How to Get Rid of Snails on Aquarium Plants

Written by anne woods
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How to Get Rid of Snails on Aquarium Plants
Unwanted snails often proliferate in aquariums. (Snail"s life image by VeraDat from

Many aquarium plants come with unseen hitchhikers: snail eggs. Within a few weeks after introducing these plants to your aquarium, you may find yourself with a burgeoning population of tens or even hundreds of snails. While it's nearly impossible to eradicate them entirely, you can dramatically reduce the snail population very easily using vegetable bait.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Small glass jar
  • Lettuce, cucumber or cabbage

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  1. 1

    Place a piece of lettuce, cucumber or cabbage in a small, clean glass jar. A miniature salt or pepper shaker works particularly well, according to Aquarium Fish.

  2. 2

    Submerge the jar in the aquarium. Position it on the bottom and make sure the opening is clear so snails can get in.

  3. 3

    Turn the lights off, and leave the baited jar in the aquarium overnight.

  4. 4

    Remove the jar in the morning and dispose of the snails that have gathered inside and on it. Throw them away rather than trying to crush the shells, because the shells can puncture the skin and cause infection, according to Fish Friend.

  5. 5

    Repeat as needed until you see few or no snails. You may need to use vegetable bait periodically if you notice the snail population growing again.

Tips and warnings

  • Clown loaches, yoyo loaches and dwarf puffer fish all eat snails, so adding some of them to your aquarium may also help resolve the snail problem. However, each species has specific requirements and tendencies, so do your research first to determine whether they'd be viable in your aquarium.
  • To prevent snails, quarantine and clean new plants before adding them to your aquarium.
  • Avoid chemical treatments. Although they often promise to kill snails and not affect other aquatic life, they can easily kill everything in your aquarium if you use the wrong dose.

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