A lot of fish keepers might have faced this pond snails problem in their fish aquariums or ponds, where the population of these little pest nails exploded despite the best effort to control it. These little pests are hermaphrodites. It means they are both male and female in each one of them. Any two of them can mate and both can lay several dozens of eggs. They can multiple quickly into hundreds from just two if the condition is ideal. The eggs of pond snails can come with plants, or decorations while remain unseen. Sometimes they can come with the water. Their young can swim. Their adults can do “submarine” trick by somehow managing to get enough air in their shell to rise directly toward the water surface or to a higher place in the aquarium. For many new fish keepers, it is a pain to have pond snail and it might seem they are impossible to get rid of.
How do you get rid of these pest pond snails in your fish aquarium or fish pond?
First – Cut off or reduce the food source for pond snails
Obviously you have somehow brought the eggs of pond snail into your aquarium. It is too late to stop that. However, the most important thing you need to know is, these pond snails feed on mostly leftover fish food. If your pest snail population is increasing rapidly, it means you have been overfeeding your fish. There must be some leftover fish food on the bottom of the fish tank for the pond snails to feed on. Cut back on feeding will definitely help to control their population. Make sure there is no leftover fish food in your fish tank. In case there is still leftover fish food in your fish tank, Use a gravel vacuum cleaner to remove any leftover after each feeding. Use an algae scraper to clean the side of your fish tanks will also help, since the pond snails can feed on the algae too.
Second – Introduce predators of pond snails.
You should avoid using any chemical means to get rid of the pest snails. We generally must avoid the use of any chemical in our aquariums other than water conditioner.
So the natural way is the best way to fix this problem without any ill effect.
1. Fish species that feed on snails is a choice. Many species of loaches and puffer will eat snails. Crown loach is one of the most popular snails eating fish.
2. Assassin Snails
As the name suggests, Assassin Snails are killers of other small snail species. These beautiful snails are often kept for their appearance. But they can also do a great job controlling the population of other species of small snails. Assassin snails require a male and a female to reproduce, and they reproduce only a few offspring at a time, thus they will not become another pest themselves. You only need a few of these Assassin Snails to do the job. It might not look like it is working at first, but overtime you will start to see a stall and then decreasing in pest pond snail population. Note: Assassin snails will not harm bigger snail species such as Zebra Nerite snails. I can confirm it from my first hand experience. So there is no need to worry if you have some large pet snail species in the same aquarium.
Third – Set traps for the pond snails.
If the population of pond snails are exploding in your aquarium or pond, you might also want to consider manually remove them to a more manageable population size. It is a pain trying to pick them out one at a time if there are hundreds of them crawling everywhere. Set traps to get a bunch of them at once would be a better way to do it. Typical suggestion for a pond snail trap is to use a piece of lettuce. After put a piece of lettuce onto the substrate of the fish tank or the pond, just leave it there for a few hours or even until the next morning. By the time you return, you will see a full party on the lettuce. Remove the piece of lettuce will remove at least several dozens of pond snails if there are hundreds of them to begin with. Repeat the process and you will get rid of considerable amount of the little pests. However, this solution will never get rid of all of them. It will only work great as a snail population reducer temporarily.
In order to get rid of your pond snail population for good, you must apply at least the first two methods at the same time. The third method will speed up the decreasing of pond snail population if the first two methods are used as well.
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