola, you have caught yourself some snails. Simply discard the slice and catch any lingering snails that have failed to attach themselves to the cucumber.

PS: it is also a way to give you fish some extra nutrients.
 

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Fight fire with fire.. or in this case snails with snails

Try to find A. Helena Snails. they will kill other snails. Then you'll be wanting snails to feed them.
 

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I have shrimp tanks with plants and snails were travelers on some of the plants and took residence in my tanks by force. I thought of every means to eradicate them and finally decided at least once or twice a week, my shrimp were going to feast on escargo (snail appetizer) to reduce my population. And they do help with algae control just that, they are mostly unwanted.
 

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I got a dwarf puffer and she has eliminated them and leaves the shrimp alone but finding a puffer with the right temperament has to do with luck but in my experience females are more docile
 

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Here is my experience but not my recommendation on how to kill the snails.

I had a planaria outbreak and treated it with dog dewormer: fenbendazole. See the full article here: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...-planaria-hydra-elimination-shrimp-tanks.html

It took about a week for all the planaria to die and 2 treatments; the cherry shrimp and fish are still fine and I haven't changed the water since. Here is the interesting part: prior to this I had a snail population bordering on nuisance levels. It sounds like what you're experiencing. I was scooping out handfuls to feed my dad's clown loaches weekly. After the fenben treatment I still have snails but it seems to have severely hampered their ability to reproduce at such a high rate. I have what I would call a pleasant amount to eat algae, detritus, etc but no where approaching the population I had before.

I'm loathe to recommend a chemical solution but that is what I've experienced. I have a very low maintenance tank and follow the el natural tank method and barely change the water and all the critters still seem happy. I also feed quite heavily without much worry. My only real concerns are keeping the plants trimmed enough.

I'd say the best solution is the loach recommended above; that will do it for sure. The puffer may work depending on what else it would be sharing the tank with. Bettas eat baby snails but won't touch the adults it can't fit in it's little mouth.
 

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be careful with puffers, some will shred your fish. Loaches are excellent but can be a pita in your tank.

I've used both and will never buy another puffer. If I could find sidthimunki loaches that's what I'd use.
 

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May Ask what type of snails they are ? (MTS Ramshorn, or the crapy football shaped pond snails) if it the previous two mentioned I would gladly pay for shipping to receive some of them. :rolleyes:
 

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If I could find sidthimunki loaches that's what I'd use.
I had a large outbreak of MTS in my 20Long tank. I actually put them in myself, but they populated too fast.

So I got 10 sidthimunki loaches. They are small, growing no more than 2". They are interesting, as well, as they swim at all levels of the tank, are very curious, and play together with a delightful energy.

MTS are usually more difficult for any critter to eat because their shells are so hard. My sidthimunkis would suck the snails out.

They never completely eradicated all of the snails because MTS spend a lot of time in the substrate. But they did bring the population down to where I never see the snails. I know they're there because when I moved recently, I drained almost all the water and put wet paper towels on top of the plants so they wouldn't dry out. When I came back to remove the paper towels, it was covered with MTS! And there were more under the paper towels, as well. However, I almost never see a snail in the tank so all of those snails are staying in the substrate.

I think this is actually the best of both worlds. The MTS that are visible in the tank are also available to the sidthimunkis. Those get eaten. The MTS that stay in the substrate, where I want them, can't be eaten. So I get to have my substrate aerated AND don't have unsightly snails viewable in the tank!
 

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Mail order at thatpetplace.com. However, I did find them a couple months later at one of my LFS. They don't have them in stock all the time, but get them every once in a while.

I have not seen them at any other LFS so they are not very commonly found locally.
 

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If it's cold, do not order them. Mine came in half frozen (so it seemed). I managed to acclimate them anyway, but they clearly do not pack well.

Try asking a LFS to order them for you.
 

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Quick question. Do Green Spotted Puffers and loachs eat shrimps? I went to a LFS and i always see a puffer inside one of their planted tank, and i was curious if those will eat shrimps as well.
 

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green spotted puffers eventually need brackish water around 3 inches long. Many keepers even convert them to full marine in adult hood. I don't think it would be very comfortable for long in a planted tank.
Also I don't know if all are, but mine was a huge plant eater.

Quick question. Do Green Spotted Puffers and loachs eat shrimps? I went to a LFS and i always see a puffer inside one of their planted tank, and i was curious if those will eat shrimps as well.
Again all of them may not be the same, but my gsp would make quick work of cherry reds and ghost shrimp.
 
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