Snails and their eggs are a common problem for domestic fish owners. They breed quickly and although they are not dangerous they can be unsightly – especially if their numbers boom. They lay eggs in tiny sacs that cling to ornaments, weed and the tank itself, and often the eggs are transported into the tanks from bringing outside objects in. However, there are steps you can take to get rid of your uninvited guests.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Dip solution
- A net
- A holding tank
- Clown loach fish
- Lettuce or courgette
Buy a remedy for the items in your tank to be dipped into to eradicate snails and their eggs. These can be bought at your pet shop. The best method is to put your fish in a separate holding tank and then treat all the other items in your tank. Use dip before adding new weed and ornaments to your existing tank as a preventative measure.
Predators Buy varieties of fish that have a taste for snails and their eggs and will gobble them up in no time. Clown loaches are particularly popular because they are not aggressive, unlike other snail-munchers such as puffer fish and fighting fish. However, they are a tropical freshwater fish and won’t survive in cold water.
Bait Use a watery vegetable like lettuce or courgette as bait for the snails and over time you may be able to get them out before they begin to lay eggs. Secure a small piece of the vegetable to the bottom or side of the tank and leave it overnight with the lights off. In the morning it should have lots of snails all over it and you can simply take off the piece of vegetable and dispose of it.
Starve them Make sure you don’t over-feed your fish. Snails feed off the excess food that drops to the bottom of the tank when your fish don’t eat it so be careful of the amount you are putting in the tank. Watch how much your fish are eating and try and reduce the amount you feed them to minimise wastage.
Tips and warnings
- Prevention is better than cure. Make sure you treat all items being put in your tank before they go in.