I posted the other week about some snails I had noticed in my relatively new tank; where I was warned that it would be wise to get the snail population under control while I can. Sure enough, the snail population has increased - not to the point where they're out of control - but if they continue to reproduce at the rate they have, I'd give it a few weeks before I've got myself a "problem".
I'm fairly positive that they're bladder snails, and I have since purchased two assassin snails in an attempt to keep their population under control - though these guys seem fairly chilled out so I'm not sure how helpful they've actually been so far (FYI, they've been in the tank for four days).
I've read time and time again about reducing the amount of food that you feed your fish, as "less food = fewer snails". However, I'm completely unsure of how much less I need to feed my fish to have an impact upon reducing my snail population. My fish supplier suggested to feed twice a day but I'm wondering if once a day may be more helpful to nip this in the bud? Or whether I should carry on feeding twice, and just use less food both times?
Additional info: I have 9 tetra, 3 guppies, 1 bristlenose catfish and 3 amano shrimp. I feed them twice a day (morning and evening), a combination of flakes for the tetra/guppies and pellets for the shrimp/catfish. Once or twice a week I will use a daphnia or an algae wafer alternative for example, to create a more varied diet. I remove any left-over food which is visible to me but I know there will be some which sinks into the gravel and slips through my radar. I siphon my gravel relatively regularly to remove this and there isn't a clear abundance of algae as of yet - but my snail population is still increasing?
I have come to the conclusion that the unseen food is the issue and that I need to reduce the amount I feed my fish to minimise this. And so, my question is:
How can I reduce the amount I feed my fish, to effectively minimise the reproduction of pest snails, without harming the fish?