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Controlling snail population?

Discussion in 'Invertebrates' started by mlaird, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. mlaird

    mlaird Thread Starter New Member

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    A while back, I got a bunch of Endlers from forum member susankat, and they seem to be doing great. I got some plants from a friend at work, and unfortunately, picked up some snails at the same time. Now I am wondering how to control the snail population without requiring me to try to fish them all out (which I suspect would be a Sisyphean task).

    My first idea is to get some sort of fish that likes to eat snails, e.g., a loach. My tank is only 45 gallons, however, so I don't want anything big. It looks like there are small loaches that might fit my setup, but I don't know if they would like to eat Endlers fry in addition to the snails.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ben

    Ben New Member

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    I decided to go with assassin snails in my livebearer tanks to clear up unwanted snails. I know it is still a snail but they do a good job and don't reproduce anything like pond snails.
     
  3. mlaird

    mlaird Thread Starter New Member

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    Interesting! I had never heard of them before; I'll read up about them. That might be a good choice for my tank. I found that dwarf loaches come in sizes as small as 2" fully grown, and they eat snails. But a 2" loach would seem big compared to my Endlers, so I'm not sure I want to go that route.

    Thanks for the idea, and let me know if any of you have any more suggestions.
     
  4. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    Please do not add stock to take care of this, with proper maintenance and not over feeding they will not reproduce like crazy that only occurs when there is excess food in the tank. Assassins do breed and once they start they are almost as bad as common pond snails. I added 3 to a 30 long just because I thought they were cool. They killed a thriving colony of spixis 200 strong and now I have a breeding colony of assassins 200 strong, all from 3 snails.
     
  5. mlaird

    mlaird Thread Starter New Member

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    Well, these snails are reproducing like crazy and I have to do something about it. I don't think it's practical to try to physically remove them all, so adding something that eats them seems like a good way to restore balance. They are eating up my plants, so it's not just a matter of me dumping too much food into the tank (although my kids occasionally do that).

    So at the moment, my best options seem to be a few dwarf loaches, or the assassin snails. I don't know where to buy either one at this point anyway, but I'm going to look around. Feel free to suggest a better option if you have one.
     
  6. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    I have suggested the better option, up your maintenance and do not over feed. Let me ask you this, if you buy something to eat the snails what will you feed it once the snails are gone?
     
  7. mlaird

    mlaird Thread Starter New Member

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    What maintenance can I do? The snails are eating my plants, not food that I feed them, and I would like my plants to survive so that the Endlers fry have places to hide.

    If you have so many assassin snails, what do you feed them? My suspicion is that the carnivorous snails will eat the overpopulated regular snails down to a more manageable population, but I doubt they will wipe out the other snails. If so, then they will starve, and I will end up with just fish and plants in the tank. That was what I was planning on in the first place anyway, so that would not be so bad an outcome.

    Alternatively, loaches eat other things too, so I can feed them something extra if they run out of snails to eat.

    I fail to see what kind of "maintenance" would work as well as either of these two options. But I am willing to learn if you can explain what you mean.
     
  8. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    They do not eat healthy plant matter only dead or decaying so if they are eating your plants then remove all the dead, yellowed or dying plants. Assassins will wipe out everything in their path as I said before. I have 7 tanks up and running and so I feed them the snails from other tanks. What type of snails are these pond/bladder or ramshorn?
     
  9. mlaird

    mlaird Thread Starter New Member

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    I beg to differ - these snails are eating my healthy plants and putting holes in their leaves as well as stripping some leaves bare. I don't know what kind they are, but based on a quick Google search, they look like ramshorn.
     
  10. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    Do they have a stripe on them? If so they are not ramshorn they are columbian ramshorn (Marisa Cornuarietis) They will strip plants bare the way you are describing and are banned from transportation across state lines. They are of the Ampullariidae family, these are actually apple snails. Here's a wiki article, I can't link to other forums here so this is about the best I can do. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marisa_cornuarietis
     
  11. mlaird

    mlaird Thread Starter New Member

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  12. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    Those are European ramshorn and should not be eating healthy plant matter.
     
  13. mlaird

    mlaird Thread Starter New Member

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    Feel free to tell them that; I don't speak snail. :-(
     
  14. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    Can you get a pic of them even though there is one in the wiki link I would like to see yours?